ATM fees on the rise: Are you feeling the pinch?

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HOUSTON, Tx. -- Feel like you're getting robbed each time you go to the ATM? You're not alone. Fees for out-of-network ATM transactions have skyrocketed in the last year. What used to be a dollar or two for using another bank's ATM now costs more than four in most states. And that's before your bank tacks on its fee. And folks are feeling the pinch.

"For any credit transaction, especially for a bank, it's usually like two, three percent tops," says Houstonian Nelson Fernandez, "so to pay a four or five dollar fee for a twenty dollar transaction is at least 10 times more than you would have to pay already."

Elaine Higgins agrees. "Sometimes the ATMs charge it and then also the bank charges a fee so you end up paying a lot."

And it's something the guys at Flite Banking Centers are all too familiar with. They're the group behind those multiple ATM centers you've seen around town. The idea is to put as many ATMs as possible in one place so folks can find theirs and not have to pay all those fees. "We have Chase, Wells, Frost, we have Amegy that just came on-line a few months ago," says Flite President Michael Villarreal at the group's center on the Southwest Freeway, "those customers don't have to pay the fees for the surcharge."

But ATM fees aren't the only place banks are sticking it to you. Overdraft fees are on the rise as well. More than thirty bucks in most cases if you mess up your math and accidentally bounce a check.

Why the increase in fees? Someone's got to pay for the mess left behind after 2008's financial meltdown.


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