1. indexfundfan says

    I find it hard to believe that the megabanks will do this without additional cost to me.

    Imagine if I were to show up at the doorsteps of BofA with a third party debit card to get money. I have two choices — either go to the ATM machine or to the teller inside the branch (assuming office hours).

    If I go to the ATM machine, I will get charge a fee by BofA for the ATM withdrawal. On the other hand, if I go to the teller, I can get cash without additional fees? I think BofA is even charging some of its own customers the privilege of talking to the teller in the branch if they do it too often.

    • Poma says

      Not always. I work at a smallish community size bank and we don’t charge, however some banks might, including your own bank whose card you’re doing the cash advance from. Always read over the fee schedule and disclosures both before opening an account and before doing a transaction you’re not sure of.
      Also, it’s amusing that the writer warns against confusing the bank teller. They’re trained to know more policies, procedures, and fees than the average person would know over their whole life. More often, the customer is the one who thinks their debit card is a credit card and calls it such even though it says debit on the front.

  2. Bucky says

    I thought retailers/merchants had to pay a fee when a customer uses a debit card? The fee doesn’t apply for cash advances?

  3. Harry says

    indexfundfan – Shh… Don’t tell them you are trying to beat the ATM fee. It works.

    Bucky – Retailers pay a fee when you use a debit card or a credit card. Banks dispensing cash advance are just the opposite: they earn a fee.

    • Sam Seattle says

      Oh my God …. shh… don’t tell them you are trying to beat the ATM fee. It works. OMG! Super!

  4. Sandra says

    There is no free lunch here. Your credit card provider will start charging you interest on the cash advance beginning on the day of the transaction. The annualized rate will be up to 22% depending on your particular card (read the fine print details). There is no grace period and you will pay this interest charge even if you normally always pay off your credit card balance every month.

  5. Harry @ PF Pro says

    Not that I don’t believe you but I went to try this on Monday. Banks were closed though haha. Apparently there is a holiday for MLK that my work doesn’t ever seem to celebrate 😉

  6. Harry says

    Harry – You are doing it right. I said try it for $100 first. Then you will be prepared when you really need it.

  7. planetjanet says

    I’ve posted about this technique as well, my own bank (USAA) actually suggested it when I called them up to raise my ATM limit. I was buying a used car and planned on doing repeated ATM withdrawals, and they were very aware of the exact terminology (“debit card cash advance”) and stressed that there would be no fees. The funds cleared immediately as cash into the seller’s account.

    It’s an excellent trick that should be more widely known.

  8. Slotzy says

    Does this work at banks only? How about cash advance tellers at casinos? I’d like to beat the ATM charges there too which are more than at normal terminals.

  9. White Coat Investor says

    This isn’t that big a deal. You just call the bank and ask them to lift the limit for the day. You haven’t lived until you’ve bought a car or a boat with a 6 inch tall stack of 20s you took out of an ATM that morning.

    I tried the debit card cash advance for a refinancing and there was an issue (I can’t remember what). But there wasn’t any problem going outside to the ATM and pulling out $4K for closing costs apparently.

  10. Bucky says

    I tried this today. I walked to the nearest bank and asked if they do cash advances on my Mastercard. They said, “Yes. Are you a customer at U.S. Bank?” “No.” “Sorry, you have to be a customer at U.S. Bank. Would you like to open an account today?” “No thanks.”

    Bottom line, this isn’t very useful if you have to have an account with the brick and mortar. Can people list which major banks will do the cash advance without having an account with them?

    Otherwise White Coat Investor’s suggestion to call your online bank to lift the ATM limit for one day is better (if it works).

    • Brian says

      The banks will perform the transaction for non members for a small fee…usually 5 to 10 dollars. This seems high but it may be worth the hassle and still less than what fees you’ll encounter at an atm for multiple transactions.

  11. Harry says

    Bucky – The teller made that up. Try a different branch or talk to the manager. MasterCard rules require all issuers give cash advance to all cardholders. They can’t discriminate on whether you have an account with the bank or not. US Bank is a MasterCard issuer.

    MasterCard Rules, bottom of page 303 in the PDF.

    Rule 8.10.3 on page 189 says they can’t charge a fee for it.

    • Ezekiel says

      I am not surprised about US Bank’s way of handling the above request. They seem to pride themselves on their expertise, but are currently at the center of couple class actions involving their way of handling overtime, and overdrafts.
      May it be that the teller was upset for missing some overtime from his paycheck 0.O?


  12. alex says

    Was able to do this and withdraw 21,000 from my USAA account. Worked like a charm, no fees, no hassle, did it at a suntrust.

  13. James D. says

    Hello all.
    I find this thread and the comments very helpful. Please I would like to know if there are any banks where I can do this around Riverside, CA (92505).
    Your help will be appreciated.

    Thank you all.

    • Harry Sit says

      From the article: “You walk into a bank, any bank or credit union; you don’t need an account there.” Try it.

  14. Abby says

    Thanks so much! I have been exclusively online banking for over a year now, and for the first time I need a large amount of cash. I’m having a new air conditioner unit installed and many small contractors don’t take credit or debit cards. I’m going to try it using my MasterCard debit card at a Fifth Third bank, which is a MasterCard issuer. I will post back if it works.

  15. Abby says

    No luck. I went to a First Federal; they said no, that they don’t do cash advances. If I had been inside, I would have pushed the issue, but this was at a location that only had a drive-through teller. I would have stopped at another bank, but they weren’t open til 9. I was trying to get my running around done around 8am before heading into work.

    I called my bank (TIAA DIRECT) and asked them to raise the $500 ATM withdrawal limit. They said they couldn’t do that.

