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How ATM Withdrawal Fees Get Accessed
Many banks advertise 'unlimited withdrawals from our ATMs' with their checking accounts but advertised or not, most (if not all) banks offer this service. But when you withdrawal from ATMs that aren't your bank's, you may receive two charges:
- One from the ATM machine provider (an ATM vendor or other bank)
- And one from your bank
The first fee is displayed on the monitor of the ATM you use. The second fee is part of your account. If you use ATMs frequently, you want to find a checking account that offers low 'non-bank' ATM fees. This can be a $0.50-$3 charge from the bank ON TOP of the ATM's charge, which normally run from $1-$2, but may be much higher.
The Difference Between PIN or Signature Debit Purchases
When shopping with your debit card, you may have the choice to pay 'credit or debit.' A debit purchase requires you to give your PIN, and the cost of your purchase is charged to your account immediately. When you pay credit, you sign for the purchase, and the cost applies to your account within a few days.
The possible delay of a signature-based purchase could cause difficulties in two different ways. First, you'll have both an 'actual balance' and an 'available balance' until the transaction clears which can make things confusing. Second, some businesses (like gas stations) will put holds on a certain amount in your account when you make signature-based purchases -- maybe $100. That means when you're only buying $30 of gas, you cannot access the remaining $70 until the payment has cleared. And, if you're unaware of this hold, you may accidentally overdraft your account when you make a purchase before the hold clears.
Tips About Checking Accounts and Reloadable Debit Cards
Earning interest on your checking account nowadays is, well, difficult. And when you do, it's not easy get an interest rate that's very impressive. If you're looking for ways to earn money, your time may be better spent looking at savings accounts, money market accounts, or more long term investments like IRAs, bonds, or mutual funds. Read more...
Most people comfortably use debit cards nowadays, but the benefits they offer are not always clear. Here's a breakdown of how debit cards work and the rewards programs frequently offered with them. Read more...
Mobile banking takes a lot of the features of online banking and brings them to your cell or smart phone. Depending on who you bank with, mobile banking might save you a trip to a bank branch. All of the mobile banking features apply to your checking account, but some mobile banking apps allow access to your savings accounts and credit card balances as well. Read more...