Should ATM Fees be Capped?

According to the Wall Street Journal, Senator Tom Harkin of Iowa has introduced an amendment to the financial reform legislation that would cap fees for ATM withdrawals at $0.50 per transaction.

Banks are currently charging an average of $2.66, so capping the withdrawal fee would remove a huge cash cow from the banking industry. Presumably, banks would make up for this by raising fees in other areas, or perhaps dreaming up new ones.

What do you think? Capping ATM fees… Good or bad idea?

53 Responses to “Should ATM Fees be Capped?”

  1. Anonymous

    Here are the ATM costs for the people who would like to see a limit of 50 cents on ATM transactions.

    Machine cost – $5000 with a life span of 10-20 years, monthly cost of $20-$40 a month

    Phone/Wireless line – $40 per machine per month

    Employee cost to service machine – $50 per machine per month

    Repairs/maintenance – $500-$1000 per year, monthly cost of $40-$80 per machine per month

    I work for a small ATM company and I know these costs to be accurate. This is $150 a month and does not include and administrative costs or processing costs paid to the big banks. Most of our machines average 200-300 transactions per month. Our best machine would make $0 before any administrative and banking costs putting every machine at a negative profit.
    This sort of fee would put all small ATM companies out of business and cost tens of thousands of jobs.

  2. Anonymous

    I am a consumer and work in the ATM industry. I don’t want fees capped for several reasons. 1. This will directly affect literally thousands of people working in this field. The ATM you see at your local store is serviced by at least three different companys in two to three different fields. There are people who supply cash, service, and general maintenance of the ATM. All of these people would be out of jobs. Not to mention the behind the scenes employees like me to who take calls from customers and cardholders who have problems or service issues with an ATM. People have to man the phone lines 24 hours a day. Less ATM’s means less people employed. 2. As a consumer, I don’t use ATM’s that charge me a fee. However, I have been caught in emergency situations and had to use an ATM that charged a fee. It was a convenience. I paid for it. Convenience = Expense. I think we can reach a happy medium here. I also believe Sen. Harkin (Connecticut) needs to look into ALL the facts.

  3. Anonymous

    Placing a cap on ATM fees would put many ATM operators and ATM companies and their employees out of business and out of work. I myself work for an ATM company and an amendment like this would force my employer to go out of business,and the reason to that is because it would be impossible for them to continue to operate on $0.50 surcharge due to all the expenses associated with each ATM terminal. many people might not realize but there are a lot of fees associated with each ATM terminal. The fees and expenses include, Terminal installation and setup fee, anywhere from $300-$600, A dedicated telephone line for the ATM, $30-$50 monthly. bank fees that the atm operators bank impose just to handle your account, armored truck money delivery, keep in mind that this fee is for the armored truck company just for them to deliver you your own money from your account to cash vault your ATM terminals,this fee could be anywhere from $1,000 to 5 6 7 or mroe depending on the size of the atm company, Security fees , transportaion fees , repair , insurance and other fees that add up and need to be paid for on a monthly basis. And ofcourse this doesnt include the monthly commission fee that the vendor recives and the intial price of the ATM Terminal that ranges from 2 to 4 thousand depending on the terminal type.

  4. Anonymous

    I don’t agree with capping the ATM surcharges. What ever happend to free enterprise? When I need money I use one of my banks ATM’s which is for free. I try to plan ahead. If I need money on the fly, I decide if I want to pay the ATM operators fee. No one forces me to use the ATM. This is something that is not broke. Why try to fix it?

  5. Anonymous

    Beside Milk, Since when prices were a government job. Big banks are taking small failing banks for free and all it cost them is a corner sign, couple Million dollars as a free gift per location, they kind liked it and to have more of that they found if they kill the private ATMs in Supermarkets,Malls and Walgreens, no one will again open a checking account in a small bank and still use a debit card when traveling. More small banks will fail and more gifts for the big ones. The question now is this an honest consumer friendly amendment or it is a lobbying with BIG BANKS. but remember if this would be the case, the senator may say people lobby all day long, and the answer would be that first he did not become senator on behalf of big banks, second if this would serve a monopoly BIG BANKS are exersising then that is against the Anti trust law in most of it’s sections and the lobbying would become a illegal
    Big Banks would need only one year of that for their free aquisitions and then they would be the one who sue for reversing such ruling
    Thank you Senator for a clear answer of your real intentions

  6. Anonymous

    So what would be next for the Senator Tom Harkins?……..To look into the actual cost of a Big
    Mac & French fries……find the the cost to make them is $0.37 cents and set the price at $050 cents per combo.
    If the ATM fee cap happens, the above could happen too.

