These days, you can pretty much find automatic teller machines, or ATMs, anywhere you go. Businesses make money when people pay a fee to use ATMs in their location. In the U.S., these fees typically range between $2 and $5 and can be even more costly abroad.
If you’re looking for ways to avoid paying ATM fees, continue reading to find free, no-fee ATMs near you.
In-Network vs. Out-of-Network ATMs
Banks’ ATMs are either in-network or out-of-network. On average, you’ll pay up to $5 to use an out-of-network ATM. If you’re overseas, international ATM withdrawal or foreign transaction fees will cost you even more.
To avoid paying these extra fees when you want to withdraw your money, you’ll need to find ATMs that are within your financial institution’s network. In-network ATMs are usually free to use for banks’ customers.
Out-of-network ATMs can hit you with two fees. Your bank can charge you an out-of-network fee, and the ATM’s owner or bank could charge you another fee to use that machine. Try to use only ATMs within your banking system and save some money.
Nearly all banks have website and mobile app ATM locators, so finding a no-fee ATM location near you is easy to do.
Tips for Finding ATMs that Don’t Charge Fees
It’s easy to find free, in-network, no-fee ATMs whether you’re at home or on the go.
1. Choose an ATM at one of your bank’s locations.
If you bank with a brick-and-mortar institution, go to one of its physical locations to use the ATM. It’s wise to do business with a financial institution that has several nationwide branch locations.
2. Use your bank’s website or mobile app to find in-network ATM locations near you.
A little planning can go a long way in saving you from paying ATM surcharges at an out-of-network location. To have all of your bank’s in-network locations at your fingertips, be sure to download the bank’s app on your mobile device.
It’s prudent to check for these locations in advance so that you’ll know exactly where to go when you’re out and about, especially in an unfamiliar area.
3. Find out if your bank is part of a surcharge-free ATM network.
Some financial institutions have agreements with no-fee ATM networks in which customers can use these ATMs without incurring fees. You can find out if your bank participates in a surcharge-free ATM network by visiting or calling a branch office or searching the bank’s website or mobile app.
Here’s a list of some popular, surcharge-free ATM networks and the number of participating ATMs nationwide and worldwide.
Best Banks with No ATM Fees
Other Ways To Avoid Paying ATM Fees
1. Make purchases and get cash back.
When purchasing items at the supermarket, pet store, gas station or other retail stores, you can ask for free cash back before your debit card is charged. The extra amount is added to your total sale price at no additional charge.
Typically, most retailers will allow you to get between $20 and $100 cashback over your purchase price. Using this cash-back method will cost you nothing as opposed to paying extra fees to use an out-of-network ATM.
2. Become familiar with affiliate banks when you travel.
While abroad, check to see if there’s a bank affiliated with your U.S. bank. Before leaving for your trip, ask your financial institution to provide you with a list of surcharge-free, foreign affiliates at your travel destination. By doing this, you can avoid paying a foreign ATM fee as well as the surcharge, saving you sometimes upwards of $5.
3. Get a no-fee checking account.
Some banks offer premium checking accounts with no fees for ATM withdrawals no matter where you are. An example is Chase, which has two free checking account options for no-fee ATM withdrawals at non-Chase locations. These accounts are:
- Chase Premier Plus — allows four free, no-fee ATM withdrawals
- Chase Premier Platinum Checking — allows unlimited, free, no-fee ATM withdrawals
Be aware that these accounts may come with high monthly maintenance fees to take advantage of this perk. Be sure that you can meet the monthly requirements to waive the fee.
4. Find an online bank that will reimburse ATM surcharges.
Since online banks don’t have physical locations or ATMs, most of them will reimburse all ATM surcharge fees for their customers. You typically only need to have a basic checking account to be eligible for this ATM fee reimbursement benefit.
If you use the Cash App payment app, you can use your Cash App Cash Card and PIN to make ATM withdrawals for free at any ATM. But, there’s a catch. You must have at least $300 from your paycheck directly deposited into your Cash App account each month.
After you have successfully activated the free ATM withdrawal option on your account, you will get an additional 31 days of free ATM fee reimbursements.
You now are familiar with different ways of finding free, no-fee ATMs near you. To recap, follow these simple guidelines and stop paying surcharges and fees to withdraw your hard-earned money from ATMs wherever you are.
This information is accurate as of Dec. 13, 2021.