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On average, it now will cost you $4.68 to walk up to an out-of-network ATM and withdraw money, according to Bankrate’s latest annual study of ATM fees.
That is 1 cent less than last year, but reflects a cost increase of 36 percent over the past decade.
Of course, you can always avoid ATM fees by paying with plastic or asking for cash at the register when buying groceries, for example. But these days, there’s a better way: switch banks.
Multiple institutions like those listed below will waive or refund customers for out-of-network ATM fees.
Understanding ATM fees
To find the best ATM-fee-free bank for you, it helps to understand which types of ATM fees you’re trying to avoid.
There are two main types of fees that you might incur by using an out-of-network ATM:
- A fee charged by your own bank
- A fee charged by the entity that owns the ATM
Some banks waive their own fee but don’t refund customers for third-party fees. So, you must mind the fine print to find a bank that also refunds ATM fees charged by other entities.
Banks that waive or refund ATM fees
The following institutions offer at least one checking account that doesn’t charge customers for using out-of-network ATMs and will refund customers for some or all ATM fees charged by the owners of out-of-network ATMs:
- Axos Bank (online bank)
- First Republic Bank (brick-and-mortar chain with locations in eight states)
- State Farm Bank (online bank)
- Century Bank (brick-and-mortar chain based in Massachusetts)
Just note that these are examples, not an exhaustive list. So, before you switch to an ATM-fee-free bank, you may want to do a little homework to find out what other options are out there.
You should also look into other account features that are important to you, not just ATM fees.
For example, if you want a checking account that is not only ATM-fee-free but that also pays interest, use a free online resource like Money Talks News’ account search tool to find such an account.
What’s your take on ATM fees? Sound off by commenting below or over on our Facebook page.