In 2016, ATM fees reached a record high for the 10th year in a row, according to Time.com, adding up to more than $6 billion in bank profits. Out-of-network ATM fees now average $4.57 per transaction, just to access your own money. While there are increasing calls for regulations to limit the fees associated with these transactions, here are just a few ways to avoid paying ATM fees at all:
Put yourself on a cash budget. When you deposit your paycheck, take enough cash back out of the check at the bank to cover your needs. Monitor your cash and don’t rely on visiting an ATM to get more.
Get the app. Many banks have a mobile app that will tell you when you are near an in-network ATM that you can use without paying any banking fees. Find the machines closest to you that you can use for free.
Use cash back. Get cash back from card transactions at the grocery store or other shops, instead of visiting an expensive ATM. Chances are good that you visit the grocery store anyway, so factor in any cash needs while you’re at the register.
Rethink your bank. Some banks have accounts with no ATM fees, provided you maintain a minimum balance, and some online banks have no ATM fees at all. Do some research and find out if there is a bank with a fee structure that works better for you.
With these tips in mind and a little bit of planning, you can avoid paying those unnecessary ATM fees altogether and save yourself money every single month.