    By this time it was 9, and I called the other bank (Fifth Third) that I know is a MasterCard issuer. They said that they would do a cash advance, so I left work and drove down the street to the branch, and told them I needed a cash advance for $1900. She tried that, and told me it exceeded the card limit. Then we tried $1500 and $1000 with the same result. At this point she told me she could only make three attempts. So that was a bust. I went outside and withdrew $500 from the ATM figuring it was better than nothing.

    I called back my bank and at this point I’m really irritated because I have thousands of dollars in their institution and there is no apparent way for me to get my hands on just $1900. The rep even told me that the cash advance should have been like $3k, and he was pretty useless when it came to explaining why it hadn’t worked. He suggested that I could at least withdraw another $500 from my savings account, which I have never tried before. It didn’t work. I went to an ATM and chose “Savings” instead of “Checking”, but it came up as an “invalid transaction”.

    This is almost a deal breaker for me and I am SO mad today. I spent a good 2 hours of my day trying to figure out how to get my money, and everything failed. I might have to reconsider my decision to use an online bank.

    • Harry Sit says

      Sorry to hear your trouble. I also had a decline once. It just worked on a different day at the same bank branch with the same card.

  16. Thalia says

    I want to try this.
    All I need to do is have an active debit card and I can go in to a bank and ask for a cash advance?
    Or do I need an online bank account also?

    • Harry Sit says

      Yes. If your bank has a branch near you, you obviously can just go to your own bank for this. Online banks don’t have branches. So this is a solution for that, but it works for any bank, not just online banks.

  17. Thalia says

    So, basically I can walk into any bank or credit union regardless of if I have an account with them or not, ask for a cash advance on my visa debit card and they’ll give me cash as long as I have my ID? No fees, no questions no nothing?
    Is there a limit on how much I can get? o.o

    • Harry Sit says

      Yes, but try it with a small amount like $100 first. Your debit card usually has a daily purchase limit. This will go by that limit.

    • Brian says

      There is sometimes a fee for non members depends on the bank. Ask the teller. I do this every month for my rent off my PayPal debit

    • Harry Sit says

      Brian – The bank is not supposed to charge you a fee whether you have an account there or not. If one bank charges, you just go to a different one. I’ve done it at several different banks. None charged a fee.

  18. Thalia says

    This may be a stupid question, but do we have the funds in our account in order to do this? Like the daily purchase limit on my visa debit card is $3000 and $600 ATM if not should there a certain amount on my card
    In order to do this?

    • Harry Sit says

      Of course you need to have at least 100% of the amount you are withdrawing in your account, just like when you use your debit card to buy a TV at a store. Otherwise you will either get declined or charged an overdraft fee.

    • Harry Sit says

      It will work. Any fees will come from the issuing bank, not the bank that gives you cash. Try a small amount first.

  19. Sam Seattle says

    OMG, I should have done this when paying a small contractor on my last home improvement project. It would have been a lot better than getting stacks of $20 bills from an ATM on 2 separate days. Thanks for the tip, Harry. Great post.

  20. Trish says

    Will this work with a Visa or MasterCard Gift card that’s also a debit card (with money loaded into it?)

    • Harry Sit says

      Gift cards may not work. The issuer may also charge a fee if it works. Check the terms on your gift cards.

  21. Trung says

    May I have a question? I’m Vietnamese and I want to buy a small house or condo in California. But my country doesn’t let its people bring too much money to foreign country, So could I do as you say in previous post? Which bank should l deposit and withdraw?
    Thanks in advance.

  22. tim says

    Ok say I have 500$ on my debit card and I go do a cash advance do they take the money right out of my account right then or do it take a while …need to no asap

    • Harry Sit says

      Same as when you use your debit card to buy something. The money will be held, not available for other purchases, and then deducted out of your account the next day.

  23. Jennifer says

    I have a online account and had to cancel my card.It will take 2 weeks to get my new card and need money from my account before then. The rep told me I could go into any bank and give my routing and account number to withdrawl funds from online account. Has anyone done this before? Is it that simple?

  24. Charles says

    Can I withdraw my funds from a brick and mortar bank account I have in another state while I’m visiting another state? Without a debit card?

  25. Nate says

    So I tried this out today and got denied twice, even after calling my bank and confirming my attempted cash advance was less than my daily purchase limit. What my bank rep told me is that cash advances are treated as ATM withdrawals ($1,000 limit) and that they have no way of ringing up a cash advance as a “point of sale” type purchase that would fall under my bigger purchase limit ($5,000). Anyone know a way around this?

    • Harry Sit says

      Nate – Did you have some cushion in your checking account above the cash advance amount requested? I just found out a bank automatically put extra $50 on hold until the following business day. If I didn’t have at least the amount I requested plus $50 in the account, the request would get declined. I’m not sure if all banks do this or if they all hold extra $50.

  26. Paul says

    I closed my bank account in 1981 and have lived cash only since. If I can’t pay cash for services, I walk away even richer! Suck that banks!

  27. Integr8er says

    My question is if you all don’t have brick and mortar accounts then those banks may all close up, then how do you get cash? I read today that the expectation is that in ten years B&M banks will all be gone and online will be the only way, so then what?
    Bank local support the people in your community and keep CASH. if you think all electronic money is good I hope you live to see where that gets you.

    • Paul says

      I have a second passport and home. I already moved a lot of cash outside the US. I planned for the financial crisis that should hit within the next two years back in 1991. You can believe the government, corporation and financial institutions lies but I never have. Let’s see how you fare in several years. Cash=FREEDOM not the Constitution or Bill of Rights. BTW, my planning was done legally. Well… Enjoy the Major Depression with Hyper-Inflation, it should only last 30-50 years.

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