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Bottom Line Up Front

  • ATMs are great for convenience and flexibility, but using them can come at a cost.
  • There are a few ways to avoid ATM charges, such as using ATMs owned by your own bank and getting cash back at the checkout when you pay using your debit card. 
  • Navy Federal Credit Union helps you avoid ATM fees with both checking and savings accounts that offer ATM fee rebates or fee-free services.

Time to Read

3 minutes

May 1, 2022

You can’t beat ATMs for convenience and flexibility. So, whether you need fast cash, have to make a late-night deposit or just want to make a balance inquiry, you can do that and more, sometimes without ever having to leave your car. And, if you’re traveling abroad, using an ATM will generally give you a better exchange rate than you could get at most currency exchange places. But sometimes all this convenience comes at a price, including foreign transaction fees and foreign ATM fees.

What Do You Know About ATM Fees?

ATM Fees

Depending on the ATM you use, you could find yourself paying fees for your transactions. When you use an out-of-network machine, you could end up paying a fee to both your bank and the ATM owner. In fact, fees for ATM withdrawals alone are an average of $4.55, so that morning latte could cost you more than double. 

Don’t Spend Money to Get Money

There are several ways you can skip the ATM or a bank’s network fees.

  1. Go in-network. The number-one way most people avoid the fees is to use an ATM in their own bank or credit union’s network. In addition to a bank’s ATM, many financial institutions and online banks partner with ATM operators and networks and provide an ATM locator where they waive fees and ATM charges.
  2. Get cash at checkout. Dashing in for milk and bread? Many grocery stores or other retailers allow you to get cash back from your bank account with no fee if you pay with a debit card. 
  3. Get reimbursed. Some banks and credit unions will reimburse you for out-of-network ATM fees and ATM surcharges.
  4. Use your debit card. They’re safer than carrying around cash, with no minimum purchase amounts.
  5. Use your mobile app. If your bank or credit union has an app,* you’ll be able to take care of these and more—with no fee. Mobile banking is a great ally!
  6. Get more than you need. When you stop at the ATM, get more cash than you need and put some aside so you don’t have to make a second or third transaction and be subject to another bank charge, service fee or withdrawal fee. This will help you save your own money and better manage your personal finances over the long term.

With Navy Federal, You’ve Got Options

Navy Federal Credit Union makes it easy to avoid ATM fees with checking accounts and savings accounts that offer ATM fee rebates or fee-free services, like our Free Easy Checking and Free Active Duty Checking® accounts. Plus, you can search to find Navy Federal ATMs. No Navy Federal ATM machine near you? No problem. We have a network of thousands of locations, covering all 50 states and 10 countries. You can find a nearby location quickly by signing into our mobile app, tapping More on the bottom menu and then choosing Locations at the top of the next screen.

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This content is intended to provide general information and shouldn't be considered legal, tax or financial advice. It's always a good idea to consult a tax or financial advisor for specific information on how certain laws apply to your situation and about your individual financial situation.