Some local travelers who need cash at Logan International Airport may end up paying more to get it.
JP Morgan Chase & Co. — a New York bank with no branches in Massachusetts — will become the largest provider of automatic teller machines at Logan in November, taking spots from the area’s biggest banks, including Bank of America, Citizens Bank, and Sovereign Bank
The change, the result of new five-year contracts awarded by the Massachusetts Port Authority, could make it harder for local travelers to find their own banks’ ATMs, forcing them to pay fees to use another company’s machines, a consumer advocate said.
Massport will bar ATM providers from charging more than $2.50 per transaction, but many banks also tack on surcharges whenever customers use someone else’s machines.
“The more machines you have from nonlocal banks, the more likely consumers will have to pay a fee to use them,” said Edgar Dworsky, a consumer lawyer from Somerville and founder of the website Consumerworld.org.
Massport which operates Logan, just awarded new leases for 31 ATM locations in the airport terminals and garages, plus several spots at rental car facilities and other locations outside the terminals. The financial institutions, collectively, will pay Massport roughly $9 million over five years, up from about $6 million under the old pact.
The banks and independent ATM operators submit bids for each location, and Massport generally awards the lease to the highest bidder, although it considers other factors, such as the types of institutions applying and their ability to serve customers.
JP Morgan Chase, which offered a $300,000 one-time payment plus at least $416,000 in annual rent, will install 10 ATMs spread among Logan’s four passenger terminals. Another newcomer is Capital One Financial of McLean, Va., which recently filed plans with regulators to open at least a half dozen branches in the Boston area.
Capital One, paying at least $263,000 in annual rent, will gain three locations in Terminals A and C. TD Bank, the state’s fourth-largest bank, will install its first ATM at Logan in Terminal B. TD is paying at least $8,000 a year.
But Providence-based Citizens, Massachusetts’ second-largest bank, will lose all but one of its five ATM airport spots. Starting in November, its sole remaining ATM will be located in Terminal A. Massport said Citizens bid on 14 locations but was the highest bidder for just that one location and will pay $21,000 a year for it.
David Benedetti, 32, of Boston, said he only flies out of Logan a few times a year, but thought it would pose a major inconvenience for other Citizens Bank customers who are frequent travelers.
Adrienne Paquin, 24, a Citizens Bank customer from Hull, agreed. “There is no easy way to get from terminal to terminal,” she said.
Citizens spokesman Jim Hughes said that customers will still have access to 750 ATMs and 250 branches in Massachusetts, second only to Bank of America in the state.
Sal Amico, whose Massport office oversees the ATM leases, said travelers will benefit from the greater choice of financial institutions. He pointed out that many travelers at Logan come from other parts of the country, so it’s helpful to add national banks such as JP Morgan Chase, with millions of depositors in other markets.
“That is a win for customers,” Amico said.
JP Morgan, which typically only has ATMs in markets where it has branches, said it doesn’t plan to open any retail offices in the Boston area any time soon. But the bank thought the airport ATMs would be a boon for customers from New York and its other major markets traveling through Boston.
“Having ATMs there is a real convenience for them,” said JP Morgan spokesman Patrick Linehan. JP Morgan operates its consumer bank and ATMs under the Chase brand.
ATMs have become an increasingly important way for banks to serve customers and advertise their brands — particularly in marquee spots like Logan Airport, which serves tens of millions of customers a year. In some cases, banks and ATM providers can also earn significant revenue from ATM fees, particularly in high-traffic locations when many people need cash and don’t have access to their own banks’ ATMs.
Bank of America, the biggest bank in Massachusetts, will have nine locations at Logan, down from 11. The bank, which held on to prime locations, agreed to pay at least $780,000 a year.
Boston-based Sovereign, the state’s third-largest bank, will lose nearly half its 11 ATM locations, leaving it with six. Sovereign is paying more than $166,000 per year.
Bank of America noted it still has more ATMs than any other bank in the state, while Sovereign declined to comment.
Regardless, Dworsky, the consumer advocate, said customers shouldn’t count on finding an ATM from their regular bank when passing through an airport.
He urged customers to obtain cash before they head to the airport and consider accounts that reimburse customers for ATM fees charged by other banks.
“The odds of finding your bank’s machine in your terminal are pretty slim,” Dworsky said. “It’s a very hit or miss proposition.”