Many banks charge monthly fees just to open a checking account. Then there are the ones that add insult to injury by levying fees on ATM withdrawals. Although you can very often use the bank’s own ATMs for no charge, so-called “out-of-network” fees are rampant. The good news is that there are plenty of top-tier banks that have no ATM fees.
The best banks not only levy no ATM fees but also reimburse fees from out-of-network terminal operators. However, you should always read the fine print when you open a bank account. Some firms may advertise that they charge no ATM fees, but that may only be true if you open a fee-based account or maintain a high balance in your account.
That being said, it can be hard to find a bank that charges absolutely zero ATM fees. That’s because ATM fees come in many forms. First, there’s the fee your bank charges. Although that may be zero for in-network ATMs, it’s often a few dollars for an out-of-network ATM. Next, there’s the ATM operator’s cut, which is a fee levied on any non-network user. Lastly, there’s an international transaction fee for overseas ATMs. This fee can come in two forms: a currency conversion fee and a flat user fee.
Remember, even if your bank is “fee-free,” it may not rebate the fees tacked on by ATM operators. If you never travel overseas and have a vast network of in-network ATMs nearby, it may not be as important that your bank charges an international ATM fee or doesn’t rebate out-of-network ATM fees. At the end of the day, the best bank for you is the one that provides you with the best service for the lowest overall fees, based on your financial lifestyle.
Best banks with no ATM fees
Here’s our list of the top banks that charge no ATM fees. The list is by no means comprehensive, but it includes some of the most well-known financial services providers. Note that some of these banks only waive or reimburse ATM fees if you open special accounts or deposit large balances.
- E-Trade Bank
- Axos Bank
- TIAA Bank
- USAA Bank
- State Farm Bank
- Charles Schwab Bank
- Needham Bank
- Capital One
- Ally Bank
- First Republic Bank
- Alliant Credit Union
- Connexus Credit Union
Best banks with no domestic ATM fees
Since all of the banks on this list charge no domestic ATM fees, rankings were based on supplemental factors. First and foremost is the level of fee rebates offered by the bank. Other considerations included the overall fee structure of checking and savings accounts at the bank, the APY paid on checking and savings accounts and the level of additional banking features and benefits the bank provides.
E-Trade Bank ranks as one of the top banks when it comes to avoiding ATM fees: Its customers get fee-free withdrawals at any ATM in the nation, not just those within its network. The firm also offers unlimited rebates of fees charged by ATM operators, but there’s a catch. To qualify, you’ll need either a Max-Rate Checking account, a total balance of more than $5,000 in your E-Trade Money Market account or Independent Checking account, or $50,000 or more in your linked E-Trade bank accounts, securities accounts and employee stock plan accounts. You can also qualify if you make at least 30 stock or options trades per calendar quarter.
Axos Bank varies its level of ATM fee reimbursements based on the type of account you have. However, for most accounts at the bank, domestic ATM fee reimbursements are unlimited. The only account that limits fee reimbursements are the bank’s Golden Checking accounts, which are no-fee accounts for seniors. However, even those accounts are entitled to $8 in fee reimbursements per month.
Axos Bank receives high marks for its diverse lineup of checking accounts, which range from a completely free option to a rewards checking account with a 1.25% APY. The bank also offers a no-fee, high-yield savings account option.
TIAA Bank has an 80,000-strong domestic ATM network that is entirely free of charge for customers. Additionally, the bank will rebate up to $15 per month in out-of-network ATM fees. Those willing and able to carry at least a $5,000 average daily balance qualify for unlimited ATM fee reimbursement. This combination of fee waivers — along with its basic, no-fee checking and savings accounts for balances of just $25 or more — make TIAA Bank a strong contender.
USAA Bank’s Classic Checking account, which has no monthly maintenance fee and just a $25 minimum, provides free access to more than 60,000 ATMs in the U.S. The first 10 ATM withdrawals each month are free at any ATM in the country. However, you’ll be charged $2 for additional out-of-network withdrawals every month. USAA Bank rebates up to $15 per month in out-of-network charges from other banks.
State Farm Bank
Rounding out our list of banks that provide easy access to fee-free domestic ATMs is State Farm Bank. This bank doesn’t charge any ATM fees and will rebate up to $10 per statement cycle in both foreign and domestic ATM fees levied by third-party operators. If you make a single direct deposit to your account in any given month, the bank offers unlimited ATM fee rebates. Helping the bank rank on this list is the fact that its checking account has no minimum opening deposit, no minimum balance requirement and no monthly fees.
