With the average ATM fee around $1.97, finding ways to reduce and eliminate ATM fees is becoming a bigger concern. While many banks charge non-customers surcharges, there are ways to save.

I mentioned before, but I thought I might remind that ING Direct and other banks use Allpoint network for their banking ATM services. Whatis  great about Allpoint?

Allpoint is America’s largest surcharge-free ATM network. With over 37,000 ATMs, Allpoint is your single source for surcharge-free access coast to coast.

Banks use tranactions fees to increase their profit

Why do banks charge so much on ATM surcharges? Apparently it’s not because they are expensive, according to Stop ATM Fees the cost for banks is less than $0.30 per transaction.  It’s a business, so making a profit isn’t a problem. You have to learn to be smarter than the bank.

You can use Allpoint’s ATM locator to see how close they would be to you and your location.

atmstatesSource: Allpoint

Besides using Allpoint network ATMs, how can you reduce and hopefully eliminate paying ATM fees?

1. Use your own bank or credit union ATM whenever possible. Plan ahead and go before or after work. Avoid using ATMs in convenience stores, hotels, malls, and restaurants, which have higher surcharges.

2. Switch your account to a bank that doesn’t charge ATM fees. Another option is local credit unions, some which use ATMs that don’t charge you a fee, such as the CO-OP network. I’ve been told Charles Schwab checking  does reimburse ATM charges.

3. Check out to compare checking accounts and their fees. The site does a great job of updating the lists, so it’s a wonderful resource to examine.

4. Take more money out when you use ATMs. Don’t make several trips to take out $20-$40. More trips increase your chance of hitting another bank’s ATM. If you still need cash, just get cash back from your purchase. There’s the cash back option with debit cards.

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Photo Credit: roland