These days, many financial transactions happen digitally. But if you find yourself with cash, you might be wondering if you can deposit it at an ATM. The short answer: Yes, it’s possible.
However, not all ATMs accept cash, and some of those that do charge fees. So if you want to deposit cash at an ATM, learn how to choose the right one and what steps to take next.
Before You Go to Make a Deposit
If you have cash that you’d like to deposit via ATM, it’s a good idea to do a bit of prep work. First, you’ll need to locate an ATM that accepts cash deposits. “Not all banks or ATMs will offer this feature,” says Anthony Martin, CEO of Choice Mutual Insurance Agency.
He says your best bet is usually an ATM that’s associated with your bank or its network. For instance, Allpoint is a network of about 55,000 ATMs around the world that allows customers from participating banks, credit unions and prepaid card providers to use them without fees. To find an in-network ATM, you can usually use your bank’s website or mobile app to search by location.
You may be able to deposit cash at certain out-of-network ATMs as well. Keep in mind that if you do find an out-of-network ATM that accepts cash deposits, you’ll likely have to pay a fee and wait a few business days for the funds to become available.
Also check whether any limits apply to cash deposits. In most cases, there is no cap on the dollar amount you can deposit through an ATM. However, there may be a maximum number of items you can deposit.
Finally, be extra cautious when handling cash at an ATM. “You can be vulnerable to robbery if you spend too much time openly counting and recounting cash,” says Gates Little, president and CEO of The Southern Bank Co. He recommends having your money organized and secured in an envelope ahead of time. It’s also a good idea to stick with ATMs that are well-lit and, ideally, secured behind a door that requires access via your debit card.
How to Make a Cash Deposit at an ATM
Once you’re ready to deposit your cash, take the following steps:
- Log in to your account. Typically, ATMs require a debit card and PIN to access your bank account. Some banks, such as Chase, allow you to log in using a mobile wallet.
- Choose your account. If you have more than one account with the bank, you’ll need to indicate which one the money is going into.
- Insert your bills. When prompted, insert the cash into the ATM. Some ATMs allow you to insert a stack of bills directly into the machine, while some may require you to put the money in a designated envelope first. If you do need an envelope, check whether you need to fill out any information on the envelope.
- Double check the deposit. Be sure that the ATM counted the correct amount to be deposited.
- Get a receipt. Always keep a record of the transaction, just in case there are any issues with the deposit. Some ATMs let you choose whether you’d like to receive a printed receipt or have it emailed or texted to you.
What If You’re With an Online-Only Bank?
You might be wondering how to deposit cash if you have an account with an online bank. “Online-only banks are a bit tricky because they usually don’t have brick-and-mortar branches with secure ATMs and bank tellers,” Little says. There are some exceptions, such as Capital One, which does have physical ATMs and branches. It allows cash deposits at its Capital One branded ATMs, though not at MoneyPass or Allpoint partner ATMs.
Little says that an increasing number of online banks are also partnering with existing financial institutions to provide ATM services. Varo Bank, for instance, allows customers to deposit cash at Green Dot locations, which are typically found in Walmart, CVS, Rite Aid and other retailers. Keep in mind you may need to pay a fee for this service.
If your online bank doesn’t allow cash deposits, there are a couple of potential solutions. If you also have a checking account at a brick-and-mortar bank, you may be able to deposit cash into that account and then transfer the funds to your online account. You could also consider converting your cash to a money order and then depositing it into your online-only bank via mobile check deposit. Again, this may involve a fee, depending on your bank.