Can You Deposit Cash at an ATM?

By Jamie Cattanach · May 30, 2024 · 8 minute read

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Can You Deposit Cash at an ATM?

It’s often — but not always — possible to deposit cash at an ATM. Whether you can feed bills into the machine can depend on your bank, the particular device you’re using, and other factors. If you are able to make the deposit, fees might be charged.

It’s important to understand the ground rules for depositing cash at an ATM so you can get your money where you want it to go, with a minimum of hassle.

How to Deposit Cash at an ATM

Here are the usual steps for depositing cash at an ATM, once you have your bills counted and ready.

Locate an ATM

In order to avoid wasting time at an ATM that won’t accept cash, it’s a good idea to do a bit of research ahead of time. Log onto the website or app for your financial institution, and look for an ATM locator, which will show you all nearby locations and may also specifically mention which services those ATMs can perform (including whether or not they accept cash or check deposits).

It’s worth noting that those convenient ATMs that you may see at your local grocery store or at a concert venue may not accept cash. They are likely there just to provide people with some crisp bills for spending.

Insert Your Bank Card

Once you’ve arrived at an ATM that will accept a cash deposit, you’ll most likely need to use your debit card or other kind of bank card and personal identification number (PIN) to confirm your identity. That will allow you to pull up the ATM’s service options. Some banks may grant access to an ATM using cardless withdrawal technology, which involves using your phone vs. your bank card to complete transactions.

Follow the On-Screen Instructions

Next, you’ll follow the instructions to make a cash deposit. For instance, if you have multiple accounts, such as a checking and savings account, you’ll typically be asked to select the account where the money should be deposited.

Feed Your Money Into the ATM

Ready for the main event? It’s now time to feed your bills into the machine. It’s worth noting that some ATMs may have limits as to how many paper bills they can take at once (perhaps 40 or 50), and ATMs typically don’t take coin deposits. Incidentally, a few older ATMs still require you to put bills into the designated envelopes they provide prior to depositing.

You will usually have the opportunity to confirm the deposit’s amount during this step, which is a valuable checkpoint.

As with any situation where you’re feeding bills into a machine, it’s possible that the machine may spit one back out if it reads it as damaged or potentially counterfeit. And, of course, any time you are handling cash, you want to take note of your surroundings and make sure you feel safe when conducting your transaction.

Sign Out

Last of all, you can ask for a receipt, if you like (you will usually be offered the option of a printed or an email receipt; either can help with record-keeping). Also make sure you are signed out of the ATM before you leave, which is a wise move whenever you use one of these terminals.

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Can You Deposit Cash at Any ATM?

You can’t necessarily deposit cash at any ATM. If you are a customer of the bank, you probably can utilize their ATMs, but if a machine is out-of-network, you may or may not be able to deposit your bills there and have them land in your account.

For this reason, it’s important to check to see which ATMs are part of your bank’s network and accept cash. This can save you a wasted trip to an ATM, only to learn that the device doesn’t accept bills from clients of your financial institution…or doesn’t accept bills at all.

If you are permitted to deposit cash, you may have to pay a fee. Currently, out-of-network fees average $4.73 per transaction. In addition, you may have to wait an extra couple of days to have the funds turn up in your account (more on that in a moment).

Can You Deposit Cash at an ATM for an Online Bank?

Customers of online-only banks may be concerned that they won’t be able to deposit cash at an ATM. However, some of the leading online-only banks partner with ATM networks so you can enjoy this aspect of banking. For example, you may find that you can access more than 50,000 global ATMs for free (whether you want to withdraw or deposit cash, or conduct other business) with some of the key players.

Recommended: 12 Top Mobile and Online Banking Features

When Depositing Cash at an ATM, Is It Available Immediately?

At some ATMs, cash deposits are made available immediately, while with other ATMs you may experience some lag between the moment you feed the money into the machine and the moment the funds become available.

The FDIC requires banks to make cash deposits available within a certain amount of time. In the case of an in-network ATM, availability is not required until the second business day after the deposit. At an out-of-network ATM, however, funds don’t have to be made available until the fifth business day, so it’s wise to take that into account.

