SPEAK OUT: ATM, Checking Fees Hit Record Highs

The average cost of an out-of-network ATM transaction is $4.07. Should something be done?

Fees on checking accounts hit an all-time high in 2012, reports the financial website Bankrate.com, with much of the increase coming in charges for use of out-of-network ATMs.

According to the site, the average fee assessed by the owner of a foreign ATM climbed 4 percent this year to $2.50.

Combined with the typical charge by a consumer's own bank for an out-of-network withdrawal—$1.57, up 11 percent—the average cost per transaction now stands at a whopping $4.07.

And for the first time ever, all financial institutions surveyed by Bankrate.com reported charging non-customers for ATM transactions.

Other checking account expenses—such as maintenance fees and non-sufficient funds fees—also have risen, due in part to banks' response to new regulations capping overdraft fees.

The Washington metropolitan area may not have made the list of the five worst cities for out-of-network charges, but there's certainly no shortage of foreign ATM fees in the region.

Do you typically swallow the fee, or are you careful to withdraw money only from your own bank? What do you do if you're caught in a pinch? And should lawmakers look to cap ATM fees as well, or are they simply a part of the business?

Let us know what you think in the comments.

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