4 Ways To Avoid Everyday Hidden Fees and Surcharges

4 Ways To Avoid Everyday Hidden Fees and Surcharges
Image: iStock / Money For Nothing

This article is sponsored by eftpos.

Additional fees or surcharges can really throw you off balance, especially if you’re on a stringent budget.

The problem is, laziness or a lack of vigilance usually means we’re willing to accept those extra costs because the alternative is having to do extra legwork just to save a few bucks.

However, these additional fees add up, so we’ve sourced a few tricks learnt through the years that will help you keep them to a minimum.

User reviews

Before you use any service or buy online, check out their reputation.

It might seem like common sense to some people, but a quick five-minute background check will give you some insight into past customers’ experiences and any dodgy moves the company might be pulling.

In saying that, reviews can also be rigged, so look for specific wording and go onto review sites that are less accessible to people who might work at the company.

Discount codes

If you’ve noticed a lot of online transactions charge you an extortionate amount for shipping, or free shipping and a higher-than-average purchase price, it’s time to tap into Google.

Search the place you’re making the transaction from and simply chuck in ‘discount code’ at the end of the search. There are countless sites that offer discount codes, although it might take you a while to find one that’s actually valid.

If you do, though, you’ll recuperate the money you would usually spend on fees/surcharges in a flash.

Bank preferences

Each time your account goes into overdraft, and depending on which bank you’re with, you could be charged between $2 and $5 dollars until you reimburse your account.

To safeguard this, you have options like switching your mobile wallet to eftpos so you can track your finances in real-time, or going into your banking app and unselecting the option that gives permission for your account to go into overdraft if an unexpected expense comes out of your account.

It’s better to deal with an email from someone saying your payment bounced than it is to pay money for that exact same transaction.

Unless the payment that bounced also incurs fees, of course.

Shopping around

You might have noticed that popular ticket sites for gigs and events manage to sneak in about 500 additional charges between ordering the tickets and getting to the payment page.

A way to avoid this is to shop around. For gigs, buying tickets directly from the venue will often mean you won’t have to pay the surcharges that are demanded from third-party sites.

Every little bit helps.

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