Best banks with no international ATM fees
The same criteria that applied to the selection of the best banks with no domestic ATM fees apply here, with the sole difference being that international ATM fees were examined, rather than domestic ones. Thus, additional factors for these banks included the level of fee rebates offered, the overall fee structure of checking and savings accounts, the APY paid on those checking and savings accounts and the level of additional banking features and benefits provided by the bank.
Charles Schwab Bank
Charles Schwab Bank scores major points for offering unlimited ATM rebates worldwide. The bank’s high-yield checking account not only offers a 0.31% APY but has no monthly fee and charges no foreign transaction fee on overseas transactions made with the provided debit card. This account also offers free Schwab Bill Pay, free paper checks and mobile check deposit from anywhere in the world. Schwab also offers a $1,000 daily ATM withdrawal limit.
Needham Bank may not be a household name, but it offers one of the best checking accounts in our listings. The NB Checking account charges no monthly fees, has no minimum balance requirements, pays interest and offers unlimited ATM fee reimbursement anywhere in the world. Combined with complimentary checks, mobile and online servicing and person-to-person transfer capability, the NB Checking account is a great option for international travelers.
Capital One 360
Capital One 360 is the online avatar of Capital One Bank, but the two have many differences, particularly in the fee category. Most notably, Capital One 360 doesn’t charge fees for any international ATM transactions. This is in addition to the free use of over 39,000 Capital One or Allpoint ATMs in the U.S. This helps make Capital One 360 one of the best overall banks for those seeking a fee-free experience, as the bank also offers no-fee, no-minimum checking and savings accounts.
Ally Bank is well-known for its diverse, low-cost product line, from no-fee checking and savings account to itshigh-yield CDs, home and auto loans and investment services, which include commission-free ETFs. But the bank also offers fee-free access to Allpoint ATMs across the U.S. and in Canada, Puerto Rico, Mexico, the United Kingdom and Australia, and it reimburses up to $10 per statement cycle for fees charged at non-Allpoint ATMs nationwide. Ally also offers a high $1,000 daily ATM withdrawal limit.
First Republic Bank
First Republic Bank scores high points for offering unlimited ATM fee rebates worldwide via its ATM Rebate Checking account. However, customers need an average daily balance of at least $3,500 to qualify for these fee rebates. Additionally, accounts require a minimum opening balance of $500.
Best credit unions with no ATM fees
Credit unions often provide fee-free ATM access, but to be considered among “the best” here, credit unions had to have widespread ATM coverage and additional noteworthy account features and benefits to qualify.
Alliant Credit Union
Alliant Credit Union is the best credit union with no ATM fees because in addition to offering more than 80,000 fee-free ATMs, it rebates up to $20 per month in out-of-network ATM operator fees. Even if you’re paying say, an exorbitant out-of-network fee of $4 per transaction, you can make up to five rebated withdrawals per month using Alliant Credit Union.
Alliant Credit Union also stands out for its outstanding checking and savings accounts. Neither of these accounts have a monthly service fee, and current interest rates are high, at 2.10% APY for the high-rate savings account and 0.65% for the high-rate checking account.
Connexus Credit Union
Connexus Credit Union offers an impressive package when it comes to a checking account, with no minimum balance requirement, no monthly maintenance fee and the opportunity to earn an APY as high as 1.75%. What places the credit union on this list is its access to more than 54,000 fee-free ATMs nationwide. Connexus also allows up to six non-network ATM withdrawals per month free of charge, although it does not rebate third-party ATM fees.
How to avoid ATM fees
The best way to avoid ATM fees is to start with a bank that doesn’t charge any in the first place. With most banks, you can avoid ATM fees when you stay within the bank’s network, but you’re better off if you can find a bank that reimburses out-of-network ATM fees as well.
When you need to withdraw some cash, you may not have the time or desire to hunt for an in-network ATM, especially if there’s an out-of-network option right across the street. This is particularly true if you travel a lot, where it can be even harder to track down an in-network ATM. Just a few out-of-network ATM withdrawals a month could result in more than $100 per year just in ATM fees.
If your bank isn’t very fee-friendly, don’t be afraid to look around at competitors, since many banks these days offer both no-fee ATMs and no-cost checking or savings accounts.