Depending on how many ATM (automated teller machine) transactions you make in a month, the ATM withdrawal fees can add up fast. Although ATM access to cash offers convenience, with ATM fees on the rise, it can't hurt to look for ways to avoid paying out more cash in fees than you have to.
Fee-Saving Options to Pursue
Your Bank's ATM Machine
Withdraw money from an ATM machine owned or operated by the bank or credit union with which you have the account. Many financial institutions offer account holders unlimited no-fee ATM withdrawals from their checking accounts. Consequently, having a home ATM near where you live or work can save you money on fees.
Bank with an online-only financial institution. Online-only banking services generally waive the fees for ATM withdrawals since there are no physical bank branches where you can go to withdraw money from your account. For the same reason, online-only banks often rebate account holders non-bank ATM fees.
Make withdrawals from an ATM owned by a financial institution affiliated with your bank or credit union. Otherwise, out-of-network ATM fees can put a dent in your wallet. In an effort to remain competitive, small credit unions and community banks often partner with larger, nationally-known financial institutions to give account holders wider access to their money. This allows you to make withdrawals from ATMs that belong to those institutions at no fee.
An ATM network gives you better accessibility to the money in your checking account as well. The bigger your bank's or credit union's network, the better, especially if you travel. Many financial institutions list their ATM networks and ATM locations on their websites.
Rewards Checking Account
Find out if your bank or credit union offers a rewards checking account, which often gives ATM rebates as a feature of the account. Your financial institution may charge no fee for withdrawing funds from a rewards checking account. You may even get reimbursed fees other banks or credit unions charge you for using an ATM not affiliated with the bank or credit union where you have the account.
When you do have to pay ATM fees, the fees normally include the charges your financial institution pays to the company that owns the ATM for allowing you to make the transaction. That charge is then passed on to you. The business location hosting the ATM also may charge you a fee, which it generally applies toward the cost of maintaining the ATM machine.
Student Checking Account
Open a student checking account. Free checking accounts for college students often require no minimum balance, don't charge monthly service fees, and allow a limited number of free ATM withdrawals from the account each month.
For more information about ATM services, contact NCATM Associates LLC or a similar company.