-Protecting Your Account
It seems silly to have to
pay money to withdraw money from
your own checking account.
However, when you use an ATM
a bank that you do not belong to,
you are doing just that. Last
year alone, banks generated over
$2.5 billion in ATM charges!
An ATM that is not owned by your bank is
typically referred to as a
'foreign' ATM. Using a 'foreign'
ATM will result in you paying
two fees. One will be a charge
from your bank as a result of
them having to process a
transaction from an ATM from
another bank. The second charge
is going to be from the bank
that owns the ATM you are using.
This is referred to as a
surcharge and is imposed as a
result of them having to process
a transaction from a
non-customer. As a result of the
double charge, using a 'foreign'
ATM can be expensive.
Consumers pay high ATM fees
Most banks will charge $1-$1.50
for using their ATM. However,
you can expect to pay
significantly higher fees when
using an ATM in a major city or
airports, hotels, clubs,
sporting arenas or any other
place where it is going to be
difficult for you locate an ATM
that is owned by your bank.
Think about withdrawing $50 and
having to pay $5 in fees. That
is a 10% charge just to retrieve
your hard earned money! Seems
ridiculous, but the banks are
getting away with it.
The cost banks face for
processing ATM transactions is
minimal. The fees they charge
are merely a means of generating
extra revenue. On the contrary,
banks claim that the extra money
they earn from these
transactions allows them to
install machines in areas that
would not normally have them.
Thus creating better customer
Avoid fees by planning ahead
When using a 'foreign' ATM you
will be notified of any
associated fees for use prior to
withdrawing any money. You will
be given the option of
continuing or cancelling your
transaction. It is doubtful that
many people will decline the
transaction at that point.
Therefore it is vital that you are
sure you have enough money for
anticipated and unanticipated
Sometimes smaller banks or
credit unions do not have ATMs.
If this is the case, they will
likely develop a relationship
with a larger ATM network;
allowing free use or
reimbursement for any surcharges
imposed. Typically, you will be
allowed to make a set number of
free transactions/month (usually
ranging between 3-9). Contact
your bank to find out what there
There are also a wide variety of
fees associated with checking