ATM fees reach a record average of $4.72 per withdrawal, with more coming

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ATM fees are one reason consumers consider switching banks. (Photo: Thinkstock)

The Federal Reserve kept its key interest rate near zero for years after the Great Recession ended in 2009 to spur more borrowing. ATM fees jumped sharply during that period, but the increases have moderated the past few years as the Fed raised rates in an improving economy, McBride says.

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Since July, however, the Fed has lowered rates twice to head off a potential recession and many economists expect two more cuts by early next year.

“Now that interest rates have fallen, banks may be under pressure again,” McBride says. “Do we see a faster pace of increases in the next two years?”

At the same time, he says, banks have more modestly increased the fees they charge their own customers for using another ATM to attract and retain them so they can sell them other services. The share of banks allowing free out-of-network withdrawals hit a record high 32%, up from 25% in 2012.

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