Avoid ATM Fees By Getting Cash Back at the Store

Avoid ATM Fees By Getting Cash Back at the Store

Avoiding banking fees is one of the pillars of financial fitness, but can be tricky to achieve when it comes to unplanned moments when you need cash. Why should you pay to access your own money at an ATM just because the machine is run by a different bank? If you’ve ever felt cornered by an out-of-network ATM at a moment when you need a bit of cash, look past that cash machine. Do you see a big chain supermarket or drugstore nearby? If so, you’re in luck. You can probably get cash back at the register.

This tip comes from Reddit user @corcoran_jon, but it’s so simple I can’t believe we haven’t discussed it here at Lifehacker sooner. Here’s their strategy:

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Switching to an online bank a few months back made access to bank-compatible ATMs and cash harder to come by until I realized a trip to my local grocery store offered me the solution.

Now instead of paying ATM withdrawal fees, I head to the grocery store when I need to buy food and get cash.

This frugal method saves me about $20/M in what would be ATM fees.

If you usually pay with a credit card when you buy your essentials, you may not have noticed this option that pops up when you swipe or dip your debit card. Many large stores offer cash back of $20-$40 when you make a debit purchase at the register or self-checkout. Others might offer amounts as large as $60 or $100.

If you’ve never gotten cash back when making a purchase at the register, take a few pointers from someone who does it all the time (me).

Pay attention

Watch for “No cash back at this register” signs that indicate the cashier’s cash drawer is too low to fulfill your request. I once hit the cash-back button on the payment pad after looking at the cashier’s sign with both eyes and felt terrible for the havoc it caused for the employee, who had to void the transaction and re-ring everything.

Be considerate

If you’re hitting the register during or after a typically busy time (like Saturday morning at a grocery store), it’s nice to ask the cashier if it’s OK to get cash back. If I’m asking for more than $20 at a store where I shop regularly, I usually ask to make sure I won’t kill the cashier’s drawer.

No, really, be considerate

Do not under any circumstances use the cash-back option as your personal bank. You get what the cashier hands you and that is the end of it. Judge John Hodgman agreed with me in the New York Times Magazine. It’s an extra hassle for someone who’s already juggling too many balls in the air for probably not enough money. “Use small bills to tip service workers, not as a reason to make them do your wallet homework,” Hodgman scolded a couple who would ask for specific small bills at the grocery store.

If you got cash from a self-service register and there is no line at the customer service counter, you may ask if they’ll break your $20s. But only if there is no line! Otherwise, you may turn yourself back around and go buy yourself a pack of gum with your crispy fresh $20.

Source:- lifehacker

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