Tonight, I was reminded of an old money saving trick I use when I am out of cash and don’t want to pay a massive ATM surcharge if my bank is not near by. I don’t have a card that refunds out-of-network ATM fees, so whenever I am low on cash and not near my bank, I look for money saving alternatives for ATM withdraws. I don’t use cash often for a lot of reasons, mostly because I don’t like carrying it but also because I don’t earn any points or cash back when buying things.The small inconvenience in time is worth the long-term point return.
To by-pass the horrendous ATM fee I would have paid using a “foreign” ATM, I visited a nearby CVS where I know sells sparkling water for around $.83. This way, all I have to pay is $.83 and I get to withdraw cash. Hey, I get to have delicious water rather than waste that and much more on a surcharge, a no-brainer for me. So, I bought the water, used my debit card, and withdrew the max $40.
The money saving lesson learned here is that if you don’t have an account with a bank, such as USAA, expect to get hosed on out-of-network fees from both your bank and the offending ATM. Even worse, there’s a chance your card information might get stolen if you use one of those ATMs that’s not even attached to a bank. Here’s a warning sign:
This is a much better, safer money saving alternative
Embrace a drugstore or grocery store money withdraw instead of a scary looking, expensive ATM by buying something cheap, like water, and request additional cash back.