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Best Banks to Avoid ATM Fees

Dec. 5, 2018
Banking, Banks & Credit Unions, Checking Accounts
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We adhere to strict standards of editorial integrity. Some of the products we feature are from our partners. Here’s how we make money.
Best bank for free domestic ATM access
Axos Bank™

at Axos Bank™,

Member, FDIC

Axos Bank

4.0 NerdWallet rating

Fidelity

4.0 NerdWallet rating
Radius Bank

at Radius Bank,

Member, FDIC

Radius Bank

4.0 NerdWallet rating

UFB Direct

3.5 NerdWallet rating
Best credit union for free domestic ATM access
Alliant Credit Union

at Alliant Credit Union,

Federally insured by the NCUA

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

Axos Bank, formerly Bank of Internet USA, gives its customers access to any ATM in the U.S. without charging fees — and it reimburses fees that an ATM owner may charge. Its Rewards Checking, CashBack Checking and Essential Checking accounts provide unlimited fee reimbursements; its two other checking options reimburse up to $12 per month.

For international transactions, the bank has a 1% charge for ATM withdrawals and debit card purchases.

Fidelity

BEST BANK FOR FREE DOMESTIC ATM ACCESS

4.0 NerdWallet rating

Fidelity’s Cash Management account doesn’t charge a fee to access out-of-network ATMs, and it reimburses users for fees other institutions charge the same day.

But if you use the card internationally, you will pay a 1% foreign transaction fee.

Radius Bank

BEST BANK FOR FREE DOMESTIC ATM ACCESS

4.0 NerdWallet rating
Radius Bank

at Radius Bank,

Member, FDIC

Multiple Radius checking accounts — Hybrid, Champion, Superhero and Radius Checking — offer unlimited ATM fee rebates. The reimbursements apply worldwide, but withdrawing cash abroad isn’t entirely free, as Radius still charges a foreign transaction fee.

UFB Direct

BEST BANK FOR FREE DOMESTIC ATM ACCESS

3.5 NerdWallet rating

UFB Direct has one checking option with numerous perks, including the ability to earn American Airlines miles. If you’re a frequent traveler, you’ll appreciate another perk: unlimited domestic ATM fee reimbursements. International transactions are excluded and also incur a 1% currency conversion fee.

» 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
Alliant Credit Union

at Alliant Credit Union,

Federally insured by the NCUA

Alliant Credit Union offers more than 80,000 surcharge-free ATMs. In addition, this credit union reimburses up to $20 per month in fees charged by owners of other ATMs. You’re even reimbursed for fees at international machines, though you would still be charged a Visa foreign transaction fee, which is currently 1% of the amount withdrawn. And Alliant’s flexible membership requirements make it easy to join the ranks of its more than 400,000 members.

Charles Schwab Bank

Best bank for free international ATM access

4.0 NerdWallet rating

Charles Schwab offers the rare perk of worldwide ATM fee reimbursements. Based in San Francisco, Schwab is mostly an investment company, but it also offers the Schwab Bank High Yield Investor Checking Account. The account has no minimum balance, monthly fees or foreign debit card transaction fees. Other investment firms provide similar ATM reimbursements within the U.S., but Schwab steps it up internationally.

» 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

The fourth-largest U.S. bank, Citibank offers account holders access to thousands of domestic ATMs. They include more than 2,400 cash machines at Citibank’s more than 700 branches nationwide, and an additional 32,000 fee-free ATMs that are part of the nationwide MoneyPass network.

Citibank also has ATMs in more than 20 countries outside the U.S. Customers who withdraw cash there will pay a 3% foreign exchange fee (waived for holders of Citigold, Citi Priority and other high-end accounts).

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

Next steps

Virtually any financial institution will let you withdraw money for free from its own ATMs, and many credit unions and community banks participate in larger shared ATM networks, too. When opening a bank account, consider which is more important to you: ATM fee reimbursements or a local network.

Best banks to avoid ATM fees

BankATM network and fees
Axos BankUnlimited ATM fee reimbursements domestically on certain accounts
Fidelity Unlimited ATM fee reimbursements domestically
Radius BankUnlimited ATM fee reimbursements domestically on certain accounts
UFB DirectUnlimited ATM fee reimbursements domestically
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
CitibankLarge free ATM network

Virginia C. McGuire and Spencer Tierney are staff writers at NerdWallet, a personal finance website. Email: virginia@nerdwallet.com or spencer@nerdwallet.com. Twitter: @vcmcguire or @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 Compass, 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