Hidden Fees

If you think you're paying more in bank fees or additional cell phone charges, you're right.

Call them "because they can" fees. They're a slew of charges, and surcharges, that critics say companies charge simply because they can. For example, many credit cards charge annual fees, over-the-limit fees, late fees, and other fees. That worries consumer advocates like Ken McEldowney. He says credit card companies are using a variety of fees as a way to drum up revenues. "Late fees and going over the limit fees now represent the third largest revenue stream for credit card companies after interest rates and merchant fees."

Banks are also making money with fees. If you go to an ATM that's not with your bank, you could pay $1 or $2 fee to withdraw money. According to the Consumer Federation of America, it costs a bank anywhere from 50 cents to $1.50 to handle a bounced check, but banks charge anywhere from $15 to $30 dollars to process returned checks. Experts say you do have some recourse. "If in fact, you are a good customer of that bank and you get hit with these fees, always call and complain. They don't want to lose you as a customer. So, at least once or twice they're going to write those fees off." says McEldowney.