Bank of America Raises ATM Fee
Published 9/14/07 (Modified 3/8/11)
Yesterday, Bank of America raised its ATM surcharge fee for non customers at most of its ATM's nationwide to $3 from $2. The news is significant for many people because Bank of America operates the largest ATM network in the United States and the higher fees could affect millions who do not hold consumer banking accounts there.
Such news barely raised a blip on my radar frankly. They could raise the ATM fee to $100 for non Bank of America account holders such as myself, and I still wouldn't be phased. That's because I pay for everything almost exclusively by using credit cards.
Switch From Cash To Credit Cards
Now is a good time to reiterate what I've been trying to tell people all along. If you are a responsible credit user, the simplest and most routine way to save money and even make some extra money is to use credit cards. It's time to stop paying everything using cash.
We've finally evolved from a trade and barter society into a cash market. Now it's time to take one step further and transition into plastic. ATM surcharges are sure to increase across the board to match Bank of America's move, so it's time to stop those daily and sometimes expensive visits to your neighborhood ATM to withdraw cash. Why carry around so much cash and end up with the inevitable jingling coins in your pocket or purse?
To be fair, the regular and exclusive use of credit cards isn't for everyone. Some people truly have difficulty handling the responsibility of tracking their spending habits and remembering to budget enough to pay off the balance in full each month. For people who don't have the necessary discipline, it's best to stick with cash or debit cards. But for the rest of the people, what's in your wallet?
Take Advantage of Credit Card Benefits
Not only do you not have to deal with loose change when you use credit cards to purchase everything, you can use them to earn cash back or reward points redeemable for gift cards or merchandise. I use my favorite combination of reward credit cards to earn over $750 a year in cash and reward savings. Some might scoff and say it's not worth the hassle, but keep in mind that this is extra money you would otherwise not have. Money accumulated from various sources will add up in the long run.
Paying everything through credit cards also has the added benefit of allowing me to fully track my spending habits. I can run through my monthly statements and easily figure out where I spent my money. With cash purchases, I would have to cumbersomely wade through a pile of receipts.
But the best part is that I'm not putting in any extra effort or going out of my way to use credit cards. I'm just going about my daily routine while silently accruing cash back and reward savings.
I do carry around some cash in my wallet though, but it's only there for emergencies when credit cards aren't accepted, which is an infrequent occurrence. I do visit my bank's own ATM's once in a blue moon, but I never use another bank's. I have never paid extra ATM surcharges in my life and I don't plan to start anytime soon.