It seems rare nowadays that we are in a situation where we must have cash. The vast majority of businesses accept credit and debit cards, so why carry cash around? However, it does happen. From flea markets to parking lots and lemonade stands, there are still cash-only businesses out there. So how do you avoid having to run to an out-of-network ATM?
- Be prepared. If you know you’re heading somewhere that requires cash, plan on taking some out beforehand.
- Use ATMs within your network. These ATMs will not charge you a fee to make a withdrawal, or your bank will reimburse you. Check your statement for the refund. You can check your bank website for a list of network ATMs in your area.
- Don’t use ATMs at all. Did you know that many drug stores and grocery stores offer cash back when you make a purchase? If you make a purchase using your debit card at a Stop & Shop, for example, you have the option to withdraw cash from them as you would an ATM… with no fee and no minimum purchase. Each store does set a limit to how much you can withdraw.
- Take your friends’ cash. Say you’re out to dinner with friends and everyone else has cash. Take your friends’ money and pay the bill with your credit or debit card. This can be an added bonus if your credit card earns points or miles. Just be sure you pay off the balance in full so as not to incur any interest charges.
If you find yourself hitting the ATM too often and racking up those small fees, follow these tips and you’ll have cash when you need it without paying any penalties.