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NerdWallet Survey: BB&T 4th For High Travel Costs, Hidden Fees

3:04 PM, Jun 18, 2013   |    comments
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School is out and summer break has started for students across the country. Whether it's on a plane, train or automobile, families will be traveling.

Many families probably have set travel budgets and that means very little wiggle room for extra expenses. The website NerdWallet said depending on where you bank, your budget could be busted from fees and hidden costs.

One of those banks is based in the Triad. According to NerdWallet, BB&T is fourth on the list. NerdWallet said the additionals costs come from making a withdrawal at an out of network ATM (one that's not owned by the bank) and even swiping a card to make a purchase in a foreign country. This alone can mean a debit card foreign transaction fee up to 3% of the amount.

The top five banks for costs, hidden fees, as written by NerdWallet:

1. M&T Bank
As a Buffalo, NY headquartered bank, M&T primarily serves customers across New York, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and other east coast states. The bank's out of network ATM fee is the highest NerdWallet measured, at $3.00 (which rises to $5.00 for international ATMs). M&T also charges a 3% foreign exchange fee. Finally, vacationers might find it difficult to find a branch at their destination, since there are a total of just 514 branches across the most traveled states. M&T does offer a checking account "add-on" that waives out of network ATM fees, but it will cost you an extra $4.95 per month.

2. Regions Bank
Regions is headquartered in Birmingham, AL and operates branches throughout the southeastern United States. The bank's out of network ATM fee is above average for both domestic ($2.50) and international ($5.00) withdrawals. Like many of the other banks studied, they also levy a 3% foreign exchange fee on international travelers. Finally, with just 670 branches across top U.S. destinations, a Regions Bank location could be difficult to track down while on the road.

3. Citizens Bank
Citizens Bank, owned by British bank the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS), is headquartered in Providence, RI and operates throughout most northeastern states as well as the Chicago, Detroit and Cleveland metro areas. Like M&T Bank, Citizens charges the most among the banks we measured for domestic out of network withdrawals ($3.00), but does not increase that fee for international withdrawals. They also charge the nearly ubiquitous 3% foreign transaction fee for transactions in a foreign currency. Finally, the bank had one of the lowest numbers of branches available in popular travel destination states, with just 230.

4. BB&T
BB&T serves customers in many parts of the southeastern United States and is headquartered in Winston-Salem, NC. Their $2.50 fee for using another bank's ATM rises to $5.00 when outside the country, in which case travelers also face a 3% foreign exchange fee. Though BB&T's branch network is slightly stronger in popular travel destinations (Florida, for example), their 930 locations still places below average among the 20 banks measured.

5. PNC Bank
PNC is headquartered in Pittsburgh, PA and operates branches across much of the eastern United States. The bank charges $2.50 for domestic out of network ATM withdrawals, $5.00 for those in international locations and a 3% foreign transaction fee, all of which are above average. However, PNC does best the other banks highlighted here by offering over 1,400 branches across popular travel destination states, which was the 4th highest among the 20 banks studied.

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