Over at CNN/Money they have an incredible list up of all the overpriced and ridiculous fees we have to pay for everything, from credit cards to mortgages to banking to investing. This list is quite exhaustive and I have posted the list without all the information they have up. To read their tips, go to the site and check it out. Here are my thoughts on some of these items:
1. Airlines: Paper tickets – Maybe they could charge a dollar or 2, but sometimes the fee is like $15..for mailing a ticket!
2. Airlines: Talking to a person – Stupid, absurd…I am a customer, why can’t I talk to a person?
3. Changing your flight – Understood, but I think the fees are a little high.
4. Airlines: Reserving an aisle seat – Huh? When did that start?
5. Overpacking – Since I don’t want the plane I am in to crash, I can understand the weight limits.
6. Car rental: Insurance – Never buy this, ever. Just use a credit card that covers you, or your own car insurance if they can do that.
7. Car rental: Excise taxes
8. Hotel: Internet connection fee $9.95 a day.
9. Hotel: Resort fee $10 to $30.
10. Automatic gratuities – I can’t stand this. If I don’t get good service, why should I have to tip an automatic amount?
11. Package delivery fees $5 for the hotel to accept a package
12. Mini-bar restocking – Well, you do have to pay for the stuff you use, but $5 for a bottle of tap water is a bit silly.
13. Telephone: Carrier cost recovery fee
14. Telephone: AT&T’s tax-related surcharge
15. Telephone: Property tax surcharge
16. Wireless: Activation fee– $35 for a new plan – They should be paying me to sign up!
17. Wireless: Cancellation penalty: $175 to $200 for getting out early
18. Gift-card activation fee
19. Housing: Junk closing costs
20. Housing: Title insurance
21. Housing: Biweekly payment fee
22. Banking: ATM fees
23. Banking: Monthly service fee
24. Banking: Bad-deposit fee – If it’s not my fault, why should I pay?
25. Banking: Foreign-currency fee
26. Credit Card: Late fees – Just pay it on time, they have a right to collect if you decide to go shopping instead of paying your bill.
27. Credit Card: Balance-transfer fee – Never pay these, ever. A CC issuer should WANT my business, not charge me for it.
28. Credit Card: Over-limit fee
29. Credit Card: Same-day payment fee
30. Investing: Index funds fees – Check those fees, I only buy low fee/no load funds.
31. Investing: Large U.S. stock funds
32. Investing: Target-date retirement funds
33: Investing: Variable annuity expenses
34: Investing: Brokerage transfer fees
35. Investing: 529 expenses
I could really add quite a bit to each one, but the writers of this series did a great job, you should check out the entire list at CNN/Money. Anyone have any thoughts on this list?