  7. Anonymous

    The biggest reason i believe ATMs have a market is because of Indian gaming and casinos that are everywhere now and growing. So what do we do..dont allow ATMs on the reservation casinos/hotels? Good idea for it might help the millions of addicts(yes very under-reported by the mainstream media and government). Nobody wants to admit they have a problem. Payday loan companies have been making tons of money off addiction (460% APR).

    Personally i think gambling (with the help of payday loan companies)is the reason for the higher ATM fees.
    You wont see any govt official try and prohibit gambling anymore…they r encouraging it all the time with their own state lotteries. We need to give the Indian communities some other industry or business model to support their people and reservation/tribal needs.

  8. Anonymous

    Plain and simple the Harkin bill 3812 will run thousands of Americans out of business and limit ATM access. Almost half of all ATMs are operated by Independent ATM operators and not the banks. No way they can operate on a 50 cent surcharge just like Tom Harkin can’t get a 50 cent hair cut. If I lived in Iowa I’d be calling this guys office and asking what are you thinking or are you thinking at all. 50 cents in today’s time doesn’t even buy you a pack of gum and everyone thinks atm operators other than banks can provide thier service for this? Give me a freakin break! Tom Harkin D-Iowa Senate needs to find ways to help the econemy and not hurt it. BTY – I can use any atm with my bank and they pay the fee. When is this Harkin guys term up? Anyone know because you have a loose cannon that doesn’t do his homework.

  9. Anonymous

    Well, like most everything that the government tries to regulate in the private sector, the consumer ends up paying for it someplace else. Sure, there is gouging going on, but for the most part it is the “result” of govt intervention that raises prices/fees. Business people want to make a profit and increase their market share. Higher prices and fees certainly arent the best way to do that. So..Senator Harkin and the rest of your liberal friends…nice idea but it wont fix the problem. let the marketplace ebb and flow and it will fix itself. We will have a much better country and quality of life if we allow that to continue. The Progressives are taking this away from us year after year…just take a look at the price of your home versus the mortgage balance…that should tell you something about government intervention in the marketplace.

  10. Anonymous


    Yes there is an option ON ALL ATM’s to END the transaction before you are charged. The real problem here as ANY INDEPENDENTLY OWNED ATM OWNER is that the Big Banks LOVE US. They are the ones that have caused this legislation. Let me explain. Customer out with friends uses my ATM I charge $2.50 for $200…1.25 % fee to access cash at a restaurant 20 miles away from a bank. Thier large bank charges $3.00 on the back end. I like others take all the risk, machine costs, cash costs, wireless modems, phone lines, insurance etc, etc etc. BIG bank after paying interchange makes $2.50 after paying the processing fee on MY ATM TRANSACTION FOR NOTHING, NADA NO RISK! NO RISK NO NOTHING PURE PROFIT. That is why people get pissed. Not for the convenience fee for accessing cash at a bar or any other place but what a bank charges them on the back end. THIS NEEDS TO BE CAPPED. We do all the work and they MAKE THE MOST MONEY. Even my bank which provides me captial for expansion charges me $1.00 to access my own cash from MY OWN ATM. The point is it is the independant person that provides the convience factor and charges a fair fee, it is the large banks that profit from an unfair, unjust fee on the back end that they did nothing to earn. There is no way a bank is going to put an ATM in a bowling alley, restaurant, bar,diner, market, trade shows etc. The would have to invest in machines, wireless, phone, liability insurance etc. Sorry for the rant. This is what I basically said to Senator Schumers office today. It was nice to hear the Deputy Regional Representive say that he has used my ATM and has no problem with pay a convenience fee. HOPEFULLY the information I presented will reach the Senator and it will make a difference.



  11. Anonymous

    I own an atm business in NYC. I employ about 8 people. I feel that I contribute alot to the economy as a small business owner. my atms are not bank atms. they are those you see in delis bars etc.

    I split the surcharge I collect from customers with the store owners who allowed me to place an atm in their store. They get a nice check every month help them pay bills.

    I also, have to pay for the cash service to load machine with cash. interest on the money sitting unused in the machines. I have tons of administrative fees to the sponsoring banks(we must be sponsored)and to the daily operation of my business. My cost per transaction tops 1.50

    Banks have always other options if such regulation take place. they can simply reject cash to non-account holders.

    I will simply tell you. a cab means thousand of people in this industry. atm owners, technicians, cash service employees, admin staff and myself would simply be out of work.

