If you’re far from an ATM belonging to your own bank, brace yourself to shell out a few bucks. Banks across the country are hiking ATM fees, Credit.com reports. Chase, for example, is charging non-customers $5 to use their ATMs in an Illinois pilot program—and that’s on top of any fee the users’ own banks are demanding.
So why the soaring surcharge? Banks say it’s to make up for the cost of last year’s Wall Street reform, including restrictions on debit card fees. “The new regulations add up to big money,” says a consultant. Other experts disagree: banks have been increasing their ATM fees for a decade now, notes one. With the debit card rule due to take effect April 21, “I look at these higher fees as a scare tactic aimed at roiling congressional waters,” says another. The Week has more on the fees.