5 ways to avoid ATM withdrawal fees

By Nikhil Hutheesing, Consumer Reports
Chris Hondros/Getty Images

If you withdraw cash from an ATM that isn't in your bank's network, you could end up paying extra fees.

The combined out-of-network withdrawal fee can be as high as $5 per transaction.

Consumer Reports offers some ways to avoid the fees:

1. About 30 percent of banks offer accounts that allow you to use any ATM free of charge. The downside: You may have to maintain a minimum average monthly balance.

2. Many credit unions are members of Co-Op Financial Services, a network of 30,000 ATMs that connects to credit unions across the country. There’s no fee for withdrawing funds.

3. Choose an online-only bank that allows you to use ATMs at many other banks at no cost.

4. Brokerage firms -- such as E-Trade, Fidelity, Schwab and TD Ameritrade -- offer checking and savings accounts that often have no minimum balance requirements. The brokerage will give you a bank card and reimburse you for any ATM fees you’re charged.

5. When checking out at some supermarkets and pharmacies, use your debit card and ask for cash back.

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