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Home >Money >Personal Finance >Strategies to beat the hike in ATM withdrawal charges

Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has allowed banks to charge a higher fee on ATM cash withdrawal. However, the hike is not steep – the regulator has hiked to 21 per transaction. Earlier, the charges were 20.

The customers will also continue to get five free transactions at their bank’s ATM every month and three free monthly transactions at ATMs of other banks (five in non-metros).

Irrespective of the hike, if you have been paying ATM withdrawal charges in the past, here are a few things you can do to either cut down the charges or avoid them altogether.

UPGRADE YOUR BANK ACCOUNT

Many banks offer unlimited free withdrawal if the customer is willing to keep a high deposit amount. These are typically premium bank accounts where the customer needs to hold upwards of 20,000 as the average monthly balance (AMB)

Take Kotak Mahindra Bank as an example. Its Pro Savings Account allows free cash withdrawal if done through the bank’s VISA ATM, according to its website. The AMB requirement is 20,000 and cash withdrawal limit is 10,000 for each transaction.

HDFC Bank has Savings Max Account where it offers free transactions at all ATMs and other benefits. It requires the depositor to maintain an AMB of 25,000.

GO DIGITAL

Many shopkeepers accept some form of digital payments these days – UPI (unified payment interface) is the most common. Going digital also makes it easier for you to keep track of your expenses. For most digital transactions, the charges are nil at present.

At present, there are many options for digital payment. Besides UPI, debit and credit card, an individual can also use wallets. Soon, you will be able to transfer funds from one wallet to another and a bank account.

(Do you have personal finance queries? Send them to mintmoney@livemint.com and get them answered by industry experts)

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