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While many banks have incorporated the use of an automated teller machine (ATM) into standard bank design, a no fee ATM can be somewhat less common. A no fee ATM is a type of ATM that does not charge the user of the ATM any fees to use it, though this is typically dictated more by the terms of the bank providing the ATM rather than the actual machine itself. In general, this sort of machine can often be found when a person uses an ATM provided by a bank with which he or she has an account. Some banks also provide customers with refunds on fees levied by the ATMs of other banks as well.
A no fee ATM typically has less to do with the physical machine itself and more to do with the bank providing the ATM and the bank account a person has. For most ATM users, the fees charged by an ATM are dependent upon whether or not the user has an account with the bank providing the ATM. If a person uses an ATM from a bank with which he or she does not have an account, then the person may be charged a fee. This means that a no fee ATM is typically not necessarily a specific type of machine, but more commonly related to the banks involved; using a no fee ATM simply entails using an ATM that is provided by a bank at which a person has a checking or savings account.
If someone uses an ATM that is provided by a bank with which he or she does not have an account, charges are often added to the transaction. These charges can actually be twofold: consisting of a fee charged by the bank providing the ATM and a second fee charged by the bank at which the person has an account. Some banks can still charge a person to use an ATM provided by another bank even if the bank providing the ATM does not charge, meaning that using a no fee ATM could still result in a hidden fee.
There are also some banks that will refund fees resulting from using ATMs not provided by that bank. This may not truly constitute a no fee ATM, but such a service can reduce the charges accrued by someone using ATMs other than those provided by his or her bank. These banks will typically place a monthly limit on how much will be refunded and often refund the amount at the end of each month by depositing the amount directly into a customer’s account.