Banking & Finance

ATM Fees Set Record Again, Up 55% in Past Decade; Overdraft Fees Climb Too

John Harrington

Banking consumers had to dig deeper into their pocket again last year, as ATM fees climbed to a record high for the 11th consecutive year, according to the latest checking study.

The average total cost of an out-of-network ATM withdrawal is now $4.69, an increase of 2.6% from $4.57 last year. ATM fees soared 55% over the past decade, according to Bankrate, which has surveyed non-interest and interest accounts for 20 years.

Consumers usually get stuck with two different fees when they use an out-of-network ATM: the surcharge assessed by the ATM owner on a non-customer and the fee charged by the account-holder’s own bank for using another bank’s ATM.

The average ATM surcharge reached a record for the 13th straight year, rising to $2.97 from $2.90 last year. The average fee charged by a consumer’s own bank for going outside the ATM network increased 3% to $1.72, also a new high, according to Bankrate.

Consumers are dealing with other elevated fees related to bank transactions. After seeing a slight dip in 2016, the average overdraft fee has bounced back to a new high of $33.38, up from $33.04 last year. The number of banks that increased their fee outnumbered those who lowered it by seven to one.

Consumers in Pittsburgh are faced with the highest average out-of-network ATM fee ($5.19) of all the top 25 major metro areas, while those in Dallas have the lowest ($4.07). Patrons in Philadelphia are saddled with the highest average overdraft fee ($35.30), compared with San Francisco whose overdraft fees are the most lenient ($31.44 on average).

The survey group consisted of a total of 10 banks and thrifts in each of 25 large U.S. markets; one interest and one non-interest account, as well as their associated ATM and debit card fee policies were surveyed from 247 institutions offering checking accounts; 241 interest and 240 non-interest accounts were surveyed between July 27 and August 18, 2017.

Highest Average ATM Fee by Metro Area*

1. Pittsburgh $5.19
2. New York $5.14
3. Washington, D.C. $5.11
3. Cleveland $5.11
5. Atlanta $5.05


Lowest Average ATM Fee by Metro Area*

21. Cincinnati $4.30
22. Seattle $4.29
23. San Francisco $4.23
24. Milwaukee $4.19
25. Dallas $4.07

*Reflects both ATM fees combined (those charged by the ATM operator and those charged by the consumer’s own financial institution).


Highest Average Overdraft Fee by Metro

1. Philadelphia $35.30
2. Baltimore $35.25
3. Miami $34.68
4. New York $34.63
5. San Diego $34.22


Lowest Average Overdraft Fee by Metro

21. Seattle $32.20
22. St. Louis $31.85
23. Detroit $31.80
24. Boston $31.79
25. San Francisco $31.44