Ouch! ATM Fees Hit a New Record
Life + Money

Ouch! ATM Fees Hit a New Record

REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton

It’s getting way more expensive to use an out-of-network ATM.

Using an out-of-network ATM will cost you an average of $4.52 per transaction. That’s 4 percent more than last year and more than 20 percent higher than the out-of-network fee five years ago, according to a new report by Bankrate.com.

Atlanta is the most expensive city for ATM fees, with each transaction costing an average $5.15. Other cities at the top of the list include New York ($5.03), Phoenix ($4.88) and Miami ($4.78).

At the other end of the spectrum, San Franciscans spend the least on out-of-network ATM fees, paying an average of $3.85 per transaction. Cincinnati is the second cheapest city for ATM fees ($3.86), followed by Kansas City ($4.01) and Dallas ($4.11).

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The annual survey also looked at checking account fees and found that 37 percent of non-interest checking accounts are completely free, the lowest percentage in the 17-year history of the survey. That’s a steep decline from the peak of free checking in 2009, when 76 percent of non-interest accounts were free.

Another 58 percent of non-interest checking accounts can become free if customers meet certain requirements like direct deposit or a minimum account balance. The average monthly checking fee for those that pay them is $5.86, an 11 percent increase over last year.

“The most important thing for consumers to know is that all of these fees are completely avoidable,” Bank Rate Chief Financial Analyst Greg McBride said in a statement. “Shop around for a bank or credit union that fits your lifestyle so that you can keep more of your hard-earned cash.”