Bankrate.com survey shows ATM and overdraft fees are on the rise

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iStock/Thinkstock

(NEW YORK) — Overdraft and ATM fees are getting more expensive, according to a study from Bankrate.com that collected data from July 2017 to August 2017.

Bankrate found ATM fees have hit record highs for 11 consecutive years, with the average cost of an out-of-network ATM withdrawal being $4.69 in 2017 (up 2.6 percent from 2016).

Chief Financial Analyst for Bankrate.com Greg McBride says people are less frequently making withdrawals from ATMs, contributing to boosting prices.

ATM fees are not the only charges consumers are confronting according to the study. Bankrate.com found overdraft fees, when a person withdraws more money from their account than the account holds, hit a new high of $33.38, up $0.34 from last year.

However, there are ways to avoid both of these fees. McBride tells ABC News when it comes to overdraft fees, monitoring available balance more frequently and planning in advance which ATM to make a withdrawal are precautionary steps that make it less likely that people will incur a charge.

If a person does incur an overdraft fee, McBride says there ways to get around getting charged in full. The bank could charge less if it is a client’s first offense, and they may not charge a full fee if it is only a few dollars over their available balance.

Another challenge people run in to is that they may move to an area without an available ATM machine from their bank in close proximity. In that case, McBride says customers can either plan ahead, or if they are a part of a smaller community bank, see if they are part of an ATM nationwide alliance that would allow them to withdraw from other ATMs without a fee.

The Bankrate survey group consisted of a total of 10 banks and thrifts in each of 25 large U.S. markets; 1 interest and 1 non-interest account, as well as their associated ATM and debit card fee policies were surveyed from 247 institutions offering checking accounts; 241 interest and 240 non-interest accounts were surveyed between July 27 – August 18, 2017.

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