Currently in Canada there are 55,000 ABMs, only which 17,000 of them are owned by bank’s them selves. That’s only 31 percent. Shocking. I was floored when I read this. The rest of the ABMs (38,000 to be exact) are owned by individuals who want your money, in exchange for providing you the convenience.
If you think about it, I never truly understood why a bank charges you to use the ATM, but for you to use an ATM, is not free or you can only have “X” amount of transactions per month. Hello? The bank teller costs far more, than a stupid ATM machine. Teller services are free and ATM services are only free to an extent. Never makes any sense. Anyone care to educate me more, so maybe it does make sense or am I right?
So I’m sure you are asking your self; “I can’t stop using my ATM, I need to withdraw cash”. Sorry, but you’re wrong. You can stop using on the go ATMs and below are a few suggestions, to not only to save you money, but make you more aware about your money.
1. Plan Ahead
If you are going out on Friday night and you know you will need cash, than simply plan ahead. Don’t get to your destination, realize you forgot to get some cash and use the ATM at your local destination. I guarantee you, you will endup paying a fee between $1.50-$3, for simply not being organized, not planning ahead and I will toss in a bit of stupidity in there too. With that being said, plan ahead. Stop at your local bank branch or on the go convenience stop. For example, I bank with RBC and Esso gas stations are affiliated with my branch, make it easier for me to withdraw money, rather than finding an actual RBC branch.
2. Negotiate with your Bank
Part of you being a loyal customer to your bank, should give you some negotiating power. That being said, go in, talk to your account rep or branch manager and get them to include a “few” FREE “other bank branch withdrawals”. It does not cost them anything. It’s beneficial to you. I negotiated this years back and have “3 Free Other” transactions per month. Yay me!
3. Get it all for Free
One way to get FREE ATM fees and not pay any service fees, is to switch to a “B” type financial institution, such as PC Financial, ING Direct or even some credit unions. For this example, I will talk about PC Financial, because that is who I have chosen to have another bank account with. I don’t pay any monthly banking fees, online banking is included and the kicker to it all, PC is affiliated with CIBC, giving me access to over 3,800 machines to withdraw from across Canada. That means I can withdraw money at any CIBC branch or ATM and all for FREE. Check out here.