In this year's Checking Survey, ATM surcharges hit an all-time high for the seventh consecutive time. Last year, the average charge was $2.33. This year, it's $2.40. That's an increase of 7 cents, or about 3 percent.
"The ATM surcharge is almost universal, and it's been that way for years," says McBride. "So the fee increasing every year is a function of somebody planting their flag and moving their fee up to that next threshold."
The most common ATM fee in our survey was $3.
Tip: If you have a smartphone, such as an iPhone or a BlackBerry, try pulling up a banking application before you use another bank's ATM. Many bank smartphone apps can use your phone's GPS functionality to locate in-network ATMs near you. Walking or driving a few blocks may save you the fee charged by the other bank's ATM and the out-of-network fee your own bank will charge, easily amounting to $5 or more.