2nd Aug 2017
FONT SIZE: A+ A-
Financial product fees you shouldn’t be paying
Author: YourLifeChoices
Woman shows her empty wallet no money

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.





    COMMENTS

    To make a comment, please register or login
    SuziJ
    3rd Aug 2017
    10:53am
    $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.
    Old Geezer
    3rd Aug 2017
    1:08pm
    I don't use ATMs myself as they are too impersonal and besides for old folk they are a real hazard as a thief can be just waiting for you.
    Priscilla
    3rd Aug 2017
    12:35pm
    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).
    Old Geezer
    3rd Aug 2017
    1:07pm
    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.
    Maggie
    3rd Aug 2017
    3:31pm
    Please let us know which banks these are. It's important information and we would be grateful if you would share it with us.
    particolor
    3rd Aug 2017
    7:51pm
    Well all I can tell you is that the Commonwealth doesn't YET !!
    Just in case GEEZE doesn't answer you back ! OK ? :-)
    Bonny
    4th Aug 2017
    7:19am
    Commonwealth bank does for ir's pensioner accounts now.
    PlanB
    4th Aug 2017
    11:35am
    The ANZ does not charge for with drawing from a branch either
    particolor
    4th Aug 2017
    5:48pm
    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 !! :-) :-)
    Old Geezer
    5th Aug 2017
    7:35pm
    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.
    KB
    3rd Aug 2017
    12:47pm
    I withdraw money from the bank at not cost and do my payments online fortnightly I stick with a budget.
    particolor
    3rd Aug 2017
    7:35pm
    Be very careful nowadays doing any Banking type things on line nowadays !! :-( the Crooks are getting very Sophisticated !! :-( :-(
    Just Sayin !! :-)
    casey
    3rd Aug 2017
    2:09pm
    I find it easiest to get cash out when required at the supermarket when I do my weekly shop.
    particolor
    3rd Aug 2017
    7:32pm
    That's what I do !! No Hassle !! But now they are trying to give me a Credit Card ! NO ANNUAL FEE !! :-) :-) I've ignored it so far ! :-)
    Hasbeen
    3rd Aug 2017
    3:39pm
    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.
    MICK
    3rd Aug 2017
    4:12pm
    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.
    particolor
    3rd Aug 2017
    7:29pm
    How will I pay for my Hootchygoona (WEED) with Digital Currency ?? :-)
    Nan Norma
    3rd Aug 2017
    7:34pm
    Don't pay any of those.
    particolor
    3rd Aug 2017
    7:38pm
    OH ! That was for Micks Kicks !! :-) :-) Its my SOH !! Sense of Hu8mour !! :-) :-)
    particolor
    3rd Aug 2017
    7:40pm
    Couldn't be bothered deleting the 8 there !! :-)
    Pamiea
    3rd Aug 2017
    7:38pm
    Id like to think no one is idiot enough to use hooch!!
    particolor
    3rd Aug 2017
    7:45pm
    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 !! :-(
    PlanB
    4th Aug 2017
    11:28am
    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 --
    particolor
    4th Aug 2017
    5:43pm
    Try COLES (NO ANNUAL FEE CARD) But they do have other cards with Bells a Whistles !! OK ? :-)
    PlanB
    5th Aug 2017
    10:01am
    Mmmmm I am afraid there is NO way I would trust Coles or woollies -- bad enough the banks
    particolor
    5th Aug 2017
    5:59pm
    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 !! :-) :-)
    Bonny
    7th Aug 2017
    7:26am
    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.
    particolor
    7th Aug 2017
    10:05am
    Too Easy :-)
    PlanB
    11th Aug 2017
    8:37am
    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.
    David
    11th Aug 2017
    9:08am
    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.
    PlanB
    11th Aug 2017
    9:30am
    David, can this card be used at any place? or just at Coles and their stores
    David
    11th Aug 2017
    10:11am
    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.
    PlanB
    11th Aug 2017
    10:17am
    Thanks David for your reply will look into it -- I do not need the frequent flyer or such myself
    particolor
    11th Aug 2017
    7:32pm
    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 :-)


    Tags: money, finance, fees

    Join YOURLifeChoices, it’s free

    • Receive our daily enewsletter
    • Enter competitions
    • Comment on articles