What Are Some Ways to Avoid ATM Fees

How can I avoid ATM withdrawal charges? 

It is very difficult for us to pay extra charges to our banks to withdraw our money when using ATMs.If we frequently use ATMs to withdraw cash over time, it will eat away at our bank accounts. On average, the ATM owner charges $3.15, while the bank charges around $1.58.But we know cash is necessary, and carrying a huge amount is quite difficult, so how do we avoid ATM fees? 

Well! There are a few Best Ways to Avoid ATM Charges

  1. Find a large fee-free ATM network: Look for banks in a fee-free ATM network and compare the ATM surcharge fees from different banks. This can help you avoid ATM fees to a level.

  2. Consider online banks: With digitization, some banks operate online, like Ally Bank, Simple and Chime. They don't charge ATM fees. Ally Bank even refunds up to $10 if you are charged a fee for using an ATM.

  3. Reduce ATM use: Frequent withdrawals from ATMs may result in ATM charges, so it is important to budget and plan your financial needs to reduce the frequency of ATM use. Limit your daily withdrawals to avoid fees imposed by banks.

  4. Retail stores: Some stores like Walmart, Costco, and Walgreens are free places to use ATMs. Use a debit card to buy groceries from grocery stores and get cashback instead.

  5. Mobile wallet: Use mobile wallets like Apple Pay or Samsung Pay to make payments instead of cash, leading to frequent withdrawals from ATMs.

What ATM does not charge a fee?

Your bank or credit union does not charge a fee for using their ATM. Locate ATMs that are within your bank or credit union's network. Star network doesn't charge any fee for using ATMs, and over 2 million Star ATM locations are available.

  1. Co-op ATM: Co-op ATM provides more than 30,000 ATM locations for credit union members, and they come without any fee. They are available at most supermarkets and credit union branches across the US.

  2. SUM logo: Cards with the bright red SUM logo also offer surcharge-free access to ATMs.

  3. Plus Alliance network: It is a Visa card alliance with 1 million ATMs in 170 countries. You can find their ATMs in places like Target, Costco, Walgreens, and CVS.

How do you avoid ATM fees?

When you use an ATM, you get hit with two fees: a surcharge from the ATM operator and out-of-network ATM fees from the bank. The average surcharge is $3.15, and out-of-network fees are $1.58. If not withdrawn carefully, you can add up significantly in the long run. So, if you are troubled with different types of ATM charges and want to avoid ATM fees, the measures below will help you.

Key Highlights 

  • ATM fees are extra costs that you pay to withdraw your money from other ATMs. 
  • The current average total out-of-network ATM fees has recorded a new high of $4.73
  • You can avoid ATM fees using various ways, like paying digitally with a digital wallet.

Why are ATM fees legal? 

ATM charges are levied on the money we want to withdraw, and the question that strikes our mind is, are ATM fees legal? 
Yes, according to federal law, the bank can charge fees, which also include service fees. However, banks must disclose all the fees associated with your account before you open the account. Also, federal law requires ATM operators to notify consumers that a fee will be charged. This notice must be given before the consumer pays the fees; therefore, the notification must appear on the screen.
However, federal law does not determine the fees or charges because they are determined on a competitive basis in the market. Banks decide rates considering the type of account, amount, and method.

Are ATM fees the same for all banks? 

ATM fees differ for all banks because some banks charge below-average ATM fees. For example, Capital One offers free access to Capital One and Allpoint ATMs. And if, in any scenario, you cannot use this ATM, Capital One still doesn't charge for using a foreign ATM.

Some banks like Everbank offer unlimited ATM fees if you can maintain a minimum balance of $5000 in your checking account. Such an amount is a good deal because the bank has a limited network of ATMs. On the bright side, EverBank also has the highest savings account interest rates. Citibank, the fourth largest US bank, has access to more than 60,000 fee-free domestic ATMs.

Now it's time for the highest ATM fees. The big players like City Bank, PNC, and TD Bank charge $3 for out-of-network ATM use. Santander Bank also charges $3 for most customers but provides a decent discount to student account holders.

Can I use another bank's ATM to withdraw money? 

Yes, you can use another bank ATM to withdraw your money; however, if you use an out-of-network ATM, you get hit with a surcharge from the bank owning that ATM, as well as you are charged a fee for using an ATM that is not in your bank's network. If you want to avoid these costs, using an ATM owned by a bank or credit union or an ATM that partners with a bank network is good. All points or money are the ATMs that don't charge out-of-network fees.

How can I reduce my ATM charges? 

There are a few ways to prevent getting hit by ATM charges.

1. Use only in-network ATMs

Traditional banks, online banks, and credit unions provide a network of ATMs where customers can withdraw without incurring any ATM fees. Many credit unions and banks offer an extensive network of fee-free ATMs throughout the USA and in foreign countries.
If you find an ATM network like AllPoint, you can avoid ATM fees as AllPoint partners with many banks and credit unions. Allpoint doesn't charge any surcharge fee, and other financial institutions partnering with Allpoint don't charge you an out-of-network ATM fee either.

2. Bank account reimburses out-of-network ATM fees.

If you want to avoid or minimize ATM withdrawal fees, sign up for a checking account where ATM fees are reimbursed. Many financial institutions reimburse all fees up to a certain amount. Some financial institutions keep an ATM-free rebate cap of about $15 monthly. This rebate is automatically credited to your checking account at the end of the statement period.

3. Get cashback at a store.

Many payment terminals at supermarkets, pharmacies, and big box stores can give you cash back when you pay with your debit card. However, there may be a limit on how much you can withdraw, but using this method, you can avoid using an ATM and pay by transacting with your debit card directly. However, ensuring enough money in your account to cover the purchase is essential.

How do you find an ATM without fees?

To find an ATM without fees, you must locate nearby ATMs owned by your bank or one with a fee-free network. You can find it by checking your bank's application or website. Many banks have an ATM-locater tool that shows nearby ATMs on the map.
If you use your ATMs more often, you can choose a new bank with more ATMs all around or, a bank with ATMs or partners with an ATM network like Moneypass or Allpoint. Also, you can choose a bank that doesn't charge out-of-network ATM fees and reimburses ATM surcharges.

Final words

If you use an ATM that is not part of your bank's network, you are charged the fee from your bank and the ATM's network. So, using your bank and its network is wise to avoid any withdrawal charges. Apart from this, you can also find an ATM that doesn't charge any fee. You can also use an ATM of a credit union as they do not charge any fee on withdrawal. You can also find in-network ATMs using an ATM locator on your bank's mobile app or website. The amount charged on withdrawal from an ATM may be insignificant for you, but eventually, you end up paying more than you imagine. Be mindful and save anywhere and everywhere you can.

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03 Dec, 2023


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