Tuesday, July 23

8 Fees You Should Never Pay—No. 6 Will Surprise You

Let’s talk about fees you should never pay!

Managing your money is already complicated—add on expensive and unnecessary fees, and all of a sudden you’ve got less cash than you started with. Like it or not, some fees are unavoidable. But others are egregious, excessive, and just plain obnoxious. You definitely don’t have to like them, and you don’t have to spend your money on them either.

Trivial fees are often charged by even the best banks and can pop up anywhere, from credit cards to traveling to your checking account. But we’re here to help you! We’ve rounded up some of the most common fees you should never pay, so let’s get started!

fees you should never pay
Photo by Bobex-73 from Shutterstock

1. ATM fees

Do you want to have access to your own money? That will be $4.55, please.

That’s the average amount for fees on a transaction made through an ATM not operated by your bank, according to recent research. It accounts for the fees both your bank and the ATM owner are hit with.

If you’re wondering whether you can avoid these, the answer is yes! A recent study shows that banks have been increasingly ditching the practice of assessing fees for using out-of-network machines. If your bank isn’t ATM-fee-free, you can always switch to one standing on the right side of history.

If you’re not willing to make the switch, it’s still possible to avoid these fees you should never pay for. Make sure to always use your own bank’s ATMs, or make liberal use of your debit card to receive small amounts of cash back alongside many retail transactions.

2. Coin conversion fee

As cash payments have become less common, it’s gotten increasingly expensive to turn your change into bills. In the past, accountholders could use coin-counting machines found at many banks for free. However, nowadays, those who have them usually charge for the service.

Many of us don’t physically visit banks anymore, so the only coin counters we can use are the ones operated by Coinstar in grocery stores. Coinstar charges a staggering 12.5% service fee plus a 50-cent transaction fee for the fun of sitting through all that clanking, whirring, and feeding of a bunch of coins through the machine multiple times.

The good news is that these are fees you should never pay because there are two ways you can avoid them! First, you can redeem your charge for an eGift card from a broad range of retailers and services, including Home Depot, Apple, Southwest Airlines, and DoorDash.

The second method for these fees you should never pay is to do the coin sorting yourself. You can find coin wrappers at the dollar store, or your bank might still give you them for free.

If sorting and rolling coins doesn’t sound tempting but you still want to avoid the fee, you can strike a middle ground by getting your own coin sorter—this one for Amazon is great and comes at an affordable price.

3. Early check-in and late checkout fees

You may think this isn’t possible, but early check-in and late check-out fees are also among the fees you should never pay, because yes, you can!

Once upon a time, hotels were fine with cutting you slack about check-in and checkout times. These days, though, they are only willing to cut you a deal.

Early check-in can cost you a fee of as much as $75, while late checkout requests can incur a fee of as much as $150, according to recent data. Don’t think that there are exceptions—even loyalty members have to pay for this fractious fee.

The only way to avoid it is to never assume the hotel is flexible on time. So, make sure you know the hotel’s policy, plan around it, and you’ll stay away from any fees you should never pay.

Of course, the unexpected occurs, and delays are common. One potential workaround is to ask the hotel to keep your luggage in a safe place so you can walk around until the appointed time.

hotel wi-fi
Photo by Song_about_summer from Shutterstock

4. Hotel Wi-Fi fees

Paying to use something many coffee shops, airports, and other businesses give you for free seems a bit unreasonable, doesn’t it? Don’t spend your money on these fees you should never pay!

Sometimes joining a hotel’s loyalty program offers free in-room Wi-Fi as a perk. Another option to avoid these fees would be to bring your own Wi-Fi hotspot, although that might imply paying a fee to your phone provider instead.

Keep reading to discover other fees you should never pay!

5. Bank overdraft fees

No. 5 on the list of fees you should never pay are the overdraft fees. People who are living paycheck-to-paycheck are the ones who pay the majority of them. In other words, those who can least afford to pay them. Bank overdraft fees, also known as insufficient fund fees, are a blight, and luckily, some privately owned financial institutions are waiving them.

One way to avoid these fees is to switch banks. Another way is to inform your bank that you’re not interested in paying around $25 every time you don’t have $1—federal law lets you refuse this type of “protection” from banks.

However, keep in mind that opting out automatically means your card will be declined at the register if there isn’t enough money in your account to cover a charge.

6. Foreign transaction fees

Traveling abroad can be fulfilling and exciting, but it can also be a logistical challenge, juggling currencies, transportation schedules, languages, and more.

Credit cards are supposed to solve part of the issue, enabling you to make purchases abroad with the same ease as at home. Unluckily, some credit cards charge extra money to do the same thing in a different location.

This is what’s called a foreign transaction fee, and it can be as much as 3% every time you swipe. The best way to save money and avoid these fees you should never pay is to have a credit card that doesn’t charge them. Fortunately, you’ve got plenty of options.

mutual funds
Photo by Mila Supinskaya Glashchenko from Shutterstock

7. Mutual fund sales fees

Next on the list of fees you should never pay is the mutual fund sales charge. Also called a load fee, it’s like a commission, and you may have to pay it in certain situations, depending on the fund: when you sell shares (it’s called a back-load fee), when you buy shares (front-load fee), and when you hold on to shares (level load fee).

These fees are basically a percentage of the amount you invest, which means they are proportionate to the amount of work you put into making the money, not to the amount of work a broker puts into moving it.

One way to avoid paying these hefty fees, which, by the way, are fees you should never pay, is to invest in no-load funds.

8. Seat selection fees

When we fly somewhere, it’s pretty much obvious that we’re going to pay for where we park our luggage, our car, and our posterior. But airlines have also started trying to charge for the option to pick whichever remaining corner of the plane you want to jam yourself into when you book a flight.

The thing with seat selection is that it’s presented in a way that may make these charges seem inevitable, but these are fees you should never pay, because you can! There’s usually a button or link somewhere on the page to skip choosing a seat and simply let the airline give you one randomly.

Another option is to go with an airline that doesn’t mess around with assigned seating.

If you liked our article on fees you should never pay, you may also want to read 8 Types of Insurance That Might Be Money Down the Drain.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Related Posts