Study: Mpls. Has Lowest ATM Surcharge Fees

Minneapolis banks charge the least for non-customers to use their ATMs, but the city ranked in the middle of the pack with respect to overdraft fees and charges to customers who use ATMs outside of the banks’ network.

The nation’s bank fees are on the rise, but customers can find some solace in Minneapolis, which has the lowest ATM surcharge fees, according to the recently released results of an annual survey.

Minneapolis’ average ATM surcharge—a fee for using a bank’s ATM when you’re not an account holder at that bank—is the lowest among 25 major U.S. cities surveyed by financial data publisher Bankrate.com.

North Palm Beach, Florida-based Bankrate.com—which surveyed 10 of the largest banks and thrifts in each of the nation’s 25 largest markets—said Monday that Minneapolis’ average ATM surcharge is $2.20. The survey was conducted between July 24 and August 10.

Cincinnati and Chicago banks have the second- and third-lowest surcharge fees at an average of $2.22 and $2.25, respectively. (To see the five cities with the lowest ATM fees, click here.)

The highest average ATM surcharge, $2.80, was found in Denver. The New York metro area and Seattle tied for the second-highest, with an average surcharge of $2.70. (To see the five cities with the highest surcharge fees, click here.)

The average ATM surcharge in all 25 cities rose 4 percent this year to a record $2.50, according to Bankrate.com, which also said that this year marked the first time that all banks it surveyed charged ATM surcharge fees.

Minneapolis also ranked among the cities with the lowest ATM surcharge fees last year: Its average fee of $2.15 trailed only Cleveland, which had an average surcharge of $2.06.

While this year’s report found that Minneapolis banks charged non-customers the least amount in ATM fees, the city didn’t fare as well with respect to how much banks charge customers who use an ATM outside of their network. The city ranked 12th in that category with an average fee of $1.58.

Minneapolis also ranked in the middle of the pack for overdraft fees: The city tied for 15th among the 25 cities in the study, with an average charge of $31.33. That’s slightly higher than the national average of $31.26.

Bankrate.com’s survey also found that free checking accounts are becoming more scarce: Only 39 percent of non-interest checking accounts are free to all customers, down from 45 percent last year and 76 percent in 2009.

Meanwhile, 72 percent of respondents said they’d consider switching banks if theirs increased checking-account fees. Households with an income of $75,000 or more are the most likely to switch, at 82 percent, according to Bankrate.com.