We’ve all been there. We’re at a restaurant or out shopping and we realize it’s cash only! We look in our wallet and we don’t have enough to cover our meal or buy that item that catches our eye. If we go to the ATM we might have to pay a fee which might be substantial depending on our area and we work hard for our money and we want to keep it in our pocket rather than our bank’s vault. According to Bankrate.com the average fee per out of network ATM is over $3 for the year of 2019 and 2019 happened to be the 15th straight year in which average ATM fees have increased. In major cities all around the country, ATM fees were much higher than $3 on average in 2019, with some averages above $5 per transaction! We don’t expect banks to lower their fees, but we can do our best to avoid them.
Here are 6 tips to prevent ATM fees
Do you live or work in proximity to a bank branch?
Many banks do not charge ATM fees if transactions are done via their ATMs so the closer you are to your bank branch the better, and if your bank is charging you to use their ATM, find another bank, as this is not a common practice.
Talk to your bank about an account with an out of network ATM credit
Many banks offer monthly ATM account credits of around $10, for those times where you need to use an ATM that isn’t in-network.
ATMs are not only for withdrawal
Many ATMs allow for in-network deposits at well as withdrawals so you can deposit cash 24/7 and don’t have to worry about bank hours. This tip is very important because it can also help you avoid overdraft fees. Many banks allow you up to 24 hours to cover overdrafts, so if you overdraft your account and have cash on hand, you can make an in-network ATM deposit to put your account back in the positive and avoid the overdraft fee.
You can always withdraw cash for the future
If funds are available you can always withdrawal cash for the week rather than for the day. If you need $50, withdrawal $100 if you have it. Cash is king and you can always spend it as needed. If you can limit your amount of withdrawals you can limit the amount of fees you pay.
Think about your location, before heading to the ATM
Location of the ATM you use matters in terms of the fee you pay. The ATM fee at the grocery store is less than the fee at the bar, club, stadium, or casino. ATM fees are not only profitable for your bank they are profitable for the individual business, so if you find a business with a reasonable ATM fee in your community, withdraw there if you’re not near a branch.
Think about in store cash backs
Many retailers, grocery stores, and gas stations offer a cashback option once a purchase is made with your debit card, for little or no fee at all! So if you need cash and don’t want to pay an ATM fee this would be a great option!
If you follow these tips, rest assured, you’ll be paying much less in ATM fees and that can really add up over time, and you’ll have more money in your account when you need it!