How do I Choose the Best Free SMS Alerts?

Felicia Dye

Short Message Service (SMS) alerts are usually text messages sent to a mobile phone. There are many types of free SMS alerts that you can have sent to your phone. To choose the bests ones you should consider your lifestyle — and your weaknesses. Free SMS alerts can be very helpful, but if you randomly sign up for them because they are offered, it could become annoying and inconvenient.

Some stores offer discounts to people who sign up for their SMS alerts.
Some stores offer discounts to people who sign up for their SMS alerts.

If you enjoy shopping, free SMS alerts from your favorite stores may be a good choice. Stores often reward those on their SMS alert lists by informing them of sales before other shoppers are informed. Some stores even offer specials and discounts to those who receive their free SMS alerts. You may want to limit these to only your favorite stores or essential services, however, or you could find yourself tempted to overspend.

People who have trouble remember when bills are due can sign up for SMS alerts.
People who have trouble remember when bills are due can sign up for SMS alerts.

If remembering your bills’ due dates is one of your weaknesses, you may want to sign up for payment reminders. This service can help you to protect your credit rating and save you money by helping you to avoid late fees. Many companies send messages that will forewarn you when a payment is coming due. Usually, these are sent far enough in advance that you will not be overly rushed. Some companies will even follow up with a reminder after the due date during the grace period.

You may also have difficulty remembering appointments. If so, you may be able to get alerts reminding you of the dates and times of important engagements. Many professionals such as doctors, dentists, and fitness trainers send free SMS alerts to their clients. They generally include their phone numbers so that when you do need to reschedule, you can do it immediately and avoid possible penalties.

In some cases, you may not be able to avoid initial penalties but you can avoid mounting fees. Video rental businesses often send free SMS alerts to those who have overdue movies or games. This is particularly helpful if there are several people renting on your account.

Notices regarding activity on your bank accounts may also be beneficial. They can help you to keep a track of your spending. It can also be a tool to promote saving if you have a joint account and both you and your mate will be notified every time money is spent. Free SMS alerts from the bank can also help in the event that your card is stolen without you knowing. A message telling you that you’ve spent money when you know you haven’t can be an immediate signal to cancel your card.

If you are a student, consider getting free SMS alerts from your school. These can notify you of any changes to the normal course of your day. Instead of having to listen to the radio or watch a long list of closings on television, you can quickly be informed if classes are canceled due to an emergency, such as bad weather.

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Discussion Comments


Of course, some businesses are phasing out SMS services in favor of accessing mobile content through a data plan, a pricey option. The free SMS notices you get may be very sporadic, heavily delayed, depending on their setup for pooling/sending SMS messages.

Some customers prefer not to receive many messages, even though they subscribe, and even have unlimited messaging. Also, receiving sensitive data via SMS is less secure than going online privately and accessing the account information at your own convenience.

Don't let this discourage you, but be prepared to receive very few notices from these free services.

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