How to deposit cash at an ATM

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Can you deposit cash at an ATM? The answer depends on your bank, the ATM you’re using and a variety of other factors — but generally speaking, yes, you can make cash or check deposits at many modern ATM terminals.

 

For most customers, depositing money at an ATM isn’t the only option, or even necessarily the most convenient. Still, it’s a good system to understand if you’re someone who regularly deals with cash payments and you’d like to use those monies to pay for things like utility bills, which can be inconvenient to pay in cash.

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In this article, we’ll walk you through the steps of making an ATM cash deposit, as well as highlight potential problems with doing so and alternatives that may work better for some customers.

 

Related: Is mobile banking safe?

How to make ATM deposits

To deposit cash via ATM, the first thing you need to do is ensure that the ATM you’re visiting is capable of taking cash deposits — and that your bank takes deposits through that particular type of ATM. For example, if you have an account with Bank of America, you’ll likely be able to make a cash deposit at an ATM located at or inside a physical Bank of America location — but you may not be able to make a cash deposit at the third-party ATM at your local grocery store or concert venue.

 

To avoid wasting time at an ATM that won’t do the trick, it’s a good idea to do some research ahead of time. Log onto your bank’s website and look for an ATM locator, which will show you all nearby locations and may also specifically mention which services those ATMs can perform (including whether or not they accept cash or check deposits).

When you arrive at the ATM, you’ll most likely need to use your bank card and personal identification number (PIN) to confirm your identity and pull up the ATM’s service options, though some banks may allow you to access an ATM using cardless technology through your phone. Either way, once you’ve got the ATM’s options screen pulled up, you’ll follow the instructions to make a cash deposit and then select the account you want the deposit to go into (if you have multiple accounts, such as a checking and a savings account).

 

Some ATMs may have limits as to how many paper bills they can take at once, and ATMs typically don’t take coin deposits. As with any situation where you’re feeding bills into a machine (like when you’re trying to get a vending machine snack in your office lobby), you may end up with one or more bills fed back to you if the machine reads them as damaged or potentially counterfeit.

 

In general, though, it’s as simple as that: just feed the money in, confirm the amount of the deposit and be sure to verify that you’re signed out of the ATM before you get on your way!

When is the money available with ATM deposits?

Once again, the answer to this common question is, “it depends.” At some ATMs, cash deposits are made available immediately, while with other ATMs you may experience some lag between the moment you feed the money into the machine and the moment the money shows up in your account balance.

 

The FDIC does have regulations that require banks to make cash deposits available within a certain amount of time, but in the case of a proprietary ATM, availability is not required until the second business day after the deposit. At a third-party ATM, funds don’t have to be made available until the fifth business day, so be sure to plan ahead if possible. Again, your bank may have more specific information available on their website as to their specific policies.

Potential problems with ATM deposits

So, what can go wrong with ATM deposits?

 

Well, for starters, the length of time a deposit may be held can be problematic for some customers if they need access to the funds as soon as possible. And the automated reader on some ATMs may refuse to accept legitimate bills, at least on the first try, which can be frustrating.

 

For another thing, your bank or financial institution may simply not allow it. Certain online-only banking services, such as Chime and Axos Bank, don’t offer ATM cash deposit capabilities. Instead, you must deposit cash at local retail partners through an at-the-counter transaction.

 

The good news is most ATMs have a phone number printed on the machine itself that you can call if you experience any technical errors or other problems. As always, when interacting with ATMs, be sure to look out for your safety. Make the deposit during the day and ideally with the company of someone you trust. Never give out your PIN.

Are there any fees for depositing cash at an ATM?

Yet again, the answer to this question is, “it depends.” If you’re using an in-network ATM that’s directly linked to your bank, you’re unlikely to encounter any fees. But if you’re using an out-of-network ATM, there are a couple of fees you might need to be on the lookout for.

  • ATM fees are sometimes charged by the third-party owner of the ATM itself and may be as little as $1.50 or as much as $10 per transaction.
  •  Out-of-network ATM fees may also be charged by your bank, which could add an additional charge of $2 to $3.50 to the transaction.
  • Finally, keep in mind that foreign transaction fees can rack up quickly if you’re using an ATM overseas.

As always, we recommend checking with your bank ahead of time to get a better grasp of their specific policies and avoid these unnecessary fees if possible.

Why make an ATM cash deposit?

You may be wondering why this topic even needs to be addressed. So many of us rarely use or even see cash these days, now that cards are nearly universally accepted. Digital money transfer apps like Venmo and CashApp make it easy to split the bill and pay back friends and family without touching paper money. Plus, the COVID-19 pandemic caused some businesses to at least temporarily suspend the use of cash altogether to avoid further potential routes for contamination.

 

But many workers still get paid at least partially in cash, particularly those whose income includes cash tips, such as waiters and baristas. And as digital-first, online-only checking accounts become more common, some people don’t have the option of walking into a brick-and-mortar bank to make their deposits.

 

Making ATM cash deposits is sometimes the best way to get that money into an account where it can be more readily used to pay bills — or transferred to a savings or investment account, where it may earn more interest.

 

The takeaway

If you need to make your cash available for paying bills or other non-cash financial transactions, depositing it at an ATM is one way to do so — and it can be quite straightforward and cost-free, depending on your bank’s policies.

 

Learn more:

This article originally appeared on SoFi.com and was syndicated by MediaFeed.org.

 

SoFi Money
SoFi Money is a cash management account, which is a brokerage product, offered by SoFi Securities LLC, member FINRA/ SIPC. Neither SoFi nor its affiliates is a bank. SoFi Money Debit Card issued by The Bancorp Bank. SoFi has partnered with Allpoint to provide consumers with ATM access at any of the 55,000+ ATMs within the Allpoint network. Consumers will not be charged a fee when using an in-network ATM, however, third party fees incurred when using out-of-network ATMs are not subject to reimbursement. SoFi’s ATM policies are subject to change at our discretion at any time.


