MIAMI (CBSMiami) – As banks continue to find ways to nickel and dime customers to death, it turns out that one of the most common fees, ATM’s, is taking a large chunk of your money away needlessly.

“I get made every time the statements come and I see the fees and the dollars we don’t need to be spending each month,” said Mike Bernardi.

Mike said he tries to avoid ATM fees at all costs. “I personally only go to my own bank so I don’t get the fees,” Mike said.

Unfortunately for Mike, his wife doesn’t always attack ATM’s in the same manner.

“There’s always an instance when I need cash and an ATM for our bank isn’t around,” said Ashley Bernardi.

For the Bernardis, and every banks customer, hitting up an ATM that isn’t from your bank will probably have you end up paying twice; a fee at the ATM and then a second charge from your bank. That can bring the cost of one transaction up to $5.

“If you’re making one withdrawal a week and you’re making $5 in total ATM charges; you’re talking $250 a year that you’re needlessly giving up in ATM fees,” said Greg McBride of

ATM charges have doubled over the past decade and are now at a record high. But they don’t have to hit your bank account if you do a little work.

Some smaller banks and credit unions reimburse ATM fees when their customers use another company’s machine.

“They can go to any ATM and know that it is essentially free,” said McBride.

Larger banks help customers find their cash machines with locators on their websites or you can download an app on your mobile device that will point you to a free ATM.

Ashley said she will change her ways and not go to any other banks. It’s a decision that will help her family’s bottom line as banks continue to try to find new revenue streams from financially strapped customers.


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