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Posted: 6:00 a.m. Thursday, April 25, 2013

ATM fees on the rise

By Clark Howard


I have only paid an ATM charge once in 17 years, back in June 1996 in Moab, Utah -- and it still eats at me! I can practically remember the very day! But most of my fellow Americans don't care if they get ripped off with inflated fees for using an ATM as a non-customer.

The Government Accountability Office reports that the average surchase is now $2.10, though there's a range from 45 cents to $5. The highest I have ever seen was $10 in a Las Vegas casino!

The only reason the banks can raise their ATM fees every year is because we let them by continuing to use non-affiliated ATMs.

There are so many ways to get cash back for free. You can do so by using your debit card at the supermarket or the drug store, or by using an affiliated ATM in your bank or credit union's network.

Meanwhile, Charles Schwab, USAA, and some of the online banks will reimburse any fees incurred by customers when using others' ATMs.

So if you've been wasting money like this, stop doing it. Just use the easy alternatives suggested above.