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How much do you pay in ATM fees?

By Allison Ross ·
Friday, January 24, 2014
Posted: 4 pm ET

atm-average-surchargeQuick: How much do you spend on ATM fees every year?

If you're like the average consumer, the number you have in your head right now is lower than the actual amount you're spending on these ATM fees, according to a recent report from Personetics.

When Personetics asked consumers to estimate how much they had paid in fees for using out-of-network ATMs, it found that consumers often guessed less than half the actual amount.

It also found that 30 percent of ATM withdrawals that customers were making were from out-of-network ATMs.

Those trips to out-of-network ATMs can really add up, especially since ATM fees are at an all-time high, according to Bankrate's 2013 Checking Survey.

Banks charge non-customers an average of $2.60 for the privilege to use their ATMs. Plus, customers' banks also may tack on charges for customers using those out-of-network ATMs; the average fee for that was $1.53, according to Bankrate's survey.

On average, that means that you could be spending $4.13 every time you use another bank's ATM. That may not seem like much until you think about how often you use an out-of-network ATM. Personetics found that consumers on average take out cash from an ATM every seven to 10 days.

The story here is about convenience. "When (consumers) need the cash, they simply find the closest ATM and take the money out," Personetics said in a statement, noting that 75 percent of the people in its research cited convenience as the reason they go to out-of-network ATMs.

Many can't even be bothered to try and find their bank's closest ATM. Personetics found that less than 50 percent of people who use their bank's digital channels have used their bank's ATM lookup service.

Have you ever looked at how much you spend on ATM fees? Have you ever used your bank's ATM location lookup offerings? Share your experiences and thoughts in the comments.

Follow me on Twitter: @allisonsross.

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January 25, 2014 at 9:46 am

One way to deal with the "fee" issue is to work with a bank that reimburses these fees, then it's a no-brainer as to when and where to use ATM machines...anywhere! Schwab bank offer this with their interest-bearing Investor checking account. I'm a fan!