The SoFi Money Annual Percentage Yield as of 03/15/2020 is 0.20% (0.20% interest rate). Interest rates are variable subject to change at our discretion, at any time. No minimum balance required. SoFi doesn’t charge any ATM fees and will reimburse ATM fees charged by other institutions when a SoFi Money Mastercard Debit Card is used at any ATM displaying the Mastercard, Plus, or NYCE logo. SoFi reserves the right to limit or revoke ATM reimbursements at any time without notice.


External Websites: The information and analysis provided through hyperlinks to third-party websites, while believed to be accurate, cannot be guaranteed by SoFi. Links are provided for informational purposes and should not be viewed as an endorsement.


Third Party Brand Mentions: No brands or products mentioned are affiliated with SoFi, nor do they endorse or sponsor this article. Third-party trademarks referenced herein are property of their respective owners.

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40% of US adults say they don’t have enough funds on hand to cover a $400 emergency. From unexpected car expenses, to the ever discussed “rainy day fund” there’s as many reasons to save as there are places to keep the funds.

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An emergency fund is for, well, emergencies. No matter how hard you plan, life is filled with surprises. Car in need of urgent repairs? Sudden illness requires a hospital stay? Unexpectedly lost your job? An emergency fund can be used to help you make ends meet if you incur unanticipated expenses.

An emergency fund is intended to be used at a moment’s notice. For the most part, you’ll hear that a healthy emergency fund should cover between three and six months worth of living expenses — which would include rent, mortgage, bills, food and other essentials.

Since you never know when an emergency might happen, it’s best to keep your fund relatively liquid. That means emergency funds could live in a high-yield savings account or a money market. When an emergency happens, the last thing you should be worrying about is penalties around withdrawals.

 

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This is money intended to cover a medical emergency, specifically something that might not be covered by health insurance. Depending on where you choose to keep these funds, these funds could potentially be factored into an emergency savings fund.

Once again, this type of savings should be liquid so you can get in it in the case of an emergency. Depending on the type of insurance you have, you might have access to an HSA, or health savings account.

Saving limits in 2020 for a HSA are $3,550 a year as an individual or up to $7,100 for families. There’s no penalty for using your HSA to cover medical expenses. If you don’t have access to an HSA, you could choose to keep your medical savings in a separate savings account.

 

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We’ve all heard it before; it’s never too early to start saving for retirement. Even if you can only contribute a little bit every month, every deposit helps. However, understand that the money you invest towards retirement shouldn’t be touched until retirement.

If your company offers 401(k), consider using that, especially if they offer matching contributions. Companies often match employee contributions up to a certain percentage, and it’s worth taking advantage of the perk.

Every company is different so speak with an HR representative to see what your company offers. Another tax-advantaged saving option is an IRA.

But, don’t consider this money liquid, or in play until retirement. Withdrawing money from a 401(k) or IRA before retirement can lead to hefty tax penalties.

 

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If you have a child (or children), you’re probably already considering how to pay for college. Starting early and saving little by little can make a world of difference when those admission letters start rolling in.

While there are many ways to start saving for your child’s education, a 529 college savings plan is a speciality saving account where you can take advantage of tax benefits while saving for future schooling.

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A personal savings fund is where your imagination can run wild. It’s not an emergency, medical expenses, or retirement. This fund is there to help you save up for your next big financial goal — that could mean a car, vacation, or perhaps a downpayment on a home.

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If you want to maximize the money you’re saving, you could consider keeping funds in different accounts. Based on how quickly you’ll need access to the money, as well as the amount of interest you want to earn, there are a variety of account options to consider for each of your savings goals.

 

 

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With a savings account, you’ll earn interest from the bank, just for having your funds deposited there. The APY, or Annual Percentage Yield, is the rate of return from the bank you’ll receive.

Each banking institution offers a different interest rate on savings accounts, and some of them with caveats, including minimums or limits to the amount of interest you can earn in a year. There are also some restrictions when it comes to withdrawals.

Withdrawals completed online (like automatic bill pay or transfers between accounts) are limited to six per month under federal regulation, but there are no restrictions on the number of transactions that can be made in-person.

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Money market accounts offer similar benefits as high-yield savings accounts but typically have more requirements. You might need a certain balance to avoid monthly fees. In addition, some accounts require deposit minimums.

Money market accounts sometimes have limits on the number of withdrawals that can be made from the account in a month. However, access to cash is still relatively simple.

 

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CDs are similar to the above, but on average, they have higher interest. In exchange for competitive rates, you typically have to leave your money in a CD for an agreed on amount of time. In the event of an emergency, you can withdraw funds from a CD early, but not without incurring fees.

Learn more:

This article originally appeared on SoFi.com and was syndicated by MediaFeed.org.

Financial Tips & Strategies: The tips provided on this website are of a general nature and do not take into account your specific objectives, financial situation, and needs. You should always consider their appropriateness given your own circumstances.
External Websites: The information and analysis provided through hyperlinks to third party websites, while believed to be accurate, cannot be guaranteed by SoFi. Links are provided for informational purposes and should not be viewed as an endorsement.
Tax Information: This article provides general background information only and is not intended to serve as legal or tax advice or as a substitute for legal counsel. You should consult your own attorney and/or tax advisor if you have a question requiring legal or tax advice.
SoFi Money
SoFi Money is a cash management account, which is a brokerage product, offered by SoFi Securities LLC, member FINRA/SIPC. Neither SoFi nor its affiliates is a bank.

 

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