What's so bad It's not your mistake!
Ouch! The fee at most big banks is $10.
What you can do If you suspect a check isn't good, try cashing it at the bank where it was issued - or at least call first. Or choose a bank where fees are not quite so high. Bank of America docks you for only $5 on domestic checks.
25. Foreign-currency fee
What it is When you pay with a credit card overseas or take money out of an ATM, your bank tacks on a foreign-transaction fee.
What's so bad The fee has skyrocketed. A few years ago, you often paid only the 1% that Visa and MasterCard impose.
Ouch! Chase collects $3 for each ATM withdrawal plus 3%. Bank of America, Chase, Citibank and Wells Fargo charge 3% on debit and credit.
What you can do You typically get the best conversion rate using a credit card or an ATM, even after the fee. For purchases, stick with low-fee cards. Capital One has no fees. Washington Mutual and Wachovia charge only 1%, American Express 2%. See if you can use an ATM that's associated with your bank. As of December, Citibank customers don't pay a dime at the bank's overseas ATMs. Bank of America allows free ATM withdrawals at affiliated banks.