Online Banking

How to Avoid ATM Fees


ATM fees are nothing new. Generally, the only way to avoid ATM fees is to use a machine representing the bank or credit union you have your account with. However, that isn’t always possible. So, how do you get around ATM fees?  

If you bank with Arkansas Federal Credit Union, it’s easy to avoid ATM fees because they have a network of over 30,000 fee-free ATMs across the country. You can find the one closest to you by using their convenient app.

These ATMs are fee-free because they are owned and operated by a network of partner credit unions and financial institutions, called a Co-op ATM network. So, it may not say, “Arkansas Federal” on the actual machine, but if it’s in their Co-op ATM network, you won’t be charged a fee for using it. If an in-network ATM happens to charge you a fee, most financial institutions will refund your account when you alert them.  

Otherwise, you may be hit with paying not only your bank or credit union a fee, but also the out-of-network ATM operator fees to withdraw cash. That’s like throwing money away, and nobody wants that.  

So, besides sticking to your ATM network, here are a few other ways to avoid ATM fees.

Digital Wallets

Digital wallets, like Apple Pay or Android Pay, are not as widely used as credit card reads, but lots of businesses are starting to accept digital wallet payments. Their ease of use makes them popular at food trucks and other services that want to keep lines moving. So, using a digital wallet is a great alternative to paying an ATM fee when you’re out and about.

Peer-to-Peer Payment Service

If you’re with a friend or colleague, consider using a peer-to-peer payment service, such as Venmo, Cash App, or Zelle®. These are free services for transferring money through your phone from your bank account to a friend’s bank account.

Cashback at Checkout Counters

Another way to avoid ATM fees is to get cashback at stores, such as grocery and convenience stores, when using your debit card to check out. This option isn’t available at every location, but when offered, it’s a convenient way to get cash without paying an ATM fee. Normally, retailers do not charge a fee for this, but there may be a limit on the cashback you can get.

ATM Fee Reimbursements

Depending on your financial institution, they may waive fees for using ATMs that are not their own, but this isn’t common. A few banks out there don’t have brick-and-mortar branches or locations, so they sometimes waive ATM fees up to a certain amount.

Bottom Line

ATM fees can add up quickly. However, you may be able to avoid ATM fees if you plan ahead, find an in-network ATM, and use some of these other techniques.  

Remember, when you bank with Arkansas Federal, avoiding these fees is easy by using our convenient app. to locate your nearest Arkansas Federal Co-op ATM. With over 30,000 in the country, you’re bound to find one near you.

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