A Great Financial Idea Dies

in Bank Fees

When I first started writing, I wrote about how when I was at BNR, they brought an ATM into the office space, and initially it was with CIBC, however at the time, the charges for using a non-BMO (who I was banking with at the time) ATM machine was costly (although nothing like what it is now), so I decided to open a bank account with CIBC, to save that withdrawal charge. Later CIBC closed their office and took away the ATM machine and it was replaced with the Telecommunication Technologies Credit Union and I wondered whether I should open an account with them (I decided against it due to their yearly subscription fee).

The premise of this simple idea was:

Open a bank account with a bank with the banking machine closest to work, so that you can save the “Other Bank” ATM charges if you need some cash at work. Set up the “direct deposit” from your employer to put a small amount in that account which is then available to you.

Currently, my new office is very close to an RBC, so I figured I’d look at the numbers and see if it was worthwhile, opening an account with RBC so that I could avoid the extra charges that arise by using their ATM machines (which act like “White ATM Machines” for non-RBC customers). Unfortunately the numbers do not add up, even with the free iPad Mini 2 that might come with the account (if I either pay bills automatically out of the account or have part of my pay put into the account).

The big stumbling point with this simple theory is, the monthly banking charge on the account being about $14 a month. The equation to look at would be:

Monthly Bank Fee Z < (N withdrawals * $3 service charge per withdrawal)

In this instance if you withdraw from your account more than 4 times, it is better to have the “near work bank account” (for lack of a better term).

For me, I have decided to simply withdraw money from the bank near my house if I need it (and thus no charges for ATM access) and if I am short when I am at work, I work around it (i.e. go without lunch, or make sure I bring my lunch every day).

The better rule to live by is:

Withdraw enough cash for the week from your bank and never use ATM’s that are not associated with your bank, and never use a “White ATM” either.


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{ 4 comments… add one }
  • mark August 18, 2015, 4:25 PM

    The other idea is to use your debit card at the store and get cash back. This usually has no service charge.

  • John Ryan August 17, 2015, 9:12 AM

    Every time I withdraw money, I always get $100 – which lasts me a long time. My conclusion has been the same as in this post, minimizing ATM visits and always going to your bank’s ATMs seems to be most cost effective.


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