4 Easy Ways to Avoid ATM Surcharge Fees


4 Easy Ways to Avoid ATM Surcharge Fees

So I have a bad habit of not planning ahead sometime and being in need of cash exactly at the time where there are no ATMs around that are free of a surcharge.     Has anyone else been in this situation?   You would think that you could function on your debit card no matter where you need to go, but to my surprise I find myself needing cash still on a regular basis.   Do I get back into my car and travel 5 miles down the road to my bank where I can pull out some cash from my checking account.  This is just to avoid the $3.99 surcharge fee this convenient store ATM is forcing me to pay?   Oh the agony when I have to push that button that steals $3.99 away from my hard earned money for the privilege of getting access to my hard earned money.  How rude some of these ATM machines are right? Rude!  ha

This is such a bad habit of mine, I would say that I find myself paying this fee 2 – 3 times a month.    That’s almost $12 a month or in terms of food a pizza night out.  Or if you make minimum wage, that’s over an hour of hard labor.    $144 a year!  I am just throwing the money away because I can’t march down the street and get money out of my bank’s ATM.    How dare I do such a lazy thing?!?  If you calculate that laziness over my entire working career, I would have spent $6,768 in fees to simply have the privilege of accessing my own money!    How insane is that?

And the fees are on the rise.   In 2014, according to bankrate.com, they estimate an average fee of $2.77 but we all know that some banks tack on an additional average of $1.58 just because you took money out of a ATM that was out of network.  So an average total of $4.35.   In 2016 that rate has rose even further.    As of late I have been paying $3.99 or at the highest $4.99 if I am in an ultra inconvenient spot where they know they have you without options, like a stadium or a venue.

How much have you been paying in fees at your ATM?    Do you plan to keep paying fees or planning ahead and getting your cash at you home bank?

So we get to the 4 easy ways to avoid ATM fees

Here they are:

  1. The easiest way to avoid them is to find a bank that doesn’t have them or even better credits them back to your account when you find yourself in a spot where you need to go out of network.
  2. Join a bank that has access to the Allpoint network, which gives you access to 55,000 surcharge fee locations in places like Walgreens and CVS in addition to your bank locations.
  3. Don’t be like me and plan ahead.   Always make sure you have a certain level of free cash on hand so you never run into the scenario where you need cash when your in a bind and you are not local to an ATM.
  4. Use your debit card to get cash back.   I was in a gas station just today and they gave me $10 back when I was buying milk without a fee.

Tell me about a time where you were stuck without cash and had no option but to pay the fee?

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