Looking to avoid paying those pesky ATM fees? Here are some of our favorite ways to avoid them or get reimbursed for unwanted fees:
One of the most straightforward ways to avoid paying fees at the ATM is to use the machines owned by your bank. If you bank with one of the major providers, there are many accessible ATM locations in most cities across the country.
No-fee ATM Networks
If you can’t find or access a bank-owned ATM in your time of need, chances are your bank also has in-network partner ATMs. This is the kind of information you can find on your bank’s website. Usually, these partner ATMs are not branded with the same information as your bank-owned ATM, but the process is simple. Find out what your bank’s partners are and then do a quick Google Maps search to locate your nearest in-network ATM partner.
Bank Reimbursement of Fees
If you can’t avoid the issue and end up having to pay ATM fees, check your bank’s policy on fee reimbursement. There are many checking account options in the marketplace that offer such membership benefits. If you’re shopping for new checking account options, this is one feature you don’t want to pass up.
Cashback at Retailers and Grocery Stores
A great workaround for ATM fees is to simply get your cash from a retail or grocery store cashback service at the point of sale. The only caveat here is that there are probably cash maximums that you’ll see at each retailer. If you need to withdraw a larger sum, you’ll either need your bank-owned ATM. If you need to withdraw a substantial amount of cash, you’ll need to plan a visit to your bank branch.
Digital Wallets vs. ATMs
For the smartphone users out there, many retailers now accept digital wallet payments. If you’re not familiar, both Apple and Android phones have features like Google Wallet or ApplePay. There are also third-party apps like Venmo, Zelle, CashApp and PayPal that allow you to send and receive funds without a need for cash or a traditional card-swipe transaction.
Lastly, do you really need cash? If you’re using some type of envelope system for budgeting, perhaps cash makes sense. But in many cases, restaurants and retailers are moving toward cashless payments as a policy to deter crime and to simplify their accounting procedures. If feasible, you can go cashless through a debit card and an accompanying digital wallet account. The truth is, there just aren’t that many places today that operate on a cash-only basis.
When ATM Fees Are the Least of Your Worries
If you’re dealing with a credit card debt situation that feels bigger than you can resolve on your own or you’ve been falling behind on your monthly payments, consider calling a certified credit counselor — CreditGUARD is just one of many alternatives — to discuss your debt management options.
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