People paying more for their money as ATM fees reach record high

Photo: NBC News file

INDIANAPOLIS (WTHR) — If you're using an ATM out of your own banking network, expect to pay the big bucks before you even get your cash.

A recent study revealed the cost of average out-of-network withdrawal fees has reached a record high.

At $4.72, the average fee has increased 33 percent in the last decade. That cost is the total of two fees: a surcharge from the ATM's owner ($3.09) and a fee from your own bank or credit union ($1.63).

The highest ATM fees were in Houston, where customers paid an average of $5.58 to get their cash. Unsurprisingly, Bankrate found many people are avoiding those out-of-network ATMs at all costs.

By only going to in-network ATMs and taking advantage of getting cash back when shopping at grocery stores and pharmacies, it can be fairly easy to bypass the extra fees.

"I think what may be happening is that the owners and operators of the ATMs who are relying on the surcharge income to operate those ATMs may be seeing fewer customers," said Sarah Grotta with the Mercator Advisory Group. "And so on a per-transaction basis, they may be raising the fees to make up for the fact that fewer consumers are actually paying a surcharge."

Bankrate surveyed 10 banks in the country's 25 largest markets in July to compile the data. The survey also analyzed information about checking account fees. It found overdraft fees and monthly service fees on both interest and non-interest accounts are on the rise.