Financial expert Jack Otter weighs in on how to book the best trip for your buck, last-minute tax info, and more. 

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1. Avoid nasty travel fees

When booking summer travel online, beware of hidden add-on fees that hotels tack on to the advertised per-night cost. If you see a good rate online, call the hotel front desk directly and politely ask if a better rate is available. You’ll be surprised by the result.

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2. Check those little charges

More and more credit card thieves are eschewing Vegas and playing small ball by charging tiny amounts to cards, assuming cardholders won’t notice. So if you see mysterious “$9.80” charges, call your bank.

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3. And one final tax tip

If you’re hiring a tax-prep firm to do your taxes, don’t get suckered by “refund anticipation checks” and other offers to give you a refund up-front. You’ll pay an outrageous fee. Instead, pay only the tax-prep charge; the IRS will direct-deposit every cent you’re owed in your bank account.

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