We’ve all been there before: you’re rushing to pay back a friend or make a purchase with a cash-only vendor, and the only ATM around for miles seems to be one that isn’t associated with your lender. You eye it dubiously as you wonder, “How much are ATM fees, anyway, and are they worth worrying about?”
Many lenders use ATM fees as a way to make up for low interest rates or to balance out the cost of maintaining the ATM itself. However, it’s not always clear how much you’ll be paying when you’re looking at the screen. Let’s take a quick look at the average cost of an out-of-network ATM as well as a few simple ways to avoid paying these unwanted fees.
How Much Are ATM Fees?
The fee for using an out-of-network ATM will vary from lender to lender, so it’s always a good idea to read the fine print on your chosen debit card before you get cash. Worse, in some cases, both your lender and the lender responsible for the ATM will charge you separate fees!
In general, you can expect to pay anywhere from $1-$5, depending on your lender, your card, and the ATM you’ve chosen.
How Can You Avoid ATM Fees?
The easiest way to avoid ATM fees, of course, is to use an ATM in your bank or lender’s free ATM network. An ATM at one of your bank’s brick-and-mortar locations is always a safe bet. If you’re willing to get a card with a different credit union or lender, it’s worth noting that some cards will have larger free ATM networks than others.
Beyond this, many lenders have locator apps to show you which ATMs in your area are free. Even if you’re looking to spend your cryptocurrency, it’s possible to find free ATMs, as ByteFederal’s homepage explains.
If you’re purchasing something at a major retailer, gas station, or grocery store, you can often get cashback without a fee as long as you’re using a debit card.
While it won’t help you right away, if you’re willing to get a new card with a different lender, consider opting for a premium checking account with no fees. You can also find lenders who will reimburse any fees you incur at out-of-network ATMs. Some will even go as far as paying foreign transaction fees for ATM use while you’re abroad!
Save Money at the ATM
These days, there’s no reason to lose money at the ATM—as long as you’re smart about it. Now that you’ve stopped wondering, “How much are ATM fees, anyway?” it’s time to take action. Learn more about the no-fee network associated with your lender, and consider getting a new card that removes these worries entirely!
Looking for additional insights to help you get more out of your finances? For more tips and tricks, be sure to check out our other content.