Ever found yourself stranded in a desert of out-of-network ATMs and a bill that’s cash-only?
There’s nothing quite so frustrating as paying to get access to your money.
Not only does this ATM charge you for the privilege of withdrawing cash, but your own bank might charge you for going out-of-network.
There’s a way to keep from forking over those fees ever again: Opening a checking account with a bank that reimburses you for any and all ATM fees.
These accounts do exist. For instance, online-only bank Ally gives you any ATM fees you incur from using other banks’ ATMs in a lump sum at the end of your statement period. For holders of the “High Yield Investor Checking Account,” Charles Schwab does the same (although to get this checking in the first place, you also need a Schwab brokerage account).
And with a rewards checking account at Bank of the Internet, you’ll get any fees back by the end of the next business day.
While these accounts are all with online banks, that doesn’t mean that every online-only bank treats ATM fees the same way. USAA, for instance, only reimburses fees up to $US15 a month, and some online banks are affiliated with ATM networks such as Allpoint that don’t charge you for in-network withdrawals, but do let you pay the dues at other machines.
One thing to keep in mind: Any fee-dodging steps, like opening a checking account with a bank that reimburses you, have to be taken in advance. It’s hard to avoid paying up when you’re already standing in line at an unfriendly ATM — if you haven’t taken the time to learn about your bank’s policies, you might be plumb out of luck.