At the end of these three years, they expire on the 30th

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What’s behind it? Can it really be worth it for consumers? t-online will inform you about such offers and possible risks for you.

Negative Interest on Loans: How Can It Work?

Interest rates have been very low for years. Because the key interest rate of the European Central Bank (ECB), on which the banks’ lending rates are based, is zero percent. Some providers on the Internet even lure you with negative interest rates on loans.

But be careful, with such offers you should know: In this case, the fact that an interest rate is negative does not come from the bank. The online portal that promises you the negative interest will switch between you and the bank. It also pays the bank the difference to the actual interest rate.

Example: With a negative interest rate of 4 percent, you would only have to pay back € 960 for a sum of € 1,000. The intermediary pays the bank the difference of 40 euros. (function () {var dyCont = document.getElementById (‘nativendo-sidebar’); if (typeof T == U || T.RecAdInactive) {// remove container dyCont.parentNode.removeChild (dyCont);}}) ( ); .toi-sh-breaker {position: relative; width: 920px; left: -155px; height: 275px; border: 1px solid #dcdcdc; border-width: 1px 0; padding: 12px 0 8px; margin: 32px 0; clear: both; } .toi-sh-breaker: before {content: ‘DISPLAY’; position: absolute; top: -8px; right: 28px; background: white; color: # 000; font-size: 10px; display: inline block; padding: 2px 10px; } .toi-sh-breaker .Tts {width: 300px;} .toi-sh-breaker # nativendo-sidebar {width: 300px; clear: none; float: left; margin-right: 10px;} .toi-sh-breaker > div: last-of-type {width: 300px;}

With these offers, however, the following applies: caution is required. Because the intermediaries do not give away money out of charity. Rather, they are concerned with data from you as a borrower (see below).

In general, you can only get cheap loans if you have a sufficiently high credit rating, i.e. if you are generally considered creditworthy. This also applies to negative interest loans.

The provider asks your creditworthiness from a credit agency such as Schufa. If your Schufa score is bad, you have no chance of a loan with negative interest. Some providers only provide such loans to new customers.

Good to know: Loans with minus interest are usually only available up to 1,000 euros. The sums are often not much larger.

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What’s the catch?

The providers don’t just lend you money at minus interest. From the point of view of consumer advocates, such offers are primarily marketing measures that are primarily intended to bring in sensitive and lucrative customer data.

"Such data is worth gold – and therefore a fairly high price for the consumer, no matter how tempting the negative interest offer", argues Kerstin Schultz, financial market watchdog at the consumer center in Saxony. Consumers must be aware that they are paying with their sensitive data when they request a loan.

Consumer advocates criticize that this data does not only go to the bank from which you get the loan. Other financial houses and other credit intermediaries who work with the portals would also receive the data.

You will receive a Schufa entry for loan applications

This is possible because the online portals request a declaration of consent to use the data – which customers would then have to approve. This also applies if the process is canceled. "Many consumers do not seem to be aware of this"said consumer advocate Schultz.

Tip: If portals offer you credit via SMS, telephone or email and you feel harassed, ask the company to delete your to start a argumentative essay To do this, send an informal letter or an e-mail to the company. You can also find a sample letter on the websites of the consumer advice centers. If that still doesn’t work, you should contact the responsible data protection authorities.

Another catch with loan offers with negative interest rates: You get an entry with Schufa. This already applies when you submit a loan application – without your loan being approved. Schufa entries can reduce the chance of future loans.

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What other option do I have for cheap loans?

In order to get cheap loans, you should above all compare several offers. If you have found a cheaper loan, don’t hesitate to switch. This is especially true if the new loan offers significantly better terms. This is how you will at least manage to get loans that offer a percentage close to zero.

However, be aware of possible costs to your bank: Some banks charge high fees if you terminate a loan before the end of the term and want to switch to another bank.

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In general, however, the following applies anyway: You should only take out a loan if it is absolutely necessary. If you want to buy a new television, for example, you should not take out a loan. Because loans are always included in your Schufa score (see above).

Instead, put your money on the high edge – or better yet, invest it. Then with a smart investment, for example in passive funds, in a few years you can afford not just one television on credit, but five televisions without any credit.

Sources used: own Recherchevergleich.deFinanztipWith material from the dpa news agency, show more sources less sources

Bonus programs like Payback rely on the fact that customers like to hunt for bargains. There is a discount in exchange for data. Is it worth it or should it be better to keep hands off the customer card?


How does Payback work? How do you collect Payback points? How do you redeem Payback points? How long are Payback points valid? Is it worth collecting points with Payback? What data does Payback collect? What alternatives are there?

More than every third German has a Payback card in their wallet. This makes the discount program the largest in the country. More than 30 local partners and more than 600 online shops accept the bonus card.

But how does that actually make sense for customers? Our overview shows how Payback works, whether it’s really worth it and how consumer advocates rate the bonus program.

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How does Payback work?

Payback advertises to reward its loyal customers for shopping: With the check card or the Payback app on the smartphone, you collect bonus points when you go shopping with partners such as Aral, dm, Real or Rewe. You can then redeem the points for a discount at the cash register, vouchers or rewards or donate them to aid projects.

You will usually receive one point for every two euros you spend. One point equals 1 cent. In addition, the Payback partners issue coupons with which you can significantly increase your score.

How do you collect Payback points?

