Out-of-network ATM fees have hit a record high
Put a pin in it.
Though out-of-network ATM fees are mostly avoidable, millions of Americans still pay these extra costs, which have now hit a record high. New research released Tuesday from financial site Bankrate.com finds that ATM fees are up 55% over the past decade, hitting a record high for the 11th year in a row at $4.69 per transaction this year.
You pay so much because when you use an out-of-network ATM, you pay a fee both to your bank for going outside of their network — that fee averages of $1.72, up 3% from a year prior — and a fee to the owner of the ATM. That fee is is $2.97, up from $2.90 a year prior.
“One of the catalysts for rising ATM fees is that the cost of maintaining and upgrading ATM networks,” says Greg McBride, the chief financial analyst for Bankrate — which banks may pass along to consumers.
How much you’ll pay in out-of-network fees in each city
New York $5.14
DC Metro $5.11
San Diego $4.77
Los Angeles $4.69
Kansas City, MO $4.64
St. Louis $4.41
San Francisco $4.23
While it’s hard to say exactly why Pittsburgh’s fees are the highest, McBride says that its residents pay $2.04 from their own bank in fees (the second highest of the cities measured) and $3.15 from the other ATMs (the fourth highest measured) — a combined total that puts it at the top of the list.
Whatever is causing the rise in fees, one thing is clear: They are big business for banks. Chase, Bank of America and Wells Fargo alone raked in $1.1 billion in ATM fees in 2016. And a survey released last year from BI Intelligence found that about one in three young people say they use ATMs outside of their bank’s network, which means they almost certainly paid a fee to do so.
The best way to avoid these fees is simply to avoid going to an ATM that isn’t in your banks’ network, and yet so many people still get hit with these fees. Erika Martinez, a psychologist at Envision Wellness www.envisionwellness.co notes that this is “likely a mash up of poor planning, desensitization of cost, immediate gratification, and entitlement.”
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