How to Avoid the Worst Fees in America

How to Avoid the Worst Fees in America

By Beth Braverman

Nothing gets under the skin of a savvy consumer like unwarranted and unwanted fees.

The Web site GoBankingRates.com has put together a list of the “31 Worst Fees in America,” listing some of the most egregious fees out there, as well as tips on two avoid them. The list includes 11 banking fees, 10 travel fees, and handful of fees from other categories such as health care and cell phones.

“At the bank, while traveling, or just when going about your daily business, fees are on the rise in seemingly all industries—and not just in quantity, but in price,” writes author Paul Sisolak. “Many times, they’re so well obscured that you end up paying fees without realizing it.”

The good news is that in most cases, there’s an easy fix for the fees: Avoid bank teller fees, for example, by using remote deposit and ATMs; and steer clear of ATM fees by using your bank’s app to find the nearest in-network machine.

Related: 10 Infuriating Consumer Fees to Stop Paying Now

While bank fees may be rising, the institutions are getting better about being transparent in disclosing them. More than 60 percent of the banks reviewed last week by The Pew Charitable Trusts have adopted a summary disclosure box of terms and fees that meets the organization’s standards, up from just 25 percent in 2013.

When it comes to avoiding fees while traveling, pack light to avoid overweight bag charges and call ahead of time to get a sense of Wi-Fi and other hotel/resort fees.

Number of the Day: $7 Million

NY mayor cites climate stance in endorsing Obama
Reuters
By The Fiscal Times Staff

That’s how much Michael Bloomberg is spending per day in his pursuit of the Democratic presidential nomination, according to new monthly filings with the Federal Election Commission. “In January alone, Bloomberg dropped more than $220 million on his free-spending presidential campaign,” The Hill says. “That breaks down to about $7.1 million a day, $300,000 an hour or $5,000 per minute.”

Chart of the Day: Boosting Corporate Tax Revenues

GraphicStock
By The Fiscal Times Staff

The leading candidates for the Democratic presidential nomination have all proposed increasing taxes on corporations, including raising income tax rates to levels ranging from 25% to 35%, up from the current 21% imposed by the Republican tax cuts in 2017. With Bernie Sanders leading the way at $3.9 trillion, here’s how much revenue the higher proposed corporate taxes, along with additional proposed surtaxes and reduced tax breaks, would generate over a decade, according to calculations by the right-leaning Tax Foundation, highlighted Wednesday by Bloomberg News.

Chart of the Day: Discretionary Spending Droops

By The Fiscal Times Staff

The federal government’s total non-defense discretionary spending – which covers everything from education and national parks to veterans’ medical care and low-income housing assistance – equals 3.2% of GDP in 2020, near historic lows going back to 1962, according to an analysis this week from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.

Chart of the Week: Trump Adds $4.7 Trillion in Debt

By The Fiscal Times Staff

The Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget estimated this week that President Trump has now signed legislation that will add a total of $4.7 trillion to the national debt between 2017 and 2029. Tax cuts and spending increases account for similar portions of the projected increase, though if the individual tax cuts in the 2017 Republican overhaul are extended beyond their current expiration date at the end of 2025, they would add another $1 trillion in debt through 2029.