Survey: ATM surcharges in Minneapolis are the priciest in the country


Minneapolis ATM surcharges are, on average, the highest in the country.

Bankrate's 2015 annual checking survey found people in Minneapolis were paying an average of $3.19 when using an ATM that isn't affiliated with their bank – 4 cents ahead of Milwaukee and Phoenix, who were tied for second at $3.15.

That's up 4 percent from last year, Bankrate says, noting that 10 years ago the average ATM surcharge was $1.54.

It's the 18th year of the survey, according to a press release from Bankrate. The average ATM surcharge according to the data is $2.88, the highest it has ever been.

Some of the data is available online, but Bankrate also provided more in-depth statistics to BringMeTheNews. (Click here for the ATM fees spreadsheet.)

Surcharges, fees

Bankrate took it a step further and looked not only at surcharges (the ATM message that says something like, "This machine charges an extra $2.50 for this transaction,") but also bank charges for out-of-network transactions.

Some institutions will charge a customer when they withdraw from or use an ATM that isn't connected with the bank. That can be on top of the surcharge, which is applied by the ATM operator.

When those are combined, Minnesotans are paying an average of $4.71 – tied for Houston with sixth overall.

Atlanta is tops in that category at $5.15. The national average is $4.52, the most expensive it has ever been.

Fewer 'sneaky' fees

Why are ATM charges going up?

The Huffington Post says law changes made it harder for banks to make money with hidden or "sneaky" charges elsewhere. So to compensate and make up for the loss, they're increasing fees elsewhere. Fortune, citing the Wall Street Journal, says the same thing.

Part of that is checking accounts – Bankrate found just 37 percent of banks offered a checking account with "no strings attached." The site does note however many waive the monthly fees if certain thresholds were met (so a minimum balance, or a certain amount of direct deposit a month).

Here's a look at the five highest and five lowest ATM fees, according to Bankrate's survey.

Of course, if you only go to ATMs that are with your bank, then you won't pay the surcharge or out-of-network costs.

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Twin Cities ATM fees lowest in US

Banks charge an average of about $2.20 in the Twin Cities to people who pull cash from an automated teller machine that is outside their own bank's network. That compares to the nationwide high in Denver of $2.80, MPR reports. Customers often get hit with yet another fee, charged by their own bank for using an out-of-network ATM. That average charge of $1.58 in the Twin Cities is about mid-way between the nationwide high and low for that fee.