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3 Ways to Avoid Pesky ATM Fees

ATM fees have reached a record high, according to a recent survey by Bankrate, which pegged the national average fee at $2.90 (some cities and regions have much higher average rates). That means every time you use an ATM, you risk being charged another $3 or so – simply to have access to your own money. On top of those fees, many banks charge an additional fee of about $1.64 for using an ATM that's outside of the bank's network. That's a total of $4.54 EXTRA each time you make a withdrawal.

Yes, ATM cards are convenient – much more convenient than standing in line at a bank, and if you have an online bank that doesn't have any local brick-and-mortar locations, they're a necessity. But if you take money out on a regular basis – say twice a week – your potential ATM fees could top $470 per year. And if you take money out more often – say twice that rate – that's almost $1000 you could be spending simply to get some cash from your own account each year. Imagine what you could do with that $1,000.

How Can you Avoid ATM Fees?

Blog 3 Ways to Avoid Pesky ATM Fees

Well, obviously, the best way to avoid ATM fees is to have a perpetual source of cash that's available whenever you need it. Sadly, most of us don't have money trees growing in our backyards, and even the most detailed spending plan can't anticipate every financial need that requires cold, hard cash. The good news is, there are a few ways to avoid ATM fees – and fortunately, they're all pretty simple:

  • Use your apps. Some apps like Yelp! And FourSquare can help you determine which merchants accept credit or debit cards and which only accept cash. You can also do a little homework by checking businesses' websites before leaving home to find out which payment options they accept.
  • Get cash back at the checkout. This option can be especially helpful in getting cash from your account even when you're not near an ATM. Many retailers offer cash back when using a debit card for payment. As with any checking account withdrawals, keep your receipt to ensure it matches with your bank statement and be sure to record the withdrawal as soon as you get home so you don't wind up with an accidental - and very costly - overdraft.
  • Choose a bank or credit union that reimburses fees or offers a large network of ATMs you can use to withdraw cash. Oklahoma Central Credit Union offers checking account options ideal for every consumer, with a large network of no-fee ATMs.

At Oklahoma Central Credit Union, we are committed to helping our customers save money by providing them with information needed to make informed financial decisions. To find a checking account or savings account option that's right for you, visit our site today.

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