ATM fees have always been one of our pet peeves here at OTM. There aren’t many things in this life more frustrating that being charged for the privilege of taking out money from a machine. Just this past weekend, your web producer found himself in need of a quick $20 without a Chase bank in sight – next thing he knew he’s coughing up $3 in fees at a Citibank machine, not to mention another $2 on top of that from Chase (thanks for that!).
The easiest thing you can do to avoid these nasty fees is to only use ATMs from your bank, obviously. But sometimes you’ll be in a pinch and there just won’t be any around. This is when Greg McBridge, senior financial analyst for Bankrate.com, suggests ducking in to a store and using your debit card to get cash back at the point of sale. This is tantamount to making an ATM withdrawal, without the fee.
Go to your bank's web site to see where their machines are. If they're sparse, pick up the phone and ask if the bank participates in surcharge-free networks like Allpoint, Moneypass or AllianceOne, which allow customers of participating banks to make withdrawals from a large stable of ATMs without fees.
Bottom line? If you find yourself paying a fee every once and a while, it won’t bankrupt you. But if you’re being charged fees on the regular, it’s time to figure out a new way to access your cash.