Bank of America To Raise ATM Surcharge to $3

US PIRG says they’ve obtained legitimate documentation that says Bank of America will be raising their ATM surcharges for non-customers to $3 at most locations. The change will take place on July 31st.


Surcharges are the double-dipping fees imposed on non-customers and will be raised at BofA ATMs attached to their branches and in in-store locations (but not those in malls or airports). In Illinois (but not Chicago, where fees will not increase), New York, Nevada, New Mexico, and Massachusetts, they’ll wait a month until August 31st. Chicago must be a new or important market for them, I guess.

Yes, Chicago is both a new and important market for BoA as they take over LaSalle Bank and become Chicago’s largest bank.

US PIRG has some quotes from the paperwork they obtained:

In their talking points to “market presidents,” BofA flacks advise:

Bank of America may be an industry leader in raising the fee to $3 and most likely will draw attention from the press, state legislators, consumer advocates and Congress given the size of our network.


And in a set of FAQs, check out this corporate double-speak answer:

Does it cost any more for you to process transactions for non-customers? The bank continues to make significant investments in its ATM network and we continue to grow the network for the convenience of our customers.

If you’re not a customer of Bank of America, feel free to avoid using their ATMs.

Bank of America to increase ATM surcharge to $3 [US PIRG]


Edit Your Comment

  1. Anonymous says:

    Will online banks which offer surcharge refunds support this?

  2. evil_doer420 says:

    Thats highway robbery, especially for those of us who are poor and may only have $20 in the bank. I’ll avoid them like the plague.

  3. Black Bellamy says:


    BoA ATM customers should be happy. Among other things, they’re gaining access to world-class online banking and a coast-to-coast branch and ATM network.

    As to ATM fees: BofA is a monster — the good kind! Evidence shows that people love paying for our CEOs jewel-encrusted umbrella stands. Ask any informed person anywhere.

    So take that to the bank, you Communerists!

  4. Nemesis_Enforcer says:

    Ehh they can suck it…since I read the report about BofA giving accounts to Illegals I have totally avoided them and told all my friends to avoid it as well….BOOOOO

  5. Falconfire says:

    @Black Bellamy: /snicker good one…. wonder if anyone here is going to take your seriously missing the joke.

  6. AcidReign says:

        Frankly, I’m a little surprised at this announcement. The last time I used a BoA ATM was in San Francisco, back in 1992. I got dinged for $4, way back then! These days, I wouldn’t be terribly surprised by that fee, but it was a SHOCKER back then!

        One of the perks at the bank I use (Compass) is that they refund you for ATM fees you rack up at other bank’s terminals. However, I seldom get cash anymore. I think the last time was back in May, to buy some concert tickets. Cash is the only sane way to deal with Ticketmaster…

  7. Nemesis_Enforcer says:

    @AcidReign: Ahh I disagree there is no sane way to deal with Ticketmaster….

  8. Dan25 says:

    who cares? just don’t use their ATMs. I think this is only a problem for the people who assume credit union is the answer for everything.

  9. sleze69 says:

    Just make sure your bank refunds ATM fees and you should be just fine. F BoA!

  10. JustAGuy2 says:

    In other shocking news, Ferrari charges a lot for cars and handbags are marked up far past the cost of production.

    Bofa just raised their prices, so you have to decide: (a) go to another ATM, (b) decide the $3 is worth the convenience of using theirs, or (c) get an account with them, and pay nothing.

  11. SactoKev says:

    I do the vast majority of my banking with my credit union (which is wonderful), but have an auto funds transfer of petty cash to my BoA account, simply because of their massive number of ATMs.

    Aside from that, they are one of the most conniving businesses in existence.

  12. lore says:

    Hasn’t it always been $3? What was it before? (Goes to show how well I’ve avoided this fee in the past)

    Easy way to get around this is to go into a store, buy a stick of gum for 25 cents with your debit card and get cash back.

    In terms of B&M banks, I bank with Bank of America, Wells, and Washington Mutual, all for different reasons (checking, savings, mortgage, checking, etc). You have the freedom of choice, people, so take advantage!

  13. TeraGram says:


    Who cares? We should all care. BoA is claiming they are an industry leader, meaning they are hoping that all the other big banks follow suit.

    Greed is an infectious disease. Right now, they all feel nice and safe knowing that the feds are too busy licking their own behinds to give a crap towards consumer protection.

    The situation is insane.

    All we can do in the meantime is write/call our CongressCritters at state and federal levels, and hold onto our ATM cards.

  14. HeyThereKiller says:

    Thankfully in NYC there’s no need to search out a BoA ATM… I pass at least 8 or 9 Chase banks during my morning commute, and each of those have like… 5 or so ATMs

  15. morganlh85 says:

    That’s just out of hand. Most of the ATMs where I am charge $1.50, maybe $2.00. If I went to an ATM with a $3.00 charge you can bet I would just turn right around.

  16. JustAGuy2 says:


    Why would you write your Congressman? What exactly is Bank of America doing here that so offends you? They’re raising prices for an entirely optional service for people who aren’t even their customers. Where’s the grievous offense?

