Cash is no longer king when it comes to daily purchases. Only 18% of Americans use cash for most of their purchases, and 29% don’t use cash at all in a typical week. This explains why so many of us don’t carry much (or any) cash. The problem is how do you get hold of cash when you need it if your bank is closed. ATM cash withdrawals are convenient but the daily limits can be rather small. Do you know what your daily ATM withdrawal limit is? While we are on the subject, have you ever wondered why ATM and daily debit purchase limits exist at all?
Keep reading to learn the ATM withdrawal limits for the top U.S. banks, and what to do if you ever face a situation where you need more money than your limit will allow.
What is a daily ATM card withdrawal limit?
A daily ATM withdrawal limit is the highest amount you can take out of your bank account in a 24-hour period. The reason banks use them is that it is common for criminals to target people after they have withdrawn an amount of money from an ATM. Daily ATM withdrawal limits help protect the bank from fraud.
Another reason is that most banks limit how much cash they have on-site. So, banks set daily limits to ensure they have the funds to cover daily withdrawals. Most banks set their daily ATM withdrawal limit from $300 to $2,500 for each business day. However, your specific daily ATM withdrawal limit will depend on the bank and the type of account. For example, a premium checking account will have a higher limit than a student account.
Limits are set by each bank. The only withdrawal limit regulators place on bank accounts is the number of times you withdrawal money from your savings account, not the actual amount. There is no limit to the amount of savings account deposits.
What are daily debit purchase limits?
Most banks and credit unions have daily withdrawal limits on debit purchases. They are usually higher than daily ATM withdrawal limits and run from $1,000 to $3,000. If you go over the limit, your card will be declined, even if you have enough funds in your account to cover it.
If you have to use your debit card for a big purchase, ask the bank to increase your limit ahead of time. Also, be sure to find out when the increase will be in effect and how long that increase will last. Another important factor to consider is when you make an ATM withdrawal using your debit card.
Find out if the bank deducts ATM transactions from your daily debit purchase limit. For example, you have a $1,000 debit spending limit, and you make a $300 ATM withdrawal with your debit card. If you try to spend $850 later in the day, the transaction may not go through.
The most important thing is to know your daily debit purchase limit. This may sound simple, but it isn’t always. Some banks set various limits according to the type of transaction, such as purchases using PINs vs. purchases that you make with a signature.
Daily ATM withdrawal limits for the top banks
The chart below shows the daily ATM withdrawal cash limit for some of the most popular banks in America.
|Bank||Daily ATM Withdrawal Limit||Daily Debit Purchase Limit|
|Bank of America||$1,000||$5,000|
|BB&T (now Truist)||$500-$1,500||$3,000-$6,000|
|BMO Harris Bank||$500||n/a *varies by account|
|Huntington National Bank||$400||$400|
|SunTrust (now Truist)||$500-$2,500||$3,000-$30,000|
How to avoid ATM withdrawal limits
If you need more money than the ATM withdrawal limits your bank has set, ask them to raise your ATM limit. Most financial institutions will raise your limit but typically will only do it as a temporary measure.
For instance, there may be a health crisis in your family, and you need to pay for medical equipment or treatment in cash. Or, you may be on vacation and need some extra cash. If you have a legitimate need for a higher daily ATM limit, most banks will raise it for you.
Another way to navigate around daily ATM withdrawal limits is to upgrade the type of bank account to one with higher limits. You could also change banks to one with higher ATM limits, too.
Although Wells Fargo may make your ATM withdrawal limit permanent, most others will give you a specified amount of time. For example, State Street Trust & Bank Company only offers a two-day ATM limit increase. Once your allotted time runs out, you’ll have to visit your local branch or call them if you want to raise your ATM withdrawal amount.
What to do when the bank denies your ATM limit increase
If you can’t get an ATM withdrawal limit increase, just walk inside your local bank branch. Any withdrawal you do there doesn’t add to your daily ATM limit. Or, you can make the purchase with your debit card. Debit card purchase limits are normally much higher than the ATM withdrawal limits. However, note that your bank will report all total daily cash withdrawals over $10,000. This is because of the 1970 Bank Secrecy Act (BSA), which is also known as the Currency and Foreign Transactions Reporting Act.
The purpose of the BSA is to reduce the incidence of money laundering. Businesses must keep records of transactions and report any suspicious or fraudulent activity. For banks, that means they must report all total daily cash withdrawals over $10,000. They will also report any multiple daily transactions that are slightly less than $10,000, too.
Daily ATM withdrawal limits: pro tip
If you need more cash than your daily ATM withdrawal limit, visit your bank. By contacting the bank directly, you’ll avoid raising a fraud flag on your account. Often a bank will put a hold on an account with unusual activity. So, let your bank know when you plan to withdraw more money than usual, even if it doesn’t exceed your daily limit.