When banks charge an ATM fee for credit card advance withdrawals it is a justifiable expense as you are borrowing money. When it comes to paying ATM withdrawal fees to access your own money though, it is simply a financial no brainer. If you estimate how much you spend in fees over the course of a year you may well incur a nasty surprise, particularly when you consider what better use you could have made of your hard earned money.
Avoiding ATM withdrawal fees is not difficult. The surest way is to actually read the terms and conditions attached to your card so you are aware exactly where you may run up a fee. Fees are almost always charged if you use your card to make International withdrawals, and if you use a bank other than your own which has no affiliation with your bank. Knowing which banks machines won’t charge a fee allows you to avoid the ones which will.
Some banks offer a certain number of free ATM withdrawals from machines with non affiliated banks, thus it pays to read your paperwork. As an example Wells Fargo bank allows two free non Wells Fargo ATM withdrawals on their PMA package account. Check with your own bank for any similar arrangements
Obviously the easiest way to avoid ATM charges is to avoid using ATM’s in the first place. This can be easily done by utilizing the cash back facility which debit cards offer. Simply make a purchase using your debit card and take a free cashback from the retailer at the same time. If your bank is one of the rare breeds which charges for a debit card withdrawal from its own ATM’s, simply pop into the bank to withdraw cash, rather than using the hole in the wall outside it.
Millions of people are now making use of prepaid cards instead of debit or credit cards. Along with the other exorbitant fees which they carry for using your own money, such as monthly fees and activation fees, many also levy an ATM fee. The prepaid guide site illustrates a number of prepaid cards which charge for ATM withdrawals: Western Union $2; All-Access Visa $2; Wire Plastic Visa $1.95; Eufora Elite $2; Account Now $2. These are just a few examples of prepaid card ATM withdrawal fees.
To avoid these charges which many prepaid cards levy one really needs to consider the whole concept of pre-paid cards. Firstly you pay to purchase a card, then there are monthly fees, processing fees and activation fees, and then they charge for you to withdraw the cash. The whole notion is patently absurd as you are wasting money in order to have your money tied to a piece of plastic with a logo, when a debit card or cash could be utilized with no costs at all. Thus not using prepaid cards will save you quite a lot of money.
It really doesn’t make any fiscal sense to pay to withdraw your own money, so take the time to acquaint yourself with the fees associated with your cards. Unless you stick to your own banks machines or affiliated ones, then reducing any spontaneous use of ATMs by planning your cash needs ahead of time will also pay off in savings made.
Source: prepaid card guide