Using an online-only bank often means you’ll earn higher rates and pay fewer fees than you would with a brick-and-mortar bank. However, a potential downside of not having access to bank branches is that it’s more difficult to deposit cash into your account. In fact, some online banks don’t even allow for cash deposits.

Workers who earn tips, such as bartenders, servers and hair stylists, may frequently need to deposit cash. Many business owners who are paid in cash also commonly need to put it in the bank.

Luckily, some online banks have alternative channels for adding cash into your account.

Online banks accepting cash deposits

To get around  the lack of physical branches while still reaping the benefits of online banking, let’s look at several online banks and credit unions that allow you to deposit cash into your account at places like ATMs and stores.

Alliant Credit Union

Members of Alliant Credit Union have access to more than 80,000 surcharge-free ATMs, and some of them allow for cash deposits. The credit union’s ATM search webpage lets you search specifically for its ATMs that accept deposits.

Axos Bank

Customers of Axos Bank can deposit cash at participating ATM locations throughout the country. The bank also partners with the Green Dot Network to allow customers to deposit cash into their accounts at various retailers nationwide, such as 7-Eleven, CVS, Dollar General, Walgreens, Walmart, Kroger, Rite Aid, Safeway and ACE Cash Express.

To make a deposit at one of these stores, just stop by the register and ask the cashier to add the money to your Axos debit card. You can add any amount between $20 and $500 at any of these locations, and some Walmart and ACE Cash Express locations allow you to add more.

Axos does not charge a fee for a cash deposit, though participating stores may charge up to a $4.95 service fee.

Bluevine

Fintech company Bluevine offers a business checking account that allows customers to deposit cash at stores that are part of the Green Dot Network. You can deposit cash by handing a cashier the money and your Bluevine Debit Mastercard. Not all Green Dot merchants accept cash deposits, and those that do may impose a fee of up to $4.95. Customers can also deposit cash at more than 1,500 Allpoint ATMs, for which you’ll be charged a $1 fee per deposit, plus 0.5 percent of your deposit amount. When depositing money at an ATM, you’ll have a $5,500 daily limit, as well as a 30-day limit of $7,500.

Capital One

While Capital One does maintain branches in nine states, many of the bank’s customers live elsewhere and only access their accounts online. Cash deposits can be made at branches, Capital One Cafes, or any Capital One-owned ATM. While Capital One provides customers with fee-free access to ATMs in the Allpoint and MoneyPass networks, the bank’s customers are not able to deposit cash at those ATMs.

Cash can also be added to a 360 Checking account at CVS and Walgreens/Duane Reade locations.

Chime

Chime is a neobank that doesn’t operate branches, yet customers can deposit cash into their checking accounts at stores by handing the money and their debit card to a cashier. Participating retailers include 7-Eleven, CVS, Walgreens and Walmart. While there are no fees to deposit cash at Walgreens, the other stores may charge a fee for this service.

Chime customers are not able to deposit cash into their accounts at an ATM.

Current

Similar to Chime, customers of the neobank Current can deposit cash at various stores throughout the country, including participating 7-Eleven, CVS, Dollar General and Family Dollar locations. To deposit funds, customers hand the money to the cashier and have them scan a barcode in the Current mobile app. The money is then available instantly in the account.

Discover

Discover Bank offers a popular cash-back checking account. To deposit cash into the account, customers can bring their debit card and the cash to any Walmart and ask the cashier to add it to their account. The transaction will typically post within 10 minutes, according to the Discover site.

LendingClub

Customers of online-only bank LendingClub can deposit cash into their accounts at any NYCE Shared Deposit ATMs and MoneyPass Deposit Taking ATMs.

NBKC Bank

NBKC Bank only operates a few branches, so it’s often best for those comfortable with banking entirely online. You can deposit cash into your account at any MoneyPass Deposit Taking ATM.

