Yes, that’s right – I was stupid, but I still feel wronged about $2.50. What happened? I used an ATM at a hotel, the Washington Marriott Marquis to be specific. I did not have my fee waived Fidelity ATM card with me, so I used my Bank of America card to pick up a little cash in a hurry. There was the usual “there’s a fee spiel” that we all know, but there was more. I didn’t screen shot this because it didn’t occur to me what I’d done I looked at my online statement this morning. There was a second question from this particular ATM – something to the effect of “Would you like a receipt with your account balance?” Don’t hold me to the language, but that’s close. (Image courtesy of Shutterstock)


Not thinking, I clicked yes. This morning, I was reviewing my online banking and caught that I was charged two separate $2.50 ATM fees for the same cash withdrawal, in addition to the $3.50 from the host ATM. I was “this close” to phoning Bank of America about it until I looked at my ATM receipt. You guessed it, that receipt has two separate transaction numbers. One for the withdrawal, one for the account balance, and $3.50 from the host ATM. Total cost of accessing $100 of my own money – $8.50. OK, I may still call.

On reflection, I can see what happened and how I did it to myself. That said, I feel like the way the question was stated on the ATM was the tiniest bit underhanded. Of course, it’s OK if you give me my account balance since you’re going to check it anyway. I walked into this one, I think. Moral of the story, watch what you’re doing with off brand ATMs. Other moral – accounts like Fidelity and Schwab that waive ATM fees are all that more attractive to travelers.

-MJ, March 30, 2015