From the merely annoying to the budget-busters, here's what to watch out for in travel, banking, credit cards, real estate, investments and more.
18. Gift-card activation fee
Shopping
18. Gift-card activation fee
What it is You might pick a gift card from a bank over a store card because it's good anywhere. Trouble is, you'll pay $4 to $10 to "activate" the card. Then, after as few as six months, the card's value could go down $2 to $3 a month because of dormancy or maintenance fees.

What's so bad What's left of your gift?

Ouch! The Good2Go Prepaid MasterCard has a $9.95 activation fee. The iCard Visa Gift Card carries a $25 fee every six months, which is waived for the first six months.

What you can do Most store gift cards are fee-free and don't expire. Pick one from a retailer like Target and the recipient will have lots of choices. If you still want a go-anywhere card, Discover's gift card costs only $3.95.

Air travel

Air travel

Air travel

Air travel

Air travel

Car rental

Car rental

Hotels

Phones

Shopping

Closing costs

Title insurance

Mortgage

ATMs

Checking

Deposit

Credit cards

Credit cards

Mutual funds

Annuities

Brokerage

529s
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Market indexes are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer LIBOR Warning: Neither BBA Enterprises Limited, nor the BBA LIBOR Contributor Banks, nor Reuters, can be held liable for any irregularity or inaccuracy of BBA LIBOR. Disclaimer. Morningstar: © 2014 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Disclaimer The Dow Jones IndexesSM are proprietary to and distributed by Dow Jones & Company, Inc. and have been licensed for use. All content of the Dow Jones IndexesSM © 2014 is proprietary to Dow Jones & Company, Inc. Chicago Mercantile Association. The market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved. FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2014. All rights reserved. Most stock quote data provided by BATS.
Market indexes are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer LIBOR Warning: Neither BBA Enterprises Limited, nor the BBA LIBOR Contributor Banks, nor Reuters, can be held liable for any irregularity or inaccuracy of BBA LIBOR. Disclaimer. Morningstar: © 2014 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Disclaimer The Dow Jones IndexesSM are proprietary to and distributed by Dow Jones & Company, Inc. and have been licensed for use. All content of the Dow Jones IndexesSM © 2014 is proprietary to Dow Jones & Company, Inc. Chicago Mercantile Association. The market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved. FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2014. All rights reserved. Most stock quote data provided by BATS.