Common Cents: Avoid Withdrawing Money From Out-of-Network ATMs

Oct 13, 2017
Article, Personal Finance, Current Events, Checking Accounts, Debit Cards

The creation of the ATM saved quite a lot time for bank customers, as they no longer had to wait in line at bank branches to withdraw their money. Could escalating out-of-network ATM fees lead to the decline of withdrawing cash in the near future? I predict that the recent trend of peer-to-peer payment could lead to the eventual—and most unfortunate—downfall of ATMs starting in large metropolitan areas. In these markets, more and more people are opting out of using cash and instead turning to mobile apps like Venmo, PayPal, or Apple Pay to make day-to-day purchases.

On a similar note, a recent Nasdaq article details how the number of Americans who carry and use money on a day-to-day basis is rapidly decreasing. Carrying cash everyday seems as if it’s more of a generational concept, as more and more Millennials and Generation Z in metro areas don’t find it necessary.

A recent article from USA Today explains, “[t]he average total cost of using an out-of-network ATM hit a record $4.69 per transaction… [which is] up 2.6% from a year ago and is 5.5% higher than 10 years ago” (USA Today). So why are some banks so adamant about increasing ATM fees? Do they know that people who want instant gratification will pay a higher amount for this convenience? Or maybe the higher fees are due to the increasing popularity of cashless apps taking over the financial world? Whatever the case, it seems as if ballooning ATM fees will soon hinder many from taking money out. It just doesn’t make much sense for bank customers to pay a fee to access their funds. Not surprisingly, it doesn’t cost a penny for bank customers to withdraw, deposit, or inquire about their account from an ATM within their bank’s network. All in all, it’s common cents to stick to ATMs within your network.


  • Do you currently (and frequently) withdraw cash from ATMs? For what purpose(s)?
  • Have you ever withdrawn money from an out-of-network ATM? Why? 
  • In your opinion, is it easier to pay for everyday items using peer-to-peer payment apps or cash?
  • Is the convenience of having cash in your wallet worth the increasing ATM fees?
    • What’s an alternative way of getting cash? (Hint: going grocery shopping)


NGPF: If you liked this article, be sure to check out our question of the day regarding ATM fees, as well as our activity on basic banking!




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About the Author

Danielle Bautista

Danielle is a native of Southern California and a recent graduate from the University of Maine, where she braved the frigid winters—a feat in and of itself—and earned her Bachelor's degree in International Affairs. She has a passion for working with non-profit organizations and serving populations in underprivileged communities. When Danielle isn't writing NGPF blog posts, spearheading various outreach projects, or managing contests and flash surveys, you can find her doing some sort of outdoor activity, learning a new hobby, or cracking what she thinks are witty puns!