Most of us rely on ATM Machines to get cash because not every business takes credit and debit cards. We also need cash to leave tips and it seems everyone wants a tip these days so that amounts to quite a bit. It’s recommended that you use credit cards most of the time for safety reasons and to really help avoid ATM charges if you pay them off each month. There are also other ways to avoid ATM charges that have been going up at over three times the rate of inflation each year.
The average ATM fee is now over $4.50. The cost of ATMs and the data networks are actually going down and less expensive for banks. So they have no excuse to be charging these fees and you would think to remain competitive they would drop them as a major benefit. That is one of the main reasons I have had my checking with E*Trade bank for several years now because of the unlimited ATM fee refunds.
Most of the blame as you have probably heard in the Democratic Presidential Debate this week is that only four big banks control all banking. Yes, the banks that were too big to fail got “too bigger to fail”. How is that possible? It also matters where you use your ATM in the U.S. The worst cities to use ATM’s are in Atlanta and New York City. Some cities put a cap on these fees.
Why do you pay ATM Fees when you Do NOT have to pay them? You Do NOT have to be a big bank sheep. There are several smaller banks and organizations that will pay this fee for you. People need to stand up to the big banks taking over the market and no longer be slaves to high fees. You need to decide if you value convenience or fees more in terms of searching for the best checking account.
Our Favorite examples are the following:
1. E-Trade Bank – They have reimbursed ATM fees for several years now and I have the statements as proof.
3. Charles Schwab
4. Many Credit unions with large co-op networks offer free ATMs
Keep in mind that you need to always need to read about changing terms with any bank account. Many banks come and go offering fee-free checking and ATM reimbursement then take these rebates away.
Did you know you can also get cash at many supermarkets up to $200 fee-free? Stores get to reduce cash on hand and you get to be paid cash so it’s a win-win situation. Sam’s Club allows you to get up to $100 cashback when you check out with a Debit card and up to $80 with a Discover Credit Card. This may change now that Sam’s is headed more into partnership with American Express but it’s worked for me for several years now with no hangups. The only exception are the self checkout lanes may not offer cash back sometimes.
Walmart lets you get cashback with a debit card but up to $80 with a Discover Credit Card daily. Yes, you can actually walk into a Walmart and get $40 cash just for buying a piece of gum at Walmart all you need to do is enter $20 or $40 cash back. To get the $80 cash you need to make two separate transactions we have found. The cashier never knows anything about it and think you are actually using a debit card when its a Discover credit card. I am not sure why they never train them on this but they should. You are NOT charged interest or any fees on this unless you are late on your payment.
If you find any other creative ways to avoid ATM fees let us know in the comments below!