Financial product fees you shouldn’t be paying

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If you’ve ever felt like your money is disappearing, and you have no idea where it’s going, then you’re not alone. Excessive and unnecessary fees attached to our financial products eat into our income and often go unnoticed by many Australians. 

If you have had the same mortgage, credit card and even transaction account for years you might not even remember what fees you agreed to pay when you first signed up. Use the checklist below to help you work out where you can cut out or save money on fees.

1. Credit card annual fees
If you’re paying an annual credit card fee, switching your card to one of the over 60 options on offer with a $0 annual fee is the smartest move. Even if you justify your annual fee by the rewards you have access to, it might be time to weigh up if having the cash in your pocket is worth more.

2. Ongoing home loan fees
Some home loans may charge you a small monthly fee that, over the life of the loan, will add up to thousands in wasted cash. While you shouldn’t pick a mortgage based solely on fees (as the interest rate and features are also important) there are almost 2000 home loans without any fees on the market to consider.

3. Mortgage switching fees
In 2012, the Federal Government banned exit fees on mortgages and RateCity data shows that there’s over 1000 loans on the market with no upfront fees at all, removing one of the last financial barriers to switching.

4. Transaction account fees
Paying to access your everyday bank account each month is a cost that we can all do without. Whether it’s $6 or $30, the fees do add up over time and with plenty of free options available it’s time to say no to this money-draining cost.

5. Superannuation fees
While all super funds incur some sort of fees, the amount you pay can vary wildly from just over $300 a year up to over $1500 a year, based on a $50,000 investment. While a fund’s long-term performance is what will really matter in the end, you may be able to find a fund that has similar performance results for less fees. Also, if you have more than one super account, consolidating them into one will instantly save you money.

6. ATM fees
We have all been guilty of using another bank’s ATM when we’re stuck for cash and paying that pesky $2 fee. Try and make it a goal to never pay this fee again and by saving $2 a week on ATM transactions throughout the year you could end the year $104 richer.

7. Car loan fees
You can save around $7 a month by choosing a loan that has no account keeping fees which can add up to a fair bit of cash over the life of your loan. Making sure you pick a product that doesn’t penalise you for paying it off early can also save you up to $800.

8. Overdrawn fees
Overdrawn fees are charged on your transaction account when you accidentally take more money than what’s in it. Typically, the fee ranges can climb as high as $40 and although they are less common than they used to be, we haven’t quite seen the back of them entirely. Download your bank’s app to keep track of how much you have in your account so you don’t get caught out.

9. Balance transfer handling fees
One way the bank makes money with balance transfers is through a handling fee that will be a percentage of the amount transferred, usually around 2 per cent but can climb as high as 3 per cent. There are over 100 cards on the market that won’t charge you this added fee, so shop around for the best deal before handing over more of your money to the bank.

10. Overseas card fees
The cost of travelling overseas doesn’t have to be added to with currency conversion fees and international ATM fees if you plan well before you go. Compare cards and you will find that there are credit and debit options available that cut out the usual travel fees that can end up adding hundreds to your holiday bill.

So how much do your fees add up to?
Of course, much like death and taxes, some fees are simply unavoidable but that shouldn’t stop you from shopping around. Finding competitive fees and interest rates and avoiding the fees you don’t have to pay will help keep your bank balance in good shape.

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34 Comments

Total Comments: 34
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    $0 pa. I rarely use other bank ATMs, pay all my bills (rent, electricity & phone each fortnight) by bank transfer/BPay before I even have my shower @ 8.30 am on a Tuesday morning. It’s called internet banking. Then I go to the ATM for my spending cash, then to the supermarket for my food. I don’t have a credit card, and don’t want one. I have a pre-paid Visa Debit card attached to my Velocity membership card. This pays for all my travel expenses – fuel, registration, NRMA, servicing, CTP, even the motel room for any trip I take. I refuse to have a Credit card, even one with $0 fee. I have a stringent budget and can afford all my ‘essentials’ without having to resort to using other’s money for them.

  2. 0
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    I don’t ever use ATMs. Withdraw money direct from the bank at no cost. Use BPay to pay my bills (this does incure a 40c phone charge).

    • 0
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      Banks have already started charging for withdrawing from their branches now and it wont be long before they all do it. Many pensioner accounts now have a fee for branch withdrawals.

    • 0
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      Please let us know which banks these are. It’s important information and we would be grateful if you would share it with us.

    • 0
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      Well all I can tell you is that the Commonwealth doesn’t YET !!
      Just in case GEEZE doesn’t answer you back ! OK ? 🙂

    • 0
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      Commonwealth bank does for ir’s pensioner accounts now.