To do this, you first need a Payback card. These are either available in all participating shops or you can apply for the card online on the Payback website. However: the online application only works if you register for the coupon mail at the same time. This contains personalized advertising.

Obligations and deadlines: This is how long you should keep account statements (function () {var dyCont = document.getElementById (‘nativendo-sidebar’); if (typeof T == U || T.RecAdInactive) {// remove container dyCont.parentNode .removeChild (dyCont);}}) (); .toi-sh-breaker {position: relative; width: 920px; left: -155px; height: 275px; border: 1px solid #dcdcdc; border-width: 1px 0; padding: 12px 0 8px; margin: 32px 0; clear: both; } .toi-sh-breaker: before {content: ‘DISPLAY’; position: absolute; top: -8px; right: 28px; background: white; color: # 000; font-size: 10px; display: inline block; padding: 2px 10px; } .toi-sh-breaker .Tts {width: 300px;} .toi-sh-breaker # nativendo-sidebar {width: 300px; clear: none; float: left; margin-right: 10px;} .toi-sh-breaker > div: last-of-type {width: 300px;}

If you already have the Payback card, you must register it in the next step. To do this, enter the card number on the website of the bonus program, which you can find on the back. Then Payback would like your e-mail address and other personal data such as name and address.

If your card is registered, you can scan it at the checkout every time you make a purchase from one of the partners and you will then automatically receive points credited to your Payback account – usually one point for every two euros spent.

It doesn’t matter whether you have your Payback card from Rewe, dm, Fressnapf or another partner, you can also use it at all other Payback acceptance points. If you shop in a participating online shop, you must enter the Payback card number there and you will then also receive the corresponding points.

How do you redeem Payback points?

In order to redeem Payback points, you must first have reached a point balance of at least 200 points. Once you’ve done that, you have six options:

Redeem at the checkout: You can use Payback points to pay for additional purchases if you have them offset at the checkout. However, this does not work for all partners. It is possible at Aral, dm, Real, Burger King, Fressnapf, Apollo-Optik, Thalia and Depot. You can also pay on the move using the app using the function "Payback Pay"Convert into vouchers: You can also exchange your points for shopping vouchers. There are service terminals in the branches of Rewe, Penny, Real and Alnatura for this purpose. You can print out the voucher there and use it immediately or save it in order to use it for another purchase. Withdrawal to the account: To do this, you have to log into the Payback website and select the point in your personal area "Redeeming the points for cash" choose. You can now see your point balance and choose how many points you would like to redeem. Then confirm the transfer to the deposited bank account. The money will be credited to you within a few days. Get a bonus: In the bonus shop, you can exchange your points for property from the categories of cooking, sports, multimedia or living. Most of the time you have to pay something extra. Alternatively, you can convert your points into gift vouchers in the rewards shop. At Aral, you will receive awards directly at the petrol stations. Award miles: Have one "Miles & More"Card, you can also convert your Payback points into award miles, which will be credited to your mileage account. Donate points: If you would rather do something good, you can donate your points to a regional, national or international aid project. Payback cooperates nationwide, for example, with the Arche, the DKMS or the German Children’s Fund.

How long are Payback points valid?

Payback points are valid for 36 months from the time they are credited. After these three years, they expire on September 30 of the same calendar year. After that, you cannot redeem them. In your points account you can go to "Points threatened with decay" see if you should take action soon.

Is it worth collecting points with Payback?

Barely. Let’s assume you shop at Rewe for 30 euros. Then you get 15 points, which is the equivalent of 15 cents. If this works out every week, you will get € 7.20 at the end of the year. For this discount you also had to spend 1,560 euros (30 euros x 52 weeks).

Isn’t 7.20 euros better than nothing? Yes, but that only applies to customers who would always buy from the same vendors anyway. If, on the other hand, you shop here and there – depending on where the cheapest offer is available – you as a Payback customer may miss that in the future because you are ignoring stores that are not partners. The consumer advice center therefore advises not to forget to look at the competition when collecting points.

iPhone in the Payback rewards shop 200 euros more expensive

This is especially true when exchanging Payback points for rewards. A random sample from the North Rhine-Westphalia consumer center between July and August 2019 showed that there are many offers at other retailers that are cheaper. For example, Payback offered a price of 39.99 euros for a board game, while the same game was available elsewhere for 18.99 euros.

According to consumer advocates, the biggest difference was with an iPhone X, which cost 999 euros at Payback. With an assumed stake of 1000 points (10 euros), the price difference to the cheapest dealer was more than 200 euros. The advice of the consumer advocates: Always compare offers with a price search engine – or instead of buying premiums, pay with the points at the checkout.

Payback dismissed the criticism as excessive. It is not possible to always offer the best price on the overall market, said a spokeswoman. In addition, the majority of users have their points offset directly when shopping anyway.

What data does Payback collect?

However, it is important to Payback that the company does not conduct address trading and does not sell any data to third parties. The company cannot see any individual products from the purchases booked via the card or app, but it can see which product groups or product categories you are buying. To be able to redeem points, you must entrust Payback with your name, your date of birth and your address.

If you cancel your participation in the bonus program, Payback will have to keep your data for another ten years (communication data for a maximum of six years), but may no longer use it. If you have allowed Payback to use your data in a certain way, you can revoke this at any time. You can also ask Payback to disclose any information the company has on you.

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What alternatives are there?

The largest German discount program has had numerous competitors since it was founded 20 years ago.