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How to avoid $5 ATM fees

The convenience of using an ATM now costs $5 a pop for some bank customers.

Why so much?

According to CBS News Business and Economics Correspondent Rebecca Jarvis, many banks are increasing fees and penalties to make more money in response to new federal regulation.

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"The banks say, 'Listen, we're losing sales as a result of increasing regulations. We need to raise fees on our customers.' You have 425,000 ATMs in this country, and banks see that as an opportunity to make more money, though the fees do vary widely."

Co-anchor Chris Wragge noted ATMs generated $7.1 billion in fees last year, according to consulting firm Oliver Wyman. Of that amount, banks earned roughly $3 billion from charging their customers for using another institution's ATM. Surcharges, he said, are up more than five percent since 2009.

Jarvis took a look at some of the banks changing their policies toward their ATMs.

"They're all over the place," she said. "JPMorgan Chase, for example, has just rolled out this new program where they're going to charge non-customers in Texas and Illinois (that charges) as much as $4 to $5 per transaction (to) non-customers. TD Bank at the other side of things, they used to let customers use other bank ATMs for free. Now they're charging them $2 for every transaction. And PNC used to actually reimburse customers when they used another bank's ATM. Now they're going to take that away. They're stopping with those reimbursements."

Wragge asked where all these fees are going.

Jarvis answered, "Essentially, they're going to help the bottom line of these banks and the banks are all trying to make money. And keep in mind: You can be hit with a double whammy. You can be charged by a non-bank that you don't deal with and charged by your own bank because you're using a non-bank that you don't deal with."

However, Jarvis said there are ways to get around these fees.

She advised, "One of the best things to do, and it will cut back on time and make life more efficient, is get the cash back with purchase. Every time you swipe your debit card you're entitled, in many cases, to get a cash back. You can do that."

Jarvis continued, "There's an All-Point app, a mobile app that will let you find free ATMs in your area. In addition to that you can use a bank with a national network. If you have a bank that has a national network with more ATMs, you're less likely to pay more money. And lastly, consider an online checking account. Because online checking in many cases, when you don't have a brick and mortar bank, they're going to let you be reimbursed for a number of ATMs that you could use."

But Wragge said, "Basically banks know that they've got you."

Jarvis said, "They know that they've got you. And everyone is doing it, so there's no competition for not doing it."

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