    One guy who works for me whose name is carl and he is 62 years old retired man was crying over the phone telling me that (although he only has 100k balance on his house left) he will end up in the shelter if such cab take place. I am not being dramatic, I can prove every thing I said and i hope someone out there would listen and help us.

    Please support us:


  12. Anonymous

    #38 Ryan) “…That is my money and I am charging a fee to get it….”

    Well Said!

    I see where Tim (#37) said that his machines don’t charge a ‘balance inquiry fee’ — I don’t know anything about ATM owning, but I ask: is there a regulation that requires ATMs to give notice and accept confirmation for _additional_ fees that owners may want to charge?

    I gave an example (#24) where I was charged a ‘balance inquiry’ fee from an ATM, and I assure you that the machine gave no notice of an additional fee when prompting if I’d like to have the balance on the receipt. I’m all for ATM owners making money and providing a great service/convenience, but underhanded fee charging should be regulated.

    I completely disagree with Fee-caps — but I strongly support reform that would require a user to re-enter their PIN number for transactions that would result in additional fees (like a balance check during a cash withdrawal).

  13. Anonymous

    To all Senators,
    It is my understanding that bill 3217 includes a cap of $0.50 cents on ATM transaction fees.
    I urge you to please oppose this bill.
    Many people including my family depend on the ATM industry to live, pay bills and taxes too.
    I know of many people that work in this industry made up of many small businesses, this is NOT a huge single corporation case.
    I know of technicians, money vaulters, armored car companies security and driver personnel, accountants, bookkeepers, helpers, etc that have lost sleep since the word about the ATM surcharge fee cap of $0.50 cents was spread.
    We all know that the proposed fee cap will cripple this industry and we will all loose our livelihood.
    Allow me to add that ATM’s have many proposes, in my opinion, among the most important are safety and convenience and this is why ATM users choose to use the ATM when they know that they are able to go to their financial institution and do the same for free, it’s never been a secret.
    Please oppose price fixing and support free enterprise.

  14. Anonymous

    Maxx Technology and Investments
    Your ATM Solution
    [email protected]

    May 12, 2010

    RE: Amendment SA 3218

    Dear Senator,

    This letter is being generated in response to the video of Senator Harkins address on the Senate floor recently regarding ATM Transaction Fee’s.

    I am an Independent ATM Service Provider and was deeply concerned by the address Senator Harkin made concerning the ATM Industry. Processing an ATM transaction is a small, but important part of the whole transaction process. Senator Harkins simplistic view does not take into consideration the cost of the ATM machine, Insurance for ATM Capital, Transportation Cost or when out sourced, Armored Car Service, ATM Utilities, Security, Maintenance, Upgrading, and at times, a percentage of the transaction paid to location operator.

    I recently updated my ATM service certifications and was told that the most recent statistics for an ATM monthly transaction is 400, due to the fact that the ATM market has become saturated.

    With well over 400,000 ATM’s in service nationally, the consumer has an abundant supply of choices of ATM’s and transaction fees to CHOOSE from. Hence the term FREE MARKET.

    It is apparent that enacting this amendment would hinder the consumer’s ability to obtain cash when and where they choose by significantly reducing the number of ATM’s available because the $ .50 maximum fee would not cover all cost associated with operating an ATM business.

    In Senator Harkins address, he was correct when stating that on the ATM screen the consumer has a choice to agree to the transaction fee or void the transaction. Once again, this is the FREE MARKET at work. THE CONSUMER HAS A CHOICE.

    May 12, 2010
    Page 2

    In closing, for myself and on behalf of other ATM Independent Service Providers I am asking you to vote NO on Amendment SA 3812 and preserve the freedom of choice.

    Best Regards,

    Dina Bromann
    CEO of Maxx Technology and Investments

    h I left with all the Senators this morning.

  15. Anonymous

    #36) BG I own over 20 ATMs in Arkansas and Missiouri. All Fees are maked on the ATM, and you are told again on the ATM how much the fees is and ask if you agree. If you decline you are not charged. My ATMs charge from $2 to $2.50. If you do not want to pay the fee you are free to go use one of your banks ATMs and pay no fee. Your money is in your banks ATMs not in my ATMs. That is my money and I am charging a fee to get it. I employ 4 people if this bill passes this will destroy my business and cost 4 more people their job.

