Next time you go to the ATM, think twice before clicking yes to that $2 withdrawal fee. New research from the Mozo team found Australian banks are raking in $555 million each year from people like you, who need to access money outside your bank’s ATM network. The figure is staggering, especially when you consider all the groceries, new tech and holidays that could buy.
Unfortunately the Reserve Bank of Australia’s 2009 ATM reforms, aimed at making ATM pricing more transparent and flexible, have failed miserably with 8 out of 14 ATM operators since increasing their ATM charges.
While the Big Four’s ATM withdrawal fees remain at $2, independent ATM operators Cashcard and CashConnect – found in convenience stores, service stations, pubs and clubs – and other bank branded ATMs have withdrawal fees as high as $2.50 per transaction.
You can easily avoid the high price of ATM withdrawal fees by following these 5 tips:
1. Know your bank’s ATM network. Find out which networks you can use for free, for example St.George customers can make a fee free withdrawal from Westpac, St.George and BankSA ATMs and NAB customers can withdraw from the NAB and rediATM network.
2. Get money out at a supermarket. A great way to avoid the ATM bite, is by withdrawing money for free at the checkout when you buy the fruit and veg at Coles, Woolworths or Aldi.
3. Check your balance online. Don’t pay a balance inquiry fee when you can easily check your account balance for free online using your smartphone.
4. Choose the right card for your ATM habits. If you regularly take cash out and don’t want the hassle of searching for network ATMs, get Australia’s only bank account that lets you make fee free withdrawals at any ATM, the ING DIRECT Orange Everyday.
5. Use other payment methods. When you have the opportunity pay by “tap and go” or eftpos, rather than withdrawing from the nearest ATM with a hefty withdrawal fee attached.
Have you been stung by an outrageous ATM fee recently?