ATLANTA - ATM fees in metro Atlanta are among some of the highest in the country, according to a recent Bankrate report.
Channel 2 consumer adviser Clark Howard has several ways to help you avoid them
“ATM fees are up again nationally. They hit a record high for the 11th consecutive year,” Bankrate’s Greg McBride told Howard.
Of the 25 markets Bankrate looked at, Atlanta had the fifth-highest with an average out-of-network ATM fee of $5.05.
“There are two different fees you pay -- the fee you pay the ATM owner and the fee you pay your own bank,” McBride said.
Banks often waive their fee for using an out-of-network ATM.
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Bankrate told Howard that in Atlanta, many times that's not the case.
While that may not seem like much…
“Five bucks a week, every single week, it's really more than $250 a year that you are throwing away needlessly on fees that could be avoided,” McBride said.
Howard says the easiest way to avoid ATM fees is to plan ahead.
“Pull out your phone, look for where your bank’s nearest in-network ATM is,” McBride said.
Many grocery stores and pharmacies offer a cash back option at the register, fee-free. Also, find out if your bank has a retail partner that is its preferred ATM provider.
If you’re really in a bind, borrow from a friend. PayPal, Venmo, Square Cash and Google Wallet are all easy ways to pay them back, Howard says.
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