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Living with credit

Emily’s list: ATM fees edition

Emily Crone

The Credit CARD Act of 2009 resulted in many consumer-friendly changes that impact how credit card issuers and banks operate. It also did away with many so-called unfair practices that generated quite a bit of income for issuers. In response, many of these issuers have taken actions to recoup lost revenue by reducing or eliminating reward programs and charging extra fees.

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In March, The Wall Street Journal warned that higher ATM fees were coming as banks looked for more ways to make money. The article provided a statistic from consulting firm Oliver Wyman that, “ATMs generated $7.1 billion in fees last year … Of that, banks collected roughly $3 billion from
charging their customers for using another institution’s ATM.” The story also highlighted a new test by Chase in which consumers in Illinois who weren’t Chase customers had to pay a $5 ATM fee when withdrawing money, and Texas customers had to pay a $4 fee.

This week, The New York Times said that Chase “quietly ended” this test period recently and has reverted to the previous $3 ATM fee. A reason wasn’t given for the end of the pilot program, but I hope it was because enough people were so turned off by the exorbitant fee that they refused to use the ATMs.

I know banks are for-profit entities, and it makes sense why they want to charge an extra fee for people who aren’t customers. But a $5 ATM fee is too much. What do you think? How much would you pay to use a nearby ATM?

For great advice on credit, debt and personal finance, please read on for my top 10 favorite blog posts from the past week.

1. Bucksome Boomer helps readers understand the steps you need to take before declaring bankruptcy.

2. Figuring Money Out features an infographic that illustrates the true cost of your debt, including mortgages, student loans and credit card debt.

3. Many Americans are still struggling with unemployment, which unquestionably leads to financial problems. As someone who has had to do some hiring recently, Her Every Cent Counts offers three tips for job applicants.

4. If your finances are in disarray, Money Ning lists five ways you can motivate yourself to get it together.

5. Money Health Central tells the tale of a credit addict and how he overcame his dependence on credit and credit cards.

6. Wealth Informatic$ explains how the CARD Act affects gift cards and what you should and shouldn’t do when looking to purchase one.

7. One Money Design reveals three tools that can help you educate your children about smart money habits.

8. Magical Penny provides advice on how to avoid hitting financial ruin with the help of several analogies to Homer’s “The Odyssey.”

9. Lately there have been murmurs that the people on extreme couponing shows aren’t quite following the rules. Living Richly on a Budget points us in the direction of four legitimate coupon gurus who can help you save tons of cash.

10. Credit cards tend to get a bad rap. I was happy to see that Moolanomy discusses the perks of having credit cards, and how you can benefit from wise credit card usage.

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