  16. Anonymous

    As an Owner operator of ATM’s I offer a service in over 100 locations at fee’s ranging from $1.75 to $3.00 based on location (and mobile events, festivals fairs, concerts etc) and distance to service the ATM’s. This fee is only for actual withdrawal not balance inquiries. Most ATM’s out side the physical location of a Bank are owned by individuals such as myself. This new cap would end my business as the cost of the machines, parts, insurance, capital COULD never be recouped or be profitable. If this goes through, gas stations, bars, bowling alleys etc etc etc will not have the ATM’s on premise for consumers.

    This year I will provide close to 10 million dollars in cash to consumers in my area alone. This would, not just in my area but everywhere.

  17. Anonymous

    I just heard that Senator Harkin of Iowa introduced a bill to cap ATM fees at $0.50. Senator Schummer of NY is endorsing it, I believe they should be ashamed of such a bill. We live in a country with free market where people are accustomed to pay for convenience.

    I truly feel that they are aiming to hurt the economy NOT help it as I am sure many people are employed by the ATM industry, I can’t imaging that any of them will be able to survive and keep employing citizens of this country with such a proposal.

  18. Anonymous

    I will have to drop into Pawn America next time I’m out and about to verify prices, but last time I checked, they charged 3% to cash a check – Wells Fargo and Bank of America won’t even cash a check unless you have an account there, even if the check is drawn on them.

    So you get your paycheck electronically deposited and then pay to take the money out – if you do it in $20 increments on a $1/use ATM (which is stupid, but some people do it) you’re paying 5% to get the money. Some ATMs in the Twin Cities charge as much as $3.50 – there was one in the lobby of the downtown building I worked in, in early 2009. At that rate you have to take out more than $100 at a time to beat the payday loan place’s check cashing fee.

  19. Anonymous

    I own an ATM business in Arkansas. If this bill passes it will put me out of business. It will also lessen the amount of locations people can get easy access to cash. All ATMs are not owned by banks. I own the ATMs, put my own money in them, and do all repairs to the ATMs. A fee of 50 cents will absolutely not cover my or any other ATM operators overhead. All fees are clearly marked to alert customers before any transaction takes place. Many individuals do not use banks and it is a huge convenience to have the ATMs in gas stations, hotels, restaurants, etc. Not only would this bill do away with my business and many other similar small businesses, it will affect consumers in a negative way. It will give banks even more power than they already have because they will completely control the ATM market.

    Ryan Lawrence
    Elite Enterprise Owner

  20. Anonymous

    No caps. Fees are spread out either by: Monthly fees, ATM Fees, Various Service Fees, Misc Fees. Depending on your bank, your going to pay some fees. Some concentrate on ATM fees, others monthly fees, etc etc.. Just pick your bank. If people do not like their fees, they will go out of business eventually. Fees pay for: the banks rent, the employees, insurance, maitenance, etc etc.. Its not FREE.. They have to charge something.

  21. Anonymous

    Can you tell it’s an election year? The silly little things that Congress is trying to change to earn brownie points from their potential voters…:::rolling eyes:::: Capping atm fees….sheesh.

    Like one other, I have USAA checking, too. And like a few others, I don’t use atms. If I need cash, I either get it when I am making a deposit (Cracker Barrel doesn’t use direct deposit; they use paper checks), or when I shop at stores such as Walmart and Sam’s who do offer cash back.

    I live out in the country, so the town I live in literally has a country grocery store and privately owned. They do not accept plastic of any kind, so I simply write a check for my needed purchases on the few occasions I happen to need an item….and if I have no cash on hand. No, they don’t have an atm either. Just my thoughts!

  22. Anonymous

    “I am interested to know if the free marketeers here don’t think pawn shops and check cashing business fees/services should be regulated – at the moment, in some states, a person getting cash through the ATM in $100 increments is paying as much in fees as a person who uses a payday loan service.”

    Where can you get a payday loan for lower fees than ATM? Honestly that doesn’t seem very realistic to me.

    I honestly think there is much more reason to regulate pawn shops or payday loan services at the federal level. They are lenders which is significantly different than a bank fee for convenience item. Also Pawnshops and payday loans seem to have more of a history of predatory practices. There are various state laws regulating pawn shops & payday loans but they vary too much. Another big reason to regulate pawn shops is that they are a typical place that stolen goods are sold so they bear extra scrutiny for that reason.

    Personally I am not entirely opposed to regulating ATMs *IF* the fees are really predatory. I mean if all ATM fees were like 25% or something ridiculous then that would definitely call for scrutiny and I’d favor some intervention. In any case a $5 cap on fees seems reasonable enough to me. But I honestly don’t think we *need* to impose any such regulation here. Its truely a convenience item.

