No one likes paying fees to access their own money, but if you use an out-of-network ATM, there’s a good chance that’s exactly what’s going to happen. And unfortunately, ATM fees continue to climb. When you withdraw cash from an ATM that's outside of your bank's network, you're typically charged twice. You'll likely be charged by the owner of the ATM, since you're not a customer, and you may be slapped with a fee by your own bank as well. According to a recent Bankrate survey*, the average total cost of withdrawing cash from an out-of-network ATM in 2018 is $4.68, which is 36% higher than it was in 2008. That's a pretty heft fee for withdrawing your own money.
The good news, is that there are surefire ways to avoid these types of ATM fees. The first and most obvious method is to refrain from using an ATM outside of your bank’s network. If you’re planning a trip, be sure to take out enough cash from your regular ATM or bank beforehand. Or, prepare yourself by checking to see if there will be any in-network ATMs around your destination. In this day and age, it’s easier than ever before to locate an ATM within your bank’s network. Most banks have this information available on their website or mobile app.
Some banks are also part of a “shared” ATM network. In a shared network, customers of one bank can usually use the ATMs of the other participating banks without incurring any surcharges. Bank5 Connect is part of the SUM ATM network, which includes thousands of ATMs across the country. Bank5 Connect customers can withdraw money at any ATM within the SUM network, surcharge-free. Visit https://www.sum-atm.com to find a SUM ATM in your area.
Another way to avoid ATM fees is to open an account that offers reimbursements for ATM fees. Many online banks are able to offer these types of ATM fee rebates because “online-only” accounts cost them less money to operate. With Bank5 Connect’s High-Interest Checking account, customers are never charged by Bank5 Connect for using an out-of-network ATM, and we reimburse other banks’ surcharges up to $15 per statement cycle.
If all else fails and you’re on-the-go and need fast access to cash, going the “cash back” route could also be a good alternative to using an out-of-network ATM. Many brick-and-mortar stores allow you to request cash back when you make a debit card purchase using your PIN number. So, rather than paying around $24.68 to take $20 out of an out-of-network ATM, you could buy a soda or a bag of chips for $1.50, and request $20 cash back. Your debit card gets charged $21.50, and you walk out with a snack and a crisp $20 bill.
So, stop giving your money away! If you do a little planning ahead, it’s easy to say no to ATM fees.