5 of the Most Insulting Fees and How to Beat Them

By Stacy Johnson

NEW YORK (MoneyTalksNews) — You give me something I want, we agree on a price, I pay for it. It’s the way the world has worked for thousands of years. These days? Not so much.

Today, with an increasing number of businesses, it goes more like this: You provide something I want, we agree on a price, I pay, then you tack on fees to fatten your bottom line.

Unreasonable fees are more than just a drain on your finances. They’re insulting – the financial equivalent of a cold slap in the face. Check out this video for some examples, and to see how far I’ll go to illustrate a concept.

In no particular order, here are five of the world’s most insulting fees. They made my list for one of three reasons: They’re unreasonable, you’re getting little or nothing in return or they’re ridiculously overpriced.


1. Foreign transaction fees: This is a fee charged on credit card purchases processed outside the United States, such as when you use your card in Europe or to buy something from a non-U.S. company. Banks that charge them typically collect 3% of every transaction. The implication of this insulting fee is that it’s related to the intricacies of currency conversion. But lawsuits have revealed these fees are nearly pure profit: money for nothing.

Workaround: If there’s any chance you’ll be making purchases outside the United States, there are plenty of cards to choose from that don’t charge this fee.

2. Overdraft fees: If you overdraw your account and the bank uses its money to cover your negative balance, it deserves to be compensated. But how much? According to this article at CNBC, overdraft fees average from $30 to $34 nationwide. Charging $34 for a one-week loan on the average overdraft of $36 equates to an annual rate of 5,000%.