    Should we outlaw 7-Eleven while we’re at it?

  23. Anonymous

    Regarding the underserved areas, the problem isn’t that banks are charging high fees for atm service, the problem is that crime has led the banks to pull back and charge high fees to cover the high risk. Capping fees will just lead banks to pull out even their atms. The solution isn’t capping fees, but correcting the crime problem. for everyone else, it should be easy to avoid atm fees.

  24. Anonymous

    Just leave it alone. I say, send congress home until their terms expire, then lets vote in a new group. Continue their pay so as not to harm them, but send them home so they dont’ harm us anymore.

  25. Anonymous

    Iowa used to not allow ATM fees at all – I’m not sure why it changed, it happened after I moved out of state.

    I am interested to know if the free marketeers here don’t think pawn shops and check cashing business fees/services should be regulated – at the moment, in some states, a person getting cash through the ATM in $100 increments is paying as much in fees as a person who uses a payday loan service.

  26. Anonymous

    Don’t cap them — let the ATM owner do what they want. HOWEVER, fees, if any, should be very clearly and prominently displayed.

    For example, making a cash withdrawal normally slaps you with a $2 fee, which you know about, and are gladly paying for the convenience. Then the ATM asks you if you want your account balance on the receipt, and you say sure and get the cash, receipt, and go on your happy way. Later on you find out that the ‘balance-check’ was an additional transaction with it’s own $2 fee.

    That is misleading at best, and fraudulent at worst — congress could reform the system so that each ‘fee-able’ transaction requires it’s own PIN entry. Customers would know that each time they have to enter their PIN, they are getting fee’d.

  27. Anonymous

    I don’t think that fees should be capped, and if they are then $0.50 is too low.

    Capping fees will just lead to fewer ATMs available and higher/new fees elsewhere.

    I pretty much agree with the general sentiment…don’t like the fees, then go to another bank.

    I think that $2 should be the minimum considered for a cap, if not higher, if this does go through.

  28. Anonymous

    I don’t think it makes sense to cap ATM fees. Instituting artificial controls over this seems unnecessary; rather, let the market dictate what the fees are.

    Personally, I rarely pay ATM fees. Its a matter of being prepared in most cases, from what I can see.

  29. Anonymous

    California (San Francisco?) tried to cap ATM fees about 10 years ago. Bank of America responded by making their ATMs available for only their customers. Bank of America won because those machines are VERY expensive to operate and maintain and so they have a right to charge what the market will bear. If you don’t want to pay the fee, don’t use an ATM other than your bank’s ATM.

    Congress has too much time on their hands and needs to stop playing the envy card with anything and everything.

  30. Anonymous

    Kinda doubt it. I don’t use ATMs, myself. They ARE a convenience & not a necessity. In the early days of ATMs, when I did use our bank’s machine, it didn’t feel safe–too easy for someone to rob you. So I just quit using it and never felt any need for it. As for stores that don’t accept credit or debit cards: I won’t shop in them.

  31. Anonymous

    Nope, I don’t agree with capping ATM fees. Like you said, banks will just find other ways to charge us. There are many ways to avoid paying ATM fees. Plan ahead, use an account that reimburses ATM fees (Schwab Bank), use your debit card at a store that allows you to get cash back, etc.

  32. Anonymous

    No. I use my bank’s atm and don’t pay any fees for that, if I ever get caught unprepared and need to use a different atm at a bank I’m not an account of that atm profits from me using it, and I’m fine with that.

  33. Anonymous

    Supply and Demand:

    There is no reason to put a cap on a product that is not necessary for someone to get through the day. They say the road to hell is paved with good intentions, and this road is completely paved over.

    While I hate going into a store and finding out that they don’t accept debit or credit cards and conveniently they have an ATM sometimes it happens. When I can I refuse to do service with that store, but sometimes it’s not that easy. In some parts of America the non-profit companies, local Veteran Organizations, etc don’t accept anything except cash due to the fees imposed by processing credit cards.

    All in all, I agree that Congress has bigger issues they should be working on, this little stuff is a huge waste of tax money.

  34. Anonymous

    Marian #13,

    “Right now, in free market system, there’s no reason to reduce them to such a low level – people will still avoid using ATMs because of fear of being overcharged.”

    It feels weird to type this, but I am not exactly sure you actually understand what free market means. I think you need to take one single economics class to understand supply and demand.

  35. Anonymous

    I’ll go for capping ATM fees.

