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.
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.
The White House on Friday unveiled plans for a new effort to ramp up testing for Covid-19, which experts say is an essential part of limiting the spread of the virus. This chart from Vox gives a sense of just how far the U.S. has to go to catch up to other countries that are dealing with the pandemic, including South Korea, the leading virus screener with 3,692 tests per million people. The U.S., by comparison, has done about 23 tests per million people as of March 12.
The Air Force has scrapped a planned upgrade of its B-2 stealth bomber fleet — even after spending $2 billion on the effort — because defense contractor Northrup Grumman didn’t have the necessary software expertise to complete the project on time and on budget, Bloomberg’s Anthony Capaccio reports, citing the Pentagon’s chief weapons buyer.
Ellen Lord, the undersecretary of defense for acquisition and sustainment, told reporters that the nearly $2 billion that had already been spent on the program wasn’t wasted because “we are still going to get upgraded electronic displays.”
Bernie Sanders wants to eliminate $1.6 trillion in student debt, to be paid for by a tax on financial transactions, but doing so won’t be easy, says Josh Mitchell of The Wall Street Journal.
The main problem for Sanders is that most Americans don’t support the plan, with 57% of respondents in a poll last fall saying they oppose the idea of canceling all student debt. And the politics are particularly thorny for Sanders as he prepares for a likely general election run, Mitchell says: “Among the strongest opponents are groups Democrats hope to peel away from President Trump: Rust Belt voters, independents, whites, men and voters in rural areas.”
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.”