Ever get to the airport and realize you must pay $25-$50 extra for your baggage? Unless you did your research, these fees can add up. Most of the time companies don’t advertise these fees – or they’re just well-hidden in the fine print. You may feel as though you got an “unreal” deal, but think again. There are a few industries that do a great job of hiding fees.
Hidden fees are making it more challenging for you to compare prices. These fees can be very costly. Here are a few hidden fees you should be on the lookout for.
Credit card fees
Have you checked your credit card interest rate recently? Credit cards do a great job of concealing their 15% (or more) interest rates. If you have $1,000 in credit card debt, this is an extra $150 a year. There are a lot of better ways to spend $150. And credit card interest rates aren’t the only way they tack on other fees:
- Late fees - Forgetting to pay your bill on time.
- Cash advance fee - Using your credit card for a cash advance can cost you 2%-4%.
- Foreign transaction fee - Using your credit card when traveling abroad.
- Balance transfer fee - Consolidating credit lines.
The fees above are just to name a few. Understanding all your credit card fees can save you hundreds of dollars.
Hotel and resort fees
When researching a hotel or resort they may not list any extra fee to make it look like you are getting a great deal. They may tack this on during check-out or once you get to the resort. Hotels use the “resort fee” for housekeeping, Wi-Fi, and items such as toiletries. You may think that this is standard, but it may be an extra fee you are not aware of until it’s too late. It’s a good idea to call the hotel or go to their actual website to see if they have a resort charge. Or try ResortFeeChecker.com.
Cable companies do a good job of making you feel as though you have gotten a great deal. They may advertise a package, but be sure to understand the package details. This may be a “special” price that only lasts for a few billing cycles and then hikes up after six months. There may also be an activation fee, installation fee, or equipment fee that you are unaware of. Be sure to get an itemized list of everything your bill includes up front. You don’t want to be blindsided when you have an extra $25-$50 tacked on to your monthly bill.
Cell phone fees
Ever wonder what all the fees are on your cell phone bill? Most likely, you barely look at it and just pay the bill. From taxes to emergency services fees, cell phone companies do a great job of concealing what you are truly paying for. Did you know occasionally, your phone provider will charge you for a 911 fee, which goes toward the support of emergency responders?
Do your due diligence and consider all the fees that your service provider charges. Make sure you understand them all and if it doesn’t seem right, it probably isn’t.
Ever see an advertisement for a great flight and come to find out it was too good to be true? After you pay for your seat and baggage you have tacked on an extra $100. It is good to be aware of these “hidden fees” so you know what you are truly paying for.
The Simply Money Point
Do your research and understand all the fees associated with your purchase in advance. It may seem tedious, but it could save you hundreds, maybe thousands, of dollars. Take full control of your spending and don’t let hidden fees bust your budget.
Does your family’s budget have you on track to meet your money goals? We invite you to talk with our team at Simply Money Advisors.