Cash and Candy! Candy and Cash!

For the past few months, I’ve been putting varying degrees of effort into the task of switching my bank account to a bank that works in New York (my current bank only works in New York if I undertake an epic journey or pay a zillion fees). I have finally opened a new account and set up direct deposit for that account, but I still don’t have a debit card for that account because I don’t know. It hasn’t come yet and I called and it still hasn’t come.
Sometimes I was going to the end of the earth to use the free ATM, but mostly I was not doing that, instead using any old ATM and getting charged $2.50 or whatever upfront and then another $2 from my bank. Which is dumb! And yet seemed fine to me until I got this new fee-less account. Even though I can’t access it, knowing that I’m so close to not having to pay those fees makes me really not want to pay those fees.

Which is why I felt like a SUPER GENIUS the other day at Walgreen’s when the swipe-machine asked: “CASH BACK?”

WHY DID I NOT THINK OF THIS BEFORE?! Getting cash back from grocery stores and pharmacies is free and amazing and great and wonderful! Sometimes you can only get $20. But then you just buy another candy bar, and you can get twenty more dollars. So that’s your sweet tip of the day: Next time you’re about to pay an ATM fee, walk a block to Duane Reade. You could even buy something you actually need (toenail clippers? cotton balls) if you’re into that, though: the candy bars are right there.

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10 Comments / Post A Comment

Spinach Party (#253)

I also felt like a super genius when I finally figured that one out. I bought chapstick because I luuuuuurve chapstick and it seemed practical! Not frivolous, but still fun!

And then I left it on the counter by mistake, because my main focus was getting the cash back, and I was very sad :-( Missed out on chapstick and I STILL didn’t avoid the “ATM fee”.

This was like a year and a half ago and I’m still bummed about it. I have issues.

in ontario the liquor stores also give you cash back.

is that deadly or what

Megano! (#124)

I almost never use cash, but I neeeeeever use the chargey ATMs unless I absolutely have to. And I think my bank doesn’t also charge me on their end now? But I still don’t do it. I remember telling a friend in high school not to use them, because you actually get charged like $5 in reality, and she was like “So THAT’S where all my money goes…”

bgprincipessa (#699)

@Megano! I avoid it at all costs too. I had to emergency get cash from an ATM for a dress I was having tailored. The website said they accepted cards! Lies! And not only that, but I had to use a sketchyyyy ATM in a little Latin supermarket. I’m paranoid about card readers. Am I alone there?

moreteawesley (#545)

My stupid bank has one ATM in my neighborhood and it’s 12 blocks from my apartment, so I do this a lot. I guess you’re still paying a “fee” if you don’t get something you were going to buy anyway, but I’d rather spend $2 and get a bottle of nail polish than just throw $2 at Wells Fargo for the privilege of accessing my own money.

e (#734)

EVERYONE IS JOINING ALLY! HURRAY!

myrna.minkoff (#272)

@e Sing the praises! I love Ally! The $25 I get back every month for ATM fee reimbursements feels like free cash!

The Duane Reades with a Chase ATM in them do not give cash back.

seamoney (#1,252)

Wait. Can we talk about my comment from the last Terrible Tedious Tasks Post? http://thebillfold.com/user/1252/seamoney/ The one that says I have maintained my Oregon Credit Union by getting cash with cash back. I feel so uncommonly smart right now. (I highly recommend cash back at the post office!)

YOU ARE A SUPER GENIUS!

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