Consumers are Paying More Than Ever in Out-of-Network ATM Fees

If you do not use your own bank’s ATM, then you’ll likely get charged a fee by the bank that owns the ATM — and another fee by your own bank for not using their machine.
These so-called out-of-network ATM fees are higher than ever, according to’s latest survey.

The average fee for using an out-of-network ATM jumped four percent over the past year to a record $4.52 per transaction, according to Bankrate’s 18th-annual checking survey. The fee has risen 21 percent over the past five years.
Atlanta is the priciest city for making such a transaction ($5.15), and San Francisco is the cheapest ($3.85). (All of Bankrate’s figures reflect both ATM fees combined: those charged by the ATM operator and those charged by the consumer’s own financial institution.)
The average overdraft fee also set a new record ($33.07) and is up nine percent since 2010. Milwaukee has the nation’s highest average overdraft fee ($34.79) and San Francisco again has the lowest ($30.35).
“The most important thing for consumers to know is that all of these fees are completely avoidable,” said Greg McBride, CFA,’s chief financial analyst. “Shop around for a bank or credit union that fits your lifestyle so that you can keep more of your hard-earned cash.”
Bankrate also found that 37 percent of non-interest checking accounts are completely free, the lowest percentage since the site began these annual surveys in 1998. The trend has been flat in recent years — 38 percent of non-interest checking accounts were free to all customers in each of the past two years. Free checking peaked in 2009 (76 percent).
An additional 58 percent of non-interest checking accounts can become free if customers meet certain requirements, with the most common being direct deposit. Those who aren’t able to secure a fee waiver face an average monthly service charge of $5.86 (up 11 percent from last year).
The full survey is available here.

Highest Average ATM Fees

1. Atlanta $5.15
2. New York $5.03
3. Phoenix $4.88
4. Miami $4.84
5. Milwaukee $4.78

Lowest Average ATM Fees

25. San Francisco $3.85
24. Cincinnati $3.86
23. Kansas City $4.01
22. Dallas $4.11
21. Seattle $4.21

Highest Average Overdraft Fees

1. Milwaukee $34.79
2. Atlanta $34.57
3. Baltimore $34.55
4. Denver $34.50
5. Phoenix $34.35

Lowest Average Overdraft Fees

25. San Francisco $30.35
24. Cincinnati $30.44
23. Detroit $30.80
22. Los Angeles $31.88
T20. Kansas City $32.00
T20. San Diego $32.00


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