On average, it now will cost you $4.64 to walk up to an out-of-network ATM and withdraw money, according to Bankrate’s latest annual survey of ATM fees.
That is down 8 cents from 2019 and the lowest it’s been since 2016. But it’s still $4.64 you didn’t have to pay.
You can always avoid ATM fees by paying with a credit card or asking for cash at the register when buying groceries with a debit card, for example. But these days, there’s a better way: Switch banks.
Multiple institutions like those listed below will waive or refund customers for out-of-network ATM fees.
Understanding ATM fees
To find the best ATM-fee-free bank for you, it helps to understand which types of ATM fees you’re trying to avoid.
There are two main types of fees that you might incur by using an out-of-network ATM:
- A fee charged by your own bank
- A fee charged by the institution that owns the ATM
Some banks waive their own fee but don’t refund customers for third-party fees. So, you must mind the fine print to find a bank that also refunds ATM fees charged by other institutions.
Banks that waive or refund ATM fees
The following banks offer at least one checking account that doesn’t charge customers for using out-of-network ATMs and will reimburse customers for some or all ATM fees charged by the owners of out-of-network ATMs:
- Ally Bank (online bank)
- Aspiration (online bank)
- Axos Bank (online bank)
- Charles Schwab Bank (online bank)
- First Republic Bank (brick-and-mortar chain with locations in some states)
- Century Bank (brick-and-mortar chain based in Massachusetts)
Just note that these are examples, not an exhaustive list. So, before you switch to an ATM-fee-free bank, do a little homework to find out what other options are out there.
You should also look into other account features that are important to you, not just ATM fees. For example, if you want a checking account that not only is ATM-fee-free but also pays interest, use a free online resource like Money Talks News’ account search tool to find it.