Tips for Avoiding ATM Fees

We’ve all been there. You’re out and about and need fast access to cash, and there happens to be an ATM right nearby. Perfect, right? Not so fast. If that ATM isn’t in your bank’s network, you could be slapped with multiple fees. No one wants to pay extra in order to access their own money, and you don’t have to.AdobeStock_59896391

A 2016 Bankrate surveyAs a courtesy, you will be leaving and going to another website. We have approved this site as a reliable partner, but you will no longer be under the security policy of Come back soon! revealed that ATM fees continue to climb. The study showed that ATMs on average charged $2.90 to let non-customers withdraw money. That’s up from $2.88 in 2015, thereby setting a record for the 12th consecutive year. What’s more, your own bank will likely also charge you a fee for using an ATM outside of their network. According to the study, that fee rose 1.8% year-over-year to $1.67. Combine the two fees, and it could cost you around $4.57 to withdraw your own money from an out-of-network ATM, a record high for the 10th consecutive year, Bankrate reported.

So how can you avoid those pesky ATM fees? Generally speaking, there are a few sure-fire ways to do so. The most obvious choice is to stay within your bank’s network when using an ATM. That’s easy to do when you know in advance that you’ll need cash, but it becomes more difficult if you’re away from your typical ATM spot and need quick access to your funds. Fortunately, most banks today have a website or mobile app that you can use to locate the nearest in-network ATM on-the-go.

If your bank is part of a shared ATM network, you can usually access your funds surcharge-free at any of the participating banks’ ATMs. BankFive is a member of the SUM ATM networkAs a courtesy, you will be leaving and going to another website. We have approved this site as a reliable partner, but you will no longer be under the security policy of Come back soon!, which means that customers with eligible accounts can utilize any ATM in the SUM network without receiving a surcharge. Be sure to contact us with any questions regarding the SUM network, or for more information on eligible accounts.

Another way to help avoid ATM fees is to open an account with an ATM fee reimbursement policy. Many banks now offer “online-only” accounts that that cost them less money to operate, and a lot of them pass those savings on to their customers via rebates on ATM fees. BankFive offers an eAccess Checking account, an online-only account that reimburses customers for other banks’ ATM surcharges up to $10 per statement cycle.

In addition to “online only” accounts, many banks also offer ATM rebates for “student” checking accounts. BankFive offers a Student Checking account for those ages 16-24, which also reimburses up to $10 worth of ATM surcharges per statement cycle.

It’s also good to keep in mind that many stores offer the ability for “cash back” transactions when you use your bank debit card at the cash register. For example, if you’re buying a $5 sandwich, you could choose the “debit” payment option, enter your PIN number, and then request $20 cash back. This would debit your account $25, and the cashier would hand you over $20 in cash, fee-free! Keep in mind that cash-back purchases are not available everywhere, but when they are, they’re a great alternative to a costly out-of-network ATM.

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