Avoid ATM Fees

by Brandi Savitt – May 16, 2011

Paying for Convenience

Looking for a way to save a few extra bucks?  Stop using the ATM machine!  Unless you ONLY use a no fee ATM at your bank, you could be paying hundreds of unnecessary dollars a year for the convenience of taking out cash.  And while we all need to race to the closest cash machine from time to time, planning ahead is the real Fab & Fru key to avoiding extra fees and managing your money so it’s working for you - not the other way around!

Small Fees Add Up Big

It may not seem like much as you click the AGREE button to accept that $2.50 charge, but take out money twice a week, and all of sudden it starts to add up.  Not only is the ATM service charging you a premium, but your bank is most likely charging you too!  Think about it….  By adding another $1 fee from your bank, all of a sudden you’re up to $3.50 a transaction.  At two transactions per week (and that’s a conservative estimate), that’s $7 – which is $28 per month – that’s $336 per year!

Take Cash Out Once a Week

It may seem old fashioned, but going to the bank once a week and taking out cash for a set period of time will not only help you avoid ATM fees, but it will help you get a better handle on your cash flow.  If you’re trying to save money, paying for what you can with cash will help you keep track of your expenditures and spending habits.  If you run out of cash more quickly than anticipated, you know you’ve gone over budget, and it’s time to dial it back!

ATM Fees on the Rise

To make matters even worse, in March 2011, Bankrate.com reported that JP Morgan Chase has begun testing a new plan to charge non- Chase customers a $5 ATM fee in Illinois and a $4 fee in Texas.  As obnoxious as this move may be, can you blame them if people are willing to pay?   It’s not up to the banks and stores to force us to get organized, ladies!  If we want to avoid these fees of convenience -  it’s up to us!

Account for Extra Fees While Traveling Abroad

If you’re planning to travel to a foreign city, ask your bank if there is anyway to waive the extra ATM fees that they will charge you for transactions abroad.  In addition to dealing with exchange rates and foreign ATM fees, your bank will also charge you anywhere between $5-$8 per transaction!  Fees like that really hurt especially if you’re traveling for any period of time.  For your own protection and to ensure access to you accounts aboard, always alert your bank before you travel to a foreign country, and ask them how they can help you avoid the high price of accessing your cash abroad!

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2 Responses to “Avoid ATM Fees”

  1. Izzy says:

    always good tips…thanks!!!

  2. Amy Saves says:

    I never pay for ATM fees. You can also get cash at grocery or drugstores when you use your debit card. It’s free.

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