Again, your bank may have more information available on their website as to their specific policies.

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Things to Consider When Depositing Cash at an ATM

Most of the time, depositing cash into an ATM goes smoothly and may happen for free. But there are a couple of scenarios to be aware of and potential hiccups to be prepared for.

Depositing Cash at an ATM That Isn’t Your Bank

As mentioned above, you may or may not be able to deposit cash in an out-of-network ATM. For instance, if you have an account at Bank of America, you probably can’t stick a couple of hundred-dollar bills into a Chase ATM.

What’s more, if you can make a deposit at an out-of-network ATM, there may be fees involved. It will likely take longer to process and become available to use than if you’d stayed in your own network.

If you keep your money at an online-only bank, you may want to stick to their network or make sure your financial institution offers a fee-reimbursement feature. You can usually locate in-network or partner ATMs by checking your bank’s app or website or by calling their customer service number.

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Potential Problems

Technology can offer many benefits, such as speed and convenience, but it isn’t perfect. When you are trying to deposit cash at an ATM, you might in rare cases hit a snag. Perhaps the machine won’t accept your bills, or it miscounts the amount deposited.

If an issue like this happens, make sure to note down the details, such as the date, time, location, and what transpired. You can then report the issue to your bank and/or the owner of the ATM to get the matter resolved. If you lost money in this way, you may want to involve the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to help you get refunded.


You are unlikely to encounter a fee if you make a deposit at your bank’s ATM. The same can hold true if you keep your accounts with an online-only bank and use their network of terminals.

However, life can get complicated, and you may need to deposit cash when an in-network device isn’t anywhere nearby. In that case, you are likely to incur an out-of-network ATM fee. As noted above, these are currently averaging $4.73 a pop, according to one recent survey, so this can really add up.

Check with your bank ahead of time to get a better grasp of their specific ATM fee policies and avoid these unnecessary fees when possible.


There can be limits on how much you can deposit at a given time at an ATM. Typically, this isn’t a dollar amount but rather a cap on how many bills can be inserted. For instance, if an ATM allows no more than 50 bills at a time, that might mean you can only deposit $250 if you have $5 bills or as much as $5,000 if you have $100 bills.

Recommended: How to Avoid ATM Fees

The Takeaway

You can usually deposit cash in an ATM in a few simple steps, which can be a convenient way to get money into your checking or savings account. Depending on whether you insert your bills at an out-of-network vs. in-network machine, the transaction may involve fees and potentially a delay in the funds becoming available. It can be wise to do a little research on your options and rely on in-network machines whenever possible.

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How do you deposit cash at an ATM?

To deposit cash at an ATM, you’ll need an ATM that accepts cash, your bank card, and PIN. Then you simply follow the directions on the machine’s screen. However, it’s good to research first where ATMs in your network are or how much of a fee will be charged to deposit cash at an out-of-network ATM.

Can you deposit checks at an ATM?

Yes, you can usually deposit a check into an in-network ATM, though some machines may not accept them.

Are there ATM deposit fees?

Whether you will pay to use an ATM varies. Typically, you will not be assessed a fee to use an ATM that belongs to your bank or the network of ATMs it partners with. However, if you use an out-of-network machine for a transaction (withdrawal or deposit), you will likely be charged a fee of a few dollars.

How much cash can be deposited in an ATM?

There may be a limit on the number of bills you can deposit at an ATM vs. a limit on the dollar amount. For example, some ATMs accept no more than 50 bills at a time.

How can I deposit money without going to the bank?

You can often deposit cash at one of your bank’s ATMs or a machine that’s part of your bank’s network. Another method would be to buy a money order made out to yourself and then use mobile deposit to get it into your bank account.

