Keep ATM Fees in Check
KABB-TV/FOX (San Antonio)

29 January 2016

San Antonio — Recently, it was reported that consumers were charged more than $6 billion in ATM and overdraft fees in 2015.

GreenPath Financial Wellness was in on "Fox News Midday" to explain how to save money when using an ATM.

Here are some reminders, when it comes to using the ATM:

  • Always use an in-network ATM. Smartphone app to help members find an in-network ATM, which eliminates the fee.
  • If you are a frequent user of ATMs, then location of ATMs should be a factor you consider, when choosing a bank or credit union.
  • Make sure there are ATMs near your home, workplace, school, or other frequented locations.
  • You can also shop for a financial institution that does not charge ATM fees. There are a few out there, but they may require you to keep a higher minimum balance.
  • The fee is always disclosed during the transaction. Since fees vary from ATM to ATM, pay attention to the amount of the fee each time. If you don't feel comfortable using your card there you don't have to.
  • Generally, fees are higher in places like airports, convenience stores, restaurants and bars.
  • Be careful where you use your debt card and ATM card.
  • Plan ahead when you are going out: get your cash from your financial institution on the way instead of at your destination, where fees could be much higher.
  • A common mistake that we see consumers make is visiting an out-of-network ATM multiple times in a short period of time and paying fees. Those fees add up quickly.
  • Be sure to keep track of all of your withdrawals and your account balance, to avoid compounding the problem with overdraft or transfer fees.
  • If you cannot access an ATM in your network, then some pre-planning is helpful. Think about the total amount of cash you need for the day or week, and make one withdrawal with one fee. Paying a $3 fee to withdraw $20 equates to a 15% fee, while paying $3 to withdraw $100 is only 3%.

Spanish Webinar on Student Loans: GreenPath Financial Wellness is hosting a webinar in Spanish to help you gain basic knowledge of student loans. They will discuss types of loans, repayment options, postponing payments, income driven plans, forgiveness programs, and the consequences of defaulting on student loans. Counselors will also share some strategies to help you stay on track to repaying student loans. Sign-up here.