Advertiser Disclosure

Banking

Where Should You Put Your Emergency Fund?

Editorial Note: The content of this article is based on the author’s opinions and recommendations alone and is not intended to be a source of investment advice. It has not been previewed, commissioned or otherwise endorsed by any of our network partners.

Written By

There are three key factors to consider when deciding where to keep your emergency fund: yield, liquidity and cost. Choosing a deposit account to hold your emergency fund that strikes a balance between these elements can help you maximize your savings and provide easy access to the money when an emergency strikes.

Emergency fund basics

An emergency fund is a cushion that protects you against major financial shocks. It’s not for paying regular expenses or even small, unplanned costs. As the name suggests, it’s for emergencies — things like unemployment or major, unexpected medical costs.

Your emergency fund exists to prevent you from having to take on expensive debt when faced with large, unexpected expenses. Whatever type of deposit account you choose for you emergency fund, it needs to provide easy access, a decent return on your money and zero extra costs:

  • Yield: Choose an account with a high interest rate that provides you with a decent rate of return on your money. Keep in mind that your emergency fund isn’t an investment — it’s an insurance policy.
  • Liquidity: You should keep the money in a relatively liquid account so that you can draw from it in an emergency. Highly liquid accounts give you immediate access at no cost, whereas less liquid ones take time to free up funds.
  • Cost: Any extra costs eat into your fund and diminish your returns. Choose an account with zero maintenance fees to help preserve your funds.

How much do you need in your emergency fund? A good rule of thumb is to put away the equivalent of three to six months of living expenses.

Keep your emergency fund in a high-yield savings account

A high-yield online savings account is a great option for your emergency fund. Online banks lack branch locations, which helps lower their overhead costs. This helps them offer higher APYs and lower fees than traditional financial institutions.

Online savings accounts offer varying levels of access to your money. Some offer debit cards and even checks, which let you make payments without delay. Others limit your ability to deposit and withdraw funds to ACH transfers. You can deposit money in many online savings accounts via mobile check deposits, ACH transfers or wire transfers from other accounts. Read the fine print when evaluating an online savings account to ensure you know what your deposit and withdrawal options are.

In addition, savings accounts also limit certain types of telephone and electronic withdrawals, including transfers from savings accounts up to 6 per statement cycle under Federal Reserve’s Regulation D (Reg D). You may be subject to a fee or having your savings account closed or converted into a checking account if you make excessive withdrawals.

Savings account advantages for your emergency fund

  • High APYs: High-yield online savings accounts offer competitive interest rates, which can boost your emergency fund. It’s not uncommon to earn at least 1.70% APY on your balance.
  • No fees: Don’t want monthly maintenance fees or excessive transaction fees to chip away at your fund? There are many high-yield online savings accounts that come with no fees.
  • Low to no minimum balance requirements: Many online savings accounts don’t require their customers to keep a minimum balance, which could be a benefit to people who are just getting their emergency fund started.

Keep your emergency fund in a money market account

A money market account could be a good option for your emergency fund, especially if you’ve already built a sizable balance. You can sometimes find higher APYs on money market accounts than other deposit accounts at conventional banks. However, you may need to maintain a substantial minimum balance to earn interest.

Money market accounts come with a debit card and checks more often than not. This extra degree of access makes it easier to withdraw money and cover emergency expenses on the fly.

Keep in mind that like savings accounts, money market accounts are also subject to Reg D, which limits certain types of telephone and electronic withdrawals, including transfers from savings accounts up to 6 per statement cycle. Factor in any potential monthly maintenance fees and excessive withdrawal fees as you evaluate whether a money market account is the best place for your emergency fund.

Money market account advantages for your emergency fund

  • Easy access to money: The checks and debit cards that come with most money market accounts provide convenient access to your emergency fund.
  • High APYs: Like high-yield online savings accounts, money market funds offer high interest rates.

Keep your emergency fund in a cash management account

Cash management accounts combine some of the best features of both checking and savings accounts, and could be a great choice for your emergency fund. Cash management accounts typically offer competitive interest rates and accessibility that rivals regular checking accounts.

Fintech firms like Wealthfront, SoFi and Betterment offer cash management accounts. Some combine the functionality of savings and checking accounts, while others offer separate savings- and checking-like accounts. Some function more like high-yield checking accounts, with fewer requirements than conventional deposit accounts.

If you’re thinking about keeping your emergency fund in a cash management account, you need to pay close attention to the available features, which can vary widely. Some cash management accounts don’t offer the ability for customers to spend their money with a check or debit card, which could make it tricky to access your emergency fund on a moment’s notice. You may need to transfer the money to a third-party account before you can use it.

Cash management account advantages for your emergency fund

  • Easy access: Many cash management accounts offer debit cards with few to no withdrawal limits. However, some do not — so you need to do your homework before choosing.
  • High interest rates: Many cash management accounts offer APYs that rival the rates of high-yield savings accounts and the best money market accounts.
  • No fees: Few cash management accounts charge monthly maintenance fees that would eat into your emergency fund.

Keep your emergency fund in a no-penalty CD

Certificates of deposit (CDs) pay competitive rates, but in exchange, you agree to leave your money untouched in an account for a set term, such as 12 months. If you withdraw the balance before the end of the term, you are charged an early withdrawal fee equal to some or all of your earned interest. This limitation prevents CDs from being the best place to keep your emergency fund.

Even if you use a CD ladder — a series of CDs that expire at predictable intervals, giving you great rates and slightly better liquidity than single CDs — you still might be facing early withdrawal fees when an emergency hits and you need access to your money.

