NEW YORK, Oct. 5, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- The average fee for using an out-of-network ATM rose four percent over the past year to a record $4.52 per transaction, according to Bankrate.com's (NYSE: RATE) 18th-annual checking survey. The fee has risen 21% over the past five years.
Atlanta is the priciest city to make an out-of-network transaction ($5.15) and San Francisco is the cheapest ($3.85) [all of these figures reflect both ATM fees combined: those charged by the ATM operator and those charged by the consumer's own financial institution].
The average overdraft fee also set a new record ($33.07) and is up nine percent since 2010. Milwaukee has the nation's highest average overdraft fee ($34.79) and San Francisco again has the lowest ($30.35).
37% of non-interest checking accounts are completely free, the lowest percentage since Bankrate.com began these annual surveys in 1998. The trend has been flat in recent years (38% of non-interest checking accounts were free to all customers in each of the past two years). Free checking peaked in 2009 (76%).
An additional 58% of non-interest checking accounts can become free if customers meet certain requirements (the most common is direct deposit). Those who aren't able to secure a fee waiver face an average monthly service charge of $5.86 (up 11% from last year).
"The most important thing for consumers to know is that all of these fees are completely avoidable," said Greg McBride, CFA, Bankrate.com's chief financial analyst. "Shop around for a bank or credit union that fits your lifestyle so that you can keep more of your hard-earned cash."
Bankrate surveyed a total of 10 banks and thrifts in each of 25 large U.S. markets. This included one interest and one non-interest account at 243 institutions that offer checking accounts. In total, 237 interest and 233 non-interest accounts were surveyed between July 9 and August 5, 2015.
About Bankrate, Inc.
Bankrate is a leading publisher, aggregator, and distributor of personal finance content on the Internet. Bankrate provides consumers with proprietary, fully researched, comprehensive, independent and objective personal finance editorial content across multiple vertical categories including mortgages, deposits, insurance, credit cards, and other categories, such as retirement, automobile loans, and taxes. The Bankrate network includes Bankrate.com, CreditCards.com, InsuranceQuotes.com and Caring.com, our flagship websites, and other owned and operated personal finance websites, including Interest.com, Bankaholic.com, Mortgage-calc.com, CreditCardGuide.com, CarInsuranceQuotes.com, Insweb.com, CreditCards.ca, and NetQuote.com. Bankrate aggregates rate information from over 4,800 institutions on more than 300 financial products. With coverage of over 600 local markets, Bankrate generates rate tables in all 50 U.S. states. Bankrate develops and provides web services to over 100 co-branded websites with online partners, including some of the most trusted and frequently visited personal finance sites on the Internet such as Yahoo!, CNBC, and Bloomberg. In addition, Bankrate licenses editorial content to over 500 newspapers on a daily basis including The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, and The Boston Globe.