In the world of everyday transactions, what you see isn’t always what you get. Sometimes you get more—and not in a good way. Hidden fees, those sneaky charges that often lurk beneath the surface, can add up fast. To protect yourself, it’s important to be aware of these common hidden fees.

1. Bank fees

Banks are notorious for tacking on fees that you might not notice. Overdraft fees, monthly maintenance fees, and ATM withdrawal charges can erode your account balance before you even realize they’re there. To avoid them, carefully review your bank’s terms and conditions, choose accounts with minimal fees, and stay within your account limits.

2. Credit card charges

Credit cards are convenient, but they also come with their fair share of hidden fees. Annual fees, late payment fees, and cash advance fees can cost you. Read the fine print of your credit card agreement to understand the terms, and consider cards with no annual fees or low interest rates to minimize the impact on your finances.

3. Rental car fees

Renting a car seems straightforward until you get the final bill and discover hidden fees. Watch out for charges like insurance, fuel surcharges, and additional driver fees. Before renting, clarify the terms, and consider alternative insurance options to avoid unnecessary charges.

4. Hotel resort fees

When you’re booking a hotel, be careful of resort fees that may not be included in the initial price. They often cover things like Wi-Fi, gym access, or pool use. To avoid surprises, ask about resort fees before you book, and factor them into your budget.

5. Subscription renewal costs

Subscriptions are a common part of modern life, from streaming services to magazines and software. Many companies automatically renew subscriptions without clear notification. Keep track of your subscriptions, set reminders for renewal dates, and cancel services you aren’t using to avoid unnecessary expenses.

6. Cell phone charges

Cell phone bills can hide various fees, including activation fees, early termination fees, and data overage charges. Carefully review your mobile service agreement, and monitor your usage regularly. You may even want to consider prepaid plans or unlimited data options to keep your cell costs down.

7. Airline fees

While airlines advertise fares that look low, additional fees can quickly inflate the cost of your ticket. Watch out for charges such as baggage fees and seat selection fees. Make sure you compare the total cost of flights, including these fees, before you decide which flight to book.

8. Utility bill surprises

Utility bills are another area where hidden fees can sneak in if you’re not careful. Be aware of late payment charges, peak usage fees, and fees for exceeding usage limits. Review your utility bills regularly, and contact your utility company to clarify any unexpected charges.

9. Investment account fees

Investment accounts, like mutual funds and retirement accounts, often come with management fees that may not be obvious. Understand the fee structure of your investments, compare options, and consider low-cost index funds to minimize fees and maximize returns.

10. Convenience fees for online transactions

Online transactions are convenient, but some platforms charge convenience fees for paying online. These fees can apply to concert tickets, event bookings, or online purchases. Always review the total cost of your transaction, including any additional fees, before you click the buy button.

The bottom line

Keeping an eye out for hidden fees can help you avoid a lot of unnecessary costs. Take the time to read the fine print, ask questions, and stay informed to make sure you’re not blindsided by unexpected fees.