Don’t Pay ATM Fees

by Justin Weinger on September 18, 2006

To me, ATM fees are some of the most asinine things in the history of the world.  I refuse to pay them and you should too.

Why should you pay up to $2.50 in order to conveniently have access to your own money?  It just doesn’t make sense.  And, depending on your bank, you may even get charged a service fee if you use your own bank’s ATMS.

It just doesn’t seem right.

So, if you’re someone who frequently gets cash from the ATM, make sure you are using a machine that isn’t charging you any service fees.  If you can’t find a machine that won’t charge you, have a bank that doesn’t have many convenient ATMs or have a bank that charges you no matter whose ATM you use here are some things you can do:

  1. Get cash back when you make a purchase with your debit card.  For the most part, your bank won’t charge you for these types of transactions (but you should still check just to make sure).  Also, since you’re already in the process of using your debit card, you may as well kill two birds with one stone.
  2. Use a real, live bank teller.  Yes, living bank tellers still exist, and getting cash from one doesn’t require a special fee.
  3. Get enough cash.  Whether or not you ended up paying an ATM fee, make sure you get enough cash for what you need.  Nothing is worse than chalking up $2 for an ATM fee only to find out you have to make another withdrawal and cough up another $2.  That being said, I don’t encourage you to walk around with several hundred dollars in your pocket.

If you’re someone who withdraws money from an ATM once a week, avoiding these worthless fees may be able to save you $200 per year.



Josh October 3, 2006 at 8:49 pm

My bank charges me $2 to see a teller.

Dan April 21, 2008 at 2:06 pm

Find a bank w/out ATM fees; i.e., First Republic Bank, Schwab, etc.

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