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How do you avoid ATM fees?

We all know it: ATM fees stink. And they can be difficult to avoid, especially while traveling and an in-network ATM is nowhere to be found. Thankfully, many banks now offer accounts that reimburse ATM fees or have vast networks of in-network ATMs. Of course, you can always plan ahead and have the cash you need on-hand, or reach for your trusty credit card when you’re in a pinch.

What’s your strategy for avoiding ATM fees? Let us know in the comments below.

TOGETHER WITH

_____

I only use in-network ATMs
I get cash back at retail stores
My bank account reimburses them
I plan ahead to avoid using ATMs with fees
Other
Posted by The Penny Hoarder ·

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Comments (13)

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I went out of town to Boston, MA in March of 2022 for medical reasons and planned ahead. There was very little we needed to use cash for, so it was not too difficult. I think the only thing we used cash for was tips. Everything else we could do with debit or credit using an app or directly using our card.

I find it's pretty easy to go cash-less these days. Still, the primary debit card I use is from a bank based in another city. They have no ATMs anywhere near where I live. But they do reimburse ATM fees monthly, so I can use just about any ATM and not worry about those pesky fees. Definitely a nice perk.

I haven't traveled much.  I live very close to my bank so I use there ATM.  Also at my grocery store there are ATM approved by my bank.  Also I get cash back from the places I shop at if they have that with no fees.  That is how I avoid ATM fees.

@Charlie07 posted:

I haven't traveled much.  I live very close to my bank so I use there ATM.  Also at my grocery store there are ATM approved by my bank.  Also I get cash back from the places I shop at if they have that with no fees.  That is how I avoid ATM fees.

That's exactly how I used to do it! Thankfully my current bank (located out of state since I moved) reimburses ATM fees. And honestly I seldom use an ATM. The biggest issue for me is when I have cash I'd like to deposit. Well, I can't so I just spend it, ha.

ATM fees are the living pits, so planning ahead is an obvious way to go, just be prepared with cash or cc for your transactions. There are circumstances that can change and you are caught, such as you don't have enough credit left and/or only cash is accepted way of getting services. In those instances be prepared. If there is an out-of-network ATM then I would opt to take out the maximum allowable, in other words-bang for the buck.

On vacation in a resort town last month, the restaurant's cc machine went down, no connection and the staff member was working on getting service restored. In the meantime, all transactions were cash only. Oh no, we typically use a cc to get cash back on transactions and were wondering where to get the $ from for breakfast. We had spent nearly all the cash on other things (cash poor) at this point. I remembered we had an emergency stash of $20 in a suitcase which was buried in the trunk. But that was still not enough. Fortunately after a lengthy customer support call, service was restored. This taught me a good lesson-so glad it was not a more expensive meal. Avoided the out-of-network ATM by waiting this out, but now travel with an increased reserve of cash.

Usually if I am going on a trip or something I use an in network ATM prior so I have cash, I have even had my taxi stop at my ATM before on the way to the airport. Just say you need to stop to get their fee and TIP and they will usually stop.

I also get reimbursed by my bank for any and all ATM charges with my bank account which is very convenient, no more bank hunting and wasting gas.

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