You're clear across the country or just across town, you need cash and you're nowhere near one of your bank's ATMs. So, you hit the first cash machine you find -- and can't believe how much it wants to charge you for the transaction.
Believe it. ATM fees have hit another record high.
ATM fees on a losing streak for consumers
The expense of making an ATM withdrawal outside of your bank's network keeps going up. For the 9th consecutive year, the average cost of an out-of-network ATM withdrawal has reached an all-time high, according to a Bankrate survey.
And what many consumers don't realize is that there's not just 1, but 2 fees involved. Your bank dings you for going outside its network borders, and then you're hit with another fee charged by the ATM owner. Together, these fees can really sting, now totaling an average $4.52. That means if you make a $20 "fast cash" withdrawal, you'll pay almost 23% in fees.
Don't settle for high fees
While the fees continue to rise, avoiding them is still easily done. Plan ahead for where and when you'll make your ATM withdrawals so you're doing it on your bank's turf, not another's. Use your banking app to locate the closest fee-free ATM. If you're really in a pinch for cash, you can get cash back by using your debit card for a small purchase at the nearest supermarket or pharmacy.
Incurring high ATM fees once isn't going to break you, but repeatedly incurring these charges just might.