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Bank Fees Increasing

The average overdraft fee has jumped to $32.74 nationally.

| BY Kent McDill

Following the recession of 2008, federal regulations changed the way banks could charge customers for services like ATM withdrawals and overdrafts. The banks could still charge customers, they just couldn’t do it as often or as easily.

Banks responded by charging more for those occasions when it is OK to charge bank customers.

According to the annual study by, the average fee for using an out-of-network ATM now averages $4.35 per transaction, an increase of 5 percent over the average cost last year.

Similarly, the fee for overdrafts has climbed to $32.74, marking the 18th consecutive year the price of an overdraft has increased on average across the United States.

As a result of the recession, banks were limited on charging overdraft fees on ATM and debit card transactions, and there was a reduction in the fees that banks could charge merchants for each customer who used a credit or debit card for transactions.

To make up for that lost revenue, banks increased their overdraft and out-of-network ATM fees, and also increased the amount of money customers needed to maintain in their checking accounts to avoid fees.

“I expect fees to continue increasing in years to come, but at a modest pace consistent with what we saw this year,’’ said chief financial analyst Greg McBride.

Using an out-of-network ATM can actually cost double for some users, as the bank issuing the card can charge a fee as well as the bank supporting the ATM. The fee specified by the actual machine used has jumped 23 percent in the past five years, according to the Bankrate survey.

The study was conducted using information from the 10 largest banks in 25 large U.S. markets.

Phoenix reported the highest ATM charge for out-of-network ATMs at $4.96 per transaction, while Cincinnati had the lowest average cost at $3.75. For overdrafts on checking accounts, Philadelphia had the highest average fee at $35.80 and San Francisco had the lowest at $26.74.

About the Author

Kent McDill

Kent McDill is a staff writer for Millionaire Corner. McDill spent 30 years as a sports writer, working for United Press International and the Daily Herald of Arlington Heights, Ill. From 1988-1999, he covered the Chicago Bulls for the Daily Herald, traveling with them every day through the nine-month season. He also covered the Bulls for UPI from 1985-88, and currently covers the team for He has written two books on the Bulls, including the new title “100 Things Bulls Fans Should Know And Do Before They Die’, published by Triumph Books. In August 2013, his new book “100 Things Bears Fans Should Know And Do Before They Die” gets published.

In 2008, he resigned from the Herald and became a freelance writer. The Herald hired him to write business features and speeches for the Daily Herald Business Conferences and Awards presentations.

McDill also writes a monthly parenting column for the Herald’s Suburban Parent magazine.

McDill is the father of four children, and an active fan of soccer, Jimmy  Buffett and all things Disney.