Published On: Thu, Jan 14th, 2016

How to avoid Australia’s outrageous ATM fees of up to $6

EXCLUSIVE

TRAVELLERS are being stung up to $6 just to check their bank balances, in the latest outrageous example of ATM fee gouging.

Machines at airports, cruise ships and overseas locations are by far the most expensive places to get cash out, exclusive ING Direct data obtained by News Corp shows.

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The study also found the average ATM fee has shot up from $2.10 in 2013 to $2.20 as customers continue to be stung for checking balances or withdrawing cash.

Aside from one of the biggest cruise ship providers slugging customers $6 to use on-board ATMs, airports are also gouging the unprepared traveller — hitting them with a two to five per cent charge for using their machines.

Warning ... Travellers need to know the costs when using their card or they face getting stung with high charges.

Warning … Travellers need to know the costs when using their card or they face getting stung with high charges.Source:News Corp Australia

Financial comparison website RateCity analysis found Australian travellers paid about $535.8 million in currency conversion and ATM charges in the 12 months until October.

The site’s spokeswoman Sally Tindall said it was vital consumers planned ahead so they could avoid being stung by unnecessary card charges.

“Often the harder the ATM machines are to come by the more expensive they can be, so it’s useful to do your research in advance,’’ she said.

“If you’re travelling to a place where ATMs are hard to come by, consider taking a safe amount of cash and put purchases on your credit card where possible.”

Start forward thinking ... Customers can avoid high ATM fees if they carry cash and plan ahead.

Start forward thinking … Customers can avoid high ATM fees if they carry cash and plan ahead.Source:Supplied

ING Direct refunds eligible customers ATM charges regardless of the cost.

The bank’s executive director of customer John Arnott said “Australians hate ATMs” as costs continued to incline.

“They are less prudent with their money management when they on are holiday,’’ he said.

“There’s also a real lack of awareness of these ATMs whether it be domestically or overseas.”

He suggests consumers use mobile phone apps to check their balances instead of being gouged when using an ATM to do this.

Many of the ATMs that charge the higher fees are not bank-owned machines — most privately-owned machines.

The Australian Bankers’ Association executive director of retail policy Diane Tate said customers were becoming savvier with avoiding ATM charges.

“In 2014, consumers paid $291 million in bank transaction fees, which includes ATM fees — the lowest amount since 1999,’’ she said.

 

[Souce:- news.com.au]