5 ways avoid ATM fees & Bank Smarter.

WVFSL has been focusing a lot lately on providing products and services that help our customers Bank Easier.  Unfortunately sometimes convenience has a price.  Yes, it is really easy to grab some cash from the ATM machine you find in the gas station or in the mall, but between the fees charged by the bank that owns the ATM and our administration fee, the price of convenience sure can add up! Our blog today is all about helping you keep more of your money by reducing fees.  Read on to find out some useful tips for avoiding costly ATM fees. 

5 ways you can avoid ATM fees:

  1. Use no fee ATMs – Yes, the easiest way to avoid ATM fees is to use an ATM machine that does not charge a fee.  When you bank with WVFSL, accesses to the ATMs at each of our branch locations are always free.  Some bonus ways to save:
    • Our Platinum Checking account offers 4 free foreign ATM withdrawals per month – Platinum Checking customers simply enroll in e-statements and they receive 4 credits for foreign ATM withdrawals each month (up to $10 credits per month).
    • Maintain a combined balance of $25,000 each month in your non-retirement accounts with us and our portion of the ATM fees are waived.
  2. Take more cash out at one time – While it is super convenient to roll up to the ATM and take out $20, each time you visit a non-WVFSL ATM you get charged by the bank that owns the ATM and $1 from WVFSL to cover administrative costs.  Assuming the fee for that one ATM visit total $4 and you do that 5 times a month you are looking at $20 a month in fees.  That is $240 a year in ATM fees.  OUCH!  Instead, take out $100 and you are looking at only $4 in fees a month.  Or better yet, refer back to tip#1.
  3. Use Debit Cards, Credit Cards or Checks – Our ATM cards double as Visa Debit Cards and can be used anywhere Visa is accepted.  This is a quick and easy alternative to cash.  Just be sure you have the money in your account!  Also keep in mind that there are daily limits on spending for use at Point of Sale terminals, so if you are planning on a one day shopping spree, you may need to plan for that in advance.  You can also use credit cards for your purchases, just be mindful of your balances and be sure you can pay them off in full each month!  Finally, it may be considered old school but checks are still accepted at many locations.  Many grocery stores will let you write the check for more than the amount owed and give you the difference back in cash, another strategy to beat ATM fees.
  4. When using your Debit Card, take advantage of the Do You Want Cash Back question – When checking out at the grocery store using your debit card you are inevitably asked the question, do you want cash back?  Instead of hastily pushing no, take a moment to consider if you need to add more cash to your reserves.  This is a great opportunity to get some fee free cash!
  5. Develop a budget – With a monthly budget in place you are empowered to make your money work for you.  You will know how much money you need each month and you can plan how much cash you need to have on hand.  So if you visit the bank in person to deposit your check, take out all the cash you will need until your next pay day and save yourself an ATM fee (or 2).  If you utilize direct deposit or mobile deposit, when you go to the bank or a local ATM for cash, take out what you need for a specified period of time and avoid fees all together.

We hope that this blog and its tips to avoid ATM fees will help you to Bank Smarter.  If you want to learn more about the products we offer and how they can help you to keep more of your own money, please don’t hesitate to call.  We would be happy to answer any questions you may have!