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Expand chart
Data: Bankrate; Chart: Axios Visuals

It now costs an average of $4.72 to take money out of an ATM that isn't owned by your bank — the highest amount since Bankrate.com started tracking the data in 1998 (when it was $1.97).

Why it matters: ATM fees disproportionately fall on low-income people in neighborhoods that banks tend to avoid. At the same time, saving money in the bank is harder than before, as banks lower the interest rates they pay to depositors.

By the numbers: There are 2 parts to what customers pay to use an "out-of-network" ATM: A surcharge from the machine's owner and a fee that a majority of banks charge for using someone else's machine.

  • Surcharges by machine owners are now an average of $3.09.
  • Among the 67.7% of banks with "non-bank ATM fees," the average fee is $1.63.

By the city: Of the 25 metro areas included in the study, Houston has the highest average ATM fee ($5.58), while Los Angeles has the lowest ($4.15).

  • For banks, "the ATM fee has long been low-hanging fruit in terms of boosting fee income," Greg McBride, chief financial analyst at Bankrate.com, tells Axios. "Nobody's worried about alienating a non-customer."

Meanwhile, the average yield on a checking account is only .06% — down from 1.35% in 1998 (though the lowest figure was .04% in 2014, per Bankrate.com).

  • The average overdraft fee is $33.36 — down from the record of $33.38 in 2017, but up from $21.57 in the original survey.
  • Philadelphia has the highest average overdraft fee ($35.50), while Cincinnati has the lowest ($30.95).

Flashback: The world's first ATM was installed in London by Barclays in 1967.

  • "The bank was only open until 3:30 p.m.," so getting cash outside business hours was a big deal, recalled Carol Greygoose, an 18-year-old teller at Barclays at the time.

The first ATM in the U.S. was installed at a Chemical Bank branch in Rockville Centre, N.Y., in 1969, 6 weeks after the first moon landing.

There were problems at first: "Because the machines were offline there was no way to check a customer's balance to see if there was enough money to cover a withdrawal," according to Wired.

  • "To overcome that barrier, there was a $150 daily limit for ATM withdrawals."

Go deeper

Tech scrambles to derail inauguration threats

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Tech companies are sharing more information with law enforcement in a frantic effort to prevent violence around the inauguration, after the government was caught flat-footed by the Capitol siege.

Between the lines: Tech knows it will be held accountable for any further violence that turns out to have been planned online if it doesn't act to stop it.

Dave Lawler, author of World
2 hours ago - World

Uganda's election: Museveni declared winner, Wine claims fraud

Wine rejected the official results of the election. Photo: Sumy Sadruni/AFP via Getty

Yoweri Museveni was declared the winner of a sixth presidential term on Saturday, with official results giving him 59% to 35% for Bobi Wine, the singer-turned-opposition leader.

Why it matters: This announcement was predictable, as the election was neither free nor fair and Museveni had no intention of surrendering power after 35 years. But Wine — who posed a strong challenged to Museveni, particularly in urban areas, and was beaten and arrested during the campaign — has said he will present evidence of fraud. The big question is whether he will mobilize mass resistance in the streets.

Off the Rails

Episode 1: A premeditated lie lit the fire

Photo illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Beginning on election night 2020 and continuing through his final days in office, Donald Trump unraveled and dragged America with him, to the point that his followers sacked the U.S. Capitol with two weeks left in his term. Axios takes you inside the collapse of a president with a special series.

Episode 1: Trump’s refusal to believe the election results was premeditated. He had heard about the “red mirage” — the likelihood that early vote counts would tip more Republican than the final tallies — and he decided to exploit it.

"Jared, you call the Murdochs! Jason, you call Sammon and Hemmer!”