There is a special kind of certificate of deposit, called a no-penalty CD, that is a potential option for an emergency fund. No-penalty CDs offer good interest rates and don’t charge the early withdrawal penalties that characterize standard CDs.

These accounts usually come with other rules, though. If you need to dip into the account, you may be required to withdraw the full amount — even if you only need a portion of the money. Some no-penalty CDs allow for a fixed number of partial withdrawals and may charge you a fee if you exceed the limit. You generally can’t touch the money at all until seven days after you fund the CD. Most (if not all) no-penalty CDs come with minimum balance requirements.

Advantages of no-penalty CDs for an emergency fund

  • Good, not great, APYs: Some no-penalty CDs offer competitive APYs, but the highest rates are typically reserved for accounts with longer terms and/or higher balances.
  • No early withdrawal fees: Unlike conventional CDs, no-penalty CDs don’t punish you with a fee if you need to take out the money before the term is up.
  • Wide availability: Whether you’re an online banking devotee or you prefer the in-person experience at a branch, you can find no-penalty CDs at financial institutions nationwide.

Keep your emergency fund in a Roth IRA

When thinking about where to store your emergency fund, a Roth IRA might not be the first thing that comes to mind. It’s a retirement investment account, after all. However, Roth IRAs come with some special advantages that make them a potential place you can pull money from in an emergency.

Roth IRAs are funded with after-tax dollars, and you can withdraw the contributions you’ve made at any time you want, without paying a penalty. The earnings, on the other hand, are subject to a 10% withdrawal penalty if you take them out before age 59 1/2 or before the account is five years old.

There are some exceptions to these rules, which can be helpful to know if you’re using a Roth IRA for your emergency fund. You can make early withdrawals without penalty if you lose your job, you need to cover health insurance or medical expenses, you become disabled or you’re buying your first home. You will need to pay tax on the earnings, though.

If you do need to use retirement funds to cover a major emergency, the money in your Roth IRA may come with fewer tax implications than the funds in other types of retirement accounts, like a traditional IRA.

Keep in mind that using retirement funds for something other than their intended purpose could set you back on your long-term savings goals. Try to have another dedicated emergency fund that you can access for unexpected expenses.

Advantages of a Roth IRA for your emergency fund

  • Potential for high returns: Contributions to a Roth IRA can be invested in a wide variety of different asset classes. Pick favorable investments, and your returns could be much greater than would be possible in any deposit account. Of course, poor investment decisions or market downturns could also lead to negative returns.
  • Penalty-free withdrawals: The money you contribute to a Roth IRA can be withdrawn without taxes or penalties under certain conditions.
  • Tax-free earnings: You can spend the earnings from your Roth IRA after age 59 1/2 without paying taxes, as long as the account is at least five years old.

Do not keep your emergency fund in stocks, ETFs or mutual funds

It might be tempting to try to grow your emergency fund by investing in the market via a brokerage account or a robo-advisor. But you might want to think twice about the downsides and potential risks involved in that strategy.

The biggest risk of investing your emergency fund is that its value could decline. Remember, your emergency fund is not an investment — it’s an insurance policy against rare but devastating emergencies. It’s a sum of money you need to be able to count on to provide peace of mind. After you’ve topped up an emergency fund, start investing other funds in a brokerage account.

You can’t predict when you’ll need the money saved in an emergency fund. In a true emergency, you would need to sell your stocks, ETFs or mutual funds — possibly at an unfavorable time, possibly for a loss. It all depends on how the market is performing.

Even if you do sell an investment for a favorable return, you will need to pay capital gains taxes on the earnings. While more favorable than typical income tax rates, the capital gains tax rate could still chip away at the overall amount you have at your disposal for an emergency. Worse yet, you may be subject to a higher tax rate if you don’t hang onto the assets for more than a year.

Advertiser Disclosure: The products that appear on this site may be from companies from which MagnifyMoney receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). MagnifyMoney does not include all financial institutions or all products offered available in the marketplace.

Advertiser Disclosure

Banking

Can You Deposit Cash at an ATM?

Editorial Note: The content of this article is based on the author’s opinions and recommendations alone. It has not been previewed, commissioned or otherwise endorsed by any of our network partners.

Written By

Reviewed By

You can easily deposit cash or checks at many ATMs, but not all. There are plenty of ATMs that do not accept deposits, or that won’t accept deposits if you bank with a different financial institution. Furthermore, there are banks, such as Ally Bank and Discover Bank, that do not allow cash deposits at all, regardless of whether they’re made at an ATM.

Don’t be discouraged, though – there are plenty of ATMs that do accept cash deposits. To successfully deposit cash at an ATM, here’s what you can expect as far as the process, any fees involved and commonly encountered issues.

How to make cash deposits at an ATM

Once you’ve established that your bank accepts cash or check deposits at an ATM — whether in-network or out-of-network — it’s time to hunt one down. Many banks offer features on their website or mobile app that will show you in-network ATMs near you. Additionally, ATM networks like MoneyPass and AllPoint have features on their websites that allow you to search for nearby ATMs, filtering for only the ones that accept deposits.

After you’ve located a deposit-taking ATM, you can prepare to make your deposit. While ATM machines vary, in general, these are the steps you can expect to take when depositing cash or a check at an ATM:

  1. Insert your debit card and PIN code.
  2. Select “Deposit.”
  3. Choose the account you’d like to deposit your money into.
  4. Enter the amount of money you’re depositing, and insert your signed check or cash.
  5. Confirm the accurate dollar amount of your deposit.
  6. Answer any remaining questions and be sure to exit it out of the screen and back to the ATM homepage. Take your receipt and bank card with you before leaving.

Can I deposit money at an ATM that’s not my bank?

