Online banks have a lot of perks, such as a better average interest on savings account. However, depositing cash with an online bank can seem like a hassle. This bank guide can teach you how to deposit money in multiple ways!
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 accept cash deposits, such as Ally, Discover Bank, and CIT, but we are here to help you find ways around that. Read to find out other ways you can deposit cash.
Deposit and Transfer with a Traditional Bank
- Convenient, local solution
- Requires accounts at multiple banks
- Deposits not instantly accessible
Online banks will allow you to link your account to an external one.
Therefore if you have a savings or checking account with a traditional bank or credit union, you can deposit cash at those branches and then move it to your account via ACH transfer.
This type of transfer is free, but it may take a few days before your money arrives to your online bank account.
Federal law limits savings account withdrawals to 6 per month. If you regularly deposit and transfer cash to your online bank, it may be better to have a checking account at your local bank.
Use an ATM that Accepts Cash
- Direct, instant deposit into your online account
- No fees
- Limited availability based on bank and ATM
Your online bank may offer fee-free network of ATMs for your everyday transactions. Some of these ATMs also offer the ability to accept and dispense cash.
If you find one and your online bank allows for ATM cash deposits, you can deposit cash directly into your account.
The process usually works like this, but may vary by ATM:
- Enter your card and personal PIN number.
- Select Deposit and then Deposit Cash.
- Choose the right amount.
- Slide the bills into the portal when it opens.
Cash-accepting ATMs will generally allow you to deposit a stack of bills that the machine will then sort out and show the value and number of bills on the screen.
You will confirm to complete your deposit, and be sure to get a receipt.
Can I deposit money at an ATM that’s not my bank?
You can only deposit cash at an ATM that is connected to your bank. This does not mean they own or operate the ATM. It can also be ATM networks like AllPoint or Monay Pass.
If you are unsure if an ATM is connected to your bank, use the ATM locator on your bank’s website or mobile app.
Buy a Money Order
- Many available locations
- More deposit options than cash
- More time-consuming process
- (small) fee for every order
- Deposit amounts are limited
A money order is an easy way to convert your extra cash into a check for deposit into your online bank.
A money order can be purchased for a small fee at banks, a post office branch, some retailers or supermarkets, and other places. It will be priced under $2 normally, but can vary.
Money orders are limited to $1,000. If you would like to deposit a larger sum, consider a cashier’s check from a local bank.
However, most banks require you to have an open account in order to get a cashier’s check, and you will usually have to pay a fee.
Here’s what to do:
- Visit an available location. Money orders cannot be purchased online.
- Fill out the form using your name and address.
- Pay with cash.
- Keep your receipt.
Once you receive your money order, you will need to deposit it. Some online banks treat money orders like checks, which can be deposited from your mobile device.
Other banks will require the money order to be mailed to the bank’s main office. You might want to check with your bank before you purchase.
Find a Reloadable Pre-Paid Debit Card
- Convenient, readily available options
- May curb debit card spending
- Transfer takes a few business days
- Possible fees for each re-load
- Convoluted process
You can link a pre-paid debit card to your online bank account. If your debit card is reloadable, you can add money that you would like to deposit and then move it to your account via ACH transfer.
Some banks will allow 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. Some cards have monthly fees as well, so it can add up.
Here’s how to link a pre-paid debit card to your online bank account:
- Register your debit card
- Visit your online bank website.
- Follow directions to connect your card to the account
- Transfer money from your card to the account via ACH transfer.
What to Look For in an Online Bank
Are you interested in joining an online bank? You may want to consider these things before settling on one.
High Interest Rates
- Online banks tend to offer higher APYs, but rates vary.
Reimbursement of ATM Fees
- Some banks offer free access to nationwide ATM networks. Others will reimburse fees for using ATMs. Make sure you don’t have to pay any fees for whichever bank you choose.
Monthly Service Fees
- Some online banks charge fees if you don’t meet a monthly balance requirement.
Deposit and Withdrawal Restrictions
- Some accounts will place a restriction limiting the number of transactions you can make each month. Be sure to read the fine print before committing.
- Online banking is risky, but some banks have sophisticated security measures to better protect your money.
- Many online banks offer customer service via phone, email, or chat. Some will have 24/7 phone support.
Recommended Online Bank Accounts
• Earn up to 0.61% APY with interest compounded daily and no monthly fees with the Axos Bank High Yield Savings account
• No minimum balance requirements
• Free ATM card upon request
• $250 minimum opening deposit
• Free Incoming Wires
With the American Express® High Yield Savings Account:
• Earn 4.30% APY as of 9/27/23 on your deposits. Your High Yield Savings account earns interest daily and is posted to your account monthly.
• Links easily with your current bank accounts. No need to switch banks.
• FDIC Insured. Your account is insured to at least $250,000 per depositor.
• 24/7 Account Access
With the CIT Bank Savings Builders account:
• Earn a top tier, competitive APY on your money—one of the top savings rates in the nation. Earn up to 1.00% APY on your funds - grow your savings faster.
• Build a habit of savings. Pay yourself first. Start with $100 per month and build your habit of savings-—all while getting a top rate.
• FDIC Insured
Open a Discover Online Savings Account for all these features:
• Earn $200/$150 Bonus with promo code HMB923 by 12/14/2023
• Earn high interest rate of 4.30% APY
• No minimum opening deposit, no minimum balance requirement, and now no fees
• Interest on Discover Online Savings Accounts is compounded daily and credited monthly
• Manage your account online or with the Discover mobile app
• FDIC insurance up to $250,000
• See advertiser website for full details
To get your $150 or $200 Bonus: What to do: Apply for your first Discover Online Savings Account, online, in the Discover App or by phone. Enter Offer Code HMB923 when applying. Deposit into your account a total of at least $15,000 to earn a $150 Bonus or deposit a total of at least $25,000 to earn a $200 Bonus. Deposit must be posted to account within 30 days of account open date. Maximum bonus eligibility is $200.
What to know: Offer not valid for existing or prior Discover savings customers or existing or prior customers with savings accounts that are co-branded, or affinity accounts provided by Discover. Eligibility is based on primary account owner. Account must be open when bonus is credited. Bonus will be credited to the account within 60 days of the account qualifying for the bonus. Bonus is interest and subject to reporting on Form 1099-INT. Offer ends 12/14/2023, 11:59 PM ET. Offer may be modified or withdrawn without notice.
Online banks are a little more harder to work with, especially since there is no physical place to go to.
Depositing cash may take a little more effort, so find a bank that offers the most convenient and accessible deposit policy for your needs.
For more information on banking, check out our bank guides right here on HMB!