Have an Online-Only Bank Account? This Hack Lets You Deposit Cash for Free (2024)

One thing I dislike about online-only bank accounts is the lack of options to deposit cash without a surcharge. Sure, online accounts typically have higher APYs, no monthly service fees, and even widespread ATM access. And while that's fine for those who can't remember the last time they touched a dollar bill, it can be frustrating for those, like me, who sometimes find themselves with cash in their wallet and want to deposit it.

But, recently, I've discovered a new way to deposit any cash that finds its way into my possession. It's free, easy, and only requires you to live near a Walgreens or CVS pharmacy. If you also want to deposit cash for free, here's how to do it.

Open a free Capital One 360 Checking account

First, some context: I have a SoFi Checking and Savings account, which I love, because it earns up to 4.60% on my savings and 0.50% on my checking (I also earned a sweet $300 bank bonus after opening the account). While I also have a high-yield savings account for emergency cash, this SoFi account lets me earn interest generously on money I'm about to spend.

The only problem: It charges a $4.95 fee for cash deposits at in-network ATMs. Since my wife gets paid in cash for her side hustle, this has become a problem for us.

Our Picks for the Best High-Yield Savings Accounts of 2024

American Express® High Yield Savings

Have an Online-Only Bank Account? This Hack Lets You Deposit Cash for Free (1)

APY

4.25%

Rate info4.25% annual percentage yield as of July 8, 2024

Min. to earn

$1

Open Account for American Express® High Yield Savings

Member FDIC.

APY

4.25%

Rate info4.25% annual percentage yield as of July 8, 2024

Min. to earn

$1

Citizens Access® Savings

Have an Online-Only Bank Account? This Hack Lets You Deposit Cash for Free (2)

APY

4.50%

Min. to earn

$0.01

Open Account for Citizens Access® Savings

Member FDIC.

APY

4.50%

Min. to earn

$0.01

Bask Interest Savings

Have an Online-Only Bank Account? This Hack Lets You Deposit Cash for Free (3)

APY

5.10%

Min. to earn

$0

Open Account for Bask Interest Savings

Member FDIC.

APY

5.10%

Min. to earn

$0

Enter the Capital One 360 Checking account. This free checking account lets you deposit up to $999 of cash per day (you're limited to five transactions per month) at Walgreens and CVS locations. Once you deposit the cash into your Capital One 360 Checking account, you can then transfer it to your regular checking or savings account. Or, if you like the Capital One 360 Checking account, you can just hold it in this account until you spend it.

How to deposit cash with your Capital One 360 Checking account

You'll get started through the Capital One app. In my app, I just scroll to the bottom and the section that says "Add Cash in Store." Clicking on that, I agree to the terms and conditions and can then select how much cash I'd like to deposit. Again, you're limited to $999 per day and five transactions per month, giving you a total of $4,995 if you were to maximize your limit each day.

Once I enter how much cash I want to deposit, Capital One gives me a barcode. Then, I take this barcode and the cash to the CVS closest to me. The cashier will then count the money in front of me and deposit it in my account. Better yet, the cash is available the same day, just as it would be at a regular bank.

Is it worth opening a Capital One 360 Checking account for free cash deposits?

It depends. If you're frequently dealing with cash -- and your online bank charges fees for cash deposits -- opening a Capital One 360 Checking account would give you a free avenue to cash deposits. Even if you don't frequently have cash to deposit, the account could come in handy for those rare moments when you do (for me, it's usually gift money).

The account has no monthly fee, so even if you don't end up using it frequently, you won't lose money. However, if you like all your accounts in one place, opening a separate one for cash deposits might not be that appealing. In your case, you might be better off banking at a national institution, like Chase, and depositing cash at its ATMs or physical branches.

As for me, I'm satisfied with the free Capital One 360 Checking account for my cash deposits. Capital One will occasionally offer a bonus on this account, too, so check our bank bonuses page to get details when one is available.

These savings accounts are FDIC insured and could earn you 11x your bank

Many people are missing out on guaranteed returns as their money languishes in a big bank savings account earning next to no interest. Our picks of the best online savings accounts could earn you 11x the national average savings account rate. Click here to uncover the best-in-class accounts that landed a spot on our short list of the best savings accounts for 2024.

Have an Online-Only Bank Account? This Hack Lets You Deposit Cash for Free (2024)
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