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Media Release

Clueless Aussies wasting $43 million per year on ATM fees

        • 60% think the Big Four still charge ATM fees
        • Half of Aussies say they've been charged a withdrawal fee in the past 12 months
        • How to avoid ATM fees

12 February 2020, Sydney, Australia – Millions of Aussies have shortchanged themselves when it comes to ATM fees according to Finder, Australia's most visited comparison site.

A recent survey of 1,047 respondents found that 60% of Aussies – equivalent to 11.6 million people – are unaware that the Big Four banks have ditched their ATM fees.

This is despite the fact that CBA, Westpac, ANZ and NAB axed their foreign ATM fee policy for non-customers back in 2017.

Kate Browne, personal finance expert at Finder, said confusion is still prevalent amongst Aussies when it comes to ATM fees, and this is costing them.

"Aussies who aren't across the fee changes risk paying more than they have to when withdrawing cash.

"Even just a couple of withdrawals per month can set you back $48 dollars per year in fees. Why pay for a service that you could be getting for free?"

Finder research shows that one in two Aussies (52%) think they've been charged an ATM fee over the past 12 months.

Based on an ATM fee of $2, Finder conservatively estimates that Aussies have wasted $43 million on withdrawal fees over the past year.

Browne said it's up to customers to seek out feeless ATMs if they want to avoid paying the lazy tax.

"All ATMs will notify you of potential charges before you withdraw. If you don't want to cop the fee, walk away and withdraw elsewhere.

"Each of the Big Four banks enable you to locate ATMs in your area through their website. Otherwise you can withdraw cash over the counter from petrol stations or supermarkets for free," Browne said.

How often have you been charged an ATM fee for cash withdrawal in the past year?

ResponseProportion of Aussies
Never48%
1-2 times20%
3-5 times16%
5-10 times8%
More than 10 times8%

Source: Finder, November 2019

How to avoid ATM fees

  • Use a Big Four ATM. These are typically the easiest ATMs to find, so you shouldn't have an issue making a fee-free cash withdrawal from your Australian debit card. If you're not with the Big Four, make sure to use an ATM owned by your own bank or a partner institution to avoid withdrawal fees.
  • Use a global alliance ATM if you're overseas. Cardholders who are part of the Westpac Group (Bank of Melbourne, Bank SA and St George) can make free withdrawals at a number of international ATMS. Check out our Global ATM Alliance guide for more information on compatible ATMs overseas.
  • Open a fee-free debit account. Banks like ING, ME Bank, Citibank offer transaction accounts that come with fee-free withdrawals for cardholders. Make sure you're across any account terms and conditions to ensure you're eligible for feeless withdrawals.

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For further information

Disclaimer

The information in this release is accurate as of the date published, but rates, fees and other product features may have changed. Please see updated product information on finder.com.au's review pages for the current correct values.

About us

Every month 2.2 million unique visitors turn to Finder to save money and time, and to make important life choices. We compare virtually everything from credit cards, phone plans, health insurance, travel deals and much more.

Our free service is 100% independently-owned by two Australians: Fred Schebesta and Frank Restuccia. Since launching in 2006, Finder has helped Aussies find what they need from 1,800+ brands across 100+ categories.

We continue to expand and launch around the globe, and now operate in the United States and the United Kingdom. For further information visit www.finder.com.au.

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