Americans planning a getaway this summer might want to check with their bank before leaving.
That's the message from financial literacy website Nerdwallet, which has published a survey of fees on automated teller machine withdrawals and overseas transactions for checking accounts at 20 of the largest U.S. banks.
Nerdwallet ranked each bank by four factors, including out-of-network ATM fees, international ATM fees and fees on foreign transactions. The survey also tallied the number of branches the banks operate in California, Florida, Texas, New York, Illinois, Nevada, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Georgia and New Jersey, the top 10 U.S. states by travel spending.
TD Bank (TD), Citibank (NYSE:C) and Capital One (COF) top the list of the lowest fees overall for travelers, followed by BBVA Compass (BBVA), BMO Harris Bank (BMO) and KeyBank (KEY), according to Nerdwallet. Banks at which travelers may encounter the highest fees: M&T Bank (MTB), Regions (RF), Citizens Financial, BB&T (BBT) and PNC (PNC).
"While these banks are not necessarily poor options in general, some of their fees and branch availability may make it difficult for travelers to avoid extra costs," John Gower, a senior analyst at Nerdwallet, wrote in a posting that accompanies the survey.
TD earned kudos from Nerdwallet as the best bank for travelers largely by being the only one in the survey that does not charge customers a fee for using their debit card in a foreign country.
M&T charges $3 for out-of-network ATM withdrawals in the U.S. and $5 abroad - the highest among banks surveyed by Nerdwallet - although the Buffalo bank will waive out-of-network ATM fees for an added charge of $4.95 per month. Citizens Financial also charges $3 for out-of-network withdrawals in the U.S. but does not increase the fee for overseas ATMs.
Wells Fargo (WFC) customers have their choice of the most branches in top travel states, according to Nerdwallet, followed by customers of JPMorgan Chase (JPM), Bank of America (BAC) and PNC.
Bof A's participation in the Global ATM Alliance means its customers can avoid additional fees on withdrawals while overseas at partner banks such as Barclays (BCS) and Deutsche Bank (DB), although B of A customers can still expect to pay a 1% foreign exchange fee.