hidden fees

Prepaid Cards: Banks and Celebrities Love Them ... But Should You?

When financial industry reforms in Washington nixed some of banks' favorite ways to drain extra profits out of your credit and debit cards, they turned to a slightly different piece of plastic: the prepaid credit card. And celebrities are looking to profit from them too.

FTC Warns Hotel Chains to Stop Hidden 'Resort Fees,' 'Drip Pricing'

Frequent travelers know that extra airline fees have become the norm. But resorts and hotels make it even harder to figure out what your final bill is going to add up to. Now, the Federal Trade Commission's Bureau of Consumer Protection is fighting back on our behalf.

Is Prepaid the Future of Plastic? Fee-Hungry Banks Hope So

There's a new wave of plastic filling the middle ground between credit cards and debit cards: refillable cards -- or prepaid cards -- that act like a hybrid of both. They're an attractive option for consumers -- and a convenient way for banks to sidestep recent consumer protection laws.

401(k) Fees: What You're About to Learn Will Shock You

When investors open their 401(k)statements this fall, they'll finally be able to see in detail how previously hidden fees have been chipping away at their retirement savings. That's a good start: Here's how to let that news shock you into action.

When Using a Travel Agent Can Save You Money

Customers who quit using travel agents in favor of websites such as Travelocity or Kayak are coming back -- and no wonder. Getting a good deal on travel is only getting more complicated. When are you better off using an agent than trying to fly solo? Read on ...

Your Boss Doesn't Understand Your 401(k) Plan's Fees Either

401(k) plans are under fire for their high and often-hidden fees, which rob employees of their investment returns. But don't blame your employer -- when it comes to understanding the retirement plans they offer, the bosses are just as much in the dark as workers are.

The Pitfalls of Debt Consolidation Loans

Debt consolidation loans may seem like a great way to manage debt without taking the drastic step of declaring personal bankruptcy, but in many cases the too-good-to-be-true promise of significantly lower monthly payments are just that: an illusion.

Free Checking Lives, With Sneaky Fees

You might assume that free checking is one of those banking benefits on the way out, but that's not the case: More than a third of checking accounts charge no monthly service fee. But that doesn't mean that banks don't expect to profit from your checking business. Here are the fees that make "free" a highly inappropriate designation -- and how you can avoid them.

At Last, New Protections for Air Travelers Will Land in 2011

Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood is raising the bar for the treatment of airline passengers this spring. Don't expect more legroom in coach -- he's not a miracle worker -- but you will see more transparency in ticket pricing, better deals for bumped passengers, and reimbursement of luggage fees when checked bags are lost or delayed, among other changes.