Avoid these hidden fees that you might not have to pay for

Couple pays bills

Inflation may not be boiling over anymore. But it’s still pretty hot.

And that is why you never want to get stuck paying fees you can easily avoid.

Think about it: We are constantly hit with fees at hotels, fees for shipping and those annoying fees at banks.

So we turned to the nonprofit group Consumers’ Checklist, which recently posted a list of the “65 Things You Probably Shouldn’t Pay For.”

Bank Fees to Avoid

A lot of the things to avoid are silly fees, starting with those you get stuck paying at an ATM not owned by your bank.

Executive Editor Kevin Brasler suggests you use only in-network ATMs if possible. If not, check with your bank.

“A lot of banks and many credit unions these days will refund any ATM fees you’ve had to pay when using machines out of their networks,” he says.

Other bank fees include monthly checking account maintenance fees, if you don’t have a large enough balance, and overdraft fees. All are easily avoidable.

Service Fees to Avoid

And how about monthly fees for services you never use?

Brasler recommends making an audit of fees you pay, and seeing if you really get enough use out of them. Among them:

  • Gyms, if you find you don’t have time to go
  • Streaming TV services you never watch
  • Subscriptions like Amazon Prime if you rarely order from them

“A lot of people signed up for Prime back in the days when that was really the only way to get free shipping out of Amazon,” Brasler said. “But now most orders over $35, even if you’re not a Prime member, come with free shipping.”

MORE: Watch TV for free with these no-charge streaming services

Travel Fees to Avoid

Lastly, when traveling, Brasler says you should never have to pay early or late check-in fees at hotels.

“Often just joining that hotel chain’s frequent traveler program, gets fees waived to get a few extra hours before you have to check out.”

That program may also get you a room upgrade or at least a free bottled water and snack at check-in.

MORE: Avoid these 5 hidden travel costs to save money on your next trip

Curtis Johnson says extra fees can really ruin your day.

“It’s just a headache,” he said, while taking cash out of an ATM. “It’s really unnecessary.”

So, check to see what fees you are paying that can easily be avoided.

That way you don’t waste your money.

By John Matarese, WCPO

About the Author

John Matarese

John's goal is to help as many TV viewers as possible save money, avoid bad deals, know a rip-off when one comes their way, and be educated consumers. His informative weekly consumer segment "Don't Waste Your Money" now airs on 45 TV stations from San Diego to Tampa to Houston and Cincinnati. More.

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