Bank ATM Fees: How Much Do Banks Charge and How Can I Avoid Them?

Bank ATM Fees: How Much Do Banks Charge and How Can I Avoid Them?

Bank ATM fees can vary from as low as $2.50 per transaction to as high as $5 or more, depending on whether the ATM you use is out-of-network or even international. When you use an ATM that isn't operated by your own bank to make withdrawals, deposits or even simple balance inquiries, you can run into a bundle of extra fees. Sometimes these fees are charged by both your bank and by the company that operates the ATM you use.

  • The ATM operator's fee: When using an ATM that isn't part of your bank's network of machines, the machine usually notifies you about a fee charged by the bank or company that operates the ATM. Banks charge non-customers $1.50 to $3.50 at their ATMs, but non-bank ATM operators often charge more, up to $10 per transaction. Casinos in Las Vegas, for instance, are notorious for setting high fees on ATM cash withdrawals.
  • Your bank's non-network fee: Your own bank may also charge you a "non-network" ATM fee for using an ATM operated by another bank or institution. These charges will typically cost between $2.00 and $3.50, depending on your bank and the tier of service you're enrolled in. Note that you won't be told about such fees at any time during your ATM transaction.
  • International transaction fee: For international transactions you usually pay higher fees on cash withdrawals. These fees combine a flat charge of around $2.00 to $7.00 with a conversion rate that is calculated as a percentage of the amount withdrawn, typically 3 percent.

ATM Fees By Bank

The following are the standard ATM withdrawal fees charged by each bank. Non-network ATM fees apply to domestic transactions at any machine that doesn't belong to your bank.

Non-Network ATM Fee
International ATM Fee
ATM Operator Fee
Bank of America$2.50$5.00 and 3%$3.00
BB&T$2.50$5.00 and 3%$2.50
BBVA Compass$2.50$2.50 and 3%-
BMO Harris$2.50$2.50 and 3%$2.50
Capital One$2.00$2.00 and 3%$3.00
Chase$2.50$5.00 and 3%$3.00
Citibank$2.50$2.50 and 3%$3.00
Citizens Bank$3.00$3.00 and 3%$3.00
Comerica Bank$2.50$5.00 and 3%$3.00
Fifth Third Bank$2.75$5.00 and 3%$1.50–$3.50
HSBC Bank$2.50$2.50 and 3%-
Keybank$2.50$5.00 and 1%$2.50

While all of the 22 banks we examined offer free use of their own ATMs, all of them charge customers for transactions at other companies' machines, which are considered non-network ATMs. Most banks will waive the non-network ATM fee for customers who keep large balances in higher-tier checking or savings accounts. Bank of America is one of the few banks that don’t offer this ATM fee waiver on any account, but the bank stressed that it may offer a refund on a case-by-case basis depending on your account history.

To its credit, Bank of America is a part of the Global ATM Alliance, which directs its customers to use specific ATMs when travelling abroad. For example, when Bank of America customers withdraw British pounds from Barclays Bank ATMs, they won’t have to pay either bank for the transaction, although a 3 percent fee still applies to cover the currency exchange.

How to Avoid High ATM Fees

If you're paying too much in ATM fees, you have several immediate ways of reducing your costs. These methods each involve planning ahead and thinking about your ATM habits.

  • Use your bank's app to find branches and free ATMs near you
  • Choose the cash-back option when paying at grocery stores and other merchants
  • Withdraw cash less frequently but in greater amounts

You can stick to using free ATMs by keeping track of where your bank operates ATMs and branches. The same goes for knowing which local stores offer the cash-back option. Withdrawing larger amounts of money will reduce the number of ATM withdrawals you make, but carrying more cash comes with greater risk of loss. If these practices seem impractical or unsuitable for you, you can also avoid ATM fees by switching banks.

Find Free Checking Accounts With No ATM Fees

Several banks offer free checking accounts with no non-network ATM fees at all, regardless of which ATMs you decide to use. A few banks take this policy even further by offering rebates on any ATM fees you pay to other companies. Here are a few of the best examples:

Ally Bank: Ally is a major online-only bank, which means that it doesn't operate any physical branches of its own. However, this bank offers free nationwide ATM access through a partnership with Allpoint, a company with over 55,000 ATMs in the United States. In addition, Ally account holders pay no non-network ATM fees and receive up to $10.00 in reimbursement each month for any ATM operator fees they pay to other companies.

