Who doesn't love a freebie? From buy-one-get-one-free deals to free services online, we just can't get enough. 

But often these deals are jsut a gimmick – or an outright lie – meaning we end up paying for it somewhere down the road.

So let’s take a look at a few “free” offers that are anything but. Feel free to add your own at the end.


In essence, “free shipping” just means shipping is included in the sale price.

[Read more: Don't shell out for these! 4 services you should never pay for]

Whether it’s an individual seller on eBay or a retailing giant, they aren’t simply going to lose money sending your goods for free.

This can actually work in your favour, however.

Many shoppers on Amazon and the like simply opt for the more expensive option with “free shipping”. However, if you take the time to do the sums, you might find the seller that’s upfront about fees works out cheaper.

Social media

OK, we don’t pay any fees, but our data is valuable – and we don’t just mean to scammers.

It’s why companies will pay you money to fill out surveys online.

So when we hand it out for free on Facebook it’s a goldmine for them to be able to offer companies very specific and targeted adverts at us.

Limit the information you share not only in your posts, but in your profile as well.

Commission-free currency

A quick search on Google for “0% commission currency” shows many forex providers are only too happy to forgo this hated charge.

And why wouldn’t they, when they can make far more money by bundling different fees into your final bill, or simply offering you a terrible currency conversion rate.

Recent research from currency provider FairFX found that someone exchanging £500 into euros at a “commission-free” provider could lose out on a staggering £100 compared to the cheapest deal on the market.

[Read more: The biggest holiday money mistake we are all making]


Something of a contentious one as, provided you never go overdrawn and don’t sign up for a packaged account, banking is still free.

However, for the millions of people who don’t fall into this category, the charges can quickly rack up and it’s this money that helps pay for the free accounts other customers enjoy.

What do you think? Is banking free? What about any other “freebies” out there that are anything but? Post a comment in the section below to start a discussion.