December 25, 2019

How to Deposit Cash to Online Bank

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Online-only banks can be a great way to boost your savings. But depositing cash can be a challenge. We cover several ways to deposit your money in our guide.

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Online banks offer plenty of perks, including better than average interest on savings accounts. But since they don't have physical locations, depositing cash isn't as easy as stopping by your local branch.

In this guide, you'll learn how to:

Which online banks accept cash deposits?
  • Capital One 360: At any Capital One branch or a cash-accepting AllPoint or Capital One ATM (including at Capital One Cafes).
  • NBKC Bank: At cash-accepting ATMs in the MoneyPass network
  • USAA: At cash-accepting ATMs in the Allpoint, MoneyPass, and PNC Bank networks.
Most online banks do not allow cash deposits, including Ally, Discover Bank, and CIT. But keep reading and we'll share with you some smart workarounds.

Deposit and Transfer with a Traditional Bank

Pros

  • Convenient, local solution
  • Free

Cons

  • Requires accounts at multiple banks
  • Deposits not instantly accessible

Online banks allow you to link your accounts to external ones. If you have a savings or checking account at a traditional bank or credit union, you can deposit cash at their branches then move it directly to your online account via ACH transfer.

These types of transfers are free. However, it may be a few business days before the money arrives in your online account.

Federal law limits savings account withdrawals to 6 per month. If you regularly deposit and then transfer cash to your online bank, a checking account at your local bank is the best option.

Use an ATM That Accepts Cash

Pros

  • Direct, instant deposit into your online account
  • No fees

Cons

  • Limited availability based on bank and ATM

Your online bank may offer access to a fee-free network of ATMs for everyday transactions. Some of these ATMs are equipped to accept as well as dispense cash. If you find one AND your online bank allows for ATM cash deposits (many don't), you can deposit your cash directly into your account.

Here's how the process usually works (though it may vary by ATM):

  1. Enter your card and personal PIN number.
  2. Select Deposit and then Deposit Cash.
  3. Choose the right account.
  4. Slide the bills into the portal when it opens.

Many cash-accepting ATMs allow you to deposit a stack of bills, which is then sorted. A breakdown by value and number of bills will appear onscreen. You'll need to confirm this to complete your deposit. Make sure to get a receipt—it should also itemize your deposit.

Can I deposit money at an ATM that's not my bank?
You can only deposit cash in an ATM that is connected to your bank. But that doesn't mean the ATM must be owned or operated by your bank. Some online banks and credit unions are linked to nationwide ATM networks like AllPoint or Money Pass.

If an ATM within your network accepts cash deposits AND your bank allows for allow them, you should have no trouble making a deposit. If you're unsure, double-check using the ATM locator on your bank's website or mobile app. Or simply call your bank directly to ask.

Buy a Money Order

Pros

  • Many available locations
  • More deposit options than cash

Cons

  • More time-consuming process
  • (Small) fee for every order
  • Deposit amounts are limited

A money order is an easy way to turn your extra cash into a check for deposit into your online bank. You can purchase a money order for a small fee at banks, a post office branch, some retailers or supermarkets, and other places. The price will vary based on the amount of the order, but you'll usually pay under $2.

Money orders are limited to $1,000. To deposit a larger sum, you may want to consider a cashier's check from a local bank. However, most banks require you to have an open account to order a cashier's check, and you'll usually pay a fee.

Here's what to do:

  1. Visit an available location. Money orders cannot be purchased online.

  2. Fill out the form using your name and address.

  3. Pay with cash.

  4. Keep your receipt.

Once you receive your money order, you'll still need to deposit it. Some online banks treat money orders just like checks— they can be deposited remotely from your mobile device or from a deposit-accepting ATM within your network. Others require you to mail it to the bank's main office. To be sure, check with your bank before you purchase.

Find a Reloadable Pre-Paid Debit Card

Pros

  • Convenient, readily available options
  • May curb debit card spending

Cons

  • Transfer takes a few business days
  • Possible fees for each re-load
  • Convoluted process

Much like an external bank account, a pre-paid debit card can be linked to your online bank account. If your pre-paid debit card is reloadable, you can add the money you wish to deposit and simply move it to your account via ACH transfer.

Some banks and stores let you reload pre-paid debit cards. But be wary of fees. Depending on where you load your card, you may get charged a flat fee or percentage of the amount. And some cards have monthly fees, too. These can add up if you're making frequent deposits.

Here's how to link a pre-paid debit card to your online bank account.

  1. Register your debit card.
  2. Visit your online bank website.
  3. Follow directions to connect your card to the account.
  4. Transfer money from your card to the account via ACH transfer.

What to Look for in an Online Bank

Interested in an online bank? You've got plenty of choices. Here are things to consider before choosing:

  • High Interest Rates
    Online banks tend to offer higher APY, but rates vary.

  • Reimbursement of ATM Fees
    Some online banks offer free access to nationwide ATM networks like AllPoint. Others reimburse fees for using ATMs. Whatever bank you choose, make sure you aren't going to pay to access your money.

  • Monthly Service Fees
    Some online banks charge fees if you don't meet a monthly balance requirement.

  • Deposit and Withdrawal Restrictions
    Your online account may limit the number of transactions each month. Be sure to read the fine print before committing.

  • Security
    Banking online can put your money at risk. Most banks have sophisticated security measures, including data encryption.

  • Customer Service
    With online banks, you can't walk into a branch with questions. Many online banks offer customer service via phone, email, or chat (some have 24/7 phone support).

Bottom Line

Online banks offer benefits like high interest and low/no fees. But depositing cash may take more effort than walking into a local branch. Find a bank that offers the most convenient—and accessible—deposit policy for your needs.

Note: This website is made possible through financial relationships with some of the products and services mentioned on this site. We may receive compensation if you shop through links in our content. You do not have to use our links, but you help support CreditDonkey if you do.

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