I stopped paying fees to use an ATM about a year and a half ago when I moved my checking and savings from Bank of America to Charles Schwab. No matter where I am, how often I do it, or how much money I withdraw, Schwab reimburses me for any fees I incur from using other bank’s ATM machines. That’s a lot different than how much I used to get charged by BofA anytime I wanted money from any other ATM machine but one of theirs! But now with internet and local banking becoming even more popular, there is absolutely no reason that you need to stay with a bank that wants to charge you a small fortune to access your own money. Here are eight of the more popular banks offering checking accounts with no ATM fees, no matter where you use your ATM card.
Is your bank charging you a ton of fees for account maintenance, withdrawing your own money, or writing more than two checks per month? If so you aren’t alone, as most “name-brand” popular banks are coming up with anything they can to charge you fees for. While complaining loudly may make some account holders feel better about the fees, it won’t make the banks stop charging them! I used to bank with Bank of America and I felt like I was being dinged every week for any little thing I wanted from my bank, so I changed to a much better bank which I will talk about a little later in this post. But before I get to that, let’s take a quick look at the kind of fees and penalties that three popular banks are charging their customers, and then we’ll see what we can do to move away from them and into a much better banking relationship.
I write just one lonely paper check per month. My landlord is the lucky recipient of said paper check, and I write him this paper check because I usually hand it to him in person. I could have my bank, Charles Schwab, send out a check each month to him without me even having to do anything, but I like the act of paying the man directly for his house, as he worked really hard on fixing it up before I moved in. All of my other monthly bills, from Charter Cable to AT&T to my local utility companies, are charged directly and automatically to my Amtrak Rewards credit card each month, and I have four automatic payments sent to the card each week which pay off the total of my bills for the month. This method helps me out in several different ways:
There are many different places to put away your monetary savings; under the mattress, in a shoebox, in a home safe, buried in the backyard… or a bank. Most people put their money in a regular old savings account at their bank, either because they don’t know there are better options or because they feel safer having it down the street in that little brick building. If that’s you, you may be missing out on a (now only slightly, but in the past much better) interest rate on your savings, as there is an alternative that acts pretty much just like a regular savings account but gives you a higher return on any money you just have sitting around waiting for use.
Banks are in the business of money. Some companies sell goods and others sell services, but banks are in the money business. From credit cards to personal loans to mortgages, banks make money the old fashioned way — they earn it (in interest charges). Well, that and they like to charge random exorbitant fees to their customers, too. But in the end, they are just trying to cover the spread between the money they take in and pay interest on and the money they lend out and charge interest on. It’s a pretty simple concept, if in theory only.