The Real Cost of ATM Fees

No ATM Fees Banking with Ally Bank

According to our friends over at, ATM fees climbed to an average of a whopping $2.33 per transaction in 2010, a new high for consumers. It’s not difficult to get caught spending $10 a week on ATM fees, and that expense adds up to over $500 a year in charges. Most banks and credit unions maintain that these fees are necessary for their daily operations but some studies suggest that these transactions only really cost financial institutions a measly 36 cents.

2010 saw the failure of a federal amendment that would’ve capped ATM fees at 50 cents, so don’t expect them to disappear anytime soon—at least not by law. With banks making $4.4 billion dollars off of bank ATM fees in 2007 alone, it probably won’t be due to the random kindness of the financial industry.

We recommend doing business with a financial institution like Ally Bank that has no nationwide ATM fees. Since Ally Bank is an online bank without branches where you can withdraw money, we won’t charge you to use another bank’s ATM nationwide. And if that bank charges you for using their machine, we’ll even reimburse that cost. That means accessing your money doesn’t involve end up costing you money.

Isn’t that how it should be?

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  1. 1
    Andrew Madigan

    This is one of great features of Ally. Even if another bank claims to have >10,000 ATMs, most ATMs aren’t owned by banks, they’re owned by retailers. It’s incredibly convenient to know that I can use any nearby ATM, and not have to worry about the fees.

    I’ve seen more than one retailer that decides not to accept credit cards, but “conveniently” has an ATM which charges a $3-4 fee. In most cases they don’t even post a sign indicating they only accept cash, in fact they’ll put the usual credit card sign in the window, since the ATM takes those cards.

    • 2

      We’re very happy that you’re happy with that feature, Andrew. It’s nice to hear those types of scenarios when our customers simply don’t have to worry about ATM fees in the US. Sometimes it’s not even the money, but the peace of mind that’s great. Thanks again for the comment!

  2. 4
    Robert Prather

    I’ve been thinking about this. It is my favorite feature of Ally Bank. I would even be willing to go to an effort to find cheaper ATM fees so I can cost Ally less money! Is there a resource out there that helps people find ATMs with low fees?

    • 5

      Good to hear from you again, Robert! That’s pretty funny (and very kind!) of you to check out those cheaper ATMs. We unfortunately don’t know of any services or sites that do just that, but it sounds like something that might be useful. To the non-Ally Bank customer, of course!

  3. 6

    This is actually why I found and chose to switch to Ally, recently I’ve had to use nonbank atm’s. I try not to, I try to do purchases with cash back where possible but that wasn’t a option a few times. For example when I got my tabs renewed for my car, I waited until the day they expired, went to the licensing place. They take master card, american express, and even discover debit cards but not visa which is what my debit card was, but they had an atm that would take visa…go figure.

    So I had just come to accept the atm fee, but then I found out on top of that my bank charges me $2 each time I use an atm other than theirs, up til that point they were the best bank I’ve found but that was over the top. Out of curiosity I know I’ve heard of some banks refunding the fees the atm charges so I looked for that and found Ally, just got my ally debit card today, can’t wait to use it at an atm lol. And overall the fees are great, free checks…nobody seems to do free checks anymore not even just the first order. Overdraft fees are another thing I like. I’ve had banks charge me anywhere from $25-$36 per item and have extended overdraft fees. In fact once I over drafted my account with an automatic payment for car insurance, I thought I hae enough but not quite, over drafter by a mere 67cents and got a huge overdraft fee that the bank wouldn’t even bother refunding.

    All that to say I think Ally has the right idea on what customer service is, every other bank just seems to rob their customers with huge and in the case of atm fees unnecessary fees.

    • 7

      “All that to say I think Ally has the right idea on what customer service is, every other bank just seems to rob their customers with huge and in the case of atm fees unnecessary fees.”

      That right there is what it’s all about for us. Thanks for the great comment, Ryan!

  4. 8
    Kevin Blesh

    Today I visited Chase Bank to find out why they robbed me for $12. They said March 2011 was the first month for this new fee . My “free” (WAMU) checking account was now costing me $144 per year!

