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Archive for Monday, July 17, 2006

Watercooler

July 17, 2006

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If you can't find your bank's ATM, don't go to another one. Pulling money out of a competitor's ATM can add up, according to Consumer Reports.

In its August 2006 issue, the magazine said that using a foreign ATM once a week could cost you $100 a year because, often, both your bank and the competitor's bank will charge a fee.

Surcharges can run as much as $2.50 per transaction, which is what ESB Bank in Pittsburgh charges. Additionally, fees keep increasing. In the last two years, the average surcharge jumped 20 percent to a record $1.60, according to Bankrate.com.

To avoid paying fees, Consumer Reports recommends:

¢ Avoiding other ATMS. Even in a crunch, don't use other ATMs. If you need cash quickly, use a debit card at a store and request cash back.

¢ Choosing a more forgiving bank. Look for banks that don't charge fees for using a competitor's ATM. Commerce Bank not only waives its fee, but it will also reimburse you for competitor's fees if you maintain $2,500 or more in your checking account.

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