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Special section Be free of fees

Consumers pay billions in fees, yet banks and credit card companies claim it's not helping their bottom line.

The history of fees

Here come the fees

This roundup of fees from banks, credit card companies and lenders outlines some common expenses consumers face. Whether it's a $50 fee for stopping payment on a check or a run-of-the-mill bank overdraft charge of $38, it's time to stand up to fees. Use this guide to see what fees to expect, how much they cost and how to avoid them.

Fee roundup
What it is
Fee range
How to avoid
What it is: Some people could be paying a little bit extra when making purchases with a check card. A handful of banks charge a fee for every purchase made with a PIN instead of a signature. The 2007 Bankrate.com Check Card Survey found this fee to be almost extinct -- only seven banks out of the 100 surveyed charge their customers for punching in a PIN instead of signing.
Fee range: The 2007 Bankrate.com Check Card Survey found that most banks do not charge a point of sale fee on either PIN transactions or signature. Most is not all though, and a handful of banks do charge a fee, ranging from $0.25 to $1 on each purchase made with a PIN, or $1 per month in one case. The median fee is $0.
How to avoid: Check the fee schedule before signing up for a bank account, or ask if you'll be charged for making purchases with a check card. Shop around by checking the Bankrate.com rate tables to compare bank accounts across the country.
  Tell us about your experience with fees. -- Posted: June 11, 2007
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