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Twin Cities ATM fees relatively low

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Twin Cities residents are getting a bit of break on ATM fees, compared with most Americans. 

Greg McBride is an analyst with Bankrate.com,  which studied ATM charges across the nation. He said banks charge non-customers an average fee of $2.20 in the Twin Cities. Denver leads the nation at $2.80.

 "Although consumers can expect to be charged a fee every time they go to another bank's ATM, there is a bright spot," McBride said. "In the Twin Cities area, the fee they're going to get charged is among the lowest that we've seen in large markets around the country."

Many banks also charge their own customers for using another firm's ATMs. In the Twin Cities, that fee averaged $1.58, pretty much midway between the nation's highest and lowest rates. 

McBride said there's no way people should be regularly paying such fees.  

  "They remain completely avoidable, particularly with things like apps and online access, where you can scout out the locations of free ATMs," he said. "There's no excuse to be routinely incurring these types of fees."

McBride said consumers can readily avoid fees by sticking to cash machines that are part of networks connected to their banks or credit unions. He notes even many small institutions offer access to a broad network of no-fee ATMs.