    While I waited in Chase’s lobby, I called Ally Bank by phone and opened a new account, in 15 minutes. I like my banker at Chase but don’t like their fees. I will close both of my Chase accounts. They refused to refund the $12.

    • 9

      $12 might not seem like a lot, but, like you said, Kevin, it certainly can add up! Glad to have you aboard. Welcome to Ally Bank our goal is to provide you with a better banking experience!

  5. 10

    This was actually the #1 selling point of Ally to me (other than the fact that it’s free). It really is about the convenience and peace of mind, to NEVER have to worry about ATMs! Love it.

  6. 12

    I live in NYC, and although there are quite a few chase and duane reades, sometimes when it’s late and cold I have no choice but to shell out the $3 ATM fee (plus the $2 that chase charges) to withdraw cash, which is usually a $20. So essentially I paid $25 for $20. No thank you. Ally bank is awesome. Can use any ATM with no fee? Count me in. I can’t believe every single person doesn’t use Ally.

    Thank you Ally.

    • 13

      Thanks for the compliments, Octav! Tons of ATMs everywhere throughout the boroughs, but plenty of them are just as you describe. We’re glad that we’re able to relieve that stress just a bit!

  7. 15

    Im looking forward to receiving my Ally Debit card! The no fees was def a selling point for me and the interest earning etc. Plus everyone so far has been friendly and so easy to reach! I think I will only keep my other brick and morter bank acct open for transferring purposes and emergency’s etc. Looking forward to doing business with Ally! I have one suggestion the icing on the cake would be debit card rewards of some sort. :)

    • 16

      Thanks and welcome, Creighton! We’re glad to hear that everything’s been great so far. On to your last point, let’s just say that you should keep an eye open in the future! We’re always making improvements around here and we’re hoping to make Ally even better for you.

  8. 18


    I, too, am very happy about this ATM fee reimbursed service. This is the first time I have had that service and it feels weird to be able to withdraw money at a ATM and not having to worry about fees, although this morning I withdrew $20 and out of habit I looked for a low-fee ATM.

    Anyway, do Ally automatically reimburse these fees or do you have to call them and ask them to do it? I have had a couple of withdrawals this month.

    • 19

      You are reimbursed all ATM fees nationwide, Patrice, and they’re automatically credited to your account at the end of your statement period. Glad you’re enjoying them! We like to think it just makes sense.

  9. 20

    I have been having a hard time of being reimbursed. Ally said that my ATM didn’t break down the cash withdrawal and the ATM fee. How can I get automatic reimbursement in this situation? Or do I need to fax the receipt every time I use my ATM card?

  10. 22

    I love the lack of ATM fees. In fact, I still have a Bank of America account (I have had it for 15+ years) as I continue to test drive Ally (I have been VERY happy so far).

    Now that I use my Ally account (and card) as my spending account (and debit), I actually am conscious of the visits and fees. I try to get more cash out in fewer visits, and also try to use ATM’s with lower than average fees.

    I realize Ally is offering ATM fee reimbursement as part of their business plan, but the concept just feels right … which in turn encourages me to make a minimal effort to reduce overhead for Ally.

  11. 24

    I’m planning to travel to Japan at the end of the year. Will I be able to withdraw money from ATMs in Japan? If so will there be any fees associated with the transactions? Thanks.

    • 25

      Jon, you will be able to withdraw money overseas from an ATM. However, there is a “Currency Conversion” fee charge that can total up to 1% of your purchase and applies to any point-of-sale debit and/or ATM transaction originated by any Merchant or ATM operator located outside the United States. Other fees for foreign transactions may apply and will not be reimbursed by Ally Bank. Depending on the logo of your Ally debit card, Mastercard and Visa have ATM locators on their websites. Please notify us here at Ally Bank before you travel, so we’re aware for any fraudulent charges. Let us know if you have any other questions.

    • 27

      Derek, we reimburse all ATM fees nationwide. You should see the fees reimbursed in your next statement cycle. If you have any additional questions, please give our Ally Care team a call 24/7 at 1-877-247-2559.

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