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ATM charges 3 percent for cash

By Claes Bell ·
Tuesday, January 17, 2012
Posted: 3 pm ET

Withdrawing money an ATM not owned by your bank has never been cheap. But now, ATM providers have new way to make sure they maximize the fees you pay for withdrawals.

From Felix Salmon of Reuters:

Paul Volcker likes to say that the only worthwhile financial innovation of the past 20 years has been the ATM. So I suppose it was only a matter of time before that, too, was rendered evil.

Here, courtesy of Peter Eavis, is how the ATM at the Holiday Inn in Orlando now works -- it doesn't just charge $3 per withdrawal, but rather the higher of $3 or 3%.

ATM fees have been climbing steadily ever since Bankrate first surveyed them in 1998, when the average out-of-network withdrawal would cost you 89 cents. The rate of increase has been, at least in recent years, about in line with inflation.

But if it gains widespread traction, this method of figuring ATM fees will amount to a gigantic fee increase for anyone withdrawing more than about $100. For many ATMs, a common cash withdrawal limit is $400; to make that withdrawal under the above terms would cost you $12. And that's not including whatever your own bank charges you for an out-of-network withdrawal.

What do you think? Is charging a percentage of large withdrawals reasonable? Would it discourage you from taking cash out?

Follow me on Twitter: @ClaesBell

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March 08, 2012 at 11:29 pm

I refuse to be a victim of big banking. Everything's cash only, save for one zero-fee debit card. Also, here's something to consider: what happens when there's a pro-longed power-outage and you can't access your cash?

March 06, 2012 at 2:55 pm

At that rate you're doing just as well going to a check, cashing, office.

March 04, 2012 at 4:15 pm

This is another reason that a few years ago I pulled everything from banks I had accounts at and closed my accounts. I have one account with a bank that has no fees, no charges and even pays back a certain number of ATM withdrawals per month. I only have that one account though for my monthly Veteran's disability. I cut up all my credit cards, no longer have any loans for anything and I no longer buy anything unless I can pay cash straight up for it. And it really is not that hard to do.. I just bought both a new car AND a 2012 Honda Goldwing outright. It just takes patience and saving up long enough to do that.

I refuse to be part of the banking scam nor will I ever allow the banks again to have any control over my life and MY money. If more people would figure this out and leave the banks, they would eventually either realize they need to change or they would go out of business - which should have happened a couple years ago instead of bailouts.

I am also now changing other things to do and have the same impact against big oil companies. Although I have no choice for now to still buy oil and fuel, I will continue to do what I can to reduce my use and hopefully in the future switch to something like hydrogen.

Floyd Brown
March 04, 2012 at 9:29 am

They don't give you any thing for your money they use & make money from but turn around & charge you for it when you want it back.
But are there any god signs ahead? Not that I can see.
Wall Street & Banks want all of the money to go through their hands & have you pay dearly to use their money & have the nerve to charge you more & more to store & get your money back.
They won't be happy until they have it all & nobody has any more money to give them. You can already see how they have planed for that. Just borrow money from the Fed & loan it back to the Government for more than they borrowed it for. Then how will the system work if no one has any money to but the junk that keeps it all together?

Neal Kluge
March 02, 2012 at 5:19 am

The best way to respond to these fee increases is to switch back to cash transactions only, for smaller purchases. Also, when you are handing out cash, you are more careful with the spending. Credit and Debit Cards make it too easy to spend. Counting out $ 20 bills makes you aware of the true cost of the purchase.

Markoff Chaney
March 02, 2012 at 1:28 am

Money-grubbing scum. Try getting blood from a stone. We are tired of the decades-long shakedown. Credit unions FTW!

Roger Pariseau
March 01, 2012 at 7:49 pm

Credit unions are the only answer for the average person. No fees if you use their or other credit unions on CO-OP aligned ATMs all over.

February 29, 2012 at 2:25 pm

why even use an atm. just make a small stop in the grocery store and use the atm card and request cash back...these banks are going to run the economy in the ground.

Dorn Hetzel
February 28, 2012 at 7:22 pm


Just use a separate credit card for monthly expenses, and use one that you can set up for the bill to be automatically paid in full from your checking account each month. You can probably even find a card that will give you a 1% (or maybe even 2%) rebate, stretching your money a little further. Just use it like you would cash, and don't spend what isn't already in your checking account, and you will be ahead of the game. No ATM fees, and maybe even a little rebate to sweeten the deal.

Paulette Huston
February 24, 2012 at 1:24 pm

Ridiculous! I usually take my "allowance" out once a month. This cash is all I use for groceries, gas, and discresianary spending during the month. I rarely use credit cards other than for those expenses that will be paid for at the billing date. Debit cards are not as secure as credit cards. To inflict this charge on people to gain access to their own money is another reason people are having a difficult time managing their finances. Soon it will be safer and more economical to store money in a sock or under your mattress