Top 7 Banks That Have Free ATMs and ATM Refunds

by | Dec 10, 2019

You might think that all banks are created equal, but being charged for withdrawing cash at an ATM can be incredibly frustrating. Even seemingly minor fees can add up to a lot of money over months and years of using ATMs.

This article will cover some of the best banks for people interested in free ATMs and refunds for ATM fees. Check your recent statements to look for ATM fees and determine whether your bank offers free ATMs—this will also help you identify how much you could save by switching to a new bank.

 

Radius

Radius is an American bank with a focus on online options, and its rewards checking account currently offers one percent cash back on all debit card purchases along with interest rates as high as 1.2 percent APY as of the time of writing. Its high-yield savings account offers even more interest at an even two percent, one of the highest rates at any bank.

If you’re interested in giving money to charity, you can also sign up for the Superhero Checking Account to automatically donate all interest and one percent of all expenses to March of Dimes. Radius also provides a number of other convenient features including responsive customer service, early direct deposits, and easy mobile access.

Radius’ ATM benefits are available with both checking accounts, and they provide more than enough for most users. The bank doesn’t charge any fees at non-network ATMs, and you’ll automatically be reimbursed for all third-party ATM fees at the end of each cycle. While this offer applies to both domestic and international ATMs, Radius does charge a foreign transaction fee.

 

Axos

Like Radius, Axos focuses on online banking and offers a simpler customer experience than most traditional banks. It offers the same early direct deposit feature which allows users to receive paychecks as much as two days in advance after connecting their account.

Axos’ Rewards Checking Account comes with a comparable interest rate at 1.25 percent, substantially higher than many other banks offer. There are no fees for maintenance or insufficient funds, and Axos doesn’t require you to keep a minimum balance.

While the CashBack Checking Account doesn’t offer the same interest, you’ll earn up to a full percent in cash back on each purchase that requires a signature. On the other hand, this account does come with a minimum balance and other fees.

The Essentials Checking Account provides many of the benefits of the other two, and free ATM withdrawals are available with all three accounts. You’ll be reimbursed for unlimited ATM fees at the end of each month, although Axos, like Radius, charges a one percent fee on foreign debit card purchases and ATM withdrawals.

 

Schwab

Schwab isn’t a traditional bank like the other options on this list, but its High Yield Investor Checking Account offers numerous unique features that make it worth mentioning. Keep in mind that you can only open a Schwab checking account if you already have a brokerage account—High Yield Investor accounts are meant to be linked with your Schwab brokerage account.

The so-called high yield isn’t as lucrative as some digital banks with an APY of just 0.2 percent. That said, this is still significantly more than you can get with a checking account at common banks like Chase, Wells Fargo, Citibank, and Bank of America, none of which offer checking accounts with rates higher than 0.05 percent.

Like both Axos and Radius, Schwab offers unlimited ATM reimbursement to cover fees on withdrawals. But it goes beyond those two and many other banks by offering no foreign transaction fee, allowing you to get free withdrawals no matter where you are. This makes it the perfect option for anyone who regularly travels outside of the United States.

 

Alliant

Alliant is another digital bank that offers competitive features compared to traditional banks, and its offers are generally similar to those of Axos and Radius. Unfortunately, the annual percentage yield is just 0.45 percent—much higher than Schwab and the conventional banks listed above, but still far behind Axos, Radius, and certain other digital providers.

Like many other digital banks, Alliant doesn’t charge minimum balance fees or a monthly maintenance fee, although you will be subject to fees for check printing and insufficient funds, so make sure to check your balance regularly. After creating an account, you’ll receive a free Visa debit card along with a free box of checks.

Alliant provides over 80,000 network ATMs across the country, so you shouldn’t have any trouble finding a place to withdraw cash for free. Additionally, they’ll reimburse you for out of network ATM fees up to a limit of $20 per month—more than enough to cover several transactions, but still not unlimited.

Another disadvantage of Alliant compared to certain competitors is its one percent foreign transaction fee, equivalent to both Radius and Axos. This might not sound like much, but it will add significant costs if you spend a lot of time overseas. Consider Schwab or another bank with no foreign transaction fees if you travel frequently.

 

Ally

Ally is a digital bank that offers checking accounts in addition to a variety of other financial services including home loans, auto loans, and investment accounts. Its Interest Checking Account provides one-tenth of a percent in APY for those with a balance of less than $15,000, although that increases to 0.6 percent if you raise your balance above the minimum.

Like many other digital banking options, Ally doesn’t charge monthly maintenance fees or fees for cashier’s checks, postage-paid deposit envelopes, incoming wires, copies of online statements, ACH transfers (whether standard or expedited). On the other hand, you will pay a few fees on things like overdrafts, outgoing wires, and excessive transactions.

Ally Interest Checking account holders receive up to $10 in ATM reimbursement during each billing cycle, adding up to a maximum of $120 per year. You can use any network ATM to avoid fees, and the Ally website offers an ATM locator to help you find free ATMs near you.

 

Everbank

Everbank offers a competitive high-yield checking account that compares favorably to most of the alternatives, and checking customers have access to ATM reimbursement every month. It costs $100 to open an Everbank checking account, so it’s only worth the money if you plan to take advantage of the bank’s unique features.

Purchases on your Everbank debit card, for example, are eligible for refunds of up to $250 within 90 days of purchase. You can get a refund even if the original merchant refuses your request, potentially saving you much more than the initial $100 fee to start the account. Similarly, Everbank offers price protection to match price drops that occur within 60 days of your purchase.

Like Ally, Everbank provides different interest rates depending on your account balance. You’ll earn 0.25% APY with a balance of up to $10,000, then 0.40% between $10,000 and $25,000. This increases to 0.50% for $25,000-$50,000, 0.55% for $50,000-$100,000, and 0.65% for $100,000-$10,000,000.

All users have access to an introductory APY of 1.01% during their first year with the account. Everbank’s Yield Pledge promise guarantees you a high yield for the life of the account, and Everbank adjusts rates every week to stay in the top 5% of competitive accounts.

ATM reimbursement is available for up to $15 per month for those with a balance of under $5,000. You’ll receive unlimited compensation once you reach a balance of at least $5,000, and your interest rate will continue to rise as you add more money to the account.

 

FNBO Direct

FNBO Direct is an online banking platform provided by First National Bank of Omaha. Its checking account offers a competitive interest rate of 0.65% APY regardless of your account balance, and there’s no account creation fee or monthly service fee.

While FNBO doesn’t offer ATM fee reimbursement to users with a balance of less than $25,000, you’ll receive payment for the first four non-network ATM fees from each statement cycle. This is more than enough to cover most months, especially considering how easy it is to find a network ATM in most locations.

Like many of the other options on this list, FNBO Direct accounts are completely paperless and are intended to be managed entirely online. FNBO Direct provides an intuitive mobile app and web interface that make it easy to oversee your finances in one place. It may take you some time to adjust to an online-only bank, but you’ll probably prefer the simplicity of online banking once you get used to it.

Bank fees — whether on wire transfers, overdrafts, or ATM fees — can add up to a lot each month if you’re regularly withdrawing cash. These banks offer some of the best ATM reimbursement services currently available and are great options for anyone who wants to save money on ATM transactions.

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