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Out-of-network ATM fees can make it pricey to withdraw money from your bank accounts. You may actually face multiple charges each time you make a transaction at such an ATM: The bank that owns the machine almost always imposes a surcharge, and your bank might also charge you for not using one of its ATMs, too.
While ATM fees vary among banks, the national average combined out-of-network ATM fee is $4.66, according to Bankrate’s 2022 checking account and ATM fee survey.
Where you live can have an impact on cost, with average ATM fees being higher in some cities than others. As part of its study, Bankrate identified average ATM fees charged in 25 large U.S. markets. Listed here are the cities where you can expect to pay the most and the least, on average, for using ATMs.
Cities with the highest ATM fees
The five cities listed below are where the highest average out-of-network ATM fees are charged, based on Bankrate’s research.
Average combined fees per out-of-network ATM visit: $5.38
Atlanta is the city where you can expect to pay the highest out-of-network ATM fees, based on Bankrate’s survey. The combined average total of $5.38 is made up of $2.05 imposed by one’s bank for using a non-network ATM and a $3.33 surcharge from the bank that owns the ATM.
Atlanta is a city that offers plenty of banks and credit unions to choose from, such as Bank of America, Chase Bank, Fifth Third Bank, First Citizens Bank, Navy Federal Credit Union, PNC Bank, Regions Bank, Synovus Bank, Wells Fargo and Wings Financial.
The city is also home to the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, one of the 12 regional banks that are part of the Federal Reserve system.
Average combined fees per out-of-network ATM visit: $5.29
Detroit is the major city where the second highest average ATM fees are imposed, according to Bankrate’s study. The total of $5.29 is made up of $1.91 charged by banks to their customers for using out-of-network ATMs, plus $3.38 in surcharges from ATM owners.
Average combined fees per out-of-network ATM visit: $5.24
Based on Bankrate’s research, those in the Phoenix area can expect to pay an average of $5.24 in out-of-network ATM fees, consisting of $1.83 in fees from one’s own bank and $3.41 in surcharges from the bank that operates the ATM.
Average combined fees per out-of-network ATM visit: $5.23
The average ATM fees in Cleveland aren’t far behind Phoenix, and the combined average of $5.23 consists of $1.81 in fees charged by your own bank and $3.42 imposed by the ATM’s owner.
Also located in the city is the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, one of the 12 regional banks that make up the Federal Reserve system.
Average combined fees per out-of-network ATM visit: $4.98
On average, combined non-network ATM fees you may be hit with in Pittsburgh total $4.98, made up of $1.75 in charges by your own bank and $3.23 in ATM owner surcharges.
Financial institutions with branches and ATMs in Pittsburgh include Brentwood Bank, Dollar Bank, Greater Pittsburgh Federal Credit Union, KeyBank, Northwest Bank and S&T Bank. PNC Bank is headquartered in Pittsburgh and maintains several branches in the area.
Other U.S. cities with high ATM fees
According to Bankrate’s data, you’ll often pay combined ATM fees on the higher end of the spectrum in these other major cities:
- Tampa: $4.97
- Houston: $4.92
- New York: $4.85
- Miami: $4.82
- Washington, D.C.: $4.68
Cities with the lowest ATM fees
When it comes to out-of-network ATM fees, there are several major cities where you’ll likely pay over a dollar less each time than the cities with the highest fees, Bankrate’s checking and ATM fee survey found.
Here are the three cities identified as having the lowest average combined fees:
1. Los Angeles
Average combined fees per out-of-network ATM visit: $4.21
While you’ll still pay upwards of $4, in Los Angeles you may pay significantly less than the average of $5.38 in Atlanta, where the highest average fees are assessed. The $4.21 combined average fee in L.A. consists of $1.15 charged by one’s own bank for using a non-network ATM as well as a $3.06 surcharge by the ATM’s owner.
Financial institutions with a presence in Los Angeles include Bank of America, Bank of the West, California Credit Union, First Citizens Bank, Wells Fargo and Zions Bank.
City National Bank and Manufacturers Bank are both headquartered in Los Angeles and maintain several branches there.
Average combined fees per out-of-network ATM visit: $4.23
The second lowest average combined fees can be found in Seattle, where an average total of $4.23 is composed of $1.35 in one’s own bank’s charges and $2.88 in ATM owner surcharges.
Banner Bank, Columbia State Bank and HomeStreet Bank are community banks in Seattle, each of which operates multiple branches. National banks with a presence in the city include Bank of America, Chase Bank and Wells Fargo.
Average combined fees per out-of-network ATM visit: $4.24
The average ATM fees in Minneapolis aren’t far behind those in Seattle, with the $4.24 combined average made up of $1.16 in fees assessed by one’s own bank and $3.08 imposed in surcharges by a bank that owns the ATM.
Banks that operate in Minneapolis include Bank of America, BMO Harris, MidWestOne Bank, Sunrise Banks and Wells Fargo.
Ways to avoid ATM fees
Big banks like Chase, Bank of America and Wells Fargo offer thousands of ATMs nationwide, so customers often have convenient, fee-free access to ATMs near them. While online-only banks usually do not own ATMs, they often belong to a large ATM network, such as MoneyPass or Allpoint, both of which offer customers thousands of fee-free ATMs throughout the U.S.
Those with accounts at smaller banks, such as community banks, might not have as many ATMs to choose from. No matter where you bank, here are some ways to avoid ATM fees if you can’t find an in-network ATM near you:
Get cash back from in-store purchases
Whether you’re at a supermarket or a big box store, you can often get cash back when making a purchase with your debit card at the register. Soon after swiping or inserting your card, an option will appear on the screen to receive cash back. No fee is charged for receiving cash back this way, yet the limit on how much you can withdraw is often lower than the limit imposed at ATMs.
Use peer-to-peer payment services
If the reason you’re looking to withdraw cash is to pay money to a friend or relative, consider using a peer-to-peer payment service instead such as Zelle, Venmo or CashApp. These are convenient ways of transferring money from your bank account to that of someone else.
Find a bank account that reimburses ATM fees
Various banks will reimburse some or all ATM fee surcharges you incur. Some will credit you for the charges at the end of each day, while others do so at the end of your statement cycle. Examples of banks or credit unions that reimburse ATM fees are Alliant Credit Union, Ally Bank and LendingClub.
ATM fees can add up quickly for those who frequently find themselves in need of cash without a nearby ATM in their bank’s network. Whether or not you live in a city where out-of-network ATM fees tend to be higher than average, the fees can be avoided entirely by sticking to in-network ATMs or finding alternative ways of receiving cash.