Fred Meyer grocery stores, including the seven in Clark County, on Wednesday began charging customers for getting cash back from its checkout stands, and it’s drawing a mixed reaction from customers, some unhappy and some understanding.

The new fees are 50 cents for a cash-back withdrawal up to $100, and anything above that is determined by the location. For Portland-area locations, the fees began on Oct. 16, according to KGW-TV, and the stores charged $3.50 for withdrawing between $101 and $300.

The fees are being instituted at all Kroger-owned chains nationwide, KUOW-FM in Seattle reported this summer, when QFC supermarkets instituted the fee.

Vancouver resident Craig Martel frequently shops at Fred Meyer Grand Central, where he withdraws cash once or twice a week. He said that the fees are still cheaper than going to an ATM to withdraw cash.

“I think it’s fair,” said the 48-year-old computer programmer. “Fred Meyer is not going to make money on it.”

Martel said he sometimes would buy a cheap item, such as a bottle of water, to get cash back instead of going to an ATM, many of which charge greater fees. He considered the bottle of water to be free, he said. 

He also said he thinks that if a customer spends a certain amount, then the fee should be waived.

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