ATM fees rising, but they are avoidable

Even though taxpayers bailed out the banks with billions of dollars, banks continue to look for ways to sock it to us.

The latest increases involve just pennies if you look at only one ATM transaction, but the banks make billions given the volume of those transactions. In fact Bankrate.com estimates banks rake in $2 billion per year in ATM charges.

Bankrate.com found that ATM surcharges are up almost 11% over last year. In 2008 the average ATM charge for using another bank's machine was $1.78. In 2009 the average went up to $1.97. That's only 19 cents per transaction and most people don't even notice it, but the banks are making out like bandits on their fees given the volume of ATM transactions everyday.

In addition to this charge for using another bank's ATM, you'll also likely get charged by your own bank. So you're actually charged twice for one transaction. The average for the home bank's charges have also gone up. In 2008 they averaged $1.25, which is up to $1.46 in 2009. That adds another 21 cents to have the convenience of using another bank's ATM.