Student IDs That Double As Debit Cards Carry Significant Overdraft Fees

The cozy relationship between institutions of higher education and credit card issuers has come under increased scrutiny in recent years as consumer advocates and legislators have debated whether or not products like student IDs that double as credit or debit cards provide an actual benefit to students or if they’re just a way for schools and banks to rake in the big bucks. According to a new report from the Center for Responsible Lending, the excessive overdraft fees surrounding the use of the cards suggest the latter point. [More]


Airports Propose Increasing Facility Fees To Pay For Infrastructure Improvements

With airlines introducing new fees for just about everything from reserved seats, carry on bags and even water, it appears that the actual airports are looking to get a piece of the action with a proposed increase to the passenger facility fee. [More]

Frontier Airline will raise its checked baggage fees beginning May 1.

Frontier Increasing Checked Baggage Fees By $5 To $10 Starting May 1

A year after Frontier Airlines unveiled an “ultra-low-cost” fare structure including new fees for bags, the airline is once again revising those costs. [More]

(Eric Spiegel)

Passenger Rights Group Calls For Cap To Airline Change Fees For International Flights

Under certain circumstances – like significant weather events – airlines allow passengers to change their travel plans at no extra cost.But generally travelers can expect to pay upwards of hundreds of dollars to revise their travel plans. Now a group of passenger rights advocates are asking U.S. regulators to adopt a more reasonable change fee cap of $100 for international flights. [More]

Comcast Eliminating One Annoying Fee By End Of Year

(Steven Depolo)

Cable companies are notorious for their fees — modems, set-top boxes, HD service, DVR service, repair visits, early termination fees; the list goes on. But Comcast tells Consumerist that it is ditching one annoying little fee over the next few months. [More]

Charging Fewer Fees Doesn’t Mean Banks Aren’t Making Billions Of Dollars From Customers

Charging Fewer Fees Doesn’t Mean Banks Aren’t Making Billions Of Dollars From Customers

Despite the fact that consumers pay more than $32 billion annually in overdraft fees alone, a new report found that the amount of money banks make off customer-account fees declined for the first time in seven decades. [More]

Hotels Taking Cue From Airlines, Making Mountains Of Money From Add-On Fees

Hotels Taking Cue From Airlines, Making Mountains Of Money From Add-On Fees

Airlines have long since discovered that they can make billions by charging consumers for everything, from daring to have luggage to calling customer service. Now, it seems, their travel partners up the line are joining them in the bold new future, as hotels find ever more creative ways of adding to your bill. [More]

Is ActiveHours A True Payday Alternative Or Just Another Too-Good-To-Be-True Letdown?

Is ActiveHours A True Payday Alternative Or Just Another Too-Good-To-Be-True Letdown?

We’re largely a society built on convenience: fast food, one-stop shops and other we-need-it-now services. Unfortunately, that need for timeliness seeped in to the financial system in the way of quick-fix payday loans, which can provide the convenience of a quick, low-value loan but which often result in a revolving cycle of high-interest debt. Now a new lending product aims to take the predatory stigma out of short-term loans, but, like many payday alternatives of the past, a closer look reveals reason for concern. [More]

Until Banks Settle On Single Way To Disclose Fees, It’s Hard To Compare Checking Accounts

Until Banks Settle On Single Way To Disclose Fees, It’s Hard To Compare Checking Accounts

Most banking services come with a laundry list of small-print, hard-to-read disclosures detailing how much one might expect to pay for things like depositing a check, talking to a teller or checking an account’s balance. Knowing that information before signing on the dotted line for a new checking account is paramount if you don’t want to be saddled with some of the billions of dollars consumers spend on checking account fees each year. However, as a new report continues to show, actually finding that information online can often be an exercise in futility. [More]

Video Shows You Don’t Need All That Fine Print In Prepaid Card Fee Disclosures

Video Shows You Don’t Need All That Fine Print In Prepaid Card Fee Disclosures

Prepaid debit cards may offer a convenient alternative for unbanked consumers, but there are often unexpected costs buried in all the fine print of the cards’ disclosure documents that most people never read. It doesn’t need to be that way. [More]


6 Things Your All-Inclusive Vacation Might Not Include

All-inclusive trips to resorts or on cruise ships can be a convenient and relaxing, since your major expenses are already taken care of. They can suddenly become a lot more stressful when you learn that the things that make a vacation fun––excursions, fancy beverages, memorable meals––aren’t part of the package that you signed on for. [More]

Banks Are Cashing In With Brand-Name Prepaid Debit Cards

Banks Are Cashing In With Brand-Name Prepaid Debit Cards

Who needs an actual debit card when there are hordes of prepaid debit cards on the market? That’s a question you might have to ask yourself with more retailers (and at least one wireless provider) launching their own cards. But while the branding on the front of the card might be for a store, it’s the bank behind that card that is cashing in. [More]


Airlines Charging Fees To Be Extra Nice Because They Can’t Make Us Pay For Air To Breathe

We’ve come a long way from free luxury: Airlines have run out of finding ways to charge passengers for services that used to be free, like checking a bag or having a place to put your legs, so the newest add-on options are simply treatment upgrades. For a little extra cash, travelers can buy a bit of extra kindness or just a boost back toward the days of yore when airlines actually wanted to do something nice. [More]


Toys ‘R’ Us Sells Me Floor Model Bike, Charges Me Extra For The Privilege

Usually, you can get a discount on merchandise that has served as a floor model. Furniture, bicycles, appliances: being out among the general public wears an item out, or at least gives it a few extra scuffs that it wouldn’t have right out of the box. Of course, there are always exceptions. Sometimes the exceptions make no sense. Like when Brian bought a kids’ bike from Toys ‘R’ Us, which was only available pre-assembled and for a fee. He couldn’t assemble it himself, because the only one left was the floor model. He effectively paid $10 extra for the privilege of bringing home a used bike. [More]

(Jenna Belle)

Sure, Letting You On An Earlier Flight Makes Everyone’s Life Easier: Give Us $75 Anyway

Bill wrote to us from the airport. He was frustrated. He was there, suitcase packed and ready to flee Philly earlier than scheduled. The airline had plenty of flights and plenty of seats, but they wouldn’t give him one of them without charging a $75 change fee. Why? Because they said so. [More]

There are other, less fee-laden prepaid debit cards out there than this.

Chicago Transit Prepaid Debit Cards Also Fully Loaded With Fees

Yesterday we told you about the sky-high fees associated with the combination photo ID/prepaid debit card being issued by the city of Oakland. Now comes a report that Chicago-area residents who choose to opt in to the prepaid debit option on their transit cards will also see their cash eroded by fees. [More]

Restaurant Lets Non-Customer Use Bathroom, Sends Her Bill For $5

Not a public restroom.

Somewhere between “no non-customers in the bathroom, no exception” and operating a mini-homeless shelter in the middle of your restaurant is a happy medium. We don’t think that compromise is the approach that a Tennessee restaurant took, which was to track down a non-customer using her license plate information and send her a bill for the restroom fee. $5. [More]


Citizen Uses Baltimore’s Old Scalping Law To Give Ticketmaster A Swift Kick In The Pants

Oh hey, Ticketmaster — you like fees so much? How about you plunk down a little extra cash, say $1,000 per ticket, for violating a 1948 Baltimore anti-scalping ordinance? Not very fun, huh? The ticketing behemoth and city politicians are up in arms after a resident used his knowledge of the old rule to his advantage. [More]