As ATM Fees Set New Record, Credit Unions Are a Better Choice than Ever

ATM fees hit a record high for the 11th year in a row, according to the latest Bankrate.com checking study. It’s a good thing that credit unions still offer some of the lowest fees.

The average total cost of an out-of-network ATM withdrawal is now $4.69, up 2.6 percent from $4.57 last year. In fact, ATM fees are up 55% over the past decade.

Consumers are usually saddled with two different fees when using an out-of-network ATM: the surcharge assessed by the ATM owner on a noncustomer and the fee charged by the accountholder’s own bank for using another bank’s ATM.

The average ATM surcharge hit a new record for the 13th year in a row, rising to $2.97 from $2.90 last year.

The average fee charged by a consumer’s own bank for going outside the ATM network increased 3.0 percent to $1.72, also a new high.

Credit Unions Still Offer Lower Fees than Banks

Another recent Bankrate investigation found that credit unions offer some of the fairest deals around, with fewer “gotchas” and lower fees overall.

In fact, out-of-network ATM fees for credit union members averaged just $1.50.

And lest you think that CU members are more likely to be “out-of-network” than mega-bank customers are, think again: most CUs belong to nationwide ATM cooperatives.

While your credit union may have fewer ATMs than local banks do, you’ll probably have fee-free access to thousands of ATMs owned by other credit unions across the country.

This is just another example of how credit unions offer the best deals.

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