Whether you can deposit money at an ATM that is out-of-network with your bank depends on your financial institution’s policies. For context, banks that will only allow you to make deposits at ATMs in their network, and not others, include:

  • Bank of America
  • Chase Bank
  • Citibank
  • Wells Fargo

Many big banks will partner with an ATM machine network — like MoneyPass or Allpoint — allowing customers to make withdrawals surcharge-free from those ATMs. However, while your bank might allow you to make withdrawals at an ATM in its partner network, that does not mean it will also allow you to make deposits at those machines. You will first need to check with your financial institution.

When shopping around for a bank, do not assume that all ATMs will be able to accept your cash or check deposits. Instead, if being able to deposit cash at an ATM is important to you, make sure to ask whether the bank accepts cash or check deposits at its own network of ATMs, at partner network ATMs or at any ATMs at all.

How do you deposit cash at an online-only bank?

Without the accessibility of brick-and-mortar branches as a customer of an online-only bank, determining where you can make your cash deposits can be tricky. In many cases, online banks require you to deposit cash by transferring it from another bank account via ACH transfer. There are a handful of banks, though, that accept deposits at a network of ATMs, including Radius Bank and Capital One 360.

Other common ways that online-only banks accept deposits include:

  • Direct deposit
  • Remote check deposit via mobile app
  • Wire transfers
  • Mailed check
  • Via cash registers at retail locations through partner programs (such as Chime Bank’s partnership with Green Dot’s At the Register)

What are the fees for ATM cash deposits?

Many banks do not charge a fee specifically for making deposits at ATMs — although if you have a business checking account, cash deposit fees (in general, not at ATMs) are par for the course.

However, you should keep in mind that ATM machines are notorious for charging a bundle of fees that can be tricky to unpack. General ATM fees that you should be aware of include:

  • ATM operator’s fee: If you’re using an ATM that is out of your bank’s network, you might be charged a fee by the company or bank that owns the machine. These fees can range from $1.50 to $10 per transaction.
  • Non-network fee charged by your bank: If you use an ATM that is outside of your bank’s network, your own bank might tack on a fee that can range from $2.00 to $3.50.

When will my money be available from an ATM cash deposit?

While funds you deposit at an ATM are not required to be immediately available, deposited cash will likely be available right away. Checks, on the other hand. might take one business day to become available.

Check or deposit holds, though, are common, and can last from one to 11 days. Holds can be triggered for many reasons, and are put in place to make sure there are enough funds to back up a transaction. In fact, making a deposit at an ATM outside of your bank’s network can be a reason in itself for triggering a deposit hold. If you want to avoid a hold, consider making your deposit in person, if possible.

If you find yourself facing a deposit hold after depositing cash at an ATM, rest assured the Expedited Funds Availability Act puts limits on how long banks and credit unions can wait to give you access to your cash.

What are the common problems of depositing cash at an ATM?

Depositing cash at an ATM isn’t always the most effective way to get your banking business done. Downsides of depositing cash at an ATM include:

  • There are safety concerns. Before pulling out a wad of cash in public, make sure you are in a well-lit area, keep your cash out of plain view and safeguard your PIN code.
  • It might take longer to receive your funds. As noted earlier, depositing cash at an ATM — especially an out-of-network ATM — can trigger a longer hold time on your deposit.
  • There could be limited availability. Options of deposit-taking ATMs in your network can be slim, and finding one nearby might be a cumbersome process.

Banks that provide the most flexible cash-deposit options

If being able to deposit cash at an ATM is high on your priority list, below are a few banks worth exploring. The banks below all boast large ATM networks that accept cash deposits, giving customers a plethora of options to choose from. You can also check out our picks for the best checking accounts with no ATM fees.

BankATM Deposit Policy
Capital One Allows customers to deposit cash at over 39,000 Capital One or AllPoint ATMs, as long as it’s an ATM that takes cash
Radius BankAllows customers to make deposits at deposit-taking MoneyPass ATMs
PNC BankAllows customers to deposit cash or checks at non-PNC Bank ATMs (in addition to its own network)

Advertiser Disclosure: The products that appear on this site may be from companies from which MagnifyMoney receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). MagnifyMoney does not include all financial institutions or all products offered available in the marketplace.

Advertiser Disclosure

Banking

List of Banks and Credit Unions Offering COVID-19 Relief

Editorial Note: The content of this article is based on the author’s opinions and recommendations alone. It has not been previewed, commissioned or otherwise endorsed by any of our network partners.

Written By

Millions of Americans are struggling with changes to their work hours and incomes. In response, many banks and credit unions are offering relief packages, often waiving certain fees or granting expedited services. Although not listed below, community banks may offer an even stronger support system to those financially impacted.

We will continue to update this page regularly.

List of banks and credit unions offering relief to customers affected by COVID-19

Alliant Credit Union

  • Waives ATM fees
  • Waives overdraft/NSF fees
  • Waives excessive transaction fees
  • Waives early CD withdrawal penalty

Alliant Credit Union does not currently have a COVID-related information page available on its website. However, according to an Alliant representative, the credit union is working with members on a case-by-case basis to remove deposit-related account fees.

Ally Bank

  • Waives ATM fees
  • Waives overdraft/NSF fees
  • Waives excessive transaction fees
  • Waives early CD withdrawal penalty

Online-only Ally Bank currently has an expansive COVID-19 relief plan, especially in comparison to other banks. The bank has outlined measures to help customers, employees and communities.

Until July 18, 2020, Ally Bank deposits customers can benefit from waived overdraft fees; free expedited checks and debit cards; and refunded excessive transaction fees on your savings or money market accounts.

