For years now ATM fees have been continually raising their charges to customers. This is an easy way for banks to increase their profits with little to no drawbacks or backlash. On average ATM’s charge fees of over $3, however some can be considerably more. Whilst it seems impossible to dodge ATM fees, there are some key strategies strategy for avoiding ATM fees.
1. Try to plan ahead
This may seem like an obvious idea, but sometimes a little bit of planning can go a long way. You are only charged an ATM fee when you use one that is out of your network. If you are able to plan ahead and withdraw some money from an ATM that doesn’t charge you should aim to do this. Failing this search the area that you are proposing to visit and see if any ATMs that do offer free cash withdrawal services and use these.
2. Creativity is key
Sometimes thinking outside of the box to get some cash can end up having the best outcomes. If you are out with friends for dinner or drinks and need some cash, you could offer to pay the bill. In return you can ask your friends for the cash and this can avoid you needing to use the ATM.
3. Use a nationwide bank
You only pay an ATM fee if you use one that is not affiliated with your bank’s ATM network. The easiest way to ensure that you do not face fees is to open an account with a bank that has the largest ATM footprint. Please ensure that you weigh up the pros and cons of changing your bank based more than just ATM fees.
4. Avoid banks that reimburse you
Most banks will change or update their policies yearly, or sometimes even more frequently depending on the bank. Smaller banks often reimburse out-of-network ATM use because they know their ATM network is much smaller, but it will be the first thing to go when their profits are in the spotlight.
5. Use your online checking account
Using an online checking account can make it much easier to transfer money around. They usually have really favourable interest rates and rely on ATMs as they act as the only frontage for their clients. Online checking accounts have great interest rates for your savings and better ATM rates as a standard.
6. Top banks that do not have ATM charges
There are many comparison sites that offer customers the ability to check which banks do not have ATM charges. Many institutions offer fee-free options, many of these also do not offer any monthly fees either. The easiest way to find the best banks for you is to compare all of the accounts features. Remember to consider how much travel you do before committing to a new bank account as some can include very large fees for cash withdrawal overseas.
7. Use your debit card
Another simple and easy way to avoid ATM fees is to use your debit card and just get cash back from a store purchase. The easiest way to do this is by purchasing a low-cost item at a convenience store and request for some cash back. This is a great solution for customers that actually need some items in a store; they can kill to birds with one stone. Some stores do have a minimum spend limit, so please be aware of this before you commit.
As you can see there are many different ways that you can negate a hefty fee when using an ATM. The best strategy is to plan ahead and pre-empt your movements when you go out to eat, drink or meet your friends. Remember to be creative and think outside of the box when you are looking for the best solution. Ensure you choose one that fits your needs most first and will do for the entirety that you are affiliated to said bank.