    If we can also cap the number of terms Tom Harkin can serve in the Senate. How about 2? And since he’s currently on #5…

  36. Anonymous

    The problem with ATM fees is that, most likely, you don’t know how large they are. The fee doesn’t depend on your bank. It depends on the ATM policy.
    Capping them is a great idea.

    Capping them to a much lower amount than to the current average might or might not be normal. Anyway, I believe that, with 50 cents fee, many more people will use the ATMs so that ATM owners will recoup the difference easily. Right now, in free market system, there’s no reason to reduce them to such a low level – people will still avoid using ATMs because of fear of being overcharged.

  37. Anonymous

    I agree with most of the comments so far. There’s only so much you can do in regulating bank fees. It’s a seesaw affect where they’ll just repackage the products they have and just impose the fee elsewhere.

    And exactly what Jim stated earlier. ATM’s are a convenience, not a right. In today’s market, what do you really need to carry cash for? Practically 95% of the vendors out there take some form of Credit, Debit, or EBT — and quite a few of them offer cashback as an option with the transaction. What do you really need to purchase over $100 that you need physical cash for? Cash is overrated, isn’t that why we took all our money under the mattress and put them in a banking institution in the first place?

    Also, in this capitalistic market we should just let the banks figure out the fees. This just allows the credit unions to come in and take some of that marketshare away. I bank with a regular bank and credit union — they both have their pro’s and con’s, but I like my Credit Union because they don’t charge for ATM withdrawals — even through other banks’ ATMs.

  38. Anonymous

    You know if they cap the ATM fees (which will likely never go through) banks would just start imposing an annual fee on your account to make up the difference. You will end up paying it one way or another. Is it really that hard to get cash at your banks ATM?

  39. Nickel

    Jenna: Charging a fee for using a credit card is already against the Visa, MasterCard, Amex, etc. terms of service. The problem there is a lack of enforcement.

  40. Anonymous

    I bank with USAA, who doesn’t have their own ATMs, so they just reimburse me the ATM fees other banks charge me (up to $15 a month). So this doesn’t really affect me, but I do think there should be a cap (although Harkin’s proposed cap seems way too low) mainly to combat the somewhat predatory higher fees you see in communities underserved by banks ($5 or more).

    I’d suggest $1.50 as a cap, because that used to be pretty standard until banks realized they could get away with more.

    Oh, and if they do put this in, tie it to inflation or allow an annual increase. Drives me crazy that Congress will set a certain monetary amount for something without acknowledging that the value of money will change in the future.

  41. Anonymous

    I understand the need for this. Many underserved communities don’t have banks within proximity and the closest place to get cash is from a corner store. This is similar to the same problems as modern grocery stores not locating in certain urban neighborhoods. The liquor store than become the place to go to get food (usually unhealthy), cash checks (normally with a high fee) and use an atm (normally at about $3.00 a transaction).

  42. Anonymous

    Nope, don’t cap the fees. My B&M bank reimburses all transactions, simply because I have direct deposit.

    Absent that bank, ING Direct Online Checking waives fees as well.

    One thing that bothers me about Congress capping fees on services I don’t currently pay for is that sooner or later, the banks will impose fees on services that I use but are currently free.

  43. Anonymous

    Congress has too much time on its hands. If they want to get into price controls, they should start with beer. I pay too much for my favorite beer. I don’t spend any money on ATM fees and if I did, I would change banks. But I just love that expensive beer. Please Congress, go after beer first. Then control the price of gasoline. That always seems to work well, except for that fuel shortage thing.

  44. Anonymous

    Absolutely not. The fees are part of the free-market system. Congress should stop meddling. Jim is right – it’s a convenience, and you pay for the convenience.

    Years ago Rush Limbaugh had a good monologue on ATM fees, comparing them to the higher price you pay for milk at a gas station convenience store vs. a grocery store. If you want the convenience of picking up milk at the gas station, you pay more.

  45. Nickel

    Ron: Hah.

    Jim: I agree. I use the ATM all the time, and I never pay fees. I’ve just selected a bank with free transactions and a huge ATM network so it’s never hard to find one of theirs.

  46. Anonymous

    ATMs are a convenience, not a right. I don’t see a big need to regulate this. But then I never pay ATM fees myself. I don’t see why if paying a $2-3 ATM fee is a problem for people that they can’t just avoid doing so. Should be free to simply go inside your own bank and make a withdrawal the old fashioned way. If they were to cap fees then I’d make the cap something like $5 to make sure the fees aren’t ridiculous.

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