5 Ways to Avoid ATM Fees

We might have a new baby at home, but we still very much enjoy going out to eat on occasion (especially when I’m too exhausted to even THINK about cooking something). A trend I’ve been noticing in a lot of the new restaurants in town is that they’re cash-only. Personally, I avoid carrying cash in my purse because I’m more likely to spend it on something pointless. When I’m caught in a situation where a debit card just won’t do, I often get stuck using shady-looking ATM machines that restaurants often provide for people just like me. I then get hit with not only charges from that specific machine, but also additional ones that my bank issues for using a machine that isn’t theirs. After making this mistake a few times and adding additional charges to what I was already spending in the first place, I decided to investigate ways to avoid this. Check out some of the tips I’ve compiled below and keep them in mind to save yourself a little extra money…

Know your bank’s ATM policy. Some banks will reimburse you for charges accrued by using out-of-network ATMs. Some might charge you a small fee. Look into this ahead of time before opening an account.

Use your own bank’s ATMs. Most bank apps have a feature that allow you to see ATM machines near your current location. You could also search out a different bank that doesn’t charge a fee for using their ATM.

Ask your bank about their banking partners. Sometimes banks will work with others in their area, making their machines available to both sets of customers for no additional charge. Many of the credit unions in our area do this in order for their customers to withdraw cash easily when they’re out of town.

Get cash back. It might be worth it to stop at a local grocery or drug store and grab an item or two that you might need and opt for cash back at checkout. You’ll kill two birds with one stone.

Keep emergency cash on hand. Keep some money on hand just in case you’re caught in a situation where only cash will do, but be sure you keep it somewhere tucked away where you won’t think about spending it (maybe locked in your car or in a folded part of your wallet).