A stack of fees you shouldn’t be paying for
If there’s one thing we’ve learned from travelling during the past year, it’s that few things are as frustrating as having an extra fee tacked onto your bill.
Witness the unexpected costs of a hotel visit, which now include fees for mandatory valet parking, porters, fitness centers, early check-in, late check-out, housekeeping services, Internet connection, package or fax delivery, mini-bar restocking, in-room safes and even in-room coffee, according to a list compiled by the Associated Press.
And the list of airline fees -- ticket change, phone reservation, exit row seating, peak travel surcharge, first and second bag tariff, curbside check in, pillows and blankets – seems to get longer every day.
But while you may have little choice but to pay many of these travel-related fees, there are a whole stack of fees that can be easily avoided if you’re on the lookout for them.
- ATM fees
- Credit card overdraft fees
- Cell phone early termination fees
- Roaming charges
- Annual dues for rewards credit cards
To that I’d add rental car insurance, usually referred to by rental companies as collision damage or Loss Damage Waiver (LDW).
For an extra $10 - $25 a day, you can avoid liability for any damage to the vehicle, provided you're not found guilty of gross negligence.
Before you purchase the extra insurance, check to see if your regular car insurance covers you in a rental car. Many policies do. Some credit cards also provide insurance; check with your company to find out.
What other fees have you managed to set aside? And how did you do it?
By Gordon Powers, MSN Money
* Follow Gordon on Twitter here.
Posted by: RalphsWife | May 10, 2021 12:46:51 PM
We travel quite frequently, but until recently, never bothered to check into what our credit cards covered when we travelled. As a result, we paid fees we should never have paid - to the tune of over $4,000 in 3 years! Rental car insurance, travel medical insurance to name a couple. Little did we know, our Visas covered all that & then some.
I have a Dividend Platinum Visa, while my husband has the Aergold for Business Visa. Both cards have small annual fees attached ($79 for mine, $59 for hubby's) - and BOTH cards cover our rental car insurance & travel medical. As well, every charge we put on our cards generates a cash return or bonus points! So in fact, we're getting free stuff just for using the cards. I actually received almost $1,000 in dividend money at the end of 2010, which more than covered the bill I had at the time.
Keep in mind, also, that banks are competitive now - something they never used to be! We negotiated away our ATM fees & monthly bank charges with 2 chartered banks. Banks respond well to threats of transferring your business to their competition - even if you don't have a lot on deposit. If you have a mortgage with them, they definitely don't want to lose your business - they make a chunk of money off you over the term of the mortgage.
Cellphone companies also respond to pressure. We reduced our roaming charges significantly, and also managed to talk them into expanding our plan into the US so we don't have roaming charges until we leave North America. It can be done!
Competition is the consumer's best friend! ;-)
Posted by: Long Ago | May 10, 2021 1:26:43 PM
Ralphs Wife: I would recheck you Visa Travel Medical based on the annual fee you mentioned. It may just be travel cost due to interruption such as health reasons and usually has a $2500 max per family. I do not believe it would cover Hospital, Doctor, Emergency Return costs etc.
If it does then my Visa carriers have been handing me a line for years.
I do no they have some cards that have medical available but at more than the annual fee levels you advised. The best I have seen to date is American Express but is not cheap.
With medical you normally have to reveal any pre conditions and if you don't they will not cover you should you have a connected medical problem while away. If you are taking more than 4 prescription drugs they normally require a detailed report to be filled out and reviewed. They may or may not cover and or major cost increase for the travel period.
When it comes to Health Insurance when traveling I would be very diligent in knowing the details and costs etc.
Posted by: RalphsWife | May 11, 2021 12:32:11 AM
Long Ago: One thing I am is diligent. I've checked & rechecked my coverage for both health & car rental insurance. As I indicated, we have negotiated lower-than-posted annual fees on our cards, and we are fully covered (right down to flights home, if required, and pet services!). I was paranoid that I was missing something, so I actually had our bank manager double-check & print out our coverages for me. I carry it with me when we travel.
It's true - as I said before, banks are much more competitive than they used to be. Things can be negotiated to get you services that were previously unavailable.
Posted by: Yerallnuts | May 11, 2021 12:50:40 AM
CIBC's dividend platnum Visa not only does travel medical, but provides emergency medical coverage for every trip for you and your family for up to 15 days, not just for that paid for using the card.
If you arew a sucker for extended warranties for big ticket items and they aren;t sporting goods and such, most cards these days offer purchase securoity isurance. In addition, if you ship something purchased with a premium card with this style of insurance, you needn't pay extra to cover insurance for that shipment . . . .
Posted by: 888ORCHID | May 11, 2021 9:57:24 AM
I own a CIBC platinum Visa card for many years now and it is the only credit card I use. With the $79 annual fee, it more than pay for itself with a rebate of up to 2% ( I got back a few hundred dollar every year) and the 12 days free medical give me a peace of mind when I take my yearly vacation plus waiver of rental car insurance. It is like what RalphsWife said.