NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — You could be paying outrageous, avoidable charges for products and services and not even realize it.
For instance, CBS 2’s Kristine Johnson reported, just when consumers have grown accustomed to paying extra for luggage, legroom, even water, on a flight, now they might be paying for a paper airline ticket, too.
That’s right, if you don’t receive an e-ticket, some airlines — including American and US Airways — are charging $50 to print a paper ticket.
“Traveling these days is really a horrible experience when it comes to your finances,” said CBS News Senior Business Analyst Jill Schlesinger. “Everywhere you turn, it feels like someone is reaching into your pocket.”
And it’s no wonder. Grocery stores are charging for shopping bags, fast food restaurants are charging for extra condiments, and we even have to pay to put air in our tires.
CBS 2 found one Gulf gas station charging 16 cents more per gallon for those paying with a credit card, instead of cash.
“They’re taking advantage of people,” a motorist said.
Some banks charge up to $25 a month if you don’t carry a minimum balance.
And there are other examples of hidden fees related to credit cards that Schlesinger said people may be unaware they’re being charged.
“This is money you probably can avoid paying in some cases,” she said.
For example, a $100 MasterCard gift card will actually cost $100 because there’s a $10 activation fee. On Visa gift cards, the company will deduct $25 every six months while there’s a balance on the card.
“Credit cards are pretty nefarious when it comes to fees,” Schlesinger said.
Some credit card companies charge customers $15 for waiting to pay their bill until its due date.
And if you go over your credit card limit, you could be hit with a fee as high as $40.
“Going $1 over that limit whacks you with a huge charge, so know your limit,” Schlesinger said.
Schlesinger said the best way to avoid fees is to read the fine print.
“We want people to pick their heads up and be clear about where they’re likely to find a fee,” she said.
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