Transfers and online payments remain uninterrupted. Plus, Ally Bank has made it faster to deposit checks of $50,000 or less online with Ally eCheck deposit. You can still use mobile deposit via the Ally Mobile app.

American Express

  • Waives ATM fees
  • Waives overdraft/NSF fees
  • Waives excessive transaction fees
  • Waives early CD withdrawal penalty

American Express has not released any specific COVID-19 relief plans to help its Personal Savings banking customers at this time.

Customers of the online-only bank can continue to access their accounts online. They can also call customer service at 1-800-446-6307 — just beware that wait times may be longer than usual.

Bank of America

  • Waives ATM fees
  • Waives overdraft/NSF fees
  • Waives excessive transaction fees
  • Waives early CD withdrawal penalty

Bank of America’s COVID-19 response is to urge customers who are facing financial hardship to contact a representative to request refunds for fees on overdrafts, non-sufficient funds and monthly maintenance. Customers may also use the bank’s virtual assistant, Erica, to get answers to any questions, including those that are coronavirus-related.

Bank of America also encourages its customers to turn to mobile and online banking first, both of which allow you to check your account status, pay bills and deposit checks.

Bank of America financial centers remain open. The bank’s locations are open Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. local time, while Saturdays maintain regular hours, which vary from branch to branch. Branches that remain open undergo “enhanced, daily cleanings” and “other measures to limit the risk of exposure, based on guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).”

BBVA

  • Waives ATM fees
  • Waives overdraft/NSF fees
  • Waives excessive transaction fees
  • Waives early CD withdrawal penalty

In response to COVID-19 difficulties, BBVA banking customers can request penalty-free CD withdrawals (for CDs opened before March 1) and overdraft fee refunds. You can make these requests by calling 1-844-228-1872.

BBVA locations have transitioned to primarily drive-thru service only. Branches that do not have a drive-thru are open on a limited basis. ATMs remain open 24/7 and banking center lobbies are open by appointment, which you can schedule by calling your banker or banking center. BBVA Online Banking and the BBVA Mobile Banking App are also available to you 24/7.

BMO Harris

  • Waives ATM fees
  • Waives overdraft/NSF fees
  • Waives excessive transaction fees
  • Waives early CD withdrawal penalty

Under its financial relief program, BMO Harris asks deposit account customers with questions about account fees to send them a message. Customers can expect a response within 10 business days.

You can also call the bank’s Customer Contact Center at 1-888-340-2265, which operates seven days a week from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. CST. If you need assistance with your credit card account — whether to report a lost or stolen debit card, activate a debit card or reset your BMO Digital Banking password — bankers are available 24/7.

All BMO branch lobbies are currently closed, while drive-up service remains available at most branches. Those located near the bank’s main Chicago branch at 111 West Monroe can visit the branch, open for limited access, Monday through Friday from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. The branch is open exclusively to elderly and vulnerable customers between the hours of 9 a.m. and 9:30 a.m.

Capital One

  • Waives ATM fees
  • Waives overdraft/NSF fees
  • Waives excessive transaction fees
  • Waives early CD withdrawal penalty

In response to the coronavirus pandemic, Capital One is waiving its out-of-network ATM fee. It won’t reimburse you for a third-party surcharge, though.

If you are facing financial difficulties, you can contact Capital One and a representative can help to find a solution for you. Note that customer service wait times are likely longer than usual right now.

Capital One has temporarily closed select branches that do not have drive-thru tellers or protective glass at teller counters. Branches that do have those features will remain open via those outlets and are being disinfected per CDC guidelines. Tellers may still assist customers in the lobby in special circumstances. Capital One ATMs remain open 24/7. Capital One also strongly encourages its customers to use the Capital One mobile app or online banking to make payments, check balances and deposit checks.

Charles Schwab

  • Waives ATM fees
  • Waives overdraft/NSF fees
  • Waives excessive transaction fees
  • Waives early CD withdrawal penalty

Charles Schwab has no specific measures in place to provide relief aid to its banking customers amid the coronavirus outbreak.

Schwab branches are temporarily closed and will remain so until local, state and federal government recommendations indicate it is safe to reopen. Still, you can contact a branch directly by phone to reach a representative. Schwab also encourages customers to go digital by completing tasks online or via its mobile app, which includes check-depositing capabilities.

Chase

  • Waives ATM fees
  • Waives overdraft/NSF fees
  • Waives excessive transaction fees
  • Waives early CD withdrawal penalty

In light of the pandemic, Chase Bank customers are encouraged to use the Chase Mobile app and online banking to complete their account-related tasks. Chase asks that those who need help because of COVID-19 reach out to a representative, though you may experience wait times that are longer than usual.

Several Chase branches are temporarily closed, while other branches’ hours and services have been adjusted. You can check the status of your branch on the Chase Mobile app or online. Chase branches and ATMs are being cleaned with EPA-approved disinfectants.

On a wider scale, JPMorgan Chase has pledged $50 million to nonprofit organizations to help support “healthcare, food and other humanitarian relief” efforts globally; community partners; and small businesses in the U.S., China and Europe.

Citibank

  • Waives ATM fees
  • Waives overdraft/NSF fees
  • Waives excessive transaction fees
  • Waives early CD withdrawal penalty

Citibank is waiving fees for monthly account service, safe deposit boxes and non-Citi ATM usage, as well as CD early withdrawal penalties.

Citibank also asks that those affected by COVID-19 contact the bank for assistance, although wait times may be longer than usual. If you already work with a personal banker or financial advisor through Citibank, you can contact them directly during their regular business hours. Through June 30, 2020, you can also text “App” to 692-484 to avoid call wait times and Citi will direct you to its digital tools or automated response system or send you a link to message a representative in the Citi Mobile App.

