How to Use ATMs (And What They Cost)

A closer look at ATMs, what charges you can expect, how to avoid some of those pesky fees.

3 min read

Automated teller machines, or ATMs, have become essential, as they allow you to access cash whenever you want and nearly anywhere you want. That convenience, though, often comes at a cost to you. ATM fees are a big moneymaker for banks and the companies that own the machines. While you can usually avoid fees by using in-network ATMs, the use of any outside of your network typically incurs fees, sometimes exorbitantly so.

The worst part about ATM fees is that they can get you on both ends. Meaning, your fees may include what the ATM operator charges, and then what your financial institution charges, which you won’t see until you get your monthly statement. Talk about getting hit with an unpleasant surprise.

Moreover, if you travel internationally and are like most people, you will also incur an international ATM fee which includes a percentage of the amount withdrawn when using an ATM abroad.

In this article, we’ll take a closer look at ATMs, what charges you can expect, how to avoid some of those pesky fees, and how to find the closest ones near you when you’re in a hurry.

There are several ways to avoid getting hit with ATM fees.

  • Stay away from out-of-network ATMs — Using only bank-owned ATMs is the easiest way to avoid ATM fees, but may not be practical, especially if you bank with a smaller or regional institution.

  • Switch to mobile and online banking services — Some banks and banking services, particularly digital-only or newer companies, offer a number of no fee ATMs, and no-fee withdrawals every month.

  • Be tactical with withdrawals — If your account only gives you free withdrawals when using your own bank’s ATMs, planning ahead to stop and take out money every time you see your own ATM can feel inconvenient, but might be worth the money saved. If your bank gives you a limited number of free withdrawals per month, take out larger sums and store the excess at home to avoid carrying lots of cash with you.

  • Pay by debit card where you can — The fewer cash payments you make, the less cash you need. Wherever possible, make your payments with your debit card, and if the retailer allows fee-free cashback, take advantage of that.

There is an advantage to considering mobile and digital banking services. Typically these financial institutions tend to be fast, flexible, and (hopefully) transparent to customers because they aren’t burdened by legacy overhead costs. They are also designed with the latest technology in mind, which means you likely will have a more robust and reliable mobile experience, and access to features like cashless payments (again, allowing you to avoid an ATM).

Many of these services are virtual only, meaning they don’t have brick and mortar locations. Instead, they typically partner with ATM networks that give you freedom from being constrained to only bank-owned ATMs to avoid fees.

When you use an ATM, you want cash, not extra or hidden fees. When looking for a no-fee ATM near you, N26 makes it easy to avoid the aggravating burden that ATM fees have become with fee-free withdrawals through Allpoint’s network of over 55,000 ATMs. These are conveniently located across the U.S., Canada, Mexico, Australia, and the U.K.

Allpoint’s expansive retail network includes ATMs at Target, Speedway, Walgreens, CVS, Kroger, Safeway, Winn-Dixie, Circle K, and more.

For the first two out-of-network ATM withdrawals each month, N26 reimburses all of your fees.

Yes, both the out-of-network fee and the fee that the machine charges.

Don’t worry, it’s easy. N26 has an ATM locator easily available to you in the “Actions” tab in the app.

No, the rebate will just appear in your account.

Open an N26 account today in less than 5 minutes and say good-bye to ATM fees.

The N26 account is offered by Axos Bank®, Member FDIC. N26 Inc. is a service provider of Axos Bank. All deposit accounts of the same ownership and/or vesting held at Axos Bank are combined and insured under the same FDIC Certificate 35546. All deposit accounts through Axos Bank brands are not separately insured by the FDIC from other deposit accounts held with the same ownership and/or vesting at Axos Bank. The N26 Visa® Debit Card is issued by Axos Bank pursuant to a license by Visa U.S.A. Inc. The N26 Visa Debit Card may be used everywhere Visa debit cards are accepted.

By N26

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