Foreign ATM fees are fees charged by a bank or credit union to their customers for using ATMs outside of their network.  Banking customers are charged this fee when they use an ATM that is not owned or operated by their financial institution.

Almost all banks and credit unions offer unlimited withdrawals from their own ATMs with no fee to their account holders.  But, once a customer uses an ATM that is not owned or affiliated with the bank where the ATM card is issued, the bank will tack on fee to their customer for using that ATM.  This fee, the foreign ATM fee, generally ranges from $2.00 to $3.00 per transaction..

The foreign ATM fee is separate from the charges that will are assessed by the owner of the ATM that is being used.  A surcharge fee is frequently imposed by the ATM owner; separate from the foreign ATM fee imposed by the account holder’s bank.  The surcharge fee is assessed by the ATM owner to users of the machine that do not have account or an affiliation with the institution operating the ATM.  Some banks and/or specific bank accounts reimburse or offer limited reimbursements on the ATM fees or surcharge fees that other banks charge.

The term foreign ATM fees is generally not used in reference to international ATM transactions or overseas transactions, these fees are usually identified by financial institutions as international ATM fees but may, in some cases, be referred to as a foreign ATM fees – adding some confusion to banking nomenclature.

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