Saving Money: How to Avoid Sneaky Bank Fees

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ATM Abuser

The convenience of using automated teller machines comes with a price, especially if you use a machine unaffiliated with your bank. Banks charge non-customers an average of $2 for using their ATMs, and your own bank may impose an additional $2 fee for using another bank's ATM. If you only withdraw $40, you've just paid a 10 percent fee for the transaction.

The Fix: Of course you know you can avoid fees by using ATMs in your own bank's networks. But there's another way around fees in case your bank's ATM is not nearby: Use your debit card at a store to buy a small item (such as gum) and ask for additional cash back in the transaction.

Better still, switch to a bank that waives ATM fees. The nation's fifth largest bank, PNC, for example, reimburses ATM fees charged by another bank if you maintain a monthly $2,000 balance. And if you have a USAA bank account you can get up to a $15 monthly refund for ATM fees.

Continued on page 4:  Service Seeker


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