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ATM Withdrawal Limits - What You Need to Know

By Jacqueline DeMarco · June 22, 2022 · 6 minute read

We’re here to help! First and foremost, SoFi Learn strives to be a beneficial resource to you as you navigate your financial journey. Read more We develop content that covers a variety of financial topics. Sometimes, that content may include information about products, features, or services that SoFi does not provide. We aim to break down complicated concepts, loop you in on the latest trends, and keep you up-to-date on the stuff you can use to help get your money right. Read less

ATM Withdrawal Limits - What You Need to Know

Even though many financial transactions are digital these days, there are times when you still need some money in hand.

ATMs can be a quick, easy solution when you need a fast cash infusion. But banks typically impose a limit on how much money you can withdraw in one day. Some banks also charge fees in exchange for the convenience of getting money at the nearest ATM.

Read on to learn:

•   How much money you can typically withdraw from an ATM.

•   How you can get around these ATM maximum limits if needed.

•   How to sidestep ATM fees.

Why Do Banks Have ATM Withdrawal Limits?

While ATM withdrawal limits can be frustrating, they exist for two important reasons:

Cash Availability

Banks want to make sure there is enough money available for all ATM users. But ATMs can only hold so much cash, and banks only have so much cash on hand at any one given time.

Let’s say you go to an ATM on, say, the Friday before a long holiday weekend to get some spending money and find that there is no cash left. This doesn’t happen often, but it’s a possibility. Capping the amount of money that can be withdrawn at an ATM helps ensure that customers can’t clean out ATMs or drain the bank’s cash reserves.

Security

ATM withdrawal limits also protect consumers. If someone were to get hold of your debit card and PIN number, the ATM withdrawal max would prevent that fraudster from immediately draining your entire checking or savings account.

Withdraw limits help reduce the speed with which a criminal could steal from your account.

How Much Can I Withdraw From an ATM?

The answer depends on a specific bank’s rules around withdrawals, with some capping at $300 and others going as high as $5,000 a day. A limit of somewhere between $500 and $1,000 is common.

In some cases, a withdrawal limit depends on a specific customer’s banking history or account type. A new customer with a basic checking account may have a lower withdrawal limit than an established customer with a premium checking account. If you have a student or a second chance account, your max ATM withdrawal might be lower than if you had a standard checking account.

Whether you are withdrawing from checking vs. savings can also make a difference.

Savings Account Withdrawal Limits

The amount you can withdraw will depend upon your particular bank or credit union. In some cases, savings accounts have a higher cap on how much you can withdraw at any one time. In others, you will find that you can pull more cash from an ATM using your checking account. One thing to be aware of: You may be limited to how many withdrawal transactions you can make per month from your savings account. Check your financial institution’s policies for specifics.

Checking Account Withdrawal Limits

The maximum ATM withdrawal limits for checking accounts can vary a great deal. For example, consider these figures:

•   Chase: $500 to $3,000

•   Citibank: $1,500 to $2,000

•   PNC: $500

•   Vystar Credit Union: $560 to $5,000

ATM Withdrawal Limits vs Daily Purchase Limits

It can also be helpful to keep in mind that ATM cash withdrawal limits are typically separate from daily purchase limits.

You may, for instance, be able to make $4,000 in debit card purchases in one day, but be limited to taking out $500 at the ATM.

Some banks may set a third limit — the total amount of money you can take out of your account via withdrawals and debit card purchases each day. Just like credit limits on your credit cards, these numbers may vary with the financial institution.

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How To Work Around ATM Withdrawal Limits

If you need more cash than an ATM will allow you to withdraw, there are a few workarounds that can help as you wrangle your cash management.

Asking For Cash Back While Shopping

In some stores (like grocery stores), it’s possible to ask for cash back at checkout when making a purchase. While cash back may count towards your debit card’s daily purchase limit, it typically doesn’t count towards a daily ATM withdrawal limit.

The store will likely also have a cash back limit that applies on a per purchase basis. That could mean you’ll need to make multiple purchases to withdraw the full amount of cash needed.

Withdrawing From Savings

If you have both a checking and savings account, here’s another possibility: You can withdraw money from a savings account when using an ATM. This can help avoid the daily checking account withdrawal limit. There may, however, still be some limitations on ATM savings withdrawals, and this may vary with the kind of savings account you have.

Withdrawing at the Window

If you bank at a bricks-and-mortar location and the branch is open when you need more money, head inside. You can withdraw the amount you need by seeing a teller.

Fees to Look Out for When Withdrawing Money From the ATM

Many banking institutions have free ATM networks, but you may incur ATM fees if you use a machine outside of your bank’s network. This may include a fee from your bank, as well as a fee from the ATM provider.

These fees can add up quickly. If you were to use an out-of-network ATM, your bank might charge you as much as $1.50, while the ATM provider might charge you $3. In total, you could pay $4.50 for withdrawing your money.

To avoid ATM fees every time you get cash, you may want to look for a bank that doesn’t charge out-of-network ATM fees and/or refunds fees charged by the machine provider. Some banks reimburse fees charged by an out-of-network provider up to a certain amount each month.

Another option is to choose a bank with in-network ATMs that are convenient to where you live and work. You can also reduce fees by withdrawing more money at one time and making less frequent trips to the ATM.

The Takeaway

ATM withdrawal limits are there for your protection as well as the bank’s, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t inconvenient at times.

If you regularly need cash, you may want to find out your bank’s daily ATM withdrawal limits and plan ahead. Or, you can work around the maximums in place and get cash from other sources. By using a bit of smart strategy, you can make sure you have the cash you need on hand.

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FAQ

Why do ATMs have withdrawal limits?

ATMs have withdrawal limits to help make sure the terminals don’t run out of cash for customers. ATM withdrawal limits also help protect account holders if their card were stolen or hacked; it minimizes how much they could lose in a specific period of time.

What is the difference between checking and savings account withdrawal limits?

Each bank or credit union has its own policies about withdrawal limits. These may depend on the kind of account, how long and responsibly the account holder has been a client, and other factors. The limits from checking and savings might or might not be the same.

What is the maximum amount I can withdraw from an ATM?

The amount you can withdraw from an ATM may range from $300 to $5,000 a day, depending on the financial institution and your particular account. Somewhere between $500 and $1,000 is typical.


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