NEW YORK ( MainStreet) — There are few minor annoyances more irritating than bank and credit card fees. Maybe your payment arrived late. Maybe you're overdrawn by a few dollars. Maybe you didn't meet the requirements for a "free" account this month. Or maybe you just don’t want to pay your annual credit card fee. So how do you get out of paying your fees to banks and credit card companies so you can spend more on yourself?
Step One: Call Up and Ask
"A lot of people don’t realize this," says Mike Sullivan, director of education for Take Charge America, "but if you call up customer service, a lot of times they're empowered to waive a fee for the first request."
What's more, a lot of times they're authorized to refund fees for the second request you make. They might even be allowed to give you yet another fee waiver, depending on how much money it’s for.
Sullivan points out the bind credit card companies and banks are in when it comes to such fees.
"They make a lot of money off of these," he says. "If someone makes a late payment every month and owes them $35 every month, that's good money for them."
However, it also costs a lot to get new customers. This means they'll often waive fees for customers in an attempt to get you not to jump ship to another credit card company or bank.