Avoiding Frivolous Fees

Today, we’re going to look at four frivolous fees that you really shouldn’t be paying, and how to stop them from killing your bank accounts and your credit score.

Frivolous Fee: Overdraft fees on your bank account.

Solution: Don’t overdraft. Well, it’s not that simple. The government requires financial institutions to provide overdraft protection so that people’s bank accounts don’t get drained for one mistake. You need to read your financial institution’s regulations on this; for example, mine counts them as transfers, and once your transfers are up for the month, you will start getting charged fees.

Frivolous Fee: Airport luggage fees.

Solution: Two ways to eliminate these. First, on a short trip, pack a carryon only. If you’re not in the front seat, you can have a carryon and a purse or laptop bag. Second, if you have to have luggage, check your luggage online instead of at the airport, because many airlines will now charge you for paying your fees at the airport.

Frivolous Fee: ATM Fees.

Solution: Many convenience store chains are now offering no-charge ATM’s, so even if your bank charges you for using a ATM outside of their network of ATM’s, you’re not getting it from both ends. Also, many credit unions will not charge you and will reimburse you a certain dollar amount of ATM fees a month from out-of-network ATM’s which charge a fee.

Frivolous Fee: Inactivity Fees.

Solution: Sometimes, you have to pay overdraft fees, and those can be a pain. Some credit cards with rewards will also charge you if you don’t use the card. Always read the fine print, cancel accounts you never intend on using again (don’t always do this- canceling too many accounts can hurt your credit score), and use rewards cards, even if you’re just buying a candy bar with it.