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Banking in Atlanta
As is true when making any major financial decision, picking the best bank in Atlanta requires in-depth research. You particularly need to compare banking fees thoroughly. If you are considering opening a new account or switching to a new bank, it is important to understand what potential fees you may be required to pay. A not insignificant percentage of your money could be taken by your bank to cover the costs of services. Don’t get caught spending more than you should. In this article, we will examine common fees charged by the major Atlanta banks and how they compare to the rest of the nation.
Considered the ninth largest city in the United States, Atlanta, Georgia, consists of approximately 500,000 residents in the city itself and 5.8 million people in the greater metropolitan area. Moreover, it has been dubbed a primary transportation hub and top business city in the entire Southeast region of the United States. The population is roughly 49.6% male and 50.4% female. The city is quite diverse, but the two largest groups are African Americans comprising 54% and Whites with 38.4%. Another 5.2% of the demographic is Hispanic. The Asian community makes up 3.1% of the total population.
The unemployment rates have steadily decreased in recent years. Although sitting at 10% in 2013, unemployment has dropped to 4.5% in 2018. This is thanks in part to major companies like Coca-Cola, Home Depot, UPS, AT&T and many more creating more jobs. Further, with new jobs opening in the technology sector, the city is slowly living up to its nickname, “The Silicon Peach.” All this contributes to the economy making it one of the fastest growing cities in the U.S. based on its $320 billion of gross domestic product.
History of Banking in Atlanta
Atlanta has a rich history when it comes to banks. Most famous of the institutions are the First National Bank of Atlanta and of course the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta. The former was founded after a series of mergers and, in 1929, it was the largest bank in the United States south of Philadelphia. The Atlanta FED is one of twelve Federal Reserve Banks that started working in November 1914 and it is active to this day.
The state of Georgia is home to 219 different banks, both national and local. There are 2264 branch offices located in 334 cities and towns within the state.
An Introduction to Common Fees
There are many fees that a bank may charge you to both open and maintain an account. The most common include opening deposits, monthly maintenance fees, ATM fees, overdraft fees and/or overdraft protection, foreign transaction fees, paper statement fees, teller fees, and card replacement fees.
The following is a brief list of typical fees you may see at some banking institutions in Atlanta:
Unique Banking Fees in Atlanta
Are you wondering how Atlanta compares to other major cities when it comes to fees? In particular, Atlanta, unfortunately, pays higher ATM fees than most. According to a recent Bankrate.com report, Atlanta ranked 5th highest in the country (out of 25 metropolitan areas) for out of network fees (combined fees charged by both the user bank and the ATM operator). The average fee here is $5.05, which is 36 cents greater than the national average. Further, the report indicated that ATM fees throughout the country had risen on average more than 55% over the last eleven years. The national average is now at $4.69, which is a 2.6 percent increase from the year before. It appears that using an ATM in the United States, and particularly in Atlanta, has become an expensive proposition.
Bank of America ATL
Bank of America is considered the second largest banking institution in the nation based on assets. The bank has over 4300 branch offices throughout the country. In the state of Georgia, there are about 167 branch offices located in 66 different cities. There are approximately 26 Bank of America Atlanta locations. Bank of America fees includes an opening deposit requirement of $25, a monthly maintenance fee of $12, overdraft fee of $35, out of network ATM fee of $3, a foreign transaction fee of 3% of total spend, and a card replacement fee of $5. These numbers reflect the fees associated with the Bank of America Core Checking Account.
Chase Bank ATL
Chase is one of the four largest banks in the United States. It serves as the consumer and commercial banking subsidiary of JPMorgan Chase & Co. The bank has over 5100 branches in 23 different states. In Georgia, Chase is represented by 80 branch offices located within 39 cities. There are approximately 14 Chase Bank locations. Fees for Chase customers include an opening deposit requirement of $25, a monthly maintenance fee of $17, overdraft fee of $34, out of network ATM fee of $2.50, a foreign transaction fee of 3% of total spend, and a card replacement fee of $5. These numbers reflect the fees associated with the Chase Total Checking Account.
PNC Bank ATL
PNC Bank is the largest bank in Pennsylvania and has also grown into one of the largest banks in the U.S. The institution has a long history, having started as one of the first nationally chartered banks. PNC has over 2400 branches in 20 states. More specifically, there are approximately 69 offices in Georgia located in 39 different cities. There are 11 PNC Bank Atlanta locations. Customers of PNC can expect to pay the following fees: an opening deposit requirement of $25, a monthly maintenance fee of $7, overdraft fee of $36, out of network ATM fee of $3, a foreign transaction fee of 3% of total spend, and a card replacement fee of $8. These numbers reflect the fees associated with the PNC Virtual Wallet Spend Account.
Wells Fargo Bank ATL
Wells Fargo, founded in 1870, is currently the largest bank in the United States. It operates over 5700 branches in 40 states. In the state of Georgia, you can find more than 250 offices in 99 different cities. More specifically, there are about 37 Wells Fargo Atlanta locations. Fees for Wells Fargo account holders include an opening deposit requirement of $25, a monthly maintenance fee of $10, overdraft fee of $35, out of network ATM fee of $2.50, a foreign transaction fee of 3% of total spend, and a card replacement fee of $5. These numbers reflect the fees associated with the Wells Fargo Opportunity Checking Account.
Explore your Alternatives
If you are still in doubt as to what your current bank regularly charges or you are simply planning to open a new account, it’s a wise decision to do your research. You may also opt to explore alternative account options. For example, Chime offers a modern take on managing your finances. Chime accounts are based entirely online, manageable through an award-winning mobile app, which means there is no overhead for physical branches. In turn, Chime charges zero fees to account holders. Additionally, Chime account holders have access to over 30,000 ATMs for no-fee transactions, including several within the city of Atlanta. Chime is mobile banking that fits your lifestyle with the added benefit of no hidden fees.