Out-of-network ATM fees? iPhone Apps to the rescue

When one bank fee dies, another one is born to fill its place; so what's a consumer to do? Well, thanks to technology, keeping on top of your accounts and locating a nearby surcharge-free ATM is as easy as updating your Facebook status.

With ATM fees rising and bank fees as a whole on the rise, staying on top of your banking is an absolute must. RecessionWire has a very useful listing of iPhone Apps to help you avoid bank fees or at least minimize them when using an out-of-network ATM. Some of the most useful include:
  • Bank of America App (Free) - Account tracking and in-network ATM locating
  • Wesabe (Free) - Account tracking
  • PocketMoney (Lite version Free, $4.99 for Full) - Account tracking
  • Quicken (Free) - Account tracking and in-network ATM locating
  • Mint (Free) - Account tracking
  • TapFinder ($.99) -ATM locating
While Apple's popular iPhone certainly has the most apps available to help you avoid a bank fee, there are plenty of ways for Windows Mobile, Blackberry, Android and even regular cell phone users without apps and web access to do the same.

Several of the Apps listed above, like the Bank of America App, also work on Android and BlackBerry phones, giving users quick access to their accounts. Others like Wesabe, Mint and Quicken also offer mobile web versions of their site optimized for the small screen to let you query the balance in your accounts, and, in Quicken's case, where the closest ATM is. There are also several other applications in the Android marketplace to help members of specific credit unions locate ATMs.

If you don't have a web-enabled cell phone, fear not; you can still stay on top of important financial information via text messages. Yodlee, for example, is a free personal financial service which connects to your bank and credit accounts and can provide numerous text alerts based on criteria you choose, such as a low balance warning.

Finding a surcharge-free ATM with a text message is also easy. Just text message Google at (466453) with the name of your bank and your location and you'll receive a text message with the local listings. For example, "Bank of America Toledo Ohio" returned three local branches. I could then text message Google, "directions [my location] to [banks address]" to find out how to get there.

So, no matter what kind of cell phone you have, it's easier than ever to check your account balances and avoid costly bank fees while you're on the go.

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