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Best Apps to Find Free ATMs Near College Campuses

Sept. 24, 2014
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When you’re at college, chances are you need some cash from time to time. While schools all have automated teller machines on campus, they may come with hefty surcharges for withdrawals.

When you use an ATM, your bank may charge a fee if the machine is not in its network, and in such cases the owner of the ATM may slap on still another fee. Even if some banks don’t impose this sort of charge, the ATM operator probably will. Usually the cost runs around $2 per transaction, depending on the owner and location.

To avoid racking up fees every time you need a quick $20, consult your smartphone. There are several apps you can download to help find surcharge-free ATMs on or near your campus.

You’ll want to first look for apps offered by your bank. Many, including JPMorgan Chase and Wells Fargo, offer geo-locators to help you find ATMs that are free for depositors in branches or at stand-alone locations. If those are out of range or inconvenient, try these free apps to find surcharge-free ATMs closer to campus.


The Allpoint mobile app enables you to find more than 43,000 surcharge-free ATMs in the U.S., and another 12,000 around the world. You can search according to where you are, or by city and state or ZIP code. The application will deliver a list or a Google Maps view of the closest locations. When you select one, you can get step-by-step directions or connect to your preferred mobile navigation app to guide you to the machine.

One out of 12 ATMs in the U.S. are in Allpoint’s network, the company says. However, you must be a cardholder of a participating financial institution to get surcharge-free access to these machines. You can check with your bank, or email [email protected] to find out if it’s in the network before using the search app, which is available from the iTunes App Store, Google Play and Windows Store.


The MoneyPass mobile app includes a locator to help you find one of more than 24,000 surcharge-free ATMs nationwide. It can search by address, ZIP code or your location. The app will connect you to a Google map as well as a list of nearby MoneyPass machines, giving you options to choose from, and then it’ll direct you to your chosen location.

In order to gain surcharge-free access, your financial institution must be part of the MoneyPass ATM Network, which includes over 1,600 organizations. The company says more than 75 million cards will work, charge-free. Typically you’ll have a MoneyPass logo on your plastic to indicate that the issuing bank participates. If it’s not there, contact your branch to find out if you can withdraw surcharge-free at MoneyPass ATMs.

The network’s mobile app can be found at the iTunes App Store or Google Play.

CO-OP network

The CO-OP mobile app lists about 30,000 surcharge-free cash machines for participating credit union members. As with other ATM finder apps, you search using your current location or a given address to find locations on a Google map, as well as a list of cashpoints in the CO-OP credit union network. When you select a location you’ll receive navigation directions to get to the machine. Find out if your institution is part of CO-OP with the CO-OP ATM search tool, which is available at the iTunes App Store or Google Play.

MasterCard Nearby

MasterCard Nearby enables users to find 2 million ATMs worldwide, as well as retailers that offer cash back with a purchase. You can pinpoint your own bank’s cash machines or set a filter to find those without surcharges. The app searches automatically using your current location, but you can also look for a specific address. Much like the other finder apps, this one gives you a Google map as well as a list of nearby machines. Pick one and connect to your navigation app of choice.

MasterCard Nearby can be found at the iTunes App Store, Google Play and Windows Store.

So when your last Friday class ends, it’ll be easy to pick up some of your cash, without paying extra for it.

ATM image via Shutterstock.