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Best Banks to Avoid ATM Fees

Aug. 14, 2019
Banking, Banks & Credit Unions, Checking Accounts
At NerdWallet, we strive to help you make financial decisions with confidence. To do this, many or all of the products featured here are from our partners. However, this doesn’t influence our evaluations. Our opinions are our own.
Best bank for free domestic ATM access
Axos Bank™

at Axos Bank™,

Member, FDIC

Axos Bank

4.0 NerdWallet rating
Radius Bank

at Radius Bank,

Member, FDIC

Radius Bank

4.0 NerdWallet rating
Best credit union for free domestic ATM access

Alliant Credit Union

4.5 NerdWallet rating
Best bank for free international ATM access

Charles Schwab Bank

4.0 NerdWallet rating
Best brick-and-mortar bank for free domestic ATM access

Citibank

3.5 NerdWallet rating

Many banking services can be done online, but there’s at least one that remains offline: getting cash. Check out this list of financial institutions that make it much less expensive to access your money.

Axos Bank

Best bank for free domestic ATM access

4.0 NerdWallet rating
Axos Bank™

at Axos Bank™,

Member, FDIC

Free ATMs: At any ATM in the U.S., Axos (formerly known as Bank of Internet USA) won’t charge a fee and they’ll reimburse you any fees the ATM owner charges.

Accounts with the perk: Rewards Checking, CashBack Checking and Essential Checking.

Keep in the mind: Golden Checking and First Checking reimburse ATM fees, too, but they have monthly caps. And the bank charges a 1% fee for international ATM withdrawals and debit card purchases.

Radius Bank

BEST BANK FOR FREE DOMESTIC ATM ACCESS

4.0 NerdWallet rating
Radius Bank

at Radius Bank,

Member, FDIC

Free ATMs: At any ATM in the U.S., Radius won’t charge a fee to use a non-network ATM and it will reimburse you for any fees you’re charged by the ATM owner at the end of your statement cycle.

Accounts with the perk: Rewards Checking and Superhero Checking.

Keep in mind: Essential Checking does not reimburse ATM fees. And while Radius reimbursements do apply worldwide, you’ll still be charged a foreign transaction fee for using your card abroad.

» Looking for a good overall account? Check out NerdWallet’s best banks and credit unions

Alliant Credit Union

Best credit union for free domestic ATM access

4.5 NerdWallet rating

Free ATMs: Alliant Credit Union offers 80,000+ free ATMs. Use one outside of the network, and you’ll be reimbursed up to $20 per month for fees charged by the owner. (Alliant doesn’t charge a fee.)

Accounts with the perk: Both Alliant’s checking accounts, High-Rate Checking and Teen Checking. 

Keep in mind: The ATM rebates don’t apply to the 1% foreign transaction fee. 

Membership requirements: Become a member of Foster Care to Success, a charitable organization, if you can’t join Alliant another way. Alliant will pay the membership fee on your behalf.

Charles Schwab Bank

Best bank for free international ATM access

4.0 NerdWallet rating

Free ATMs: At any ATM worldwide. Rebates are unlimited, and Schwab doesn’t charge a foreign transaction fee. 

Accounts with the perk: High Yield Investor Checking Account.

Keep in mind: Schwab is mainly an investment company, and this account is linked to a Schwab One brokerage account.

» Compare checking accounts: Find a good match with NerdWallet’s best checking accounts

Citibank

Best brick-and-mortar bank for free domestic ATM access

3.5 NerdWallet rating

Free ATMs: Citibank offers 65,000+ ATMs fee-free to customers, including ATMs in chains such as Costco, CVS, Target, Rite Aid and Walgreens. 

Accounts with the perk: All Citibank checking accounts.

Keep in mind: Holders of some high-end accounts from Citibank see fewer ATM fees from Citibank, including waived non-network ATM fees from Citibank and third-party owners, as well as waived foreign exchange fees. (Other account holders will pay 3%.) But these accounts also require you to maintain high balances at Citi to avoid monthly fees, and their savings accounts pay little interest.

» If you rely on your bank’s app, explore Nerdwallet’s best banks for mobile banking

Don’t see your bank? Here’s what to do

Many of these accounts have other perks, such as no monthly fees. But if you’re not in the mood to switch, remember that virtually any financial institution will let you withdraw money for free from its own ATMs, and many now have apps that help you locate the nearest free cash machine. Often, credit unions and community banks participate in larger shared ATM networks, too.

Best banks to avoid ATM fees

BankATM network and fees
Axos BankUnlimited ATM fee reimbursements domestically on certain accounts
Radius BankUnlimited ATM fee reimbursements domestically on certain accounts
Alliant Credit Union80,000+ fee-free ATMs, and reimbursements of up to $20 a month for out-of-network fees
Charles Schwab BankUnlimited ATM fee reimbursements worldwide
Citibank65,000+ fee-free ATMs

Spencer Tierney is a staff writer at NerdWallet, a personal finance website. Email: spencer@nerdwallet.com. Twitter: @SpencerNerd.


Methodology

We took a close look at over 70 financial institutions, including the largest U.S. banks based on assets, debit card volume, Internet search traffic and other factors; the nation’s largest credit unions, based on deposits as well as broad-based membership requirements; and other notable and/or emerging players in the industry. We rated them on criteria including annual percentage yields, minimum balances, fees, digital experience and more. Financial institutions surveyed include: Alaska USA Federal Credit Union, Alliant Credit Union, Ally Bank, America First Credit Union, American Express, Aspiration, Associated Bank, Axos Bank, Bank5 Connect, Bank7, Bank of America, Bank of the West, Barclays, BB&T, BBVA, Boeing Employees Credit Union, BMO Harris, Capital One 360, Charles Schwab Bank, Chase, Chime, CIT, Citibank, Citizens Access, Citizens Bank, Comerica Bank, Commerce Bank, Connexus Credit Union, Consumers Credit Union, Discover Bank, E-Trade, Fidelity, Fifth Third Bank, First National Bank, First Tech Federal Credit Union, GoBank, Golden 1 Credit Union, GS Bank, HSBC Bank USA, Huntington Bank, KeyBank, MetaBank, M&T Bank, Moven, Navy Federal Credit Union, Pentagon Federal Credit Union, PNC, Popular Direct, PurePoint Financial, Radius Bank, Redneck Bank, Regions Bank, Sallie Mae Bank, Santander Bank, SchoolsFirst Federal Credit Union, Security Service Federal Credit Union, Service Credit Union, Simple, State Employees’ Credit Union of North Carolina, State Farm Bank, Suncoast Credit Union, SunTrust Bank, Synchrony Bank, TCF Bank, TD Bank, TIAA Bank, Union Bank, UFB Direct, USAA, U.S. Bank, Varo, Wells Fargo and Zions Bank.

How we rate banks and credit unions