Wednesday, September 8, 2010

10 Fees you should NOT pay for

We pay enough in taxes and add-ons on day to day purchases. I know that YOU work HARD for your money (apologies to Donna Summer) and you don't want to throw it away on fees and services that you can get FREE.

Here is a list of 10 fees that you should NOT have to pay for according to

1. Directory Assistance Fees. You’re not still calling 411 are you? Carriers can charge $1.25 or more for every 411 call. Try using a service like 1-GOOG-411 or (800) FREE-411 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting              (800) FREE-411      end_of_the_skype_highlighting for free directory assistance.

2. In-store Credit Card Fees: Beware of in-store promotional cards that offer an initial store discount. An introductory 0% interest rate can quickly leap to over 20% with just one late payment. Remember, when you apply for a new card, an inquiry is made to the credit bureau, and that can lower slightly your credit score.

3. Non Bank ATM Fees: ATM Fees can add up. They can also be slightly misleading; it’s not unusual for ATM convenience fees to cost $2.00, and for the card-issuing bank to charge up to an additional $2.50 as a non-bank ATM Fee. As a result, it may cost up $4.50 to withdraw $20.00.

4. Credit Card Late Fees/Overdraft Fees: Paying late fees on credit cards and bills, and overdraft fees on bank accounts can be a waste of your money. Especially when a minimum payment on a credit card of $15 is missed, resulting in a late fee that can be as high as $39 (and perhaps result in an APR% increase). Overdraft fees add up quickly, especially when they are made in quick succession, resulting in fees for each transaction made while an account is overdrawn. Luckily starting this week there are new consumer protections thanks to the Credit CARD Act of 2009, but interest rate hikes last year, mainly due to late fee penalties, cost Americans more than $10 billion.

5. Car Maintenance Fees: Unless a car is under warranty, going to a dealership for a repair is one sure way to overspend. Car dealerships often tell you that some types of work can only be done by authorized dealerships, and are they may not negotiate prices, something that should be done with any type of auto maintenance.

6. Airline Cancellation Fees. Here's one that I need to remember. We know that we’re all busy, and some scheduling conflicts are unavoidable. There are times when things “just come-up.” But, when it comes to travel, there are hefty fees for changing the date of a flight.

7. Cell Phone Early Termination Fees (ETFs). Most of the major U.S.-based cell phone service providers tack on significant fees if you cancel your wireless plan before the end of the two-year contract. Read the fine print on your contract and make SURE that you've gotten the best deal IN ADVANCE.

8. Cable Company Contracts Cancellation Fees. Admittedly, most of our kids love TV,  and as they grow up (or as various sports seasons start), you may get talked into upgrading your current cable provider to go for the package that gets you the shows that will keep the family happy. But be careful, canceling a TV service is not cheap!

9. Roaming Fees: Make sure that you understand the way your roaming and international charges work. Not every service charges extra fees for these, but some do. You can still be using your phone in the normal way, but in a slightly different place, it's easy to accidentally rack up large fees without doing anything that seems unusual. Some roaming rates can be as high as $2.49 per minute. And, some carriers will even charge you to access your voicemail (a charge of $4.99 for a missed call) even when you don’t pick up that call while you are roaming. The biggest “ouch” charges could occur if you happen to send a video message to your pals while on vacation, which could cost a whopping $7 per message!

10. Reward Card Annual Fees: Why pay an annual fee for rewards when you can get them for free? Beat the system and get a card with no annual fees and great perks. Capital One No Hassle Miles Rewards, Chase Sapphire Card, and Pen Fed Visa Platinum Cashback Rewards are examples of cards that charge no annual fee, but offer great rewards.


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