What’s the Most Cash You Can Withdraw from an ATM at Once?
Do you assume money in your bank accounts will be there for you whenever you need it?
While that’s true in general, laws regarding the most cash you can withdraw and other withdrawal limits may attach some strings to how you access your money.
A frequently cited limit on the most cash you can withdraw at any one time is $10,000. While withdrawals of $10,000 or greater are allowed, they will trigger federal government reporting requirements.
Why Is the Withdrawal Limit $10,000?
Federal reporting requirements stem primarily from the Bank Secrecy Act (BSA). This requires financial institutions to report to the federal government any withdrawals of $10,000 by a depositor in a single day.
The BSA aims to help the government monitor financial transactions that may signal illegal activity like money laundering, purchases of illicit goods, or terrorism. The reporting requirement can also help the Internal Revenue Service spot an attempt to illegally shelter income and assets from taxes.
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How to Find a Bank That Works for You
The $10,000 limit may be a fact of life when dealing with all U.S. financial institutions, but making a large withdrawal can be an excellent time to reconsider your relationship with your bank for the following reasons:
Your Bank Should Be Able to Handle Big Withdrawals Efficiently
A withdrawal of $10,000 or greater may trigger some extra paperwork, but this shouldn’t be anything your bank isn’t used to doing. If they seem unprepared to handle the transaction efficiently, it could be a sign of poor service in general.
A Good Bank Can Help You Find Alternatives to Large Cash Withdrawals
In an increasingly cashless society, withdrawing a large sum of money is unusual, and it’s not the most secure and efficient way to conduct your financial affairs. A bank employee should be able to talk you through alternative ways of handling your business, especially if you expect to need this withdrawal again.
A Large Withdrawal May Drop You Below Your Minimum Balance Requirement
Many bank accounts require you to maintain a certain minimum balance. There are two kinds of minimum balance requirements – those necessary to keep the account open and those that qualify you for special treatment, such as a fee waiver or a better interest rate.
If your large withdrawal takes your account below either type of minimum balance requirement, it might be a good time to reevaluate your banking relationship.
Fees Become a Larger Factor with Smaller Balances
Even if your withdrawal does not drop you below a minimum balance threshold, it may make fees a more critical factor. The smaller your balance, the greater the percentage of that balance fee. Rather than pay high fees on a relatively small balance, you would be better off looking for a bank account with no fees.
Large cash transactions raise a red flag with regulators, and they should also raise a red flag for you. Chances are there is a more efficient way to conduct your business than making cash withdrawals of $10,000 or more.
What Banks Allow You to Withdraw $1,000 in One Day From an ATM?
A few banks will allow you to take out $1,000 from an ATM, subject to customer relationship, account type, and card type, including the following banks.
Capital One Bank
Capital One Bank offers a convenient banking experience by allowing specific customers to withdraw up to $1,000 daily from its ATMs, depending on their account type.
This feature provides added flexibility for those needing quick access to more significant sums of cash for emergencies or major expenses.
Citi Bank caters to the diverse needs of its customers by permitting daily ATM withdrawals of up to $1,000 for select account holders.
This benefit ensures clients can efficiently manage their funds and access substantial cash when faced with urgent or significant expenditures.
Charles Schwab Bank
You probably recognize the Charles Schwab name as an investment brokerage, but it also offers a complete line of banking services, including ATM withdrawals.
Check with your current bank to see what rules it has regarding daily ATM withdrawal amount limits. The following banks also offer up to $1,000 a day in ATM withdrawals, again depending on the type of account.
Withdrawals of $10,000
Note that while $10,000 is specifically cited by the BSA, this is not a magic number that forces banks to file a report with the government.
For one thing, this restriction applies to all withdrawals from a bank in a single day. So, for example, you could not avoid this limit by taking $5,000 out from one branch of your bank and another $5,000 from a different branch or an ATM.
More broadly, the BSA requires banks to report any suspicious activity, so withdrawing $9,999 might raise some red flags as being designed to duck under the $10,000 threshold. So might a series of cash withdrawals over consecutive days that exceed $10,000 in total.
What’s the Best Way to Withdraw a Large Amount of Money?
The BSA triggers reporting requirements, not actual limits on access to your money. Most notably, it applies to cash withdrawals, leaving plenty of leeway to use other payment methods for legitimate purchases.
For example, you can always write a check or arrange a bank transfer if you make a large purchase. Unlike cash, these transactions leave a specific record, but if they are for legitimate purposes, that shouldn’t be a concern.
Similarly, even if you need to withdraw over $10,000 in cash, the BSA reporting requirement should not deter you as long as you are prepared to explain how that cash is used for legitimate purposes. In such cases, though, you would be wise to document how that money was used in case questions are raised.
Other Withdrawal Limits
The BSA reporting requirement may not be the only thing that affects your ability to take a large sum of money out of your bank account. Depending on the nature of your account and how you try to access it, you may run into limits such as:
Certain money market accounts
The terms of some money market accounts may require you to give advance notice of large withdrawals. In any event, you are entitled to access your money within seven days. But you should know a bank’s procedures and requirements before you count on being able to make an immediate large withdrawal.
Even in this day and age, making a large cash withdrawal generally depends on being able to visit a branch of your bank. If you count on accessing your money via an ATM, be aware that some ATMs limit withdrawals to a few hundred dollars, while others allow up to $1,000 in withdrawals within 24 hours.
Does the Bank Decide How Much Money You Can Withdraw?
Your bank is almost sure to make you fill out some extra paperwork about the BSA for withdrawals of $10,000 or more. This may slow down the process of making your withdrawal, but if so, don’t blame your bank.
The BSA governs all banks, so you should be more concerned about a bank that doesn’t treat a large withdrawal as anything special than about one that does. Also, don’t think you can get around the BSA by keeping your money at a credit union or a brokerage firm – the BSA applies to all U.S. financial institutions.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
The amount you can withdraw from your bank’s ATM depends on the bank and your account type. Amounts can vary from $300 to as much as $1,000 for ATM withdrawals that can be made within 24 hours.
Banks have a fair amount of discretion regarding their posting procedures. Posting is the formal recognition of bank transactions.
For instance, assume you have a $50 balance in your checking account and overdraft your account by writing checks in the following amounts, in this order: $5, $10, $20, $50. In reality, it would only be the last check that would overdraft your account, so you’d expect to be subject to one overdraft fee. However, you might find that your checks were posted from largest to smallest. Everything after the first check would be an overdraft, and you’d be subject to three overdraft fees.
In the case of any given bank, you’ll probably find information about posting procedures nestled deep within their disclosure documents for checking accounts, savings accounts, mortgage loan agreements, and other accounts.
When banks file a report under the BSA, the information is channeled to the Financial Crimes Enforcement Unit (FinCen), a bureau within the U.S. Treasury Department.
Having a central place for a bank to report activity deemed as potentially suspicious under the BSA allows the government to investigate these reports. In addition to reacting to individual pieces, creating a centralized database of such banking activity enables the FinCEN to look for patterns that point toward criminal activity.