When you are trying to save money or pay down your debt, every penny counts. This means if there’s the possibility of avoiding a specific fee, you should take it! Whether it’s an extra $1 or an extra $50, being able to keep that money in your pocket is the top priority.
The CGS Team is sharing 6 fees to stop paying, or at least try to work your way out of paying! Fees can certainly add up, so getting rid of unnecessary charges can make a major difference in your financial plans.
#1: Checking Account Fees
Major banks like Chase, Wells Fargo and Bank of America all charge fees for their accounts. They are required to disclose the fee amount at the time of the account opening, as well as inform you of the ways to avoid the fees. If you can avoid these fees on a monthly basis, then great! If not, because you don’t meet their fee-discount requirements, consider switching to a credit union.
Credit unions rarely charge fees for having accounts with them. Also, they typically don’t have any minimum balance requirements.
#2: Equipment Rental Fees
You may not even know that you are paying fees for equipment rental! If you purchase cable or internet through a service provider (think AT&T U-verse or Time Warner), you are likely being charged to use their equipment. Take a look at your bill for any modem or router rental fees.
The fee may not be too expensive, but over the course of a year, or however long you have the service, it can add up. Modems, routers and other equipment can be purchased for relatively cheap prices. That’s a one-time fee, as opposed to a small monthly fee that never ends.
#3: Shipping Fees
If you make a purchase online, often times a fee for shipping is charged. This fee may not always be avoided, but you should always try! Before you officially check out and make the purchase, do a quick online search for free shipping coupon codes. You can also search the retailer’s website. Often times they will have a discount code for purchases above a certain amount, or if you join their mailing list.
#4: Late Payment Fees
When times get busy, it’s not unusual for a payment to fall through the cracks. Unfortunately, this opens the door for major late fees, especially with credit card companies. Things come up all the time, so if you have a good payment record, but missed one payment, you may be able to get that fee waived.
Before folding and paying for the fee, contact the company to see if there is anything they can do to waive the payment. Often times, the first late fee is waived without question.
#5: Credit Card Annual Fees
Most credit cards that offer rewards programs come with annual fees. If you aren’t using the card consistently, or the fees add up to more than you redeem in rewards, it may be time to get out of the card. If you don’t want to switch cards, consider contacting the credit card company to see what your options are. Some companies allow you to downgrade cards without re-running your credit.
You can also threaten to close your card (without actually doing so) if the annual fee isn’t waived for you. When you call, ask for the Retention department. They have the most approval to grant customer’s wishes!
#6: ATM Fees
If you are constantly looking for your bank’s ATM locations, it may be time to switch banks. If you bank with a credit union or online bank, ATM fees are not charged on their end. In addition, fees charged by the ATM’s bank are waived. Consider switching banks, or plan ahead when you need to pull cash.
Related: 8 Things to Stop Spending Money On
To think of any of the fees above as unavoidable is certainly not true! It may require a little more effort on your part to get rid of the fees, but it will be well worth it in the long run! What do you do to avoid bank, ATM, or other recurring fees? Have you worked your way out of a fee before? Post a comment below to share your tips and experiences!
2 thoughts on “6 Fees to Get Rid of Now”
Great article! I’d like to add that some entertainment fees can be avoided. I’m a huge fan of libraries. My local library is especially nice since it has a great variety of movies to borrow. Rather than pay to rent for a movie – and I know the cost is low – but if you have an opportunity to save money, then why not? Of course, the books are there too! Rather than spending so much on books, head to your library. Additionally, cutting the premium cable cord is easier nowadays with all of the other options out there – Netflix, Hulu, basic cable.
In terms of bank/ATM fees, if you do find yourself with a fee, call customer service. They can waive fees. I’ve done that, and it’s worth the time.
I hate the thought of paying fees to simply have a bank account at a major bank. If you aren’t going to meet the account requirements (having a certain balance or a specific amount direct deposited), then a credit union is a much better option! I’ve also found that credit unions are more lenient with fees all around (overdraft, etc.), and they pay more in interest!
I’ve definitely worked my way out of overdraft fees in college. It was great to get out of it, but I will say that the lesson was learned. If you don’t have the money, just don’t spend it!