How Do You Avoid Paying Pesky ATM Fees?

This graphic shows money being spit out of an ATM.
The average ATM fee is about $3, but some machines impose heftier surcharges of $5 or more. Illustration by Ken Lyons/The Penny Hoarder

Do you hate ATM fees? Well, you’re not alone.

Paying money to access your own money is frustrating to say the least.

The average ATM fee is about $3, but some machines impose heftier surcharges of $5 or more.

Non-bank ATM operators often charge even more, up to a whopping $10 per transaction. (Casinos in Las Vegas, for example, are infamous for high ATM withdrawal fees.)

A couple dollars here and there may not seem like a lot. But those small charges really add up if you’re on a tight budget.

You can usually avoid pesky fees by visiting your bank or sticking to in-network ATMs. Some financial institutions will even reimburse you for a certain number of ATM fees per month or per year.

You can also ask for cash back when you’re checking out at a retail store, or use cash transfer apps like PayPal and Venmo if you need to send money to friends.

But sometimes ATM fees are unavoidable, especially if you’re traveling or pressed for time.

ATMs also make money for businesses that host them, so some establishments make it convenient (but expensive) to use them. Have you ever been to a bar or restaurant that only accepts cash — yet happens to have a high-fee ATM just a few feet away?

The Penny Hoarder Community — a gathering place where like-minded individuals share tips and advice on making, saving and managing money — is conducting a new survey to learn how members avoid ATM fees.

So far, respondents favor sticking to in-network machines and planning ahead to bypass unwanted charges.

More than 1,350 people have already weighed in, but it’s not too late to share your opinion, too! Head on over to The Penny Hoarder Community to cast your vote now before the survey ends Aug. 10.