Select Citibank branches are closed and those that are open are operating under temporarily limited hours and undergoing “daily cleaning procedures … on high-touch surfaces,” providing hand sanitizer and practicing CDC recommendations like social distancing. You can also access your accounts and funds via the Citi Mobile app, the Citibank website and Citi ATMs on a 24/7 basis.

Citizens Access

  • Waives ATM fees
  • Waives overdraft/NSF fees
  • Waives excessive transaction fees
  • Waives early CD withdrawal penalty

Citizens Access encourages customers to contact its Customer Care team through a a secure message through your online account or by calling a representative at 1-888-201-6505, available Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m.; Saturday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.; and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. EST. You can expect a secure message response within one to three days; wait times on the phone will also be longer.

As Citizens Access has no physical branches, you can always access your account online, both on desktop and your mobile browser. The bank does not have a mobile app.

Citizens Bank

  • Waives ATM fees
  • Waives overdraft/NSF fees
  • Waives excessive transaction fees
  • Waives early CD withdrawal penalty

Citizens Bank deposit account customers can expect overdraft fee waivers, service charge reversal and penalty-free early CD withdrawals, as part of the bank’s COVID-19 relief response. Customers with checking, savings and CD accounts can call customer service at 1-800-922-9999 Monday through Friday from 7:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. local time. If you want to open a new account over the phone, you can call 1-877-360-2472.

Citizens Bank branches remain open. Hours are reduced to Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. and on Saturday from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. (unless the branch is typically closed). All drive-ups remain open, while branch lobbies are open by appointment only and limited to two customers at a time. Teller counters, also available by appointment only, now have plexiglass windows installed and serve one customer at a time “while adhering to social distancing protocols.” You can contact or check the status of a Citizens Bank branch here.

Digital Federal Credit Union (DCU)

  • Waives ATM fees
  • Waives overdraft/NSF fees
  • Waives excessive transaction fees
  • Waives early CD withdrawal penalty

Digital Federal Credit Union offers an extensive financial relief program, which is available to its members in any financial rut, not just during this pandemic. Until further notice, DCU is offering unlimited ATM fee reimbursements and forgoing all overdraft and nonsufficient funds fees. Those who need to borrow money during this time may take out a personal loan from DCU, which won’t require payments for 60 days on loans opened after March 25, 2020.

All DCU branch lobbies are closed, though some branches remain open through their drive-up teller windows, which can help you with normal transactions. You can check your branch status here.

Otherwise, you can access your account 24/7 via online banking and the DCU mobile app. You can also send an email for non-urgent requests, which are typically answered in two business days, or you can call customer service, though it is currently experiencing extremely high call volumes that may result in much longer wait times.

Discover

  • Waives ATM fees
  • Waives overdraft/NSF fees
  • Waives excessive transaction fees
  • Waives early CD withdrawal penalty

Discover has “support in place for qualified Discover customers who experience hardship” due to the coronavirus pandemic. Although it is unclear what qualifies customers to receive this support, a Discover representative adds that “Discover customers may receive assistance related to payments, fees and interest.”

Discover Online Banking customers can call 1-800-347-7000 (TTY/TDD 1-800-347-7454) any time to reach a Discover representative for assistance. You also can continue to access your accounts online or via the Discover mobile app.

Fifth and Third Bank

  • Waives ATM fees
  • Waives overdraft/NSF fees
  • Waives excessive transaction fees
  • Waives early CD withdrawal penalty

Fifth Third Bank deposit account customers can benefit from fee waivers for up to 90 days on a range of consumer products and services. Customers can also call 1-800-972-3030 from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. EST Monday through Friday and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. EST Saturday (closed on Sundays) for assistance.

All Fifth Third Bank branches are available via drive-thru service or by appointment only. You can use the bank’s branch and ATM locator to check your local branch’s status or find the nearest ATM. For most other services, like checking balances or ACH transfers, you can use the bank’s website or mobile app.

Goldman Sachs Bank USA

  • Waives ATM fees
  • Waives overdraft/NSF fees
  • Waives excessive transaction fees
  • Waives early CD withdrawal penalty

Customers of Marcus by Goldman Sachs can make penalty-free withdrawals from regular CDs at this time, as a direct response to COVID-19. You can do so by calling 1-855-730-7283. Marcus contact centers are operating virtually, with temporary hours of 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. ET Monday through Friday and 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. ET on Saturday and Sunday.

You can still access your Marcus accounts online. Apple device users can also benefit from the Marcus mobile app.

KeyBank

  • Waives ATM fees
  • Waives overdraft/NSF fees
  • Waives excessive transaction fees
  • Waives early CD withdrawal penalty

Select KeyBank customers “may be eligible for immediate help,” which can include “waiving certain service charges on KeyBank checking and savings accounts.”

KeyBank has closed all branch lobbies and select branches altogether. Those that remain open are operating via their drive-thru services. If you need to meet with a banker for select services or to access your safe deposit box, you can schedule an appointment to do so. Of course, you can always access your accounts online and through KeyBank’s mobile app. You can also call KeyBank’s 24/7 customer service line at 1-800-539-2968, though be aware that there are currently longer hold times than usual.

The KeyBank Foundation has also made an initial $1 million commitment to “support vulnerable individuals, small businesses and neighborhoods.”