  17. Lula Mae Broadway says:

    I dumped BOFA two years ago for a credit union and couldn’t be happier. Changing on-line banking accounts etc. was a pain, but if you ever needed a reason to get this corporate monkey off your back, this is it.

    Make the leap!

  18. rmz says:

    @lore: I have to imagine that the stores hate it when you do that, though.

  19. Dan25 says:

    @TeraGram: or you can just not use their ATMs… or maybe open an account with them? I don’t think banks owe anything to the non-account holders than use their services. The account holders at BofA pay a monthly service fee to use their services. Why should non-account holders get all the benefits of larger banks without any of the fees associated with it? oh, and btw, i do not like bofa at all and i would never use their ATMs.

  20. Real Aler says:

    It’s borderline criminal that they get away with these ATM charges, but as it says at the top, “If you’re not a customer of Bank of America, feel free to avoid using their ATMs.” That’s the way a “free” economy works – walk to your own bank.

  21. lore says:

    @rmz: You’re probably right. I’ve never done the “stick of gum” strategy, but definitely have used this as a way to get around ATM fees (from BofA or any other bank).

    I worked in Honolulu for 4 weeks recently. They don’t have any Bank of Americas, so anytime my coworkers or I needed cash, we’d just walk into Walmart, buy a few things (snacks, toiletries, etc) and get the maximum cash back.

  22. enm4r says:


    1) Over have of major banks revenue is from fees. This is a tough year in banking, it makes sense that they’ll try to compensate with fees.

    2) If you don’t bank with them, they owe you nothing.

    3) BoA is actually a monster from an ATM footprint standpoint, I’m willing to bet most people wont even notice and will click right through the message like they normally do.

    3.1) Find an online bank/credit union that will refund you for fees and you’ll have the largest footprint possible…EVERY ATM.

    4) @Nemesis, “the nasty illegals” can get accounts at any major bank, due to homeland security which is supposedly making us safer, and not requiring SSNs but will accept other (in this case Mexican) forms of ID.

  23. enm4r says:

    damnit, have = half. I should stop posting on Consumerist during conference calls.

  24. lore says:

    You know, this ATM surcharge is somewhat like the premium we pay for gasoline at namebrand stations.

    We all know the small mom and pop gas station and convenience store that sells their gas for 20 to 30 cents less than their competition. However, there’s only one of them, and sometimes we have to drive an extra 10 minutes to get to them.

    Or, we could simply go to Chevron, Exxon, Shell, etc, and buy gas from them since they’re bound to be everywhere, but we pay a premium. And depending on the situation, we may gladly pay the premium.

    We have a choice in these matters – that’s why it’s a free market. We can choose which bank we want to patronize, and they can charge whatever the market allows. There is a cost to putting in ATMs everywhere that the average person visits (mall, corner of a busy street, etc) but if the value proposition is there, (offers us convenience, saves us a 10 minute drive, etc) we can be expected to pay for it. Or just bank with them like I do.

  25. acambras says:


    3) BoA is actually a monster from an ATM footprint standpoint, I’m willing to bet most people wont even notice and will click right through the message like they normally do.

    Sure they’re a monster — the good kind!

  26. kingdom2000 says:

    I don’t know why anyone would do business with Bank of America. You name a crappy bank business practice or charge and 9 times out of 10 it was Bank of America that invented it. Only those that like taking it up the rear should do business with that company.

  27. azntg says:

    Thanks for the heads up. It’s a moot point for me here in NYC, since there’s enough WaMu’s around to satisfy my rare ATM cash withdrawl needs. But I’ll definitely bring more cash up next time I drop by Boston, where it seems that the BoA is everywhere, even at college campuses. (the places I go to there apparently never heard of things called credit cards / debit cards)

  28. ThePlaz says:

    Reminds me of my bank, Commerce which just announced that they will pay the fee for using a other-bank ATM. More banks should takes cues from Commerce!

  29. Trai_Dep says:

    It’s not only sticking it to non-BofA consumers, but it’s also raping the non-evil credit unions out there, and pocketing the difference.

    Avoid BofA. Walking is good for you! :)

  30. SisterHavana says:

    Unfortunately, $3 has become a fairly normal ATM fee around here. (I am in the suburbs of Chicago) One of the ATMs in town where I do a lot of my withdrawals normally charges a $3 fee. However, that bank is on the STAR surcharge-free network, as is my credit union, and therefore I pay no fees to use that ATM. ‘Tis a lovely thing and I was so happy when my credit union joined that network and the Co-Op network.

  31. swalve says:

    The mom and pop gas station can sell gas cheaper because it’s crappy gas.

    Don’t like the surcharge? Don’t use their ATMs. Plan your cash usage a little better and get enough cash from your own bank. Convenience costs money.

  32. Anonymous says:

    @TeraGram: But how do we stop them?

  33. Anonymous says:

    @ThePlaz: A lot of online banks do now, but have minimum balance requirements. My question has been if those banks are willing to continuing doing so, going from $1.50 being the average in our area to $3 – $4 on BoA ATMS.