Pentagon Federal Credit Union

While Pentagon Federal Credit Union does maintain around 50 branches across 13 states, those who live elsewhere can still open accounts and access them entirely online. Members of the credit union have fee-free access to more than 40,000 ATMs in the U.S., some of which accept cash deposits.

SoFi

SoFi is a personal finance company and online bank with products that include checking and savings accounts. Like Axos Bank, SoFi allows its customers to deposit cash at retail locations that offer Green Dot services. These include ACE Cash Express, CVS, Walgreens, Walmart and 7-Eleven.

USAA

Customers of USAA Federal Savings Bank can deposit cash at ATMs owned by the bank. While the bank’s customers also have fee-free access to Allpoint and MoneyPass ATMs, as well as PNC Bank-owned ATMs, these ATMs do not allow for cash deposits into USAA Bank accounts.

Varo Bank

While Varo Bank customers are unable to deposit cash using an ATM, they can do so at the cash register at participating Green Dot locations, including some Walmart, Walgreens, 7-Eleven, Albertsons, Safeway and Kroger stores. The money is usually added to your account balance within 10 minutes, although at some locations it can take up to an hour. Stores may charge a fee of up to $4.95 for the service.

Wings Financial

Membership in Wings Financial Credit Union is open to those who live in certain areas of the country, as well as to those who work in the airline industry nationwide. The credit union operates more than two dozen branches in a handful of states, but members can open and maintain accounts entirely online. Cash deposits into accounts are accepted at select Wings Financial ATMs.

How to deposit cash at an online bank

Depositing cash at ATMs

Online banks may allow for cash deposits at some or all of their ATMs. On some banks’ ATM locator web pages, customers can check a box so only the ATMs that accept cash will be listed.

It’s also important to find out whether the bank imposes any limits on the amount of cash — or the number of dollar bills — it will take per ATM transaction.

Depositing cash at retailers

Various online banks partner with the Green Dot Network, which enables you to deposit cash into your bank account at participating stores such as 7-Eleven, CVS, Dollar General, Walgreens and Walmart. To do so, just hand the money to the cashier. You’ll also need to either present your debit card to the cashier or have them scan a barcode in your bank’s mobile app. (The process may vary depending on each bank’s rules.)

Are there fees for depositing cash at online banks?

Most banks do not charge customers a fee for depositing cash into their accounts at the bank’s ATMs. While some banks also allow account holders to deposit cash at out-of-network ATMs, they may charge customers a fee for these transactions. (In addition, the owner of the out-of-network ATM may also charge a fee for such a transaction.)

Deposits made to your bank account at retailers through the Green Dot Network may incur a fee of up to $4.95 per transaction.

What are some other ways to deposit money at online banks?

There are various ways to fund an online bank account in addition to depositing cash. These include:

  • Transferring money from another bank: To set this up initially, you’ll need to provide the external bank’s routing number as well as your account number. Then it’s as simple as entering the amount you want to transfer between the accounts. It may take several days for the transfer to be processed.
  • Depositing a check with a smartphone: You can deposit a check into your account through mobile check deposit. Many banks’ mobile apps allow you to do this by endorsing the check and submitting photos of both sides of the check.
  • Depositing a check at an ATM: In addition to cash, some banks allow you to deposit checks at their ATMs. To do so, endorse the check, insert your ATM card into the machine and follow the deposit instructions.
  • Direct deposit: You can set up your paycheck or government benefits to be directly deposited into your online bank account.
  • Peer-to-peer transfers: Friends and family can send money directly to your bank account through platforms such as Zelle. In many cases, the money will be available almost instantly and no fees are charged.

Bottom line

The benefits of an online bank often include higher rates of return and fewer fees than those of a brick-and-mortar bank. For anyone who prefers an online bank and plans to make frequent cash deposits, it can pay to shop around for a bank that allows you to put cash into your account at ATMs or retailers.

–Bankrate’s René Bennett contributed to an update of this article.

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