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May 10, 2021

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.

Fee 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.

Billshrink, a handy online service (still only available in the U.S., I’m afraid) that helps consumers cut costs on everyday items, recently put together a list of 10 fees to watch out for.

They include:

  1. ATM fees
  2. Credit card overdraft fees
  3. Cell phone early termination fees
  4. Roaming charges
  5. 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.



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Gordon PowersGordon Powers

A long-time fund company executive, Gordon Powers now heads up the Affinity Group, a financial services consulting firm. Gordon was a personal finance columnist for the Globe & Mail for many years, has taught retirement planning...

Jason BucklandJason Buckland

The modern-day MC Hammer of money, Jason can often be seen spending cash that isn’t his with the efficiency of a Wilt Chamberlain first date. After cutting his teeth as a reporter for the Toronto Sun, he joined the MSN Money team with...