A report released by the Government Accountability Office on Thursday found that despite higher ATM costs, credit unions charge members less for out-of-network ATM deposits and withdrawals than banks.
“This is a good message for credit unions to share during National Financial Literacy Month, which is all about making smart financial decisions,” Fred Becker, the president and CEO of the National Association of Federal Credit Unions, said.
The report found credit unions’ ATM surcharges for out-of-network ATM transactions averaged 17 cents less last year than those charged by banks, and foreign fees, which are fees that benefit the institution alone, were 23 cents lower at credit unions than at banks.
Additionally, more consumers are able to withdrawal cash without a fee at an ATM if they use a credit union. At a credit union, consumers can obtain cash without a fee 95 percent of the time, while consumers can obtain cash without a fee from a bank just 85 percent of the time.
ATM fees have risen in recent years from a median of $1.56 in 2007 to $2 by the end of last year. Last year, 96 percent of institutions assessed surcharges, compared to 87 percent in 2007. The average estimated surcharge rose from $1.75 in 2007 to $2.10.