According to a recent study, Australians paid an “extraordinary amount of money”; a whopping $630 million in the year to July 2014, for ATM related fees.
Although it is not for us to say whether it’s right or wrong for banks to charge us a fee every time we withdraw money from an ATM that doesn’t belong to our bank, it encouraged us to analyse how much a Boomeringo user pays on average for these ATM related fees – the results actually shocked us.
Some of us go the extra mile to avoid paying these pesky ATM fees, but most of us won’t even hesitate to absorb this seemingly small amount of $2.
However, every little amount adds up, and you might end up paying hundreds of dollars for ATM related fees.
That’s money you could have easily saved, or spend on yourself, not lining the bank’s, already well-padded, pockets.
Another point to consider is sometimes you could easily get struck twice, as some ATMs charge per transaction – if you used the ATM to check your balance, and then withdraw cash, you will be charged the nominated fee twice! But regulations do state that it is mandatory for ATMs to advise if there is a fee applicable when utilising its services.
However, for many, there may not be a choice of ATMs to choose from, especially if you are in a rural area, where many banks have closed down their branches.
So how can you avoid these costly fees from racking up?
- Educate yourself on affiliate banks, where banks have formed an alliance and they waive fees for customers of either bank. For example St George and Westpac are affiliates, as are the Commonwealth Bank and Bankwest.
- When you are out and about, log in to your bank’s website or app from your phone – most banks have a page where you can locate their nearest ATM.
- Use eftpos in a shop where you can get cash back in the same transaction, if you are unable to find your bank’s ATM nearby.
Sometimes it is inevitable that you will need to use another bank’s ATM. Keep track of the amount you are accruing in ATM fees, with the Boomeringo app, which tallies up the fees on your behalf – the total amount could shock you enough into avoiding going to another bank’s ATM again!
Do you only use your bank’s ATM to avoid paying the fees? Please SHARE in the comments below.