Finding the Best Bank Without ATM Fees
No one likes ATM fees. When you open a checking account, you expect to be able to get cash at an ATM without having to pay extra charges to your own bank or credit union. So we pored over the data to find the top financial institutions that have no ATM fees in 2020.
|Charles Schwab Bank Read More||0.03%||$0|| |
|Fidelity Read More||0.01%||$0|| |
|Radius Bank Read More||0.15%||$100|| |
|Axos Bank Read More||1.25%||$50|| |
|Citibank Read More||0.03%||$0|| |
How We Determine the Best No ATM Fee Banks
For this list, we considered only checking accounts at banks that don’t charge ATM fees. In order to rate which were the best, we analyzed the following categories: domestic and international ATM fee reimbursements, annual percentage yield (APY), minimum opening deposits, monthly fees, overdraft fees and overall customer service.
Best Overall Bank: Charles Schwab Bank
Even with a mediocre 0.03% APY, the Charles Schwab High Yield Investor Checking® account offers a lot to its customers. Those who travel internationally often can get cash at any time from any ATM and have all fees reimbursed automatically. You won’t get the refund back immediately though, as Schwab returns the total to your account in a lump sum at the end of the month.
The major issue with this account is its APY that, while technically better than the 0.04% national checking account APY average, is still not that robust. The bank account compensates for this downside by being almost entirely fee-free. As a matter of fact, there are no monthly maintenance fees, free checks, no overdraft fees, no stop payment fees, and no foreign exchange fees.
Along with this account, you’ll receive a free Schwab One® brokerage account for your investments. This not only gives you access to investing education resources, but it also allows you to enter the investment world without much capital. There is no fee to open or maintain this account, and you get a $4.95 rate on all online equity trades.
Runner-up for Best Overall Bank: Fidelity
Fidelity is an investment-first financial institution, making it not your typical “bank.” But its cash management account can hand you all the benefits that a bank does, without the massive fees that usually accompany it.
Any fees you incur while making withdrawals at domestic ATMs are reimbursed within the same day that you complete the transaction. Simply use your new Fidelity® Debit card at any ATM with the Visa®, Plus® or Star® logos, and you’ll remain eligible for refunds. But if you’re using an ATM outside of the U.S., there is an unavoidable 1% foreign transaction fee.
Beyond the generous ATM policy above, Fidelity doesn’t have many other fees or account restrictions. In fact, there is no minimum deposit to open an account, no minimum balance to maintain, no monthly service fees and no fees to use overdraft services. However, Fidelity applies a 0.07% APY to your account balance, which doesn’t leave much room for account growth.
Considering Fidelity is almost totally online, it should come as no surprise that the Fidelity Mobile® app and website are thorough and helpful. Some of their features include online bill pay, mobile check deposit, wire transfers, and real-time trading. If your Apple device has the capabilities, you can also utilize Face ID and Touch ID to log on.
Best Online Bank: Radius Bank
Formerly the Hybrid Checking account, the Radius rewards checking account gives you 1% in unlimited cash back on signature purchases plus refunds on all domestic and international ATM fees. But when you make a withdrawal or deposit outside of the U.S., Radius will charge you a foreign currency exchange fee no matter what. It would be wise to keep track of how much you’ve been charged in these fees, though, as you won’t see them credited to your account right away. Instead, like Schwab, ATM surcharge reimbursements are sent out in full at the conclusion of every month.
There are three rate tiers you could encounter with this account depending on your balance:
|$0.01 - $2,499.99||0.00%|
|$2,500.00 - $99,999.99||0.10%|
Once you have a balance of $2,500 or more, the APY is significantly higher than the average for a checking account in the U.S. So although it’s not at the same level as the two accounts above, it holds a much higher yield than most of its peers. You need to deposit at least $100 to open this account, though there are no monthly fees.
To cover yourself for any instances of overdraft, it would be wise to do a lot of your other banking with Radius too. For example, you can utilize a savings account, money market account (MMA) or line of credit to absorb any overdrafts you might make. Account holders are able to transfer money to and from their account for free, even if it’s not with another Radius account. eStatements and mobile check deposit are also included as free features of this account, and account holders can receive an additional 1.50% cash back on purchases made with a Radius debit card.
Runner-up: Axos Bank (more below)
Best High Yield Bank: Axos Bank
With a 1.25% APY, the Axos Bank Rewards Checking account has the strongest interest-earning potential of any offer on this list. This isn't an automatically given APY, though, as there are strings attached to earn it. It is split into thirds, and you can earn each third by meeting all of these monthly requirements: make a purchase of $3 or more at least 10 times a month, make five more purchases of at least $3 in the same month and collect at least $1,000 in direct deposits.
Axos Bank is an online-only bank. However, if you use an ATM in the U.S. and are a Rewards Checking, Cashback Checking or Essential Checking account holder, you will receive back a full rebate of any fees you may have payed. Unlike some of the other offers on this list, this doesn’t apply to foreign ATMs. You can only reap the benefits of this ATM fee reimbursement program if you use your Axos Bank Visa® debit card to complete the transaction.
Best Customer Experience: Citibank
Whether you’re opening a checking or savings account, Citi offers numerous options for clients seeking assistance. The firm has more than 700 national branches and 1,800 overseas branches, and it provides a 24/7 customer service line that all clients have access to. Citi also has a well-rated mobile app it offers Apple and Android users.
The bank’s Citigold Interest Checking account’s 0.03% APY isn’t as competitive, but you won’t need a minimum opening deposit to establish the account. But to qualify for Citigold, clients must maintain a combined average monthly balance in eligible accounts.
When it comes to ATM services, Citi offers a range of fee-free ATMs. This includes more than 2,300 ATMs in 600 Citibank branches. You’ll have access to more than 60,000 surcharge-free ATMs, and the bank also has ATMs in more than 20 countries.
Runner-up: Chase Bank Sapphire Checking