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 The Brancatelli File

joe WHAT DOES CASH COST?

BY JOE BRANCATELLI

March 1, 1989 -- These days getting cash from credit-card machines costs cash. As the accompanying chart reveals, it can set you back as much as $20 to withdraw $500 from an automated teller machine.

“Anyone who uses ATMs to get cash should shop around before slipping just any card into any cash machine,” explains a spokesman for Bankcard Holders of America, a consumer group. “Every financial institution sets its own fees for ATM withdrawals, and the range in prices is really rather incredible.”

One oh-so-slender silver lining is that an increasing number of banks are joining cash-machine networks like Plus and Cirrus. This allows travelers to use their bank cash cards to withdraw cash from their checking or savings accounts instead of borrowing against credit lines. Current fees for such cash transactions vary but are usually less than $1 per withdrawal, making them one of the least expensive ways to get cash on the road.

cash

This column originally appeared in Travel & Leisure magazine.

Copyright © 1989-2013 by Joe Brancatelli. All rights reserved.