ATM Fees Rose 23% Over The Past Five Years

Photo by Jordan Sim

By USDR

Fees for using out-of-network ATMs rose five percent over the past year and are up 23% over the past five years, according to Bankrate.com’s 17th annual checking survey. The average cost of going outside the network is now $4.35 per transaction, a new high for the eighth consecutive year.

There are two different ATM fees that consumers typically encounter when using an out-of-network ATM: the ATM surcharge assessed by the ATM owner and the fee that one’s own bank charges for using an out-of-network ATM (often known as the foreign fee).

The average overdraft fee set a new record high for the 16th consecutive year, at $32.74. “Punitive-type fees, such as ATM fees and overdraft fees, have shown the most consistent increases over time,” said Greg McBride, CFA, Bankrate.com’s chief financial analyst. “While this trend is unlikely to reverse, consumers should recognize that ATM fees and overdraft fees can be avoided completely.”

Thirty-eight percent of non-interest checking accounts are completely free, which is unchanged from last year and little changed from 39% in 2012. This halts a four-year streak of declines from the peak of 76% in 2009. If certain requirements are met (such as direct deposit, maintaining a minimum balance, bill pay activity, etc.), 95% of non-interest checking accounts are either free or can become free.

The full survey is available here:

http://www.bankrate.com/finance/checking/checking-account-fees-surge-to-new-highs-1.aspx

Highest Average ATM Fees*  Lowest Average ATM Fees*

1.

Phoenix

$4.96

25.

Cincinnati

$3.75

2.

Denver

$4.75

24.

San Francisco

$3.93

3.

San Diego

$4.70

23.

Pittsburgh

$4.03

4.

Houston

$4.67

22.

St. Louis

$4.12

5.

Milwaukee

$4.66

21.

Los Angeles

$4.13

More About ATM Fees

The average ATM surcharge jumped seven percent to $2.77 per transaction, a record high. The average surcharge has increased for 10 consecutive years. The most common fee is $3. Every institution in the survey with ATMs charges non-customers for usage.

The average fee assessed by one’s own financial institution for going outside the ATM network increased three percent to $1.58, also a new high. Over the past eight years, the most common fee was $2. The most common fee now, by a wide margin, is $2.50.

Bankrate surveyed a total of 10 banks and thrifts in each of 25 large U.S. markets. This included one interest and one non-interest account at 247 institutions that offer checking accounts. In total, 242 interest and 238 non-interest accounts were surveyed between July 10 and August 6, 2014. Beginning with this year’s survey, the monthly fee figures were adjusted for receipt of e-statements.

All opinions expressed on USDR are those of the author and not necessarily those of US Daily Review.

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