Happiness Is Never Having To Pay An ATM Fee!

banks that dont charge for atm withdrawalsATM fees are reaching an all time high. The average, last year, rose by 5% to $2.33 and you could potentially pay as high as $11!

ATM fees could be two-fold. Your bank might charge a fee for using an out-of-network ATM and the ATM owner could charge you an additional fee for the convenience.

In an ideal world, I would use any ATM I please and not pay a penny!

You can, if you live in Netherlands or India! What about the US? This might sound too good to be true, but there are a few banks that provide this convenience.

I chose one that I believe, gives the best bang for the buck!

  • You’ll need to open a checking account but there is no minimum balance requirement
  • Opening an account is quick and easy. You open the account online but you’ll need to mail or fax your signature
  • There are no monthly fees
  • You get free checks for life, not just the first box
  • Free online bill pay
  • No fees for ACH push or pull
  • You can even withdraw cash outside the US (there is a 1% transaction fee but then this is better than the 2-3% CC companies charge)
  • Any ATM fees charged by the ATM owner is reimbursed at the end of the month
  • You earn a very good interest (0.50%) on your balance (in your checking account when most banks don’t pay anything or paltry interest like 0.1%)
  • You can close an account without any hassles (How do I know? I closed mine and re-opened. Both were easy and quick)

The bank I’m referring to is Ally. Seriously, I don’t know what’s not to like! If there is a better bank that offers all this and free ATM withdrawals, I’d like to know! Now if only Ally had an iPhone app..!

Here are some other ways you can withdraw cash without a fee, in case you don’t like Ally’s GM affiliation:

  • Cash back on your debit card purchase.
    You lose the rewards you might otherwise get had you used a credit card
    Cash withdrawal limits are lower

  • Cash back via Discover.
    You have to remember to pay it back in full by the end of the statement cycle to avoid fees.
    Not all merchants accept discover
  • Using your big banks’ ATM.
    You get 0 or very low interest rate on the money sitting in your checking account
  • ATM reimbursements: Some banks allow for a set number of withdrawals for free or reimburse up to a certain amount in ATM fees
    You have to keep track of your limits

And finally, in case you didn’t know, a cash withdrawal using a credit card from an ATM comes with hefty fees and penalties and is not usually worth the convenience. (That includes Discover as well. The cash back is free only when you purchase something and not use an ATM! Check out this post for a more detailed explanation).

Other Banks That Offer Free ATM Withdrawals

  • USAA offers free, limited ATM withdrawals nationwide. USAA does not charge a fee for the first 10 ATM withdrawals and refunds up to $15 in ATM fees every month
  • Fidelity offers free ATM withdrawals when you open a mySmart cash account linked to your brokerage account. This is even better a deal if Fidelity is your broker since ATM fees are reimbursed next day instead of end of month like Ally. But you need to have a brokerage account
  • Schwab Bank High Yield Investor Checking account when linked to your Schwab brokerage account, offers free ATM withdrawals as well. Great deal if your primary broker is Charles Schwab

While banks are considering doing away with free checking altogether, it is good to know that there are at least a few banks that still think good service is important.

Happiness is never having to pay an ATM withdrawal fee!

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16 thoughts on “Happiness Is Never Having To Pay An ATM Fee!

  1. I HATE paying those stupid fees when I’m not at my local bank’s ATM! Grrr!

    Nice writeup about ATM fees, they do add up, especially if you use the ATM machine multiples times a month! I need to make my primary bank one of the ones you identified above!

  2. MR: I had actually closed Ally and made Alliant my primary bank. But for ATMs, it is very liberating to know I can use any ATM I please and not pay a cent! So I called Ally and re-opened my account!

  3. We’ve given USAA some thought. Trouble is, we already have them for insurance, credit card, brokerage, and IRA. So, we keep our account at a smaller regional bank.

  4. We haven’t had to pay ATM fee for a long time (in the US.) I guess we always use local machines. When we travel in the US, everything go on the CC. Internationally, we withdraw money at ATM and bit the bullet and pay the fee.

  5. Quite a detailed post on ATMs and banks! I use my local bank ATMs and avoid fees at all costs. Sometimes I bite the bullet in Vegas or the airport. :( Ally sounds great, but I have a few banks along with ING and some brokerage accounts. Dunno if I can handle one more. Might have to consolidate. :)

  6. We almost never pay ATM fees. Maybe when we travel and still we try not to. Those fees add up fast. Good review of Ally. I see them advertise all the time but never really considered them.

  7. One of the few things my husband does that drives me crazy is using one of those horrible ATMs that charges a huge fee. (The other is buying things that aren’t on sale, but I will still keep him.)

    I will have to look into Ally. (Not to be confused with the diet drug, Alli…) :)

  8. I use USAA and I agree!!! I have friends that still pay ATM fees! The other thing I absolutely love is Deposit at Home, where you can scan a check in the computer and it deposits it!

  9. We simply don’t go to the ATM, so I guess we avoid fees. I dislike the denominations of the bills that you get from ATMs anyway.

  10. @101: Those who bank with USAA, seem very satisfied with their service

    @RB40: If you get good interest on the account, no reason to switch

    @Buck: Having too many accounts can be a nightmare come tax time!

    @Aloysa: I have an account in ING and Ally. I like Ally for the interest rates (and free ATM of course!) :)

    @Everday Tips: Yep, Alli – lose weight, Ally – save money!

    @Robert: From what I’ve heard, USAA rocks!

    @Roshawn: How do you get cash? Cashback on purchases?

  11. Long live credit cards! It ‘s very very rare for me to use an ATM machine because I need to have cash for payment. Usually, there’s nothing a credit card cannot pay!

    No fees going out from my pocket, that’s for sure!

  12. I don’t have an ATM card. It’s how I avoid using it. When I did have one I felt nauseas when I saw the fees. My husband thought I was crazy when we first met. Over the years he’s weaned himself off his card.

  13. I’m in Canada and with PC Financial I don’t pay any fees at all. Been using them since I was 19 :)

    (This is Fabulously Broke by the way).

  14. I don’t cares about the ATM fees because I withdraw not more than 2-3 times a month and that also includes my bank ATM where there is it’s a free services to do what you want with your Bank ATM Card.

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