Out-of-network ATM fees have been going up for a decade and a half straight in the U.S. and now a popular way to duck those extra charges will come with a fee of its own, at one major retailer anyway.
Since October, King Soopers and City Market grocery stores have been charging 50 cents when customers request cash back after making purchases using their debit cards and punching in their personal identification number, or PIN. The fee applies to transactions processed by a clerk at a check stand or at a self-checkout machine.
Customers can take up to $100 of their money out in cash for that price. It’s a service that used to be free. In a corresponding policy change, customers can take out between $100.01 and $300 at the check stand for $3.50. That’s a service the company was providing for $3. Colorado customers that have a King Soopers Card can have that additional 50 cents waived in those cases, company officials said.
King Soopers is owned by Kroger, a grocery industry giant with nearly 2,800 locations nationwide. The 50-cent fee applies at all of those stores, company officials say. It’s a small charge that could accumulate into a big sum across the network of stores.
“This service is very popular, and we process millions of transactions enterprise-wide per year,” company spokeswoman Jessica Trowbridge wrote in an email this week. “Unfortunately, we cannot continue to offer this service for free due to the high demand and processing/labor costs.”