Five Fees You Shouldn’t Be Paying: A Taking Action Consumer Report

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5 Fees You Shouldn't Be Paying

From credit card usage fees to airline booking fees, every time you turn around it seems like companies are adding some sort of extra charge for service. The days of being nickel and dimed are getting old, and that’s why WHNT News 19 wants to put money back in your wallet.

Here are five fees you shouldn’t be paying.

5 – Roaming fees & Cell Phone Charges

Use WIFI as much as you can when traveling abroad.  Not only can you surf the web and check e-mail, but with programs like Skype and Google Voice, you can even make phone calls for less or free of charge.  Here’s what Google Voice offers free of charge.

One Number:  Make calls and send texts from your Google Voice number.
Cheap international calls:  Make low-priced international calls directly from your phone.
Voicemail transcription:  Voicemails are automatically transcribed to text.
Integration:  Google Voice integrates with your phone's native address book.
Free text messages:  Send and receive text messages through the Google Voice app for free.
Custom greetings:  Set up different greetings for different callers.

4 – Airline Booking Fees

Don't think about picking up the phone to book a flight.  Get your credit card ready for the $15 to $25 fee if you do.  That charge applies to every flight booked, even for a family of five.  Southwest was the only airline that still offers this over the phone assistance, free of charge.  Bottom Line: Book all your flights online. 

3 – Directory Assistance

Calling 411 can cost $1.25 or more. You can do this for free by calling 1-800-BING-411.

2 – Credit Card Late Fees

We got a little help from Michele Mason, President of the BBB of North Alabama to discuss late credit card fees.  Here’s the Bureau’s advice:

Stay up to date on all your latest account activity by setting customized email reminders. They'll help you track your card spending and avoid late payments.
Why not move your bills around, so they're not so heavy one part of the month and so light at another? Some issuers will allow you to balance out your monthly payments by changing the due dates on your credit cards.
Ask for late fee reimbursement: All it requires is a phone call to your credit card company.  Just look on the back of your credit card for the 24 hour toll free number and call them. Make sure you select option to speak to a customer service representative. Once you are in call, tell them that you are calling to check about the late fee assessed on your account.  Very often, they will extend you a courtesy.

1 – Free checking fees

There are a lot of strings attached to free checking accounts these days where you have to pay a monthly fee unless you meet certain criteria. WHNT News 19 did some shopping around for you and found there are still financial institutions out there that really do offer free checking.

Here are a few local Tennessee Valley institutions that tout “Free Checking” and live up to it.

First Commercial Bank:

No checking account fee
No Minimum balance
$100 deposit to set up the account

RBC Bank

No checking account fee
No Minimum balance
$100 deposit to set up the account

Redstone Federal Credit Union:

No checking account fee
No minimum balance
$5 linked to savings account

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