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ATM charges
ATM Charges:
Learn How to Avoid ATM Fees

Most of us don’t think twice about walking up to an ATM, putting our card in, keying in our pin number, and withdrawing some cash.  It’s by far the quickest and easiest way to get money out of our accounts.

But you should always exercise caution if you want to avoid being hammered by any ATM charges.  It’s not uncommon to be charged a whopping $1.50 to $3 for the privilege of withdrawing no more than $20.

If you want to know how to avoid ATM charges and fees, read through the following points.  They will ensure that you know the ins and outs of your own particular cards and accounts, and avoid losing any of your hard earned cash in ATM fees in the process.

Know which ATMs your bank allows you to use for free

This will vary between providers, and it can also depend on what kind of bank card you have. If you’re not sure which cashpoints will charge you ATM fees and which ones won’t, ask in your local branch for a list of fee-free ATMs that you can use.

Internet banks can be especially hard to figure out, since they don’t have any branches at all.  The easiest way to figure out which branches you can use for free is to visit the home page of your internet bank and scroll right down to the bottom.  It should tell you there of which main bank they are a division. 

Beware of ATMs in pubs and shops

These might seem convenient, but they often come with a price.  Whatever bank you belong to and whatever card you have, you can normally expect to be charged ATM fees of around $1.50 to $3 for every cash withdrawal you make.  They are great in an emergency, but you’d be better off getting some exercise and trotting up the road to your own bank branch to withdraw the money for free.

Watch out for warnings on the ATM screen

Some ATMs – particularly those in the Link network – will let you know whether you will be charged an ATM fee for taking money out of a cash machine or not before you actually do it.

Make sure you check the screen if you use an unfamiliar ATM, as you may see a message warning you of any ATM charges that will be added to the transaction if you proceed.

Withdrawing cash when travelling

Learning how to avoid ATM charges and ATM fees when you are at home is relatively straightforward.  But trying to do it when you’re on holiday is a different matter.

Put simply, if you visit an ATM while on holiday you can expect to incur ATM fees as a result.  The amount will vary depending on with whom you bank.  Make sure you find out what it will be before you travel. The only sure way to avoid these ATM charges is to make sure you take plenty of travellers' checks with you and use your credit card where necessary, although this will incur its own set of charges as well.

Look for the symbols on your card for the quick answer to avoiding ATM fees

Every bank card has one or more symbols on it to let you know which network it is part of.  Delta and Link are two prime examples.  If you match the symbol on your card with those shown on the ATM, you shouldn’t get charged an ATM fee for your transaction, since you are using the network to which your card belongs.

The one rule which applies to everyone

In the end, if you want to stay free from ATM charges, it’s essential that you find out upfront exactly which ATMs you can use with your bank card.  This is the only sure way to avoid getting stung by large ATM fees – even when all you need is a single twenty dollar bill.

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