bdo fees and charges

How to Save Money on ATM Fees

With the rising costs of almost every necessity: food, groceries, tuition fees, insurance premiums, and so many others, we all want to save money in any way possible.

And that includes ATM fees.

If you haven’t heard the news yet, you’ll probably react to the increase in ATM fees starting April 7.

From the issuer-based pricing model that charges a fixed amount of PHP 10 to PHP 15 for withdrawals and balance inquiry, now it has been changed to ABFC or the Acquirer-Based Fee Charging which means that you’ll now be charged anywhere between PHP 10 – PHP 18 for withdrawal, and up to PHP 2.50 for balance inquiry.

For example, if you have a non-BDO card and you withdraw money from a BDO ATM, you will be charged PHP 18. If you just want to check your balance, you will be charged PHP 2.

And for frugal moms like me, PHP 18 is not a small amount! There’s so much you can do and buy with your PHP 18.

  • You can buy 3 small eggs at PHP 6 each
  • You can buy 9 pandesal at PHP 2 each
  • You can buy half kilo rice
  • You can buy 2 tali ng kangkong for sinigang; and
  • You can buy 1 powdered juice drink or a small soda to quench your thirst for PHP 18!

So, what will you do?

Here are some tips to save on ATM fees.

Exclusively use your bank’s ATM.

The simplest way to avoid ATM fees is to stick with ATMs in your bank’s ATM network.

If you have a BDO card, go to a BDO ATM. You will not be charged when you withdraw money or check your balance using the ATM of your own bank.

Know where your local ATMs are

If you’ve been living in the same place for a while now, you probably know where your local ATMs are. Make it a habit to use them when you need cash.

If you’re not familiar with the place, leverage your bank’s ATM locator.

With over 4,000 BDO ATMs nationwide available, finding a BDO ATM shouldn’t be a problem. They are nearly on every corner, and they offer free mobile apps that help determine the closest locations. If you have a BDO account, you can find BDO ATM locator here.

I’m glad I have a BDO card and there are two BDO ATMs and branches in our area. I never have to worry about the ATM fees and save the money for other more important expenses.

Pull out the money you need plus some extra

sinking fund

My husband and I have our own personal “fun fund” which we use for our personal expenses and hobbies. John uses his fun fund for his woodworking hobby and I use mine for my gardening hobby.

Nothing wrong with that.

However, John doesn’t like having a lot of cash in his wallet to avoid impulse purchases, but he usually makes 2-3 trips to the ATM every week to make withdrawals whenever he runs out of cash.

He might have saved on ATM fees, but not his time and gas. So what I did was I told him to pull out the money he needs plus some extra to make fewer trips to the bank and reduce risk of exposure to Coronavirus.

I’m glad he listened.

If you find yourself running out of cash constantly and having to run to the bank all the time, I suggest that you withdraw more each time so you can make fewer trips to the bank.

Create a budget and figure out how much cash you need in advance each week. You may use cash envelopes to separate your funds for the different categories in your budget. Then, calculate a little bit extra for other necessities or things that pop up. Just be sure to stick to your budget and not spend the extra money for unnecessary purchases.

A good way to avoid paying any last-minute ATM fees is to keep 2 weeks to one month worth of cash on hand, as much as possible.

Open a BDO Online Savings Account

If you have a non-BDO card and the nearest or most accessible ATM in your area is BDO, I suggest that you open a BDO Online Savings account so that you can make your withdrawal transactions for free.

To open an account, just fill up the online application form, select your preferred BDO branch for appointment, and visit the branch with 2 valid IDs and initial deposit to complete your application.

You can also visit this link for more information about BDO Online account opening.

Tips to Use Online Banking Safely

Banking online has made managing money a lot more convenient than it used to be. We don’t have to go to the bank to check our balance or to transfer our funds. All that information is at our fingertips.

But while online banking has made things easier for us, it’s also made things easier for scammers. To avoid becoming a scammer’s next victim is to carefully guard your personal information and always practice these online banking safety tips. 

  • Never share your bank details including your debit and credit card account numbers, PINs, and CVV.
  • Never share your online bank account details such as your username, password, and OTP or One-Time Password.
  • REMEMBER that your bank will NEVER ask for your account details to verify your transactions.
  • Use strong passwords and change them often.
  • Avoid saving your login information.
  • For safer browsing, use Incognito window on Chrome so that your browsing history, cookies, site data, or information entered on forms by users will not be saved.  
  • Always type your bank’s web address into your browser yourself. Never click on links in emails that appear to be from your bank, even if they look legitimate.
  • Monitor your account regularly. check your account balances and transaction history regularly, and make sure your money isn’t going anywhere it isn’t supposed to.
  • If you notice suspicious activity, change your account password, and contact your bank immediately.

Final Thoughts

Saving money on bank fees can be a simple exercise and could free up more cash for your household expenses, or to put towards your savings goals. Don’t hand them over to banks for free. 

Before heading out this week, take a quick moment to think about where you’re going, and if you need to cash. By simply planning ahead, you’ll never have to pay an ATM fee again.

How do you avoid paying ATM fees? Do you have another tip that you use to save money?

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