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Parking, ATM and overdrafts: The fees we hate to pay

Who doesn’t hate fees? Some you simply can’t avoid, and others come out of nowhere and just seem plain unfair.

Unreasonable parking charges, ATM cash withdrawal fees and credit card surcharges are the three Brits hate the most, says Direct Line. The insurer’s top 10 most loathed fees and charges also included those for using a public toilet or your bank overdraft.

If you want to pay less of the fees you hate, we’ve some simple ways to reduce five everyday charges.

How to cut overdraft fees

If you find yourself often dipping into your overdraft – and paying for the privilege – it’s time to switch your bank. There are lots of incentives to get you to move bank, from cash bonuses to high interest rates on savings. Nice as they are, your priority should be an interest-free overdraft, or at least lower fees than you pay now.

How to reduce booking fees for events and travel

Though new rules mean you should be told about all the fees at the start of a booking, it’s still annoying when you get to the end of the process and see just how much you’re being charged for “postage”, even though you’re printing your ticket at home!

The best way to cut these charges is to shop around, as different sellers have different fees. If it’s for an event, you can also try taking cash to the box office as they’ll often charge you face value only.

You might also be able to save a few quid by paying with a debit card rather than credit card.

How to avoid overseas card fees

When you use your debit or credit card abroad, you’ll be hit with fees on top of the “load fee” (which calculates the exchange rate you’ll pay). The simple way to avoid this is to bring cash, but that’s not always practical. Fortunately some banks offer debit and credit cards with a much lower or even zero fee for using them.

How to stop paying penalty fees on late bills

Do you forget to pay your credit card or other bills each month? You’ll likely get stung with a hefty fee. An easy way to avoid this is to set up a Direct Debit to pay off the full amount you owe each month.  You might save over the long run too.

How to avoid subscription and membership fees you don’t want

It could be a magazine subscription or a gym membership. Whatever it is, we’ve all signed up for a something that we use a little but not enough to justify paying for it. The problem is, you probably never get around to cancelling so you pay the new charges month after month.

If this sounds like you, cancel the service as soon as you buy it. You’ll still have the use of the service but your subscription won’t automatically roll over. If you want to keep using it, it’ll just be a few clicks to start paying again.


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  • paul murray / 12 June 2015

    Staffy your comment struck a nerve hospitals r terrors for giving u a credit note instesd of change and as u r usually late for your appointment by the time u eventually find a parking space u cannot faf around trying to get change, no jnstructions on how to get your refund.

  • paul murray / 12 June 2015

    love the tip on membership fees, my wife hates me signing up for anything,as we always end up with an extra year.2 points i would like to raise 1 the rac you cannot just leave you have to inform them to stop your standing order even if u have not knowingly agreed to this . greenflag also do this.2 with subscriptions instead of letting a mag run on ,even when u want the mag, check what offers they are making and resubscribe a few weeks later

  • Ana Freeman / 19 May 2015

    And car parking meters which charges by hours instead of by minutes is another robbery.

  • Miss C Ring / 17 May 2015

    Helpful tips and often about subject that we don't pay(excuse the pun) close attention to. Wide range of subjects covered and relevant to everyday living in 2015. Thank you.

  • Mark Poxon / 17 May 2015

    I hate paying independent financial advice charges based on a percentage of the sum to be invested. The charges should be based on a published list of charges that are not related to the sum to be invested. Alternatively there should be a maximum charge ceiling.

  • Staffy / 17 May 2015

    Car parking meters which don't give change are STEALING our money!