    • 0
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      The ANZ does not charge for with drawing from a branch either

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      Bonny … I’ll have a look next week and see if your Right OK ? 🙂
      IF So , I’ll Sack them !! I’m not gunna help them pay back their Money Laundering Fine or whatever it is they are in the Poo Poo for now !! 🙂 🙂

    • 0
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      My pensioner account got charged when I took some money out last year. Not too sure why they call it a pensioner account when it is available to anyone over 55.

      Did you know most banks will allow your bank account to be overdrawn unless you ask them not to let it be overdrawn? Commonwealth is one that does.

      Can you really see them having to pay back 7 times their total value? Didn’t they say our banks are too big too fail? I wonder who many other institutions it will take with it? Let hope we don’t see a run on the banks over this and send the economy into a bad recession.

  3. 0
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    I withdraw money from the bank at not cost and do my payments online fortnightly I stick with a budget.

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      Be very careful nowadays doing any Banking type things on line nowadays !! 🙁 the Crooks are getting very Sophisticated !! 🙁 🙁
      Just Sayin !! 🙂

  4. 0
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    I find it easiest to get cash out when required at the supermarket when I do my weekly shop.

  5. 0
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    I pay for my groceries on my debit card, & take a cash out at that time at the checkout. Costs nothing. I then stick the card away, & use only that cash for the week.

    Well that is when it’s not like this week. I spent $3,200 yesterday, on rates & a small home repair bill. I am getting really sick of rates going up by about 3 times inflation each year.

    • 0
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      Not sure you are legit Hasbeen. If so get a credit card with a Rewards Program (ANZ?). Only fee is the annual card fee and program fee but if you pay all of your outgoings on the card then you are way ahead.
      Don’t worry….we will soon all be on digital currency with little or no fees but will be at the total mercy of banks and the government.

    • 0
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      How will I pay for my Hootchygoona (WEED) with Digital Currency ?? 🙂

  6. 0
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    Don’t pay any of those.

  7. 0
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    Id like to think no one is idiot enough to use hooch!!

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      You should live here where I live:-( 🙁 Its only Me and one other bloke in twelve units that don’t touch anything !! 🙂 As for the rest of the BOZOS They Drink, Smoke & Swear !! And lift anything not bolted down 🙁 🙁 🙁 The Fumes would Kill You on Dole Days !! 🙁

  8. 0
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    It states
    “Credit card annual fees, If you’re paying an annual credit card fee, switching your card to one of the over 60 options on offer with a $0 annual fee is the smartest move. Even if you justify your annual fee by the rewards you have access to, it might be time to weigh up if having the cash in your pocket is worth more.”

    I ask where the hell do you get a FREE annual fee Credit Card —

    • 0
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      Try COLES (NO ANNUAL FEE CARD) But they do have other cards with Bells a Whistles !! OK ? 🙂

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      Mmmmm I am afraid there is NO way I would trust Coles or woollies — bad enough the banks

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      Well me either really ! I’ve only told you about it because it comes up often when I’m looking at the SPECIALS. I look at them All Woolies IGA and Coles !! I’m a Specials ONLY Shopper !! 🙂 🙂

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      Banks have the ability to waiver credit cards fees so when they offer you one with all the belks and whistles ask them to waiver the annual fees. If they wont try another bank.

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      Too Easy 🙂

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      No the banks will not do that they have a low fee — about $30 a year with not bells — but if you have a rewards and pay $80 a year and get the rewards you end up paying a little less than the cheapest if you get my drift.

    • 0
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      I’ve had a Coles platinum card for over 10 years.
      The basic card is fee free, but mine has a $89 annual fee. This fee is more than offset by the Flybuys points I accrue, which equates to around $700 in Flybuys dollars pa, which I can redeem when shopping at any Coles operated business.

    • 0
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      David, can this card be used at any place? or just at Coles and their stores

    • 0
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      Hi PlanB
      I get 3 points for every dollar I spend at Coles operated businesses and 2 points for every dollar I spend at any other business with my Coles Platinum paid loyalty card.
      I checked the Coles website and they state that the won the Money Magazine award for the credit card issuer of the year for 2016 and 2017.
      My $700 Flybuys dollars benefits is based on my high spending pattern, which may be different to yours.
      I also don’t pay any international transaction fees.

    • 0
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      Thanks David for your reply will look into it — I do not need the frequent flyer or such myself

    • 0
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      Thank You David !! I can only rake up about $150 a year on Fly Buys !! And that’s without a Credit Card 🙁 But its still very handy 🙂


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