2011 High-Yield Checking Survey
5 ways to become a checking account genius

Be ATM-savvy
6 of 7

ATM fees are on the rise, and it doesn't look like they'll go down any time soon, according to Bankrate's 2010 Checking Study.

To avoid ATM fees, look for checking accounts that come with participation in an ATM network, Pili says. ATM networks such as Allpoint and MoneyPass allow customers to withdraw money without a surcharge at thousands of ATMs in the U.S. and abroad.

Other financial institutions offer ATM fee refunds up to a certain amount each month, Pili says. If your checking account offers this option, ask if there is a limit on the refunds. You'll also want to find out how the refunds are processed. Some banks automatically credit your account. Others may require you to bring in an ATM receipt.

To avoid the ATM altogether, use your debit card when shopping and ask for cash back. You'll save yourself a trip to the ATM and the accompanying charges.




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