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Automated teller machine fee jumps up

To get money from an automated teller machine can be costly these days.

A survey released Tuesday by Bankrate.com, an online financial information service, found that the average surcharge for use of a "foreign" ATM has risen to a record $1.78 (1.2 EUR) from the previous high of $1.64 (1.2 EUR) a year ago. The most common fee has jumped to $2 (1.4 EUR) from $1.50 (1 EUR), and at least one bank is charging $3 (2.1 EUR) per transaction.

In addition, a consumer's own bank is likely to tack on an additional $1.25 (.89 EUR) when a consumer uses another bank's ATM.

At the prevailing rates, consumers will pay nearly $4.4 billion (3.1 billion EUR) in ATM fees this year, Bankrate.com estimated.

The study also found that the average bounced check fee has hit a new high of $28.23 (20 EUR), up from $27.40 (19.4 EUR) last fall.

Greg McBride, senior financial analyst with Bankrate.com, said he will not be surprised to see ATM surcharges increase across the United States following the recent move by Bank of America Corp. to raise its fee to $3.

"Banks often move like a school of fish on ATM fees," he said. "If history is a guide, others will follow Bank of America soon."

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