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Tired of ATM fees?

October 8, 2018

Internet that crawls at a snail’s pace. Finding a parking spot downtown. People answering their cell phones during a movie. No one started a new pot of coffee AND YOU NEED COFFEE RIGHT NOW!

Frustrations come in many forms. And most of the time, these annoyances are easy to get over.

But there’s one frustration that is a little more serious, and a lot more infuriating: ATM fees.

If that term just made your eyebrows furrow, you’re not alone. ATM fees are one of the most universally loathed fees of modern times.

And why shouldn’t they be? Think about it: When you pay an ATM fee, you’re paying money for the privilege to access your own money – money that you’ve already deposited into your own bank account.

In 2018, the average ATM fee has reached $4.64, according to a report from MoneyRates.com. [1] That means a night out just got more expensive.

How can you avoid ATM fees?

That $4.64 average for an ATM fee might include a fee from your own bank, or from an ATM network that’s not included in your bank’s service, or a fee from the owner and/or operator of the ATM.

It depends on your bank. Furthermore, it depends on what a bank might mean when they offer “free checking.” Often, there are caveats that come with “free checking.” As in, free checking with no ATM fees, but you have to keep a minimum balance. Free checking with no ATM fees, but you have to use ATMs operated by the bank. Free checking with no ATM fees, but you have to use an ATM in the bank’s network.

That’s a lot of buts.

Does any bank offer absolutely no ATM fees?

If you’re looking for a new bank to meet your checking needs, do some homework. Search for a bank that offers truly free checking.

Look for a bank that:

• Does not require a minimum balance

• Provides free checks

• Does not charge a monthly maintenance fee

• Offers an overdraft forgiveness program

• Provides free bank statements

• Does not charge a fee for online or mobile banking

And, perhaps most importantly, find a bank that doesn’t charge ATM fees.

“With our free checking, we don’t charge an ATM fee to withdraw money from ATMs in, or outside of, our network,” says Mike Earleywine, Sr. Vice President Branch Banking at, First National Bank of Omaha “Other banks and ATM operators’ applymay charge a fee for using their ATM, but that’s out of our control. Regardless, an ATM fee won’t come from us.”

And finally, be wary of a bank offering free services for a “limited time” (read the small print).

“Our free checking is not a limited-time offer – there are no hidden fees, no surprises and no hoops to jump through. It’s just honest banking with no strings attached,” Earleywine said.

“It’s just simple, flexible checking for the modern pace of life.”

[1] “The latest MoneyRates.com update on bank fees” – August, 2018, MoneyRate.com

[2] “ATM Fees Are Robbing You Blind” – Nov, 2017, thestreet.com

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