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Average Bank ATM Fee Rises to New High of $4.52

In 2015, ATM fees increased by 4% to $2.88 per transaction for consumers who use machines at outside their own network. Consumers’ own banks also tack on an average $1.64 for using another banks’ ATMs. That means non-customers now pay an average of $4.52 for using an out-of-network ATM, up 4% compared with 2014 fees, and the ninth consecutive annual rise in the total transaction fee.

Over the past five years the fee for using an out-of-network ATM has risen 21% according to Bankrate.com Inc. (NYSE: RATE). And if that’s not enough, checking account overdraft fees are at a record high for the 17th consecutive year at $33.07 per bounced check and just 37% of non-interest bearing checking accounts are now free, down from 75% from six years ago.

The five cities with the highest combine ATM fees are Atlanta ($5.15), New York ($5.03), Phoenix ($4.88), Miami ($4.84), and Milwaukee ($4.78). ATM fees are lowest in San Francisco ($3.85), Cincinnati ($3.86), Kansas City ($4.01), Dallas ($4.11), and Seattle ($4.21).

The five cities with the highest average overdraft fees are Milwaukee ($34.79), Atlanta ($34.57), Baltimore ($34.55), Denver ($34.50), and Phoenix ($34.35). The five cities with the lowest average overdraft fees are San Francisco ($30.35), Cincinnati ($30.44), Detroit ($30.80), Los Angeles ($31.88), and Kansas City tied with San Diego ($32.00).

“The most important thing for consumers to know is that all of these fees are completely avoidable,” said Greg McBride, CFA, Bankrate.com’s chief financial analyst. “Shop around for a bank or credit union that fits your lifestyle so that you can keep more of your hard-earned cash.”

According to a study by SNL Financial, the 5 largest banks in the country made $283 million off ATM fees in the 2nd quarter of 2015 alone.

By Paul Ausick