Coming back to this, basically the expectation is indeed that banks without branches don’t charge for international ATM withdrawals, as a selling point to use them over banks with branches (some of which don’t charge either, granted, see below). For example, currently, I have debit cards from five different banks (a bit overkill, perhaps, but I always like to have a couple of backup sources of funds scattered across my bags when I travel in case one stops working or I lose my wallet with my main debit card) that offer free accounts and don’t charge:
Charles Schwab Bank (brokerage-owned bank, charges nothing and reimburses ATM operator fees)
SoFi (technically an online brokerage cash management account, charges the Visa rate and reimburses ATM operator fees)
Fidelity (also an online brokerage cash management account, charges only the Visa rate and reimburses ATM operator fees)
Aspiration (online-only bank, same policy as above but MasterCard instead of Visa, though they announced to customers that they’ve started limiting reimbursements to five a month after one month where they had to pay someone over 100 separate fee reimbursements and decided that was rather abusive behavior)
Capital One 360 (this one is an outlier; they do have a branch network on the East Coast but they only charge the MasterCard rate, though they don’t reimburse ATM operator fees either)
The card network rates do build in a 1% markup compared to the true mid-market rate, but 1% is low enough for the vast majority of people to not bother, and Schwab, as mentioned above, doesn’t even charge that 1% markup and only charges the mid-market rate or very close to it (I looked back at a fairly recent withdrawal I did and it was within 0.3% compared to 1% when withdrawing from my SoFi card).
And personally, I don’t have an account at Chime partially because they not only don’t reimburse operator fees for international withdrawals, they charge their own $2.50 fee on top.
To tackle a couple of the later replies-
Yes, the US itself is larger and probably equivalent to the EEA itself in terms of size, however, Canada and Mexico are neighboring countries that do see a lot of tourist traffic from Americans (and both only require an “enhanced” driver’s license to cross in and out of by land), long-haul budget airlines like WOW (while they existed) and Norwegian have brought Europe within reach of more Americans, and the kind of person likely to use an app-based banking product like Monzo is more likely than not to be the traveling type (unless they want to start going after the unbanked/underbanked, which is a whole other topic).