Banks accused of illegally fixing ATM fees

22News looks at ways to avoid high fees

(WWLP) – Big banks and credit card companies are accused of fixing prices at ATMs. A federal appeals court has revived a lawsuit accusing MasterCard, Visa and three major banks of illegally fixing the rates they charge customers at the ATM.

The appeals court found it’s possible payment processors worked with big banks like Bank of America and JP Morgan Chase to adopt anticompetitive fees. The lawsuit claims the companies prevent independent ATM operators from charging less when cheaper processing networks are available.

“It’s your money. Why should you pay someone else to get it out of it? I mean I understand they’ve got to pay someone to put the money, pay the ATM, but come on,” Daniel Kazimirov of Westfield said.

There are ways to try to avoid these fees:

  • Try having a debit card with a nationwide bank, so there are many ATM options in your area
  • Find out where all of your bank’s ATMs are near your home and workplace
  • Opt to get cash back when checking out at a supermarket, or another store
  • Go to the bank and withdraw money directly from your account the “old-fashioned way”

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