By Victor Ochieng
It’s common sense that there’s no need paying for something if you don’t have to. But many times, there are things that hit our wallets and we shrug them off just as a normal way of doing business. On matters of finance, every coin counts. Here are four things you should never pay for.
Once in a while you need a little cash to go through your day, meaning you’ll need to check into the nearest ATM. But have you thought about those costly surcharges? Are you aware that, on average, you’re paying $4.52 for an ATM withdrawal that’s out of network? There’s a way out of this unnecessary expenditure, and the easiest one is to only use your own bank’s ATMs. Most banks have smartphone apps that will help you locate the nearest ATM. There are also some online banks and credit unions that refund out-of-network ATM charges per month – Check Ally Bank and Alliant Credit Union as examples.
Your credit report
Ever paid for your credit report? If so, you might have been a victim of a scam. Every client is entitled to a free credit report every 12 months from each of the 3 main credit monitoring bureaus: TransUnion, Experian and, Equifax, thanks to the Fair Credit Reporting Act. And remember Annualcreditreport.com is the only website that’s authorized to fill orders for the free credit reports. So beware of scammers who might try to charge you for your credit reports that you’ve got the right to receive for free.
Your checking account
Though you must have been taught that you should get free checks and that you shouldn’t be charged for your checking account, if you are using checks to make payments, remember that there are hidden costs you’ll incur. A survey by Bankrate found that only 37 percent of banks offer free checking with no strings attached. So before you use that check, find out whether you’ll incur some expenses.
Foreign transaction fees
Want to go on a vacation abroad? Check your credit card policies. If you use your credit card in other countries, a foreign transaction fee will be added to your monthly bill. It’s usually equal to 3 percent of the charge amount. To avoid this fee it is advisable to use a credit card that doesn’t charge extra for foreign transactions. For example, the Discover It Miles card and the BankAmericard Travel Rewards card have no foreign transaction charge and no annual fees.