Debit Card Fees Add Up

Debit cards have become a staple in most households. When used in your home town at the bank where you have your account, there are usually no extra charges. However, if you use them at another bank, you may be assessed a fee by both your home bank and the bank whose machine you are using to get money.

When traveling internationally, they are an easy way to get cash in that country’s currency. Again, you have to be aware of the fees that banks tack on to each transaction. Not only will you be paying the fee from your home bank and the foreign bank, but you may be paying a currency conversion fee as well.

So what’s the answer, and how can you reduce these fees?

  1. First, make sure that your bank isn’t charging you a fee to use their debit card at the home or branch bank. If they are, find another bank.
  2. Ask your bank how much they charge to use their debit card at another bank. Shop around if it seems high.
  3. If you are traveling, go online and see where other branches of your bank are located. They may also have ATMs associated with them that are in places other than banks.
  4. If you are traveling internationally, ask your bank if they have an agreement with any foreign banks where fees are waived.
  5. Since you’re going to be charged the same fee no matter how much money you withdraw, taking out more at a time would be worth your while as long as you have adequate self-control.
  6. When you use your debit card at grocery or department stores, you aren’t charged a fee. Therefore, if you need money, it makes sense to ask for cash back.
  7. Watch out for the ATMs in casinos, liquor stores and others not associated with a bank or known business. Their fees are often higher.
  8. Another reason to avoid ATMs in suspect locations is that there is a greater chance of a skimmer being attached to it. This is the latest thing which thieves have been using to steal the information from your debit card.
  9. Check out this video. It has great suggestions for ways to avoid fees that you may never have thought of. http://moneywatch.bnet.com/saving-money/video/how-to-avoid-atm-fees/456904