Sick of getting nickel-and-dimed? Sure you are. In preparation for a story about 15 irritating fees — and how to avoid them — Money asked readers for the most frustrating fees they’ve been charged by banks, airlines and other businesses. We received 2,000 responses.
Now we’re in the process of crowning the biggest loser: The Most-Hated Fee of All. This week, we’re asking you to narrow down the field of 15 outrageous fees by picking your least-favorite surcharge among the two or three we’ll be spotlighting at a time. Come back daily to vote — and return for the semi-final and final rounds — so we can choose the worst fee there is.
Here’s Group 3:
- Paying for a checking account: The average monthly cost of interest-bearing checking accounts — not that they’re paying much interest these days — rose to $12.55 in 2009, up from $11.97 in 2008. Minimum balances that exempt you from the fee have risen, too. (For more about this fee, and how to fight it, click here.)
- Being charged to close a brokerage account or IRA: Many major firms charge transfer fees, generally between $50 and $200, to close your account and move the money to a different firm. (For more about this fee, and how to fight it, click here.)
- Chipping in to market your mutual fund: Shareholders of two-thirds of mutual funds pay an average of $5.80 per $1,000 investment annually to help cover their fund’s marketing costs — even if the fund is closed to new investors. (For more about this fee, and how to fight it, click here.)
Now you know today’s contenders, it’s time to vote for your least-favorite fee! Please add your comments as well.
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