How people feel about ATM surcharges..

Keep More of Your Money

My friend was willing to pay $6 in ATM fees to access his own money. That’s insane! As far as I know Bank of America, Chase, and Wachovia are among banks that have the highest ATM charge, $3.00 for out of network users. My friend used a Bank of America ATM this weekend to get cash. (Note: Our friend’s goal was to always know what was in the account.) Banks were getting richer from him withdrawing his money.

I don’t disagree that there should be a fee for out of network customers, but $3 is ridiculous. The good news is that you are able to drastically reduce and in some cases eliminate those ATM fees.

How Can You Save on ATM Fees?

Go to your bank  or credit union’s ATMs to withdraw your money. It may be a little less convenient, but it saves you some cash. This is something completely doable on your part.

You may say that the ATMs are really out of the way and cost that amount in gasoline. I’d doubt you, but maybe that is the case.
If your bank doesn’t have enough ATM machine to fulfill your needs, then you have some options:

  1. Make a bigger withdrawal when you’re at your bank’s/credit union’s ATM. Try ti reduce the amount of trips you make to the ATMs. If you kept track of your spending, you’ll have a general idea of how much money you need to withdrawal. If you want to stay with this bank and not continue to lose money, then you have to change your behavior.
  2. Switch your bank or credit union with more convenient ATM locations. Sometimes we get comfortable with a place and just stay there to avoid headaches. Today is a great time reevaluate the pros and cons of your financial institution. Does it offer no fee checking? Are there enough ATMs to fit your lifestyle? It’s not that hard to switch.
  3. Instead of withdrawing money from a machine use the card to purchase items/services. Buying with your check card make sit easier to track, but if you’re inclined to spend more with a crd, then pass on this one.
  4. If you still need cash, just get cash back from your purchase. There’s the cash back option. I’m not too crazy about this as you have to make a purchase to access it. In some cases it’s cheaper to get a candy bar and some cash then visiting an out of network ATM.
  5. Try using the Allpoint network. ING Direct and other banks use this network for their banking ATM services and it’s a great feature. Why?

Allpoint is America’s largest surcharge-free ATM network. With over 32,000 ATMs, Allpoint is your single source for surcharge-free access coast to coast.

Reduce Tranactions Fees

Look at the five options above and choose which will work on reducing this  transaction fee from your budget. Personally I think #1 and #2 make the most sense, at least for me. Get a better bank/credit union and modify your behavior to reduce charges.

It is unlikely that banks will lower their ATM fees; there’s just too much money involved in it. Almost $4 1/2 billion dollars were collected by banks from ATM fees.

Make no mistake: this behavior is making banks richer while consumers are losing their cash. Don’t be an ignorant consumer. Plan ahead and make sure your bank/credit union treats you right.

Photo Credit: Arthaey

Laura Martinez

Laura Martinez