You’ve probably heard of convenience charges plenty of times, but do you understand what they are? Convenience charges are those pesky fees different vendors charge you when you use their services. Wait! What’s that? You are charged a fee for patronizing a particular vendor? How does that make sense?
Typical convenience charges can be found all over the place. For instance, in some counties you are charged a convenience fee for paying your property taxes online with a credit card. Another classic example of a convenience fee can be seen when you purchase cheap tickets to almost any type of concert or live event. Ticketmaster, the ticketing giant, charges a convenience fee for tickets purchased online or at licensed ticketing affiliates. Once you start looking out for them, you may be surprised at how often you see convenience fees pop into your life.
Avoiding some convenience fees is as easy as licking a stamp. In the case of paying your property tax bill, for example, you can simply write a check to your county government, place it in the mail, and forget all about that convenience charge. You can make the whole process even simpler by setting your county up as a vendor in your checking account’s online bill payment software and letting the bank process your check.
Planning ahead can also be key when squashing convenience charges from your life. Waiting until you no longer have time to mail your payments can lead to additional fees for paying your utility bills online or over the phone. Use a calendar or bill organizer to ensure that you always make your payments early enough to avoid unnecessary fees.
Other convenience fees are harder to avoid. Ticketmaster fees, in particular, are notorious for being hard to stamp out. In theory, you can drive to a Ticketmaster box office to purchase your tickets in person and avoid being charged a convenience charge. However, many theatres and concert venues operate their own box offices. Although they may use Ticketmaster’s system to manage their ticketing operations, they are not an official Ticketmaster location. In those cases, there is no way to avoid paying a convenience charge when you buy tickets to these events. Find cheap concert tickets!
Sometimes, the best you can hope for is minimizing the impact convenience charges have on your life. Paying with cash or a check to avoid unnecessary convenience charges will help. Another way to save money is to buy Cheap tickets
Filed under: Personal Finance