surcharges also rise predictably, and this year the average, $1.97, is nearly
11 percent higher than last year's average of $1.78. The surcharge is a fee the
owner of the ATM charges nonaccount holders. In other words, if you're a Bank
A customer and you use Bank B's ATM; Bank B will zap your account with a surcharge.
Don't count on being
near an ATM that doesn't have a surcharge when you need some cash; 99.2 percent
of ATMs surcharge.
Running out of cash when a branch of your
bank is nowhere in sight is especially costly because most banks charge their
customers for using another company's ATM. The average fee for that is $1.46,
up from $1.25 a year ago. So expect to get dinged on both ends.
|Average fee to use other ATM |
Banks rake in billions
of dollars annually in ATM fees. Why contribute to that? These are fees that are
easily avoidable with a little bit of planning. Estimate your cash needs for the
day or the week, or your vacation, and make a point of using your bank's ATMs.
In a pinch, you can get small amounts of cash when you make debit transactions
at many businesses, but if you end up buying something pricey you don't need,
it may defeat the purpose.
Bankrate.com surveyed one interest checking account and one noninterest checking
account at each of the largest banks and thrifts in each of 25 large markets to
find the latest trends on checking account and ATM fees. There were 247 interest
accounts and 226 noninterest accounts surveyed at 249 banks and thrifts in the
top 25 metropolitan areas.
Bankrate.com also looked at 22
checking accounts at 18 institutions offering online accounts and compared them
to their brick-and-mortar counterparts.