How to avoid wasting money on annoying fees

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By: Good Nelly
on 25th Apr,2017

There are some pesky charges that ruin our finances. Check out some of these annoying fees and the ways to avoid them.
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Whether you are staying at a hotel, getting a new credit card or cell phone plan you may be hit with annoying fees. So, take a close look at your bills every month and find out where you’re paying more and what fees you need to avoid.

Here’s a list of some pesky fees and how you can avoid them.

1 Data surplus charges

Since millions of us are using smartphones for streaming videos and music, many phone companies are charging $15 to $20 per 1GB of surplus. Hence, it escalates the monthly phone bill.

How to avoid:
  • Use Wifi to save data when you’re at home, work or any other trusted area.
  • Monitor data usage regularly and find out a plan that suits your pocket as well.
  • Choose an unlimited data plan if you’re a regular video and music streamer.

2 Installation of cable, internet, and phone

Some cable companies charge a fee of $20 to $150 to install cable, internet or phone service in your home.

How to avoid:
  • Negotiate and try to reduce the charges on terms that you’re signing up for their services.
  • If you have to connect a modem or a cable box, do it yourself (if you can) in order to avoid the technician fees.

3 Airline baggage

If you travel frequently, you know that the airlines charge $25 to $40 to check bags (that is, your first and second bags) on domestic flights. The charge increases to $100 to $200 for third and fourth bags. Moreover, overweight bags can charge you $50 to $200 extra.

How to avoid:
  • Check out luggage policies of your airline on its website.
  • Compare policies of the major US airlines on TravelNerd.com.
  • Ship your bags via UPS or FedEx at lower costs.
  • Southwest Airlines allow two bags for free whereas, JetBlue Airways let you carry one bag for free.
  • Buy your air ticket with frequent flyer mile credit card for free checked baggage.

4 Credit card annual fees

Paying annual credit card fees of $50 to $100 is worth it if you earn adequate card benefits. If you aren’t getting enough rewards as compared to the fees that you’re paying, then it’s a complete loss.

How to avoid:
  • Look for a no-fee credit card.
  • Read the fine prints carefully for hidden charges.
  • Go to NerdWallet’s compare credit card feature and check out which credit cards don’t charge this fee.
  • Shift to a no-fee card if your original account isn’t benefiting you any longer.

5 Credit card late payment charges

Now, it holds true for almost all of us. First-time defaulters are charged up to $25, and $35 if you become delinquent again within 6 billing cycles. The more you default, the greater will be your late fee amount.

How to avoid:
  • Never be late. Pay on time.
  • If your payment history is good and if you’ve defaulted for the first time ask your credit card company to waive off the fees.
  • Look for cards that don’t charge late fees to first-time defaulters or other cards that never charge late fees.

6 Other airline fees

Airlines charge extra fees for seat reservation ($80 each way), Wifi, mobile bookings (of up to $10 to $45), pillow and blanket ($3 to $10), rush fees (of $25 to $75 if you book within few weeks of takeoff), and so on. On top of these, you can get penalized if you print the boarding pass at the airport.

How to avoid:
  • Again, check out the airlines’ policies on these matters.
  • Print your boarding pass beforehand.
  • Carry your own blanket and pillow if possible.

7 Rental car insurance

The collision damage waiver (CDW) to a rental car cost $20 to $30 per day.

How to avoid:
  • Check out whether or not your auto insurance policy covers the rental car damage.
  • Use credit cards that offer reimbursement for damage to rental cars.
  • Buy a supplemental liability insurance (it costs $13 a day) if you don’t own a car insurance policy.

8 Mortgage-related charges

You are required to pay for the mortgage title insurance policy that’ll save the mortgage lenders from legal hassles regarding property ownership. Plus, there are other charges like underwriting, processing, or administrative fees that add up to $2,000 to $3,000.

How to avoid:
  • Check with your agent about any upfront fees.
  • Compare underwriting, processing, or administrative fees of several lenders.
  • Shop for title service on your own and save about $2,000 to $3,000.
  • Get title insurance from a company that is not connected with a real estate lender or brokerage.
  • Compare rates before taking out a mortgage.

9 Overdraft and ATM fees

Many banks charge an amount of $35 each time as overdraft fees. An out-of-network ATM charges $4 on an average.

How to avoid:
  • Use in-network ATM.
  • Opt for an automatic overdraft protection to the avoid debit card purchase and ATM withdrawal charges.
  • Choose or shift to a bank or credit union which provides free surcharge Allpoint network.

10 Hotel’s cancellation, check-in or amenity fees

You’ll be shocked to know how much the hotels charge for cancellation, check-in and providing amenities. For instance, hotels like Marriott and Hilton charge a penalty of one night’s stay if you cancel on the day of your arrival.

Moreover, the early check-in or late checkout fees go up to $20 or more. Hotel amenities charges like gym fees or wifi charges can run $50 a night.

How to avoid:
  • Comparison shop before booking.
  • Read the fine prints carefully while making hotel reservations.
  • Join a loyalty program or book directly from the hotel’s website to get discounts.
  • Negotiate hotel charges wherever possible.
  • Check out hotel charges at resortfeechecker.com.

Do you know any other annoying fees that are draining our finances? If so, then share your thoughts with us.

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