Navy Federal Credit Union

  • Waives ATM fees
  • Waives overdraft/NSF fees
  • Waives excessive transaction fees
  • Waives early CD withdrawal penalty

During this time, Navy Federal Credit Union members can withdraw from certificates before maturity without penalty; get free overnight shipping on cashier’s checks and debit cards; deposit up to $50,000 per day via mobile deposit; and withdraw up to $1,000 per day from non-Navy Federal ATMs (the $1,000 daily limit on Navy Federal ATMs remains).

Members can also take advantage of the credit union’s OOPS overdraft protection for all checking accounts, which offers no fee on overdraft transactions of less than $5 and caps overdraft charges at three per day. Members with OOPS can request a refund for the $20 overdraft fee charged and for non-sufficient fund (NSF) fees by sending a secure message through your account.

Several Navy Federal branches have temporarily closed, while others currently have reduced hours. You can check the status of your local branch here or on the Navy Federal Mobile app, where you can also find accessible ATMs.

PenFed Credit Union

  • Waives ATM fees
  • Waives overdraft/NSF fees
  • Waives excessive transaction fees
  • Waives early CD withdrawal penalty

PenFed Credit Union is not offering specific relief measures for its deposit account members in response to the COVID-19 crisis.

Select PenFed financial centers are temporarily closed, while others are operating on adjusted hours. Saturday drive-thru service at open financial centers only includes everyday financial transactions like cash withdrawals and loan payments.

PenFed encourages customers to contact their local branch for information about updated hours and services, which you can also check online on the bank’s locations page and COVID-19 information page. You also can access your accounts for several services online and on the PenFed mobile app.

PNC Bank

  • Waives ATM fees
  • Waives overdraft/NSF fees
  • Waives excessive transaction fees
  • Waives early CD withdrawal penalty

PNC Bank customers who are experiencing financial hardship as a result of COVID-19 should call 1-888-762-2265, which is available 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. ET Monday through Friday and 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. ET on Saturday and Sunday. Virtual Wallet customers may call 1-800-352-2255, available during the same hours.

If you are eligible for assistance, a PNC representative will discuss your options with you, which include waiving or refunding fees on deposit accounts (and other products). Qualified customers can also take out an emergency hardship loan “at a low rate.” PNC did not make it clear how it determines eligibility for assistance, but it stressed that customers should call for help.

Select PNC branches are closed, while others remain open with limited hours and access, with some are operating via drive-up window only. You can use PNC’s branch locator to check the status of a branch and to find a branch that offers essential appointments, made available for safe deposit box access, loan closings or other banking services that you cannot make otherwise. PNC is also still widely accessible via online, mobile and voice banking.

State Employees’ Credit Union

  • Waives ATM fees
  • Waives overdraft/NSF fees
  • Waives excessive transaction fees
  • Waives early CD withdrawal penalty

State Employees’ Credit Union does not have specific relief plans in place for its deposit account customers, although its loan customers can seek assistance in light of the coronavirus pandemic. Members can contact a representative through a secure message when logged into their account, by calling your local branch or by calling 24/7 Member Services at 888-732-8562 to “discuss how they can help.” Note that Member Services is experiencing high call volumes between 10 a.m. and 8 p.m. every day.

SECU branches have pivoted to drive-thru service only for most banking services. You can call to schedule an in-person appointment if you need to access a safe deposit box, submit tax return information or discuss loans. Otherwise, you can use the credit union’s website, mobile app, CashPoints ATMs, automated voice response service and 24/7 Member Services Support Center.

TD Bank

  • Waives ATM fees
  • Waives overdraft/NSF fees
  • Waives excessive transaction fees
  • Waives early CD withdrawal penalty

TD Bank encourages customers affected by COVID-19 to call 1-888-751-9000 to see how the bank can support you as it says it “may be able to provide some financial relief.” Of course, wait times are uncharacteristically long at this time.

Assistance options offered by TD Bank will depend on your situation and request but may include fee refunds, early, penalty-free access to CDs and payment extensions. The bank’s customer assistance offers continue to evolve as well, according to a bank representative.

Most TD Bank branches are temporarily closed or operating via drive-thru only. At TD Bank drive-thrus, you can make deposits, withdrawals and payments; cash checks; get a bank check or money order; and make business deposits or coin orders. Branches with open lobbies are available by appointment only. TD Bank branch reduced hours are 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday via drive-thru, 9:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturdays unless normally closed and closed on Sundays (all times are local). You can check the status of branches by state on TD Bank’s COVID-19 updates page.

TD Bank ATMs are still accessible, as is its website and banking app.

TIAA Bank

  • Waives ATM fees
  • Waives overdraft/NSF fees
  • Waives excessive transaction fees
  • Waives early CD withdrawal penalty

As part of the bank’s coronavirus relief response, TIAA Bank deposit account customers can benefit from waived fees for wire transfers, ATM transactions and insufficient funds. TIAA has also increased debit and cash withdrawal limits.

TIAA Bank financial centers have all moved to drive-thru tellers only. Those that don’t have a drive-thru window will see clients through appointment only. You can set up an appointment by calling your local financial center.

You may also easily manage your TIAA Bank accounts online and through the TIAA mobile app. To speak with a representative, banking customers may call 1-888-882-3837 from 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. EST, although wait times are abnormally long.

Truist (formerly BB&T and SunTrust)

  • Waives ATM fees
  • Waives overdraft/NSF fees
  • Waives excessive transaction fees
  • Waives early CD withdrawal penalty

Truist, the result of a recent merger between BB&T and SunTrust, does not offer any relief related to its deposit accounts.

For further assistance, Truist encourages heritage BB&T clients to call 1-800-226-5228 and heritage SunTrust clients to call 1-877-820-2103. Watch out for long wait times, however, which customers have reported on social media.

