How can I find banks with the lowest non-customer ATM fees?
October 24, 2012 3:11 PM   Subscribe

Is there a way to find a list of what banks in a given area (for example, search by ZIP code or address) charge non-customers to use their ATMs?

Due to a series of personal moves, the closest branch of my bank is now an hour and a half from my house. For reasons I won't get into here, switching banks isn't an option for me at this time.

This is fine, since I do most of my banking online. When this presents a problem is when I want to deposit a check (my bank currently is behind the times and does not offer scan-to-deposit) or when I want to take money out of an ATM.

I rarely need to use an ATM. However, when I do, I would like to minimize the fees I am charged.

My bank charges $2.00 for using an ATM that isn't theirs. I can't change that. There was a bank near my house that charges a $3.00 fee to non-customers. Due to some fluke in the way that bank uses the global ATM networks, my bank never used to charge me the $2.00 fee when I used that particular bank's ATMs. Unfortunately, they have now caught on so instead of $3 I get charged $5 to get my own money.

What I would like to know is how I can comparison shop on the fees that other banks charge non-customers to use their ATMs. Obviously, if possible, I'd rather go to an ATM owned by Bank X if they charge a $1.00 fee as opposed to one owned by Bank Y if they charge a $3.00 fee.

Is there any convenient website where I can perform such a search? I'd rather not call every bank in my area and ask what they charge non-customers to use their ATMs.
posted by tckma to Work & Money (7 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
This is not exactly a lookup table, but I did find a surcharge-free ATM in my current town of residence.
posted by tckma at 3:38 PM on October 24, 2012

The State Employees Credit Union here has no-fee ATMs, under the name "cashpoints". Maybe something like that exists in your state?
posted by thelonius at 4:11 PM on October 24, 2012

If I am not near my bank's ATM, I usually go to a drugstore like Walgreens, purchase a small item like a soda or gum, then get cash back. There are limits this way, but I don't have to spend money on fees.
posted by Night_owl at 4:46 PM on October 24, 2012 [1 favorite]

I am in the same situation. Taking Night_Owl one step further, I try to plan out my cash needs then coordinate it with a grocery or CVS trip. I like everything to go through my credit cards, but I'll pick one small item and run it debit for cash back. If pressed, I'll by some stable (toothpaste, etc) that I know I'll need eventually.
posted by keasby at 5:15 PM on October 24, 2012 [1 favorite]

Credit unions don't usually charge fees. I don't think USAA Bank charges either. In general, credit unions and online-only banks are your best bet for no-fee ATM usage.

The alternative is to use a major bank like Wells Fargo, Citi, Chase, etc. They have so many branches that you would really have to live in the middle of nowhere to make ATM use inconvenient.
posted by twblalock at 6:42 PM on October 24, 2012

Maybe switch to a different online bank? ING Direct is pretty good, offers scan-to-deposit for checks, and has a network of free ATMs. If there is one near you, it might make sense to swtich.
posted by danceswithlight at 8:01 PM on October 24, 2012

I have a checking account with Schwab. Any ATM fees are reimbursed. It's not my main checking account, but I use it so I don't have to care what ATM I use.
posted by ShooBoo at 8:14 PM on October 24, 2012

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