Many companies have found that consumers notice when the price of certain items go up and many of these potential customers will refuse to purchase a product or a service if they perceive the price of the item to be too high. Because this restricts the amount that the company can charge for their services, many companies have found a way to include hidden fees in the charge to make more money on each transaction with their customers. These customers often don’t know that they are even being charged the fees; they only know that it seems like they have less and less money as time goes on.
Fee #1 – Convenience Charges
Convenience charges allow companies to extract more money from people without raising the price of the items or services that they are selling. Convenience charges can be added to almost anything and, in recent years, have been added to many of the everyday items that people pay for. Convenience charges are added to the ticket prices of live entertainment events, to airline tickets, to hotel rooms, and even when you pay a bill over the telephone.
The charge is often disclosed in the small print of the transaction information or right before the person is going to pay for the item. In many cases, the person has already given all of the information needed to complete the transaction before they find out about the convenience charge and often feel like the few dollars that they are being charged is not worth the hassle of going through the entire process again. The convenience charge is also applied to some time sensitive items, such as paying a bill, because the company knows that you do not have enough time to make the payment another way and still have it arrive on time.
Fee #2 – Transaction Fees
Transaction fees have become a way for banks and credit card companies to make more money on every account that they hold. Common transaction fees include ATM fees for using a different bank’s ATM machine, fees for obtaining cash with your credit card, fees for using a teller instead of the ATM, and fees for having too many transactions in a certain time period. Each company decides what fees they will charge for certain types of transactions, so there is not a set standard for these companies as to what you will pay for each of your accounts.
There are a number of different types of transaction fees that can be used on different types of accounts. Some banks and credit card companies use freedom from these fees as a selling point for their premiere accounts with higher credit limits to entice the people that qualify for these accounts to sign up for their credit card products. It is estimated that as much as 20% of the revenue earned by the banks in any given quarter is from transaction fees like these being applied to the accounts of ordinary people.
Fee #3 – Maintenance Fees
Maintenance fees are a particularly sneaky way for companies to charge you for the things that they would have to do anyway to service your account. Some typical charges that companies charge include for printing and sending a statement for the account, for reviewing the account for credit line increases, or for simply keeping the account open. These fees are disclosed in the original account agreement and automatically charged to the account without any prior notice for the account holder. Maintenance fees can add a hundred dollars or more each year to the balance of each account that the company holds, resulting in millions of dollars in additional income for the company.