How to Avoid ATM Fees

Here’s a quick tip on avoiding those pesky ATM fees… If you can’t get to an in-network ATM consider asking for cash back when you make a debit card purchase. Many stores allow you to do this, and banks generally treat it as part of the purchase, so it’s a fee-free way to get your hands on some cash. Obviously, you don’t want to be penny-wise and pound-foolish, so make sure you don’t waste money on a purchase just to get ‘free’ access to your funds. Then again, with dual fees (from the ATM owner as well as your bank) now the norm, even a small unnecessary purchase could be smarter than using an out-of-network ATM.

9 Responses to “How to Avoid ATM Fees”

  1. Anonymous

    There are some banks that not only don’t charge and ATM Fees, but automatically refund ATM Fees charged when using other banks ATMs. One is an internet only bank called e-bank (well they do have one branch in Atlanta). In Florida we have “Great Florida Bank”. Great Floria is growing fast. I understand the urge to legislate but really, if the big players saw enough customers fleeing to these No ATM fee options the market would soon correct their bad behavior. I don’t understand why there is not more emphasis on this option. I people were more willing to change banks the problem would solve itself.

  2. Anonymous

    So simple yet something that is often overlooked, I mean i get cashback quite often but didn’t really give thought to how if i did it more frequently it could save on those outrageous atm fees.. thanks

  3. Anonymous

    I used to do this all the time and get some free cash back. 🙂

    Buying something to get cash would be a totally different thing and I’ve never done that. Though, if pressed, I’d rather pay 50 cents for a piece of candy than 50 cents for nothing.

  4. Anonymous

    When I was in the US, I would use the strategy when I found myself a bit short of cash. Don’t think I ever purchased something just to get cash though – I could see this becoming an expensive way to get cash if you rationalized it as something you needed (because you needed cash) when you really didn’t.

  5. Anonymous

    I’ve been doing this for a while, even though my bank (E*Trade) refunds ATM fees as well. It means planning cash expenses a bit in advance, but I’m an old set-in-my-ways kinda guy so that isn’t hard.

  6. Anonymous

    My strategy involves carrying far more cards. I have accounts at two major banks in the area with tons of ATMs. I also have an ING Electric Orange account which means I get free access at Allpoint ATMs (about 30000 of those puppies). Then I’m also planning to start building a relationship with a credit union who is a member of the COOP network which has another 10000, including all 7/11 ATMS. With those four cards it will be almost impossible to not be able to access at least some of my money.

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