Do You Have to Use an ATM?

Use an ATM

There are lots of reasons to want to skip the ATM. An ATM can charge you fees when it’s not in your bank’s network. An out-of-network ATM will saddle you with two extra charges: a charge from your bank and a charge from the ATM’s bank network.

ATMs can cause frustrating errors. Your bank card could get stuck in the slot and not come out. The machine might not give you the withdrawal that you requested. A single malfunction could ruin your week.

And more importantly, ATMs can make users targets for criminal activity. They can be sites for armed robberies and sneakier forms of theft, like ATM skimmers. 

You can avoid all of these problems and more by minimizing your trips to ATMs. Find out how you can do that.

Automate Deposits

One common reason to go to the ATM or your nearest bank branch is to deposit a check. To reduce your trips to the ATM, you should try to automate deposits through electronic money transfers instead of getting paper checks mailed or handed over to you.

Many workplaces offer this option for paychecks. Government benefit programs like social security offer this option. You can even set up direct deposits for your tax refunds instead of waiting for checks to be mailed to your address.

Personal loans can also be directly deposited into your checking account. For instance, if you get approved for a personal line of credit loan, you can request a withdrawal within your credit limit to help you cover an emergency expense. If that withdrawal request is accepted, the precise amount will be transferred from your line of credit and into your checking account as soon as possible. Take a look at the other types of different deposit loans available to you. This knowledge could be useful in the future.

Use Mobile Check Deposits

You can’t set up direct deposits for all of your payments. Sometimes, the only option you’ll have is a paper check.

Does this mean you’ll have to go to an ATM? No. You can deposit a check without leaving your front doorstep if your mobile banking app offers the feature mobile check deposit. You can use your smartphone’s camera to take a photo of your check and deposit it into your checking account. 

Get Cash Back at Retailers

Managing check deposits without going to an ATM is simple, but what about account withdrawals? If you need cash, you can still skip the ATM by requesting cash back whenever you go shopping at your favorite retailers. You can access this feature at grocery stores, pharmacies, hardware stores and even the U.S. Post office.

Doing this is safe, convenient and often cheaper than using an out-of-network ATM. Most retailers will not charge you additional fees for taking cash out of your account.

Be aware that retailers will have different limits on how much they can give customers asking for cash back. The amount typically varies between $20 and $200.

Make Digital Payments

Another way that you can minimize trips to the ATM is to use less cash and focus on digital payment options to make transactions. Before you do this, look into the limitations set by your bank on debit card transactions and online transfers. This will give you a better idea of how you can manage your spending without incurring extra charges.  

You don’t have to use the ATM so much. Use these alternatives and save yourself the trip!