Average ATM Fees Hit Record High Of $4.52, Up 21% Over 5 Years

If you think you’re being bled dry more quickly by ATM fees, you’re probably not imagining things. A new survey shows that the cost of getting money from an out-of-network ATM has risen 21% over the last five years and the national average is now higher than $4.50 per transaction.

This is according to Bankrate.com’s annual checking account survey, which figured in the two fees most of us hit when getting cash from a non-bank ATM: The amount charged by your bank for daring to mess around with someone else’s machine (national average: $1.64/transaction), and the fee charged by the out-of-network ATM for being conveniently located (national average: $2.88/transaction).

The cities with the most expensive average ATM fees:
1. Atlanta $5.15
2. New York $5.03
3. Phoenix $4.88
4. Miami $4.84
5. Milwaukee $4.78

And those with the lowest average ATM Fees:

25. San Francisco $3.85
24. Cincinnati $3.86
23. Kansas City $4.01
22. Dallas $4.11
21. Seattle $4.21

Banks and ATM operators appear to be increasing their fees in response to the growing number of consumers that use credit/debit cards or mobile payment platforms for their purchases. The Wall Street Journal notes that some analysts calculate that debit card cash withdrawals are down 41% over the last ten years.

Bankrate suggests that, in addition to using your bank’s website or mobile app to identify any in-network ATMs in your vicinity, people in need of immediate cash make a small purchase at a drugstore chain like Walgreens that will give you at least some cash back if you pay with a debit card. Granted, many stores limit debit card cash back to only $20-40 over the purchase total, so it won’t help if you need to pay several hundred dollars to a moving company van ASAP.

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