7 Ways to Never, Ever Pay ATM Fees
Just say no to $2 withdrawal charges
The restaurant is cash only, which means you have no choice but to hit up the shady ATM in the back. But, ugh, those out-of-network fees really add up. (Think about it: A $2 ATM fee + a $2 withdrawal fee just to take out $20 means you’re shelling out an additional 20 percent.) Here, seven ways to make sure this never happens again.
SEARCH FOR A BANK WITH NO ATM FEES
A lot of banks (like Fidelity and Charles Schwab) don’t charge fees for cash withdrawals at out-of-network ATMs. Even better, they’ll reimburse you for any charges you are hit with (like at that shady restaurant ATM).
ASK FOR CASH BACK
Can’t find an in-network bank nearby? If there are other household items you need to pick up, it can be worth trying to locate a CVS or grocery store that lets you use your debit card to withdraw cash sans fees.
USE YOUR PHONE’S ATM LOCATION FINDER
Most bank apps now come with a handy location finder so you can use your smartphone to quickly find the closest fee-free ATM. Simply plug in your address (or use GPS) to see a list of nearby locations.
ASK YOUR BANK ABOUT THEIR ATM PARTNERS
This is especially helpful if you’re traveling internationally or visiting a town where your bank doesn’t operate. Give a call to see if your institution is affiliated with any partner institutions that won’t charge you fees for withdrawing cash.
KEEP AN EMERGENCY STASH IN YOUR WALLET (OR GLOVE COMPARTMENT)
A $20 bill that’s tucked away for cash-only situations can get you out of a jam. Just make sure it’s really out of sight. The idea is to forget it’s there…until a real emergency arises.
FIND A FRIEND WITH CASH AND VENMO THEM
This genius app can be used for more than just divvying up the dinner bill. The next time you’re cashless and your only option is an out-of-network ATM, see if you can find a friend/sibling/coworker to spot you, then digitally pay them back, minus the fees.
CALL AND FIGHT THE CHARGES
Last resort: If your only option is to hit up the ATM that’s charging you a gazillion fees, get on the phone with your bank the next day and push back. Explain that you had zero options and need them to waive the charges. Usually, if your account is in good standing, they’ll let it slide.