Plan ahead to avoid debit card fees

There is nothing more annoying than being forced to pay a fee in order to access your own money from an ATM machine.

Unfortunately, such charges are commonplace down under, with the average transaction costing around $2.

Managing director of Global Prepaid Exchange Kevin Harrington recently suggested that more people are accessing their bank accounts free of charge online in order to make payments and move money around, but plenty of Aussies still need to withdraw money from a cashpoint on a regular basis.

The Australian Bankers' Association has suggested that 40 per cent of all ATM transactions in 2011 were made at "foreign machines" – i.e. a cashpoint that is not owned by a person's own bank and is therefore likely to issue a fee.

Speaking to News Limited, the organisation's chief executive Steven Munchenburg said Aussies should plan ahead so they do not need to withdraw dollars from an ATM that is going to charge them.

He indicated that debit card holders spent an unnecessary $660 million through using a bank that was not their own in 2011 alone.

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