Local BB&T and SunTrust branch hours and services are temporarily moving to drive-thru teller services only, appointment-only in-person visits and select branch closures. Customers still have 24/7 access to ATMs as well as online, mobile and telephone banking.

Truist has also established a $25 million Truist Cares initiative, which will provide funding to the CDC Foundation and Johns Hopkins Medicine; local United Way organizations; and grants to Truist’s community partners.

U.S. Bank

  • Waives ATM fees
  • Waives overdraft/NSF fees
  • Waives excessive transaction fees
  • Waives early CD withdrawal penalty

U.S. Bank has suspended fees related to excessive withdrawals. Deposits customers who have been financially affected by COVID-19 should call the bank at 1-888-287-7817 for assistance.

U.S. Bank branch operations are temporarily reduced, and the bank encourages customers to use drive-up windows instead of going inside a branch. You can check your local branch’s hours and status online. Otherwise, you can still access your U.S. Bank accounts on the bank’s mobile app, by phone or on its website.

Wells Fargo

  • Waives ATM fees
  • Waives overdraft/NSF fees
  • Waives excessive transaction fees
  • Waives early CD withdrawal penalty

Wells Fargo has said it will offer fee waivers for customers who contact the company. On a larger scale, the Wells Fargo Foundation has pledged up to $6.25 million in donations “to support domestic and global response to the COVID-19 and to aid public health relief efforts.” This includes funding “at the local level,” as well as for the national CDC and the International Medical Corps.

Select Wells Fargo locations are temporarily closed, while the branches that remain open have temporarily reduced hours. You can check the status of a Wells Fargo branch here. If you need a service that can only be completed in a branch, you can make an appointment. Wells Fargo call centers still remain open, though they are experiencing higher-than-normal call volume and longer wait times.

You can also access your accounts online and on the Wells Fargo Mobile app, where you can deposit checks, move money and more. Wells Fargo also reminds customers that they can use contactless cards or digital wallets for payments.

Additional bank and federal advisories for customers

The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) and the National Credit Union Association (NCUA) have temporarily extended unlimited insurance. Thanks to the CARES Act, your bank and credit union deposits are wholly insured through Dec. 31, 2020. Typically, an individual is covered up to $250,000 per account type, with increased FDIC insurance for joint ownership or beneficiaries. This temporary extension means you don’t have to worry about losing any of your money in a checking, savings, CD or money market account in the event of a bank or credit union failure.

The Federal Reserve has temporarily amended Regulation D to allow for more than six withdrawals from savings accounts. One way that Regulation D differentiates savings accounts from checking accounts is by limiting savings accounts to six “convenient” transfers per month. This includes pre-authorized and automatic transfers; telephone transfers; and withdrawals and transfers made by check, debit card or a similar method. For now, you don’t have to worry about this limitation.

Less “convenient” transfers which are not included in that otherwise limited category are those made in person at the bank, by mail, at an ATM or over the phone when you receive the withdrawal via a check in the mail.

Typically, going over the “convenient” transfers limit would result in an excessive transaction fee charged by the bank. With the Fed’s latest change, your bank may also waive their excessive transaction fees as further COVID-19 relief.

Many institutions are warning customers about keeping their information and money safe from fraudsters. Unfortunately, scams and phishing attempts are cropping up to take advantage of this crisis. Be wary of phone calls, emails and texts from suspicious senders who ask for personal or account information, and avoid clicking on links in emails and texts. When in doubt, head to your institution’s official website to verify your bank’s contact information, or log into your account to access its secure messaging system.

Government relief and the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act

American taxpayers and business owners may also get some relief from the U.S. government’s $2 trillion financial relief package, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, signed into law in late March.
Find out how you can benefit from the relief package below.

One-time stimulus checks

Taxpayers’ long-awaited direct payments, or recovery rebates, will be determined by their most recent tax return. For many, this will be your 2019 tax return, since we have yet to file taxes for 2020. If you have not yet filed your 2019 tax return, the government will turn to your 2018 return instead.

How much you’ll get: For individuals, the plan will provide one-time direct payments of $1,200 ($2,400 for joint returns) to those with an annual income of $75,000 or less. Payments will decrease incrementally for those who made more than $75,000 and will stop altogether for individuals who earned more than $99,000. Individuals will also receive an additional $500 per child. You can use our stimulus check calculator to determine your payment amount.

What to do to get your stimulus check: For most taxpayers, there’s no need to sign up. All you need is a valid Social Security number to receive these relief rebates. Depending on what you requested on your tax return, the IRS will send the payment either via direct deposit or a paper check.

  • If you receive Social Security retirement, Social Security Disability Insurance or Railroad Retirement benefits, the IRS will use the information on your 1099 Social Security forms (Form SSA-1099 or Form RRB-1099) to determine your payments. Individuals who qualify with these forms will only receive additional payments for dependents at this time if they registered their dependents via the IRS’ Non-Filers: Enter Payment Info tool by April 22, 2020. Otherwise, the additional $500 payment per eligible dependent will be paid in association with your tax filing for tax year 2020.
  • Other eligible U.S. citizens or permanent residents may use the IRS’ Non-Filers: Enter Payment Info tool. You can use this tool to submit your most recent banking information to the IRS for faster payment. You are eligible to use this tool if you had a gross income of $12,200 or less ($24,400 for married couples) for 2019 and were not required to file, nor planned to file, a federal income tax return for 2019. You will have to submit your current mailing address, an email address and valid Social Security number, in addition to other personal and identifying information.
  • Supplemental Security Income (SSI) recipients and veterans who receive veterans disability compensation, pension or survivor benefits from the Department of Veterans Affairs, and who did not file a tax return for either 2018 or 2019, may also use the Non-Filers: Enter Payment Info tool, as these groups are not yet automatically eligible for economic impact payments.

