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ATM fees are unnecessary. We shouldn’t have to pay them, and if you use the strategy below you never will again.
Not only do ATM fees happen way too often, but it’s essentially like paying a tax or interest rate on your own money. I can’t stand having to go directly to a bank (which has limited locations) and withdraw from their ATM. Like many of you, my laziness results in using third-party ATM’s inside liquor stores and pizza shops that hit me with extravagant fees every time I withdraw. Not only do you have to pay a fee to use the ATM, but most likely your bank charges you an additional fee also. Many people spend hundreds of dollars in ATM fees alone.
Through the years, people have often asked me how I’m able to stay so organized and control my finances so effectively. Practically everything I do is automated. I have savings accounts for all types of expenses: travel, clothing, investment property down-payment, and long-term savings, just to name a few. All my finances are automated and I never have to think about whether I can afford a new camera or a trip abroad. This is an essential aspect of the self-directed living.
All that aside, one of the things that puts a big smile on my face is: walking up to a random ATM (anywhere in the world), withdrawing my money from my checking account, and completely ignoring the “$3.00 ATM fee” warning—then I smile and go on with my life. So, how do I do all this?
Just like most things, it’s truly quite simple. Regardless of where you currently bank and keep your main checking account, you can begin taking advantage of this amazing perk.
I highly, highly recommend banking online with Capitol One 360 (formerly ING Direct). You can use my link to get a bonus when you open your free account.
In addition to having an amazing Capitol One 360 account as your main checking/savings, you can have all the perks below with just one more step.

  • No ATM fees worldwide: Unlimited fee rebates
  • $0 monthly service fees
  • $0 account minimum
  • Free checks and Visa Signature Platinum Debit Card

“Okay, Arman, I’m sold! Tell me already!”

The answer is: immediately open a Schwab Bank High Yield Investor Checking account.
Click here to check out Schwab.
It’s that simple, folks. Open an individual or joint High Yield Investor Checking with Charles Schwab Bank and start reaping the benefits.
Your account will automatically be set up with a linked Schwab One brokerage account. You do not need to actually use the brokerage account and there are no requirements to fund it. In your main account summary page you’ll see your checking and brokerage account.
Personally, because I recommend using Capitol One 360 as your main bank, I don’t use my Schwab Bank High Yield Investor Checking as my main account, and therefore, only transfer funds to it as needed. In other words, the majority of my actual checking account money is with Capitol One 360 (or any bank of your choice), and I transfer money (for free) to my Schwab Checking as needed so that I can access those funds from any ATM with no fees.
Link your existing checking account to your new Schwab checking and fund it right away.
Big hat tip to Ramit Sethi and his book I Will Teach You To Be Rich. A lot of the personal finance strategies I use came from his book. Corny title — yes — but very informative read. I also recommend his blog, check it out.
If you have any questions, please post in the comments below.