How to Make a Deposit to an Online Checking Account

 

One of the biggest barriers to entry for people considering an online checking account for exclusive use is the inability to drive up to the bank and make a quick deposit.

However, today it's easier than ever to make deposits to online checking accounts. You can mail deposits, make deposits via an ATM, or take a picture of your check. 

How to Deposit Cash to an Online Checking Account

When it comes to depositing cash to an online checking account, there are a few local options available:

Deposit Cash to Another Account Locally

Some online banks allow you to link your account to another account at a traditional bank. If your traditional bank account has a local branch, you can deposit money to your traditional bank account. Once that transaction has cleared, you can create an ACH transfer, which is just an electronic transfer. You will need your online account number and routing number to set up ACH transfers to your online account. ACH transfers can usually take 2-3 business days to complete.

Deposit Cash to a Linked ATM

Another option for depositing cash is to used ATMs linked to online banks. Some online banks are part of ATM networks that allow you to make fee-free deposits at any of their ATM locations. Popular ATM networks include NYCE, MoneyPass, and Allpoint. Some online banks will also reimburse you a set amount monthly for ATM fees paid at other ATMs. Check with your online bank on eligible ATM networks and reimbursement policies. 

Buy a Money Order

Your other option for depositing cash is to buy a money order from the post office or a local retailer. Make the money order payable to yourself and then transfer it to your online account by electronic scan, if your online bank offers that option. If not, you can mail it to them for deposit. Check with your local retailer or post office for fees associated with money orders. Money orders generally have a maximum limit of $1,000. 

Other deposit options include wire transfer, direct deposit, check scanning, and mobile check deposit. Check deposit options with an online bank before signing up for an account.

How I Deposit to My Online Checking Account

 Now that I am self-employed, when I receive a personal check to deposit, I use Capital One 360's mobile deposit feature. The other two methods, transfer and direct deposit, are available at all the banks listed below, as well as traditional wire transfers.

Best Online Checking Accounts

While there are many online checking accounts to choose from, here are some of my favorites, along with details on deposit options with each account. 

Ally Interest Checking

Ally Interest Checking allows you to deposit cash into any Allpoint ATM. You can also deposit checks with Ally eCheck Deposit or ACH transfers. What's great about an Ally checking account is that you actually earn interest on your balance. You also get a card to use for purchases. 

Ally Bank Price: Free A free online-only bank known for quality customer service and higher-than-average savings rates. Checking accounts also pay interest, no fees. Ally Bank

BBVA Compass ClearConnect Checking

BBVA Compass is home to ClearConnect online checking. You can deposit cash at any BBVA Compass or Allpoint ATM with no ATM fees. BBVA also offers direct deposit and mobile deposits through their mobile banking app. 

BBVA Compass Checking Price: Free With BBVA Compass ClearChoice Free Checking you pay no monthly Service Charge for checking. $25 minimum. BBVA Compass Checking

Capital One 360 Checking Account

As I mentioned before, most of my online checking is done with a Capital One 360 checking account. Capital One allows deposits through its own 39,000 ATMs. With Capital One's mobile app, one of the best in the banking industry, you can make mobile deposits by snapping a photo of a check. A Capital One 360 checking account also pays interest on your balance and offers a free debit card. I've been with Capital One for over a decade and love what they offer their customers. 

Check out our full Capital One 360 Checking Account review.

Capital One 360 Capital One 360 accounts are easy to use and pay great interest. Sign up today. Capital One 360

FNBO Direct

With an FNBO Direct Online Checking Account, you can make deposits through their mobile app by snapping a photo of a check. You can also deposit cash at any of the 55,000+ fee-free ATMs in the Allpoint network. They also allow wire transfers as well as deposits by mail, but they don't provide the prepaid envelope. 

FNBO Direct Price: Free Earn interest in your savings AND checking account. FNBO also offerd CDs with competitive rates and a large nationwide ATM network. FNBO Direct

Simple

Simple (owned by BBVA) is a checking account geared towards millennials, but can be enjoyed by anyone. With Simple Checking, you can make deposits in a variety of ways, including photo check deposit through their mobile app, direct deposit, external account linking, and with Allpoint ATMs. They also offer other financial tools like expense tracking, budgeting, and goal setting. 

Simple Price: Free A digital checking account that comes with a Visa debit card. No monthly account minimums and always free. Comes with tools to help you save. Simple

TIAA Bank Yield Pledge Checking

TIAA Bank Yield Pledge Checking has several ways to make deposits. You can make deposits by mail, mobile deposit or online transfer. You can also make cash deposits by ATM, although they don't offer their own ATMs. However, if you maintain a balance of $5,000, TIAA Bank will reimburse you for all ATM fees charged by other banks. If you keep less than $5,000 in your account, TIAA Bank will reimburse you for up to $15 per month worth of ATM fees from other banks.

TIAA Price: Free TIAA Bank offers some of the best CD rates out there. Customers can also open online checking, savings or money market accounts. TIAA

USAA Bank Free Checking

USAA Bank Free Checking also offers multiple options for depositing money into a checking account. This includes cash deposits into one of their 60,000 Free Preferred ATM machines. USAA will also refund up to $15 a month in ATM fees from other banks. You can also take pictures of a check and deposit it through USAA's mobile app. USAA also allows direct deposit to its checking accounts. USAA is not restricted to just members of the military. Find out if you are eligible with USAA. 

Related: Free Online Checking Accounts [Stop Paying Bank Fees]

USAA Online Checking Price: Varies Do everything under one roof. USAA offers home, auto, life, renters and landlord insurance. Customers can also invest and bank with USAA. USAA Online Checking

How to Get Fewer Checks to Deposit

This may seem obvious, but you can minimize the physical checks you receive by signing up for direct deposit with each of your income sources. Don't want to bother with direct deposit? Consider signing up with PayPal and receiving payments that way.

If you've held off opening an online checking account because you thought you were limited with deposit options, things have changed. You now have more deposit options than ever, as well as other nice perks like earning interest, mobile banking, and debit cards. Check out the accounts above to see which one might be right for you.

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Comments

  1. Philip Taylor says:

     @collegegirl30 You can’t. You’ll need to deposit into a local bank and transfer it.

  2. Philip Taylor says:

     @collegegirl30 You can’t. You’ll need to deposit into a local bank and transfer it.

  3. collegegirl30 says:

    how do you deposit cash into an ING account?

  4. The $3000 limit on mobile deposits for ING Direct’s new service makes it virtually worthless. 

  5. I want to deposit cash, so I guess that means I will have to put it in money order form.  I am now with Wells Fargo and they just sent a letter that they will start charging $7.00 a month for their checking.  No way.

    • KarissaDemi says:

       @Lola147 Yup. Same deal with me. I just closed out my account with them because I refuse to pay their fees.

  6. Mrs. Accountability says:

    You’re welcome! This has been so handy and I keep coming back to my roundup then your site to get the address. LOL. I take it we don’t need to provide a deposit slip? I am set up for direct deposit now, but have two checks sitting here that I want to deposit without having to pass through another account. Thanks, PT!

  7. Yeah, I’ve been getting a ton of Google searches on this one. Figured it was time I provided a straight forward answer. Thank you for stopping by and for including me in your roundup last week. 🙂

  8. Mrs. Accountability says:

    I was wondering if it was possible to deposit a check into my ING Direct savings account and hadn’t had a chance to look into it, but now I know! Thanks!