Can You Deposit Cash at an ATM? - MagnifyMoney
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Can You Deposit Cash at an ATM?

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While many people have gone cashless by using credit cards, debit cards and mobile apps for making purchases or transferring money, some folks still use cold hard cash. If you’d like to put some greenbacks in your bank account, you might wonder: can you deposit cash at an ATM?

In the famous words of A Tribe Called Quest: Yes, you can.

It might depend on which bank or ATM you try to use, though. Many out-of-network ATMs don’t accept cash deposits, and some online banks don’t have options for depositing cash. But, if you have a bank account and use an in-network ATM that accepts cash, chances are you’ll be able to deposit those Benjamins.

Steps for how to deposit cash at an ATM

You’ve had your first answer questioned — you can deposit cash at an ATM — but there’s a natural follow-up question: How do you deposit cash at an ATM?

Follow these steps:

  1. Find an in-network ATM that takes cash. Make sure that the ATM you use is part of your bank or credit union’s network, and double check that your financial institution takes cash deposits. That information should be available online.
  2. Enter your debit card and PIN. If you’re depositing money into a checking account, you’ll probably have a debit card. Use that card to access your account at the ATM, and enter your personal identification number (PIN) to proceed.
  3. Push the button for depositing money. You’ll likely see options to deposit or withdraw cash, and you can check your account balance, too. If you’re depositing money, click the button for deposits.
  4. Choose your checking or savings account. The ATM might ask if you’re depositing money into your checking or savings account — especially if you have both accounts at that bank. Choose either account to proceed.
  5. Put your money into the machine. ATMs usually have a slot for depositing cash. Neatly stack the bills you’d like to deposit and make sure that they’re all facing in the proper direction, then insert them into the machine.
  6. Confirm the deposit amount. The ATM will check to confirm that the amount of cash you’re depositing is correct. Confirm that the dollar amount on the screen matches how much cash you’ve deposited to approve the transaction.

Once you’re done depositing cash, the ATM may ask you if you’d like to complete another transaction and if you’d like a receipt. If you decline, your session will end, and you will have successfully deposited your cash. It’s a straightforward process: Log onto the ATM with your debit card, tell it that you want to make a deposit and insert your bills.

Our MagnifyMoney roundup of the best checking accounts includes our pick for the best checking account for ATM use — including cash deposits.

Can you deposit a check at an ATM?

Yes, you can deposit checks at an ATM, and the process for depositing checks follows the same steps as the process for depositing cash.

You have even more options for depositing checks, though. Unlike cash, which can only be deposited in a branch or at an ATM, checks can often be deposited through a bank or credit union’s mobile app. You’ll just have to scan both sides of the check with your phone’s camera and enter the amount.

Regardless of how you choose to deposit your check, make sure to authorize it by signing the back first.

Cash deposits for online banks

Online banks have become much more popular in recent years. They tend to offer better rates on deposit accounts like high-yield savings accounts and certificates of deposit (also known as CDs), but there are some drawbacks. You can’t go to a physical branch to speak with a banker, or deposit and withdraw cash in person.

Some online banks don’t allow you to deposit cash at all. For example, Ally Bank doesn’t give you any options to deposit cash — you can only add money to your account by mobile check deposit, online transfer, direct deposit, wire transfer and mailing checks. Discover Bank has similar policies.

However, some online banks and credit unions will let you deposit cash, though you may have to pay a small fee to do so. Axos Bank offers unlimited ATM rebates for withdrawals at out-of-network ATMs, and you can also use them for cash deposits as well.

Out-of-network ATM deposits

Chances are that you might not be able to deposit cash at out-of-network ATMs or ATM-sharing networks that aren’t partnered with your financial institution. Some, including Chase, don’t allow you to make any deposits unless you use one of their ATMs. Others, like Ally, don’t allow you to make any cash deposits at all.

Otherwise, you may be able to use out-of-network ATMs or similar services like the Green Dot Network to deposit cash. You can use the Green Dot Network to deposit cash at several retailers — including Walmart, Dollar General and Kroger — but you may have to pay a small fee. SoFi, for example, allows you to make deposits at the cash register of retailers who are part of the Green Dot network.

Other ways to deposit money into a bank account

Can’t deposit your cash and need another way to fund your bank account? Fortunately, there are plenty of other ways to deposit money — even if you can’t turn in that cash.

You have a few more options if you get paid with a check instead of cash. Direct deposit is the simplest and most straightforward way to accept cash from an employer or pension plan. If you provide your bank account number, they’ll regularly and automatically deposit your checks into the account. If you have a physical check, you can possibly deposit it at an ATM or a bank branch, or through your bank’s mobile app.

Otherwise, Automatic Clearing House (ACH) transfers are a common way to move money between bank accounts. You can also use an ACH transfer to pay bills without using a debit or credit card.