What it is What you pay to use an ATM at another bank. Your bank may charge you for going out of its network (typically $1.25), and the ATM owner likely slaps on a surcharge, too - $1.64 on average vs. $1.08 in 1998, according to Bankrate.com.
What's so bad That's about a 50% rise. Plus, 98% of banks collect surcharges. The American Bankers Association contends that ATM fees make it possible to put an ATM on every corner. Consumer advocates see an easy source of revenue - and a way for large banks with the most ATMs to hoard customers. While your bank may not charge you for going out of network, you often need a large balance to get the break.
Ouch! Fifth Third Bank charges non-customers $2.50 at its ATMs, the highest fee in Bankrate.com's latest checking survey.
What to do! If your bank's ATM is out of reach, ask for cash back when you make a debit-card purchase; it generally costs nothing.