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Bank overdraft and ATM fees both hit record highs

Bank ATM fees and overdraft fees are both at record highs, a new survey found.  [AP File Photo/Gerry Broome]
Bank ATM fees and overdraft fees are both at record highs, a new survey found. [AP File Photo/Gerry Broome]
Published Oct. 3, 2017

ATM and overdraft fees have each hit record highs, according to the latest checking study from Bankrate.com.

The average overdraft fee is $33.38, up slightly after a small dip in 2016, and the average out-of-network ATM fee is $4.69, up 2.6 percent from last year.

Tampa Bay is in the middle of the pack. The bay area has the 12th highest average overdraft fee ($33.63) and the 12th highest average out-of-network ATM fee ($4.76) of the top 25 major metros, Bankrate.com found.

The drumbeat toward higher costs of convenience has been relentless, with ATM fees up 55 percent over the past decade.

But there are ways to minimize the financial pain.

"When it comes to ATM and overdraft fees, a little advance planning can go a long way," Bankrate.com chief financial analyst Greg McBride said in a release. "Knowing where you can make free ATM withdrawals and monitoring your available balance to avoid overdrafts are as close as your smartphone."

Free checking accounts are holding steady, with 38 percent of banks offering free non-interest checking accounts to all customers, the study found.

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