Some ATMs accept cash deposits and charge nothing. If you have too much of it, that excess money will be safer in your bank account.
Rather than going to any location, ask your branch for “deposit enabled” ATMs. These will accept cash, nowadays usually without envelopes. The same machines might accept bank checks.
Whether you should do it or not is a different story. Why use ATMs when you can ask the bank employee to do it?
Should You Deposit Cash At ATMs?
First off, ATMs work 24/7. You can move your money whenever you want without worrying about “business hours.” We assume you already have an account with your bank.
You might deposit from other companies’ ATMs, but it’s too complicated.
Bank machines are fast and automatic. So you don’t need to spend precious minutes waiting in a queue on Monday mornings.
But are they safe?
Assuming you only deposit money, they should. The machine should only ask you where to send the money. If you have an account, you should just give the number.
For the purpose of changing personal details, you should consider letting the employees deal with that. Otherwise, you might be exposed to various ATM scams designed to steal your information.
Wouldn’t it be ironic that, right after depositing cash, someone spent all that money? Thieves use hardware and Bluetooth devices to record the screen and buttons pressed. The bank doesn’t always know this until it’s too late.
Days later, you find this ATM is “out of service.”
Even if you deposit or withdraw tiny amounts, you’re still risking all your savings. Of course, you can inspect the machine to make sure there are no such devices.
Alternative Cash Deposit Methods
If your bank isn’t open right now, try these other options before using ATMs. They may not be as fast but may add account security.
A. Online banking firms
Discover, Capital One, Ally. Have you wondered how their clients deposit cash?
By this time, many have already specialized ATMs for fee-free deposits. But you can always withdraw/deposit from any bank ATM for a fee. These still have to be deposit-enabled.
B. Mailing Cash
If you can’t talk to employees right now, you could send them the money. As soon as they receive it, they should add it to your account.
The downside is, cash delivery costs money. If anything bad happens to that delivery, you’ll face an expensive fee to recover it.
Take a look at how you can fill out a money order.
C. Virtual Checks
If you want to deposit checks, you might be able to do it remotely. Some banks deposit the amount after you screenshot the document with all the details.
You can, but there’s no need in visiting your bank branch to do it.
As for writing checks online, it’s complicated and probably unsupported by most banks.
What are the benefits of using checks?
Before You Deposit At An ATM…
- Ask a bank employee to do it for you if you suspect something.
- Keep the information private. Hide the number so that nobody can see it (including cameras in case of ATM manipulation)
- Check the keypad and the card slot. If it’s loose or hard to enter your credit card, it may be fake. In our ATM scams guide, you can find what those devices are and how to spot them
After you deposit, keep checking the account periodically in case you find anything strange. Also, see how you can protect yourself against credit card fraud.