Can You Deposit Cash at an ATM?

Written by Justin EstesUpdated: 6th Oct 2021
Share this article

Disclaimer: This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation (at no cost to you) when you click on links to those products. Read our Disclaimer Policy for more information.

When was the last time you visited an ATM?

Although digital banking is very powerful, and most Americans have switched to fully online banks or adopted online banking in some capacity, many people still rely on ATMs and traditional banking services because of their convenience and availability.

Many consumers are familiar with withdrawing cash from an ATM, but is it possible to deposit cash or checks into an ATM?

Today we will discuss how depositswork within an ATM and how you can make check and cash deposits effectively while mitigating fees and inconvenience.

>> More: Best Online Banks

Can You Deposit Cash at an ATM?

In short, yes. However, there are many more hoops to jump through for depositing cash into an ATM instead of withdrawing cash.

Before you take a wad of cash to an ATM, check that your bank allows cash deposits and use their website or mobile app to find an ATM that allows cash deposits.

You may be familiar with in-network and out-of-network ATM Partnerships, but different rules exist for deposits versus withdrawals.

For example, most banks have a network of ATMs that they own and operate, and they have agreements with other ATM providers so that you can withdraw cash at most ATMs.

Deposits are not the same, especially with out-of-network ATMs.

So even if you find one of your Bank’s ATMs, you should check online to filter and see if it accepts deposits.

>> More: How to Open a Bank Account Online

How to Make Cash Deposits at an ATM (Step-by-Step)

Although each ATM is different, here are the main steps to deposit cash at an ATM once you identify one that accepts deposits.

#1. Access Your Account

Beginning the deposit process is very similar to the withdrawal process. Insert your debit card, and securely enter your PIN number to access your account. Once your account is open, you can then choose the deposit option.

#2. Verify and Confirm Account for Cash Deposit

After you indicate that you are going to make a deposit, you will be prompted to enter the details of how much you are depositing and which account you want It to go to.

Most ATMs allow you to choose between checking accounts and savings accounts, and once you select the account, you can then proceed to confirm your deposit.

#3. Insert Cash (or Bills/Envelope)

Once you confirm your deposit amount, you can insert your cash or checks into the ATM.

Historically, Banks required the deposits to be in an envelope, but thanks to modern financial technology, sensors inside ATMs can identify and differentiate between bills, checks and confirm the amount automatically.

If the ATM requires you to use an envelope, make sure that all checks are signed, and put the bills in the envelope before depositing.

Any more likely scenario that you can deposit the cash directly, without an envelope, you simply insert the bills into the ATM.

#4. Confirm Total Amount Deposited in ATM

Once all the bills and or checks are deposited into the ATM, you will be asked to confirm the total amount that you deposited.

This is a final check that everything matches how you started the deposit, and ultimately how much you inserted into the ATM.

#5. Verify Cash was Successfully Deposited (Save Receipt of Transaction)

Once the deposit is complete, you will get a receipt verifying that the cash was received and how much your reflected balance will be once the transaction clears.

Receipts are very important for ATM deposits because you may need to provide proof of your deposit if there are any holes or discrepancies with the ATM network or your bank.

Can I Deposit Money at an ATM that’s Not My Bank?

Withdrawing cash from ATMs that are outside of your bank is much simpler than depositing cash in and out of the network bank.

Although some online banks enable you to make cash deposits at other locations or outside ATMs, most big banks do not accept cash deposits from outside ATMs.

However, you can still check with your financial institution to see if they have any reciprocal ATMs on an ATM network that accept outside deposits.

How Do You Deposit Cash at An Online-Only Bank?

Some online-only banks do not accept any cash deposits. Many of them only accept digital or remote check deposits, so if you want to deposit cash at an online-only bank, you may need to deposit it in another account first and schedule an ACH or wire transfer.

A few online banks, such as Capital One, work with stores, pharmacies, and other vendors to accept cash deposits, but there are often deposit fees associated with this.

>> More: What is Direct Deposit?

How Much Cash Can You Deposit in an ATM?

There is not a standard limit to how much you can deposit in an ATM. for example, Wells Fargo only accepts deposits up to 30 bills or checks.

You can deposit 30 $5 bills or 30 $50 bills; it’s not the dollar amount that matters so much as the volume of bills. Other banks have daily limits, some as high as $5,000 for cash deposits into an ATM.

If you are considering making a large cash deposit into an ATM, make sure it is safe and in a well-lit area to mitigate potential Danger.

What Are the Fees for ATM Cash Deposits?

ATMs often have operating fees, deposit fees, and withdrawal fees that can be confusing. Average ATM deposit fees range between $1.50 to $3.50.

Fortunately, if you are making a deposit at an ATM owned and operated by your bank, you may be able to be reimbursed for any ATM fees incurred.

If possible, consumers who want to avoid all fees may be better off depositing cash in person at a local branch.

When Will My Money be Available from an ATM Cash Deposit?

Cash is often cleared and available within a day or two of depositing, whereas tracks may be subjected to a hold which can be up to 11 days.

There are regulations in place that will help ensure your cash deposit is available quickly, but if you want your cash to be available as soon as possible, you may prefer to make an in-person deposit and get the receipt from a bank teller.

Most ATMs take a business day or less to reflect cash deposited into the account. Checks can be difficult if you don’t sign the back, so ensure that they are endorsed before you deposit them.

Is It Safe to Deposit Cash at an ATM?

Depositing cash into an ATM is relatively safe, especially if you adhere to common-sense safety protocols.

Go to make your deposit in populated areas where the ATM is well-lit and security cameras are available.

You can make depositing cash into an ATM even safer by making a deposit during the day and having someone with you or at least telling somebody where you are going.

Is It Hard to Deposit Cash at an ATM?

Finding an ATM that accepts cash is more complicated than the actual deposit itself. Thankfully, mobile banking will help you identify an ATM near you that does accept cash, and once you get to the ATM, follow the steps outlined in this article, and you shouldn’t have a problem depositing cash.

Tips for Making Cash Deposits at an ATM

Being prepared is one of the best ways to make sure that your ATM cash deposit goes smoothly.

Most banks that offer cash deposits in their ATMs have an interactive map where you can see ATMs that accept cash deposits and even see street views of the ATM itself.

Making sure that all your bills and checks are neat and not too crumpled will expedite the process and reduce the likelihood of a hold on your deposit.

Holds can result from a lack of endorsement on checks to faded or ripped bills, so make sure that your deposit is as clean if possible.

Finally, always get a receipt when you make a deposit. Although most deposits do not cause any trouble, it’s still better to be safe than sorry when it comes to an ATM cash deposit.

You do not want to be caught in a situation where you do not have access to your cash, and your bank cannot see the deposit activity.

In the unfortunate event that something happens, you will be able to provide your bank with hard evidence that you made the deposit as described.

Bottom Line: Can You Deposit Cash at an ATM?

Hopefully, you can see that depositing cash at an ATM is simple. As long as you are sure that your bank issues the ATM and it offers deposit capabilities.

Depositing cash at an ATM can be especially helpful if you are in a rush or do you not have a local branch of your bank close to you.

By following common-sense safety protocols and ensuring that your deposit matches the information you give to the ATM, you can effectively make cash deposits into ATMs.

Justin Estes
Justin Estes

Justin Estes is a Senior Personal Finance Writer who is a recognized small business accountant, consultant, and credit card expert. His background in accounting and finance led to a passion for helping people make the most of their money and matching them with financial products that enhance their lifestyle. Justin attended Charleston Southern University where he double-majored in Finance and Accounting. Justin’s areas of expertise are credit cards, small business finance, accounting, and taxes.