December 12, 2023

How to Make a Cash Deposit: All You Need to Know

If you’ve got a large pile of dollar bills and you want to put it somewhere safe, a cash deposit at a bank or credit union could be your best move. (Also, congrats.)

But maybe you’re not really familiar with using hard currency, which is understandable in this day and age of tap-and-go, and you’re not sure how to deposit cash at a bank. If so, no sweat! We’ll walk you through all the ins and outs of cash deposits using a simple, step-by-step process that you’ll master in no time.

What is a cash deposit?

In short, whenever you put physical currency (i.e. dollar bills and rolled coins) into a bank account, that’s a cash deposit. It's an easy way to add funds to your account, whether you're aiming to pay off debts or add to your savings.

It doesn’t matter if you’re adding a quick $20 or depositing large amounts of cash. The process is pretty much the same.

Why are cash deposits important?

Cash deposits play an essential role in effective financial management. They provide a concrete way to replenish your bank account, may help avoid overdrafts, and ensure your hard-earned dollars are in a safe place where they can sit pretty until you need them.

Having a large amount of cash on hand may be opening yourself up to a lot of risk, and your money is much safer and more secure in a bank instead of a shoebox under your bed.

Where to make a cash deposit

When it comes to making cash deposits, you have plenty of options at your disposal, so you can choose what best fits your preferences and needs. Here are some common places where you can make cash deposits:

Local banks or credit unions

Who better to trust with your money than the place you already got your debit or credit card from? Traditional brick-and-mortar banks and credit unions provide an easy and familiar way to make cash deposits.

Visit your local branch and talk to a teller to deposit your cash. Different banks might have varying policies on the maximum amount of cash you can deposit at once, so be sure to check with your local bank beforehand.

Online banks

Online banks offer the convenience of digital banking without having to go into a physical branch. Many online banks are affiliated with larger institutions, meaning you can deposit cash at their partner's physical branches and their ATMs. You can usually find this info easily on the online bank’s website.

ATMs

Most ATMs accept cash deposits, conveniently allowing you to add funds to your account outside regular banking hours using your debit card. While depositing cash at a bank ATM or third-party ATM is convenient, there might be limitations on the amount you can deposit in a single transaction.

Restrictions on cash deposits

So how much cash can you actually deposit at a bank? It varies from bank to bank, so check with yours beforehand.

The maximum amount of cash you can deposit depends on several factors, including the bank's policies, your account type, and anti-money laundering regulations. Generally, most banks have daily or monthly deposit limits for security and compliance. These limits vary widely, from a few thousand dollars to tens of thousands.

Before making a cash deposit, it's a good idea to check your bank’s website or mobile banking app to understand their specific guidelines for cash deposits. Understanding these details about your physical or online bank account helps you make informed decisions and ensures a smooth depositing process.

How to deposit cash at an ATM

Fortunately, depositing cash is relatively easy. Here's a step-by-step guide to help you navigate your deposits at ATMs using your debit card:

1. Find an ATM. Locate an ATM that accepts cash deposits. It’s best to use an ATM associated with your bank to avoid fees. An online bank's website or mobile app can help you identify ATMs near you.

2. Insert your card. Insert your debit or ATM card into the card slot and follow the prompts on the screen to get started.

3. Enter your PIN. Use your personal identification number (PIN) to access your account.

4. Select deposit. Choose the “Deposit” option from the ATM menu. Some ATMs may also ask you to select the type of account (e.g. checking or saving account) you want to deposit the cash into.

5. Insert cash. Place the bills into the designated slot on the ATM. The machine may have guidelines on how to arrange the bills to ensure accurate counting.

6. Confirm the amount. After you've inserted all the cash, the ATM will display the total amount you've deposited. Review this information to make sure it matches the actual amount.

7. Finish the transaction. If the displayed amount is correct, confirm the deposit. The ATM will process the transaction, and you'll receive a printed receipt for your records.

8. Take your receipt — and don’t forget your card. Retrieve your card and the receipt from the ATM. The receipt will detail the deposited amount and your new balance. Just be sure to wait until the end of the transaction to collect your card.

By following these steps, you can easily deposit cash at an ATM at any time and add the funds to your account without visiting a bank branch.

Cash deposit best practices

When making a cash deposit at an ATM, remember these quick tips to ensure a smooth and secure transaction:

1. Prepare your cash

Before getting to the ATM, organize your cash neatly and remove any staples, clips, or folds. This will help the ATM accurately count the bills and reduce the risk of jams.

2. Double-check the amount

Take a moment to verify the amount of cash you're depositing before inserting it into the ATM. Double-checking the amount will prevent errors and save you time during the transaction. It’ll also make sure you’re more confident — not second-guessing whether your deposit is the exact amount you intended.

3. Keep your receipt

Once the transaction is complete, remember to take the printed receipt (or opt for an emailed receipt). This serves as confirmation of your deposit and provides information about the transaction, including the date, time, and amount. It’s always good to keep records of your deposits.

EarnIn: The convenient way to access your pay

Depositing cash makes keeping track of your money safe and easy. To make things even safer and easier, download EarnIn, and get access to tools that help you build financial momentum with access to your pay.

Our Cash Out tool lets you access your pay as you work — up to $100 a day and up to $750 every pay period — so you have what you need to keep moving forward, whatever life sends your way. Having the flexibility to meet your cash needs on demand — all through your phone — is exactly what EarnIn offers.

Download EarnIn to make every day payday.

Please note, the material collected in this post is for informational purposes only and is not intended to be relied upon as or construed as advice regarding any specific circumstances. Nor is it an endorsement of any organization or services.

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EarnIn is a financial technology company not a bank. Subject to your available earnings, Daily Max and Pay Period Max. EarnIn does not charge interest on Cash Outs. EarnIn does not charge hidden fees for use of its services. Restrictions and/or third party fees may apply. EarnIn services may not be available in all states. For more info visit earnin.com/TOS.

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