Don't Let ATM Fees Break Your Budget

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We like to remind our members of some of the obvious ways to save money: pack your lunch a few days a week, cut back on the gourmet coffee, and stick to your budget. Also, we remind them to consider how much they use the ATM.

Why? Recently, there was a story about ATM fees and how consumers were charged more than $6 billion in ATM and overdraft fees in 2015 alone. If you think about spending a few extra dollars here and there for convenience doesn't add up, the results can be surprising. Here are some reminders when it comes to using the ATM, courtesy of Telcoe Federal Credit Union and our members' financial counseling partner, Accel.

Always use an in-network ATM. It costs nothing to access your own financial institution's ATM. When you use out-of-network ATMs, there are generally two fees: one from your own institution and one from the ATM you are using. But if you don't have access to a Telcoe branch, we're proud to offer two different ATM network partners, allowing our members nationwide access to surcharge-free ATMs. We'll help you find a convenient ATM location, no matter where you are. Click HERE to locate an in-network ATM for our Telcoe members, virtually anywhere in the United States.

Make sure the fee is always disclosed during the transaction. If you must use an out-of-network ATM, pay attention to the amount of the fee each time. Fees vary from ATM to ATM, and they're usually higher in "hot spot" locations, especially when the ATM are in places like airports, convenience stores, restaurants, and bars.

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If you cannot access an ATM in your network, then some pre-planning is helpful. Think about the total amount of cash you need for the day or week, and make one withdrawal with one fee. Paying a $3 fee to withdraw $20 equates to a 15% fee, while paying $3 to withdraw $100 is only 3%. A common mistake that we see consumers make is visiting an out-of-network ATM multiple times in a short period of time and paying fees. Those fees add up quickly.

Telcoe offers all the convenience of a mega-bank, without the hidden fees and impersonal service. Remember to check your monthly statement closely and to use common sense when it comes to using your ATM card. If you have questions about using your debit card at an ATM, click HERE to contact Telcoe Federal Credit Union! We're proud to offer several FREE Kasasa checking account options to our members, most of which allow our members to collect refunds on ATM fees nationwide.