Here’s big news on the banking front for Aussie families! 

Four major Australian banks have decided to give family budgets a break by ditching the ATM charges. In the coming weeks, we can all freely use ATM machines not associated with our own bank without paying a fee.

It’s about bloody time!

We all get stuck without cash sometimes. It’s annoying, but it happens. Sure, it’s possible to walk to the other side of the shopping centre to our own ATM machine or drive to our bank to avoid the $2 surcharge. But if we have cranky kids in tow, it’s easier to just swear under our breath, accept the $2 surcharge and make a beeline to the car before someone chucks a tanty.

Well swear no more!

ATMs: FREE for all Aussies to use 

This hated cash machine surcharge will soon be a thing of the past. The Commonwealth Bank started the fee-free party last week and now NAB, ANZ and Westpac all confirm they will follow. The no-fee change will also apply to banking customers using St George, Bank of Melbourne and BankSA machines.

Westpac Group’s consumer bank chief, George Frazis, said they want all Australians to use their ATMs without being stung.

“This will make it more convenient for millions of Australians to conveniently obtain cash, with no additional fees. It will particularly assist Australians in rural and regional areas,’’ he said in a statement.

The Commonwealth Banks’ ATM no-fee change takes place today with all their 3400 machines across the country. The other banks will roll out the changes in the coming weeks.

The $2 fee adds up to $500 million a year 

What’s a $2 fee here or there, right? I did a bit of maths to determine how much this fee costs me every year. I hit up a rival ATM probably once a week (the rival one is closer, okay?). So that’s about $8 a month, $96 a year. No biggie. Except, that’s nearly $1,000 in unnecessary fees over ten years.

That’s a holiday to Bali, dammit.

And apparently, it’s not just me who can’t get their sh*t together and carry cash all the time.

News Corp Australia analysis of RBA data discovered that Australians forked out about $500 million in rival ATM withdrawal fees last year. Turns out, woman and young adults are most commonly stung with this fee.

Matt Comyn, CBA’s group executive of retail banking services, said that ATM fees have long been “unpopular” and consumers were fed up with being stung.

“It’s hopefully a small but significant change and positive step that will impact all Australians.”

Hey, if it will save me $96 a year and get me and the kiddies to Bali sooner, then I’m all for it. Have a look at these other ways you can save money for your next family holiday. 

Author

Born and raised in Canada, Jenna now lives in Far North Queensland with her tribe, including her son, daughter, cat, dog and partner. When she's not writing, you can find her lounging by the pool, watching princess movies, frolicking on the beach or nagging her kids to put on their pants.

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