When I first started writing, I wrote about how when I was at BNR. They brought an ATM into the office space. 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 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. 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 ATMs (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 that the account’s monthly banking charge is 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 four times, it is better to have the “near work bank account” (for lack of a better term).
For me, I have decided to 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, never use ATMs that are not associated with your bank, and never use a “White ATM” either.