Fees, fees, everywhere you look are fees, right? From your checking account to your ATM card it seems like there is never a break.

And like anything else, fees for ATMs can accumulate quickly, but there are ways you can manage and keep them low or non-existent. It basically comes down to using your debit card wisely and efficiently.

Be aware that there are some banking institutions that charge a regular monthly fee that lets you withdraw money at any ATM. Some accounts allow a limited number of ATM withdrawals or other transactions monthly and then charge fees if you go over the limit. When you choose a personal checking or savings account, do to ask your banking professional about any limits on ATM use or other transactions.

Most financial institutions charge a network access fee, too, when you withdraw money at an ATM that it does not own. However, there are many checking and savings accounts offered out there for your banking needs that have zero ATM fees associated with ATMs in their networks. Tip: Check beforehand.

Be advised, if you use an ATM owned by a different financial institution, you will most likely be charged an additional convenience fee. These charges can range from $1 and up. If you have multiple transactions in any given month, these too can quickly add up.

Tips to Save on ATM Fees

Hopefully you can keep ATM fees as low as possible with a few of these tips when paying attention to your banking behavior:

  • Use ATMs operated by your own financial institution whenever possible to avoid convenience fees.
  • If you are one of our account holders, remember that you can use some ATMs not associated with your bank without paying extra fees.
  • If your account has a limit on ATM transactions per month, you can reduce overage fees by making fewer withdrawals. Try to group transactions by taking out larger amounts of cash that will last you for a longer period of time.
  • Find out whether your personal account charges a fee for payments made directly with your debit card at the point of sale.
  • Some retailers offer cash back when you pay for a purchase with your debit card. Before you do this, ask whether they charge a fee for their service.
  • Remember that if you use a credit card for a cash advance at an ATM, you will be charged daily interest on the purchase. There might be additional service fees, too.
  • Before you travel, inform your financial institution so they can put a travel advisory/or alert on your card, which will prevent your use outside the country from raising fraud or theft concerns. Check before you leave.
  • Check your monthly account statement (or view your account online if you use Personal Internet Banking) and notify your financial institution if you think there are fees you should not be charged, or if you see any transaction you didn’t authorize.

Always keep in mind that if your debit card is lost or stolen do inform your financial institution immediately.

With these handy tips and your ability to ask questions before in terms of ATMs, you should be able to save on monthly charges. Just think of what you can do with all that money saved on ATM fees and start today!