ATM fees keep climbing, survey says

(AP Photo)

LOS ANGELES (AP) — The penalty for using an ATM that is not affiliated with your bank rose 5 percent over the past year.

The average fee for using an out-of-network ATM climbed to a new high of $4.35 per transaction, according to a survey released Monday by Bankrate.com. That figure includes $2.77 that banks charge non-customers and $1.58 that banks levy against their own customers for using an outside ATM.

Overdraft fees also surged, rising on average over the past 12 months to $32.74. That’s the 16th consecutive record high, the firm said.

Checking account fees have been increasing as lenders adjust to federal banking laws and regulations enacted after the 2008 financial crisis. Among the changes: limits on when banks can charge overdraft fees on ATM and debit card transactions and a reduction in the fees that banks charge merchants for each customer who uses credit or debit cards for their purchases.

Lenders have responded by hiking overdraft and ATM fees, as well as increasing how much money customers must maintain in the bank to avoid checking account fees.

“I expect fees to continue increasing in years to come, but at a modest pace consistent with what we saw this year, just as was the case prior to the onset of these regulations,” said Greg McBride, chief financial analyst at Bankrate.com.

Using another bank’s ATM will usually lead to two fees. One is charged by your lender; the other is charged by the owner of the ATM. That’s the fee that’s risen most consistently and at a faster rate, McBride said.

All told, the average fee for using an out-of-network ATM has vaulted 23 percent over the past five years. It has notched a new high for eight years in a row, according to Bankrate.

 

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