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Frugal Friday: Save Over $100 in ATM Fees

August 24th, 2007 · 6 Comments


ATM Fees can be steep. In my area they often exceed $2.00 per transaction. If you use an ATM machine to get cash only once a week (and let’s be honest, most of us use it more often than that), that’s $104 a year that we pay in ATM fees.

My little money-saving tip today should help you reduce, and maybe even eliminate those fees.

The key to saving on ATM fees is to plan for your cash withdrawals to coincide with a purchase. Have you noticed that all of the cashiers now ask, “would you like cash back with that?”

That’s because nearly every place that accepts a debit card will also allow you to withdraw money from your account at the same time as a service to you, the customer. (Of course, this has been true for some time. However, if you’re like me, you weren’t using this service.)

In the stores that I frequent there is no ATM fee charged to get cash back as you are making a purchase. So, it makes sense to plan ahead and get your cash along with your purchase if you know that you will need it later, rather than going to an ATM machine and save on the fees.

What about those ATM trips that come up unexpectedly? You can still save if you make a small purchase (under the $2.00 that the fee would have been). In my area the daily newspaper sells for 50 cents, so if I suddenly need cash and want to avoid ATM fees I purchase a newspaper and ask for cash back. (Small items like chewing gum would also work.)

Contents (c) Copyright 2007, Laura Spencer. All rights reserved.

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Tags: Frugal Fridays

6 responses so far ↓

  • 1   The 89th Edition of the Festival of Frugality by FILAM Personal Finance // Aug 28, 2007 at 4:46 am

    […] presents Frugal Friday:Save over $100 in ATM fees posted at Opinion […]

  • 2 Home Ownership, Cheap Clothes, Having More Kids: My Carnival Picks » Money and Personal Finance Blog In Silicon Valley // Aug 29, 2007 at 10:03 am

    […] Frugal Friday: Save Over $100 in ATM Fees @ Opinion Mom […]

  • 3 Tom // Aug 29, 2007 at 8:48 pm

    This is funny becuase this happened to me the other day. I was going off to Canada and I needed money. I decided to stop at the local grocery store and just purchase a pack of gum for .75 and get cash back! It’s like my ATM fee was a pack of gum 😉

  • 4 Laura // Aug 29, 2007 at 9:35 pm

    Hi Tom!

    It’s good to know that I’m not the only one.

  • 5 Angela // Aug 30, 2007 at 7:23 pm

    That’s a great tip I had not thought of. The other thing that I like to do is keep my ATM card on me and use it as a Credit Card. Most places take those and that will save you from having to withdraw cash too! 🙂

  • 6 Karl Erfurt // Jan 17, 2008 at 2:43 am

    I noticed that Bank of America increased its ATM fee from $2 to $3 the last time I visited one of their ATMs about two weeks ago. Fortunately my account is with USAA, which means that such fees are reimbursed to me at the end of every month. USAA has a fairly generous limit of 10 ATM transactions per month with automatic fee rebates even for using other banks’ ATMs.

    Otherwise, some of the previous advice about using debit or credit cards will work too!

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