Drawing cash from an ATM is beginning to feel like a ritual from a bygone era. Like buying a record on vinyl, it’s a once-universal experience for which dedicated fans are now paying a premium.
This year marks the 11th consecutive annual increase in bank ATM fees for customers using out-of-network machines, according to a new Bankrate.com report. Over the past decade, such fees have risen 55 percent. The average cost of such a transaction is now over $4.50.
ATM fees aren’t rising due to overwhelming demand. In fact, it’s the opposite. “It keeps getting easier to avoid the fees, and people are transitioning away from cash,” said Greg McBride, Bankrate.com’s chief financial analyst. “With fewer people making out-of-network ATM withdrawals, the cost of maintaining that network is being spread over fewer transactions.”
The report looked at the 10 biggest banks in the top 25 major metro areas to find out where average ATM fee surcharges are the steepest and where they are … slightly less steep. Pittsburgh experienced the highest average fees, with customers paying $5.19 when Bankrate.com combined the fees charged by the ATM operator with fees from the consumer’s own financial institution. The lowest average fees were found in Dallas, at $4.07.