Want to Get Around Those Pesky ATM Bank Fees?

Photo (cc) by catatronic

Sick of paying those annoying ATM fees? Join the club.

If you had the option to decide between watching a short advertisement or ponying up for an ATM fee, what would you choose?

It’s a no-brainer for me. I get so frustrated when I have to pay money to get my money. It just doesn’t make a lot of sense.

According to Time, an ATM fee, even though it’s usually a small $2 to $3 charge, is listed as one of peoples’ top aggravators on a TD Bank survey. Time said:

Non-bank ATM fees were given the nod as the most frustrating bank fees, named by 38 percent of those polled. (Overdraft fees, which cost far more than the $2 or $3 charged by ATMs, came in second, with 27 percent.) In a previous survey, 77 percent of consumers said it is not OK for banks to charge ATM fees, and the majority of consumers said that a fair fee for using an ATM is … $0.

This is where FreeATM comes in. Here’s how it works, Time said:

In lieu of a fee for using an out-of-network ATM, customers will be shown a 15- to 20-second targeted ad on a screen, and then be able to use the machine fee-free. It doesn’t matter if your card is prepaid or a regular bank debit card; FreeATM won’t add a fee.

Although the ATM machine won’t charge you, it’s possible that your bank or the other service that issued the card may tack on a fee of its own.

The advertiser-funded FreeATMs were introduced in New York in 2011. Twenty additional FreeATMs will be added in 20 New York neighborhoods in mid-August. Then the machines will expand to other parts of the country.

This sounds like a great service for consumers. I look forward to hearing about the company’s expansion plans.

Keep in mind, there are a couple of easy ways to avoid those annoying ATM fees, including:

  • Use ATMs in your network. Check with your bank to see if it will waive the fee if you utilize an out-of-network ATM.
  • Get cash back at retailers that offer the option when you pay with your debit card.

Do you pay a lot of ATM fees? How often do you use the ATM? Share your thoughts below or on our Facebook page.

Disclosure: The information you read here is always objective. However, we sometimes receive compensation when you click links within our stories.

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