Card holders avoid $120m in ATM fees

Debit and credit card holders have avoided more than $120 million in ATM fees by changing their withdrawal patterns over the past year, it has been revealed.

The Reserve Bank said the collective saving had come about following its reforms to make ATM fees clearer, the AAP reported.

Most banks apply a $2 direct charge on customers who use their ATMs but hold accounts with other financial institutions.

The Reserve Bank found that following its reforms, the number of withdrawals from "foreign" ATMs fell by 18 per cent on the previous year while card holder withdrawals from their own financial institutions’ ATMs went up by 9 per cent.

It also said it had seen an increase in the supply of ATMs and ATMs "in locations and circumstances where they would not have been viable under the previous arrangements".

This greater choice has been a boost for Aussies looking to compare debit cards in search of the best spending tools. Earlier this week it was revealed that Australia’s retailers stand to net about $360 million in unspent store gift cards this year.

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