Ranking the “Most Hated” Consumer Fees

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It’s no secret that consumers view fees with the same disdain that a Celtics fan feels for Kobe Bryant.

But like Kobe to the Celtics, consumer fees are a hard reality in life, whether it’s a fee triggered by a late credit card payment or one that comes from getting your driver’s license renewed.

But what are the worst offenders, fee-wise? Money Magazine is out with a list of the absolute worst consumer fees. What’s on the list might surprise you.

Here’s a look at their top five worst offenders.

  1. Charged for not charging – Credit card companies are ramping up fees for consumers who own a card, but who aren’t using it. Citibank charges some cardholders $60 if they charge less than $2,400 per year.
  2. Home equity loan fees – If you pay down a home equity loan (HELOC) early, congratulations. But your lender won’t like it – you’re apt to pay anywhere from $250 to $750 to pay down a HELOC early.
  3. Bank transfer fees – More and more bank customers are linking their savings accounts to their checking accounts. That can protect bank consumers from onerous overdraft fees, which can soar as high as $36 per overdraft. But some banks charge you $20 or $30 for these transfers – something that costs the bank virtually nothing.
  4. Frequent-flier miles – As Money puts it, can you really call it rewards travel when you have to pay for the reward? Apparently so. US Airways and Americans, for instance, can charge you $50 to redeem your frequent flier miles.
  5. Annuity fees – Annuity investors often complain about unknown fees. Insurance companies call them “expenses” – but according to Money, that’s just corporate-speak for hidden fees of up to 3% of your annuity’s value.

Those are just the top-five of the most blood-pressure raising fees. For the entire list, see this article at CNN/Money.

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