Aspiration: The Aspiration Summit Account is an online checking option that offers no-fee access to any ATM in the world. In addition to offering free access to all ATMs in the SUM network, the company reimburses all ATM fees you pay to other banks or operators on a monthly basis. This account also costs no monthly fee, making it a fairly cost-effective option.

Capital One 360: Capital One does charge some ATM fees—but anyone with the Capital One 360 Checking Account gets a free pass on those costs. While its status as an online checking account means that Capital One 360 Checking offers limited brick-and-mortar service, you won't need to pay any monthly fee or non-network ATM fees. However, Capital One won't reimburse you for any operator fees charged by other companies when you use their ATMs. Like Ally, Capital One is a partner in the Allpoint ATM network.

Schwab Bank: Another online option, the Schwab Bank High Yield Investor Checking Account offers unlimited rebates for all ATM fees, worldwide. This checking account has no monthly fee or minimum balance, but you will be required to open a Schwab One brokerage account—also fee-free. Schwab is a good fit if you're looking for a simple investment option in addition to eliminating your ATM costs.

Upgrade to a High-Yield Checking Account

One way to reduce domestic ATM fees is to upgrade your standard checking account to a high-yield account. Certain banks may waive their non-network ATM fees or reimburse you for operator fees charged by other ATM owners. However, high-yield accounts often come with monthly service charges that can't be avoided unless you meet a high minimum account balance. Here's how upgrading to high-yield checking affects your ATM costs at some major banks:

Chase Bank: Chase Premier Plus Checking refunds account holders four times per statement period, while its Premier Platinum Checking account provides unlimited free access to non-Chase ATMs. The Premier Plus account comes with a $25 monthly charge unless you have an average daily balance of at least $15,000 spanning connected accounts or have an automatic payments linked to a Chase mortgage. The Platinum level account costs $35 month unless you have $75,000 or more in qualifying accounts.

Citibank: has the benefit of partnering with 7-Eleven and free ATM-finder MoneyPass to outfit its customers with 34,000 ATMs in the country. Plus, Citigold cardholders have the bank’s fee for using unaffiliated ATMs waived altogether. Citigold members need to maintain $50,000+ in their Citibank accounts or $100,000 in accounts including investment portfolio.

Citizens Bank: higher-level checking accounts like the Citizens Bank Platinum and Platinum Plus accounts let you waive ATM fees up to four times per month. However, you'll need at least $25,000 in order to avoid the $25.00 monthly fees on these premium accounts.

Fifth Third Bank: the Preferred Checking account waives Fifth Third's non-network charges as well as other banks' operator fees, which are "rebated back to you on the same day—up to 10 times per month." There is a $25.00 monthly service charge for this account unless there is at least $100,000 across your deposit and investment accounts.

KeyBank: the Key Privilege Select Checking Account covers an unlimited number of non-KeyBank ATM charges, while two lower-tier accounts reimburse you for $6 per month for the same costs. The Privilege account has a $50.00 monthly fee, which can be avoided by keeping your total balances equal to or over $100,000.

PNC Bank: Virtual Wallet with Performance Select waives all PNC fees and reimburses an unlimited amount of the fees charged by other banks. The standard Virtual Wallet account may have similar benefits depending on where you live. There is no monthly service fee for PNC Performance Select if your combined average monthly balance reaches $5,000. Otherwise, you’ll be billed $25.00 each statement cycle.

Consider Brokerage Accounts

A number of brokerage services also issue bank cards that allow you to access cash at ATMs. Companies like E*Trade, Charles Schwab and Fidelity—our top commission-free ETF brokers online—generally do not have brick-and-mortar branches but instead will refund the fees associated with using an unaffiliated ATM for cash withdrawals. Charles Schwab will even refund all fees for international transactions while E*Trade and Fidelity charge only a 1 percent fee.