Getting cash when you're away from home

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Updated: 3/27/2003 1:08 pm
Perhaps the easiest way to get cash when you are away from home is by using an automated teller machine. Today, most financial institutions offer automated teller machine, or ATM (A-T-M), cards that give you immediate access to the money you have available in your checking or savings account. ATM's can be found at virtually every bank, airport, convenience store, and shopping mall. While most financial institutions will allow you to withdraw cash from an ATM at no charge, you can expect to pay a nominal fee for certain transactions, or if you use your card at an ATM that is not owned and operated by your financial institution. To avoid these fees, try to find a bank that allows you to use several company's machines at no charge. Whenever possible, use an ATM at a branch location of your bank. If you do not have an ATM card, you can use a credit card at an ATM machine to withdraw a cash advance. The fees can be much higher when using a credit card because the credit card companies often charge a higher fee for a cash advance, plus you may pay interest on the advance, in addition to any fees charged by the ATM operator. Each time you use an ATM, you'll be asked to enter your personal identification number, or PIN. This security measure makes sure that your card cannot be used by a stranger if it's lost or stolen. Try to use ATM's in safe, well-lit areas and use an ATM inside a store if you have to get cash at night. For more information about getting cash when you're away from home and automated teller machines, contact your local financial institution.

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