Its a decision that many of us are faced with at the most inopportune times. Usually, the closest free ATM is 3 miles away. Do I accept the fee or drive all over town to save the $3 fee? Most likely as the kids are pulling on your leg ready for lunch or initiating the "dying swan" because they won't last the day if they can't play one more game, you give in and pay the fee.
This same saga is repeated countless times each day all over the world. Customers are paying for the convenience. Ever wonder how much this convenience fee amounts too? According to a recent poll, bank ATM fees total nearly $4.2 billion per year! Thats a large chunk of change. To top it off, some banks feel they can recoup some their losses in other areas by raising their ATM fees.
There are a few banks however that are luring away discontented customers by waiving ATM fees. While rates have risen and profit margins are falling, how can they afford to waive fees? The answer is there are owners of free networks that will charge your bank instead of you. They are hoping that this will cause an increase in people using the machines and offset the losses of fee income from the consumers. Localized banks and credit unions are more willing to pay the fees to the larger free network operators due to the high cost of maintaining and servicing the machines in house. Just to keep the machines loaded with cash has become very costly, along with gas for the couriers that deliver the cash, paying the employees, etc. Maybe this will turn out better for everyone eventually. I know I could use an extra $3 in my wallet these days.
Try these two sites to locate free ATMs in your area. Moneypass.com and Allpointnetwork.com