10 Sneaky Fees to Watch Out For (and How to Resolve Them)


I was traveling recently, and I realized that there were a ton of hidden fees! It all started when I had to pay to check my bag, because the cost of carrying my bag on was double that of checking it.

Then I got to thinking: Nothing irritates me more than having to shell out money I didn’t think I’d need to spend. Then I started thinking about all the ways companies attempt to take our money.

I came up with 10 sneaky fees paired with suggestions of what to do about them. Sometimes it’s a simple phone call, but sometimes there’s a bit more to it.

  • 10 Sneaky Fees and What to Do About Them 1 of 11
  • 1. A fee for carrying on your bag 2 of 11

    More airlines are charging fees, such as a carry on baggage fee! Make sure you check (and double check!) the fee situation when using third-party sites to book your airfare to ensure you're not paying to carry on a bag.


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  • 2. Foreign transaction fees 3 of 11

    Sometimes your credit card company will charge you simply for using your credit card when you're abroad. It's good to know about these ahead of time so you can sign up for a credit card that does not charge those transaction fees. Make sure not to confuse these with the exchange rate!


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  • 3. Annual fees 4 of 11
    Carry-on bag fees? ATM fees? Auto gratuity? Read to see about the 10 sneaky fees and what to do about them.

    Be careful about annual fees! Everyone wants to charge them, especially credit card companies. If you find out you've been charged an annual fee, call your credit card company right away. Tell them you don't want to pay the annual fee, and then mention you're thinking about switching. Typically, they will remove the annual fee. If they don't, ask to speak to a manager, and if that doesn't work, call back. If that still doesn't work, cancel the card and ask them to remove the fee.


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  • 4. Automatic renewals 5 of 11

    This is one area where you need to really be careful when you sign up for free trial of something. Know that if they take your credit card number, they will most assuredly charge you after the free trial expires. Set a calendar reminder, and cancel the service before the trial ends. If you forget and see that you've gotten charged, just pick up the phone or send an email saying you didn't mean to continue after the trial ended. Most likely, the company will remove the charge.


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  • 5. Rate hikes 6 of 11

    Watch your utility and cable bill. When you signed up for your cable, did you get the introductory rate? Call this company, and ask why your rate jumped from $29.99 to $34.99? Companies make so much money based on the fact that most consumers don't pay attention to their bills. If you call, they're surprisingly willing to negotiate.


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  • 6. ATM fees 7 of 11

    What a stupid fee why should you be charged to take your money out at another institution? Why should it cost you 10% if you only need $20? Switch to a credit union that will reimburse your ATM fees, or try to get cash back at the grocery store.


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  • 7. Extra coverage for rental cars 8 of 11

    Let's be clear on this: it makes sense to find a credit card that will cover you when you rent a car. You are most likely covered between your credit card and your own car insurance. The only people who always need to get the insurance are people who do not have a car of their own, and do not therefore have their own insurance.


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  • 8. â��Tourist feeâ�� on taxi cabs 9 of 11

    Taxi drivers really like to take advantage of people who don't know their way around town, and sometimes they like to go the long way when they think you don't know the area. One way to get to keep them from doing that is to turn on the maps on your phone and navigate with them. Speak up! Don't be afraid to ask them to take you the most direct route.


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  • 9. Car insurance neighborhood fee 10 of 11

    Your car insurance adjusts based on the crime rate in your neighborhood. When you switch neighborhoods, you might see that you have to pay a little extra. If that is the case, call around and compare and see if you can get a better quote from someone else.


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  • 10. Automatic gratuity 11 of 11

    I've noticed that "tip included" is becoming more common, so always check your receipt when you're out to dinner! Make sure that if the tip is included, you don't tip extra. Otherwise you end up tipping close to 30% (or more!) for service that isn't perhaps up to that level.


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