When the stimulus checks will arrive: The IRS began sending out payments the week of April 13, 2020. You can expect your payment to come sooner if you have direct deposit set up on your tax return or submitted your bank account information via the Non-Filers: Enter Payment Info tool.

You can track your payment with the IRS Get My Payment tool. This tool indicates the status of your payment, including the date your payment is scheduled to be direct deposited or mailed. Get My Payment will also provide eligible individuals a chance to submit their bank account information for direct deposit. If your check has already been scheduled for delivery, this feature will not work, so it’s best to take advantage of it as soon as possible

Fastest ways to get your stimulus check: The fastest way to get your stimulus check is via direct deposit to your bank account from the IRS. If your address or bank account information has changed since 2018, file your 2019 tax return as soon as possible, if you haven’t already.

Taxpayers with prepaid accounts can also receive the government COVID-19 stimulus checks, thanks to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) relaxing rules around the Electronic Fund Transfer Act (EFTA), which typically prohibits individuals from opening new accounts to receive government benefits. So if you have a prepaid account, you may want to provide the IRS with your account information via the Non-Filers: Enter Payment Info tool as soon as possible so you can receive your stimulus payment faster.

What to know about taxes and stimulus checks: These recovery rebates are considered advanced tax credits for 2020 and should not be taxed for most. Since the payment amounts are determined based on your previous tax returns, however, the payments could be subject to adjustment if you earned more or less this year compared to prior years.

For example, if you received too large of a rebate proportionate to your most recent income, you could end up owing back the excess. However, it is so far expected that taxpayers will not have to return or pay tax on any portion of these rebates, regardless of income changes. If you receive a payment that is too low, you also may be able to receive a tax credit from your 2020 taxes to make up the difference.

Expanded unemployment benefits

For starters, individuals who have found themselves unable to work as a result of COVID-19, including those who are sick, quarantined or taking care of family members, will be able to collect unemployment, extending those benefits beyond those who were fired or laid off.

The CARES Act has also included self-employed individuals under this provision, meaning freelancers, gig workers and contractors may also collect unemployment during this time. Also included are people seeking part-time work; workers whose unemployment benefits have run out already; clergy and employees of religious organizations; and individuals whose work history would not typically be sufficient.

The stimulus bill will also add $600 on top of existing unemployment benefits (currently averaging about $300 a week) for four months and extend unemployment insurance by 13 weeks. The bill will also ensure that workers maintain their full salaries if they lose their job due to the coronavirus pandemic.

This additional funding will come from the federal government rather than from states and employers, who typically fund unemployment benefits. Unemployment benefits are still taxable under current law, which the stimulus bill does not account for. So if you are able, you may want to elect for tax withholding now, so you don’t get hit with a big bill at tax time.

How to file for unemployment: Unemployment insurance is done by state, so you will file for unemployment in the state where you last worked. If you worked in multiple states, you can apply in any one of those states. You can check your state’s benefits and eligibility requirements here.

The fastest and safest way to apply for unemployment at this time is via your state’s unemployment website or over the phone. However, given that millions of Americans have recently found themselves unemployed, you may face unusually long wait times when contacting unemployment offices. Perhaps visit your state’s website during off hours.

When you file for unemployment, you’ll have to provide your personal information, including your name, contact information, Social Security number and bank account information, if you have one, for direct deposits. You will also have to provide information about your last place of employment, including your past employer’s name and contact information, the last date you worked, the reason you’re not working anymore and your previous earnings.

Some states may require you to “certify for benefits” on a weekly or bi-weekly basis, which requires you to prove your continued eligibility for unemployment benefits. This often includes showing that you are willing and able to work and that you are actively looking for employment. Some states may waive this requirement during this time.

Eased penalties around retirement account withdrawals

The bill also allows those affected by COVID-19 to withdraw up to $100,000 from qualified retirement accounts, including your 401(k) and IRAs, without facing the 10% early withdrawal penalty that typically applies when you make withdrawals when you are under the age of 59 ½. You will still have to pay income taxes on your withdrawals, though these taxes will now be due over the course of three years instead of immediately. Additionally, the bill waives required minimum distributions (RMDs) for select retirement plans for this year.

Qualified individuals include those who are diagnosed with COVID-19 or have a spouse or dependent who has been diagnosed with COVID-19, as well as those who have been laid off, quarantined, furloughed or faced reduced hours due to the pandemic. This applies through Dec. 31, 2020.

Even though the bill allows it, withdrawing from your retirement accounts before you’ve actually hit retirement is generally not the best plan — especially if you’re already close to retiring. By doing so, you run the high risk of hurting the nest egg that you’ve worked hard to build for retirement. Still, this may be the only source of money available to many right now.

Small business relief

The stimulus plan includes $425 billion for the Federal Reserve to leverage for emergency loans to distressed companies and $75 billion for industry-specific loans. Despite previous claims from President Trump that he alone would choose which businesses received aid, this lending system will fall under oversight by an inspector general and a congressionally-appointed panel.

The spending package also provides $350 billion that will go toward lending programs for small businesses, but only those that keep their payrolls steady through the crisis. There is also a reward for small businesses that keep their workers in the form of federally-guaranteed loans that will be forgiven if the employer continues to pay its workers throughout this time of crisis.

Additionally, the plan allocates $130 billion for hospitals and $150 billion for state and local governments.

Advertiser Disclosure: The products that appear on this site may be from companies from which MagnifyMoney receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). MagnifyMoney does not include all financial institutions or all products offered available in the marketplace.