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SoFi members with direct deposit activity can earn 4.60% annual percentage yield (APY) on savings balances (including Vaults) and 0.50% APY on checking balances. Direct Deposit means a recurring deposit of regular income to an account holder’s SoFi Checking or Savings account, including payroll, pension, or government benefit payments (e.g., Social Security), made by the account holder’s employer, payroll or benefits provider or government agency (“Direct Deposit”) via the Automated Clearing House (“ACH”) Network during a 30-day Evaluation Period (as defined below). Deposits that are not from an employer or government agency, including but not limited to check deposits, peer-to-peer transfers (e.g., transfers from PayPal, Venmo, etc.), merchant transactions (e.g., transactions from PayPal, Stripe, Square, etc.), and bank ACH funds transfers and wire transfers from external accounts, or are non-recurring in nature (e.g., IRS tax refunds), do not constitute Direct Deposit activity. There is no minimum Direct Deposit amount required to qualify for the stated interest rate.

As an alternative to direct deposit, SoFi members with Qualifying Deposits can earn 4.60% APY on savings balances (including Vaults) and 0.50% APY on checking balances. Qualifying Deposits means one or more deposits that, in the aggregate, are equal to or greater than $5,000 to an account holder’s SoFi Checking and Savings account (“Qualifying Deposits”) during a 30-day Evaluation Period (as defined below). Qualifying Deposits only include those deposits from the following eligible sources: (i) ACH transfers, (ii) inbound wire transfers, (iii) peer-to-peer transfers (i.e., external transfers from PayPal, Venmo, etc. and internal peer-to-peer transfers from a SoFi account belonging to another account holder), (iv) check deposits, (v) instant funding to your SoFi Bank Debit Card, (vi) push payments to your SoFi Bank Debit Card, and (vii) cash deposits. Qualifying Deposits do not include: (i) transfers between an account holder’s Checking account, Savings account, and/or Vaults; (ii) interest payments; (iii) bonuses issued by SoFi Bank or its affiliates; or (iv) credits, reversals, and refunds from SoFi Bank, N.A. (“SoFi Bank”) or from a merchant.

SoFi Bank shall, in its sole discretion, assess each account holder’s Direct Deposit activity and Qualifying Deposits throughout each 30-Day Evaluation Period to determine the applicability of rates and may request additional documentation for verification of eligibility. The 30-Day Evaluation Period refers to the “Start Date” and “End Date” set forth on the APY Details page of your account, which comprises a period of 30 calendar days (the “30-Day Evaluation Period”). You can access the APY Details page at any time by logging into your SoFi account on the SoFi mobile app or SoFi website and selecting either (i) Banking > Savings > Current APY or (ii) Banking > Checking > Current APY. Upon receiving a Direct Deposit or $5,000 in Qualifying Deposits to your account, you will begin earning 4.60% APY on savings balances (including Vaults) and 0.50% on checking balances on or before the following calendar day. You will continue to earn these APYs for (i) the remainder of the current 30-Day Evaluation Period and through the end of the subsequent 30-Day Evaluation Period and (ii) any following 30-day Evaluation Periods during which SoFi Bank determines you to have Direct Deposit activity or $5,000 in Qualifying Deposits without interruption.

SoFi Bank reserves the right to grant a grace period to account holders following a change in Direct Deposit activity or Qualifying Deposits activity before adjusting rates. If SoFi Bank grants you a grace period, the dates for such grace period will be reflected on the APY Details page of your account. If SoFi Bank determines that you did not have Direct Deposit activity or $5,000 in Qualifying Deposits during the current 30-day Evaluation Period and, if applicable, the grace period, then you will begin earning the rates earned by account holders without either Direct Deposit or Qualifying Deposits until you have Direct Deposit activity or $5,000 in Qualifying Deposits in a subsequent 30-Day Evaluation Period. For the avoidance of doubt, an account holder with both Direct Deposit activity and Qualifying Deposits will earn the rates earned by account holders with Direct Deposit.

Members without either Direct Deposit activity or Qualifying Deposits, as determined by SoFi Bank, during a 30-Day Evaluation Period and, if applicable, the grace period, will earn 1.20% APY on savings balances (including Vaults) and 0.50% APY on checking balances.

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