Joe Biden

What is a Junk Fee, and What Has the President Proposed to Get Rid of Them?

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau says they account for “billions” of dollars in revenue across many industries

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No matter what your political leanings are, you most likely agree that more money in your pocket is a good thing.

President Joe Biden took a stand for the consumer last night in his State of the Union address.

The president is calling on Congress to pass the “Junk Fee Prevention Act,” legislation that takes on hidden surcharges.

They may pop up when you’re booking a hotel room, or buying a concert ticket,  and those little charges can definitely add up and hack your budget.

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau says they account for “billions” of dollars in revenue across many industries.

The White House has doubled down on the commitment made last year to get rid of these kinds of fees.

“For example, we’re making airlines show you the full ticket price upfront and refund your money if your flight is canceled or delayed,” the president said. “We’ve reduced exorbitant bank overdraft fees, saving consumers more than $1 billion a year. We’re cutting credit card late fees by 75%, from $30 to $8. Junk fees may not matter to the very wealthy, but they matter to most folks in homes like the one i grew up in. They add up to hundreds of dollars a month. They make it harder for you to pay the bills or afford that family trip. I know how unfair it feels when a company overcharges you and gets away with it.”

 The proposed legislation Biden wants Congress to pass would target four types of excessive fees: a crackdown on online fees for concerts, sporting events and other entertainment tickets. 

Those fees would have to be disclosed in the ticket price.

 It also aims to ban airline fees for families wanting to sit together with young children on flights.

 This would reinforce a notice the Department of Transportation sent out to U.S carriers last year, ensuring young children are seated with adults with no added fees.

 It also aims to eliminate excessive termination fees for TV, phone and internet service.

The Biden administration says this would allow companies to truly compete with each other on the basis of price and quality. 

 And, surprise resort and destination fees would be a thing of the past.

The administration says these fees can cost you up to $90 a night at hotels that aren’t even resorts. The bill requires hotels to include those fees in the price of the room. 

The White House says eliminating these fees will not only save Americans a lot of money every year, but it will also make our markets more competitive.

By creating a more even playing field so businesses that price in a fair and transparent manner don't lose out to companies that disguise their actual prices with hidden fees.

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