We’ve previously written about the many fees banks and credit unions charge customers including overdraft fees, NSF fees and a host of other fees that can quickly add up to significant amounts. This article is going to shed some light on ATM Fees. While most banks and even some large credit unions have thousands of ATM locations across the United States (which is a common characteristic they like to tout in their marketing) depending on who provides your checking account you might still have to pay ATM fees when you stray out of the network. In fact, based on information we pulled together from regulatory filings, we found that three of the largest U.S. Banks combined earned almost $1 billion from ATM fees in 2021 alone!


Why Should You Care About ATM Fees

Consumers need to prioritize minimizing the fees they pay for their checking and savings accounts; this is a viewpoint that we strongly believe. We do not believe it makes sense to pay a lot of money for just accessing and using your money. To illustrate this point: most banks will charge a flat fee of $2.50 for a withdrawal at an ATM that is not in their network. At the same time, the ATM owner will most likely also charge you $2.50 since you’re not a banking customer of theirs. Therefore, for a withdrawal of $100 you could get charged $5.00 in ATM Fees which amounts to 5% of the withdrawal amount. This is an effective 5% tax for accessing your money! Further, the most generous savings account we’ve found on the market today pays a rate of interest of just 0.50%. Consumers should be highly sensitive to ATM fees, they are expensive and over the course of a year can really add up.

The 4 Types of ATM Fees

The major banks and credit unions no longer charge their customers any fees for using their own ATMs (known as in-network ATMs). Therefore, in an ideal world, a consumer that needs to withdraw cash will stick to using their bank or credit union’s ATMs 100% of the time. Typically banks and credit unions will charge you an ATM fee in one of four scenarios:

  • Out of Network ATM Withdrawal Fee – this fee is assessed when you withdraw cash from an ATM that isn’t your bank’s ATM. Your bank will charge you a fee which is typically $2.50 per withdrawal transaction.
  • Out of Network Activity Fee (other than Withdrawal) – this fee is assessed when you perform other actions at an ATM that isn’t your bank’s ATM. This includes depositing funds, transfer funds between accounts and doing a balance inquiry. Most of the time consumers perform balance inquiries to understand their current balance vs. available balance, which is an important distinction that’s important to understand. For each one of these your bank will charge you a fee, which is typically $2.50 per instance. That’s right, you could get charged $2.50 just for finding out your account balance!
  • Network Operator Surcharge Fee – this fee is assessed when you withdraw cash from an ATM that isn’t your bank’s ATM by the bank or financial institution that owns the ATM machine. These institutions are charging you for using their machine to access your cash. This fee is usually $2.50 or more, and you can also incur the fee for performing a balance inquiry and making deposits.
  • Out of Network International Withdrawal Fee – this fee is charged for withdrawing cash from an ATM that is located outside of the United States and its territories. This fee is usually $5.00 and also includes an additional charge if you withdraw currency other than U.S. Dollars. This additional charge is typically 3% of the withdrawn amount. So for example if you withdraw 100 United Kingdom pounds at another bank’s ATM while you’re in London, your bank will convert that to U.S. Dollars which is $125 as of this writing, and charge you 3% of that amount, so $3.75 – this is in addition to the $5.00 fee.

ATM Fees Charged by The Major Banks

Below is a summary of the ATM fees charged by major banks for out of network domestic and international withdrawals. As a reminder this only captures the fees your bank might charge and does not include the fees the owner of the ATM might charge.


Not surprisingly, credit unions charge lower ATM fees than banks and the fees tend to be between $1.00 and $2.00 per transaction. There are also indications in the market that ATM fees could be increasing over time. Both Chase Bank and Fifth Third Bank will be increasing their out of network ATM withdrawal fee for domestic withdrawals to $3.00 in June 2022.

5 Checking Accounts with Excellent ATM Fee Rebates

The most straight forward way to avoid paying ATM fees is to choose banks that have massive ATM networks such that you’ll never have to use an out of network ATM. Another way to avoid ATM fees is by choosing bank accounts that have great ATM rebate benefits. You should ideally want an account that doesn’t require the maintenance of a significant minimum balance since the consequence of failing to maintain the balance would be having to make monthly maintenance fee payments. These are 5 checking accounts that have no monthly maintenance fees but offer excellent ATM fee rebates:

  • CIBC – myChoice Plus Checking Account

    • Account holders receive up to $25 of ATM charges refunded per statement cycle.
    • This account also has no monthly fee and no minimum balance requirement.
  • Ally Bank – Interest Checking Account

    • Account holders receive up to $10 for domestic ATM charges incurred per cycle.
    • This account has no monthly fee and no minimum balance requirement.
  • First National Bank of Omaha – Free Checking

    • Account holders will not incur any fees from the bank for using out of network ATMs.
    • This account has no monthly fee and no minimum balance requirement.
  • Charles Schwab Bank – High Yield Checking

    • Account holders will not incur any fees from the bank for using out of network ATMs. In addition, the bank provides unlimited rebates of any charges account holders incur from other banks and network ATM operators. This is one of the best ATM rebate offerings available in the United States today.
    • This account has no monthly fee and no minimum balance requirement
  • Capital One – 360 Checking

    • Capital One does not charge account holders for using an out of network ATM to withdraw cash or for any other activity.
    • This account has no monthly fee and no minimum balance to maintain the account.

Final Thoughts on ATM Fees

In addition to the approaches discussed above, we’d recommend consumers take advantage of mobile payment options such as Venmo, Apple Pay, Cash App and Zelle. Each of these are linked to your bank account or credit cards and have growing acceptance by merchants across the United States. Between choosing banks with vast ATM networks, selecting bank accounts with ATM rebates and utilizing mobile applications, you won’t have to pay an ATM fee ever again!