How to Avoid ATM Fees When Using Your Netspend Card

Have you been in the following situation? You need cash, but ATM fees might as well be arm and leg fees. According to MagnifyMoney, typical fees range between $1 to $3.50 each time you make a withdrawal in the US. 

Foreign transactions could cost more than $5 or 1–3% of the transaction amount. That’s a significant percentage of your hard-earned money gone. It adds up over time.

If you draw cash out of an ATM each week at an average fee of $2.25, that’s $117 wasted in a year. What could you have done with that extra money? I’m sure you could’ve thought of something more fun and practical than paying some bank a fee to access your funds.

Don’t get me started on the outrageous fees for ATMs located at events or entertainment venues. I encountered one that charged $6.25!

There has to be at least one good way to avert paying those ridiculous fees.

There are a few options to avoid unnecessary ATM fees and get the cash you need. Some may be a bit creative, but all are fairly simple. With a little bit of digging and resourcefulness, you’ll have saved yourself a whole lot of money.

A cartoon drawing of four people standing in line to use a blue ATM machine

Use a MetaBank ATM

MetaBank is the financial institution that issues and manages your card. The company has several ATM locations anyone can find with its convenient app. You know, the one you’re already using for your account anyway.

Not near a MetaBank ATM? You can also make transactions surcharge-free nationwide at ATMs with the Privileged Status logo. MetaBank goes the extra mile for their customers, making every effort to help them stretch their money as far as possible.

Locate Fee-free ATM Networks

Clark.com has a great list of fee-free ATM networks worldwide. Allpoint, MoneyPass, CO-OP Financial Services, and Plus Alliance are four great options. Pharmacies, grocery stores, convenience stores, wholesale clubs, even your favorite neighborhood Dunkin’ Donuts may have the place you are looking for to get cash without pesky fees.

All of these networks have locators available online, and they all have apps for both Apple and Android phones, except for Plus Alliance. Below is a list of places you may be able to find one such ATM. There’s probably one relatively close to you. Traveling internationally? Allpoint can assist with that as well.

Allpoint

  • Circle K
  • CVS Pharmacy
  • Kroger
  • Safeway
  • Speedway
  • Walgreens
  • Winn-Dixie

MoneyPass

  • 7/11 convenience stores
  • select credit unions
  • select local banks

CO-OP Financial Services

  • Costco Wholesale
  • Circle K
  • Dunkin’ Donuts
  • Publix
  • Rite-Aid
  • select credit unions

Plus Alliance

  • Bi-Lo
  • Costco Wholesale
  • CVS Pharmacy
  • Get Go
  • Target
  • Walgreens
  • Winn-Dixie
A cartoon drawing of a woman standing behind a counter with a sign that says BANK

Over-the-counter Transactions at a Local Bank

While most banks do charge a fee when someone without an account uses their ATM, many banks will do a cash withdrawal from another institution’s debit card for free at the teller’s window. As it is their goal to attract more clientele, they may offer this service as a courtesy to show their excellent customer service.

However, you should always ask before you engage in the transaction, just to be sure. And they may have a limit as to how much they will withdraw from a debit card not issued by their institution. Still, it doesn’t hurt to call around and ask.

A cartoon drawing of a red brick store, with a sign on it that says Supermarket

Ask for Cashback When Purchasing Goods or Services

If you’re already in your favorite store making a purchase, see if you can run your card as debit, select cashback, and enter your pin. Grocery stores, gas stations, Walmart, and several other merchants will allow you to receive cash when you buy something from them.

Most of these do have a limit as to how much you can withdraw in a single transaction, like only $40 at a time. If you need more cash than they allow, break up your purchases into multiple transactions to get to the total necessary.

I once made three separate transactions — buying a pack of gum, a bag of chips, and a beverage — to accomplish the task. The cashier, the customer behind me, and I had a great time discussing the genius of this idea. I was going to make the purchases anyway. My card didn’t encounter any needless, and I had a great story to tell.

A cartoon drawing of a blue human figure embracing an orange human figure

Use the Buddy System

Have a friend with cash who also has a Netspend account? Create a transaction with your buddy. You simply transfer funds to your friend’s account, and she gives you the cash. It’s a straightforward way to make Netspend more of a community.

Another way to use the buddy system is with a friend who has an account at a local bank. It works about the same as the previous transaction, but instead of transferring funds between Netspend accounts, you send money to their account. They run to the ATM with you and withdraw the cash you need. Quick and easy.

To recap, getting the cash you need from your Netspend card without racking up ATM usage fees is simpler than you might have thought. While it’s a good idea to find the nearest MetaBank ATM first, since that would be the most convenient remedy, it’s not the only option. Fee-free ATMs are popping up everywhere, which causes increased competition for local banks which may have been the main options in town for decades. Subsequently, more banks are lowering their ATM fees. 

Local and national stores are also getting in on the trend to convince you to shop their aisles more often. Of course, a good buddy will always assist in a pinch. Since you know how it’s done, getting the cash you need from your account is effortless.

Related: How to Transfer Money from Netspend to Cash App

Related: How to Get Money Off Netspend Account Without Card

Related: Can Someone Send Me Money to My Netspend Card?