Are you one of those people who needs to have cash on you at all times? While it can be convenient and easy to carry around bills for quick transactions, using ATM machines the wrong way can seriously hurt your bank account. Here are some tips on how to avoid these (often very well hidden) fees.
• Stay within your network.
The best way to avoid ATM fees is to stay within network ATM’s. Some large banks—such as Bank of America—have ATM’s nationwide. They have locations in nearly every geographic area, so finding an ATM is usually not difficult.
• Find banks that connect with other ATM networks.
Smaller banks, such as credit unions, will join other networks to expand their coverage. This allows you to bank with them while still enjoying the benefits of using an ATM out of range of the brick and mortar location.
• Choose a bank in your area that has the largest number of ATM’s.
Every bank, whether it is national, local, or online will have a list of the ATM locations available. If you see yourself using ATM’s often, always look for the nearest location. Most smartphones now have a search feature—you can easily locate the nearest bank or cash machine.
• Withdraw money at grocery stores, retailers and convenience stores.
Instead of going through an ATM, use your card at the grocery store. You can take up to several hundred dollars with a purchase—even buying a pack of gum. Rarely, these stores charge a fee for transactions, but it is always beneficial to make sure first.
• Carry less cash—use debit or check card for your purchases.
Why are you going to the ATM? Is it just for some walking around money? If so, review your spending habits; the more you use your check or debit card, the less you need to get cash on a regular basis. The best way to avoid ATM fees is to use the ATM less.