If All You’ve Got Is $17 In Your Account New ATMs Will Oblige With $1 And $5 Bills

For anyone who’s ever had to take out $40 at an  ATMwhen all you really needed was $25 and maybe your account balance is low enough that the higher amount causes a sticky situation, get excited. There are reportedly hundreds of new ATMs dotting the country that now dispense $1 and $5 bills so you can grab exact change when you need it.

There are those times when there’s say, only $17 in your checking account and you’d like to get $15 of that out, but it’s a no-go because the smallest denomination until recently has been $20 or sometimes $10 from an ATM. CNNMoney says both Chase and PNC have been launching the $1 and $5 dispensing machines.

Chase has somewhere between 350 and 400 ATMs of this kind currently and is expected to double that amount before the end of 2013. All you have to do is key in how much you want to take out and choose “custom denomination,” where you can then pick how many of each kind of bills you want. Magic! Some machines are even being tested to give out coins. Double magic!

According to Chase, this is all part of a plan to cut down on staffing costs, as the ATMs basically serve as virtual tellers, “next generation  ATMs or new teller platforms,” says Bill Sheley, head of branch innovation.

PNC has upgraded about half of its 7,200 ATMs to spit out the smaller bills recently and is scheduled to change over the rest by the end of the summer, in an effort to make ATMs more convenient for customers.

It’ll be free for bank customers to use the smaller denomination machines, but the same rules apply for out-of-network ATM users  which means a $3 fee for non-Chase members and a $2.50 charge for non-PNC customers.  Then there are the charges your own bank might charge for using an ATM that isn’t its own.

Although it’s only these two banks doing the small bill dance, if it proves a popular option and enough customers of other banks start to demand $1s and $5s, we wouldn’t be surprised if every ATM in the future provides the choice of lower denominations.

New ATMs dispense $1 and $5 bills [CNNMoney]