How To Withdraw Money From Your Bank Accounts

Ben Steele  | 

If you’re navigating new banking systems and owning personal accounts for the first time, it can be confusing. The simplest of transactions — such as withdrawing cash — has multiple solutions, and technology has made new ones available that even adults may not know about.

Withdraw Money From an ATM

The most efficient way to withdraw money from your bank account is by using an ATM. You can use a Debit card or an ATM card; each is associated with a different type of bank account. Debit cards are used to make purchases from a checking account, and can also be used at an ATM. On the other hand, ATM cards can be used at ATMs, but not to make purchases. They are often linked to savings accounts, which generally have restrictions on making purchases.

To withdraw money from an ATM:

  • Traditionally, you will need a card to use an ATM, but some banks provide other options.
  • Insert the card into the slot on the machine.
  • Enter your four digit PIN (Personal Identification Number)
  • Navigate options either using the touch screen or with the number keypad.
  • Most accounts have daily withdrawal limits, and most machines only dispense cash in multiples of 20.
  • Remember that while ATMs owned by your bank normally don’t charge to use them, if you use an ATM outside of your bank’s network, you can be charged varying amounts for a transaction.

Can You Withdraw Money From an ATM Without a Debit Card?

It depends on your bank and how integrated they are with new technology. Some banks allow you to withdraw money from ATMs in other ways. If you lose your card or it’s stolen, many banks will allow you to access ATMs without it through mobile apps, online accounts, or withdraw money within a branch by speaking to a teller.

Withdraw Money From the Bank In Person

You can also withdraw money by going into a branch and talking to a bank teller. Most of the time, just like an ATM, you’ll need the card associated with the account you wish to draw from, as the teller will run the card, and also request that you enter your PIN, to access funds. This can take longer, but has the benefit of a presenting a real person to talk to if you have questions or any problems arise with the account.

If you have lost your card, it’s been stolen, or you don’t have it for any other reason, the easiest way to access funds is to talk to a teller. The bank may have processes for allowing you to access your accounts without a card using personal identification numbers or other unique codes set up in the case of lost cards. Even if you simply forgot your card at home, a teller may be able to access your account with personal identification.

Get Cash Back From Your Debit Card

Most grocery stores, and some gas stations and convenience stores, allow you to add “cash back” to a transaction. Cash back is a relatively simple process that allows you to use that store like an ATM in addition to making a purchase.

When you make a purchase, a store that offers cash back will prompt you, via either the device reading your debit card, or the teller asking you if you want cash back. If you select “yes” you will be prompted to enter an amount.

Cash back is a process where the store will give you cash, and then charge that amount to your bank account. It’s like using an ATM, with the store acting as a third party. You need to have the amount you request in your bank account and it must be available for immediate use, as the store will charge your account immediately. Cash back is not available for credit cards.

Withdraw Money Without and ATM Card or Debit Card

There are a number of ways that you can use the funds in your bank account without a card, including via online banking, mobile apps, and written checks.

Online Banking

Most banks these days give you access to your accounts through online services, and you can use that service to pay bills directly from your accounts. Many billing companies will allow you to set up automatic transactions from your bank, so that you don’t have to remember to pay directly. This isn’t so much withdrawing money as it is a payment option.

Mobile Apps

This one depends on your bank. Some banks allow you to use your mobile device at ATMs in place of a card, and you can usually access all the regular online banking options through a mobile app as well.

Write a Check

Checks are another way to directly pay someone from your bank account without a card. Before debit and credit cards existed, checks were one of the primary ways, other than cash, to pay people. They’re not often used today, with most people choosing quicker and easier digital alternatives to provide payment, but cashing checks is sometimes required by certain entities. They are still one of the most reliable ways to make payments to someone who doesn’t have the capability to take cards, such as in the case of personal payments, and they’re still often used to pay government agencies and landlords you rent from. With a check, the money goes directly from your account to the recipient’s account, so it’s not so much a withdrawal method as it is a payment method, or method of transferring money from one account to another.


Image Source: https://depositphotos.com/

Ben Steele is a writer, theatre(re) professional, and nonprofit administrator. He was born in England, spent his teen and early 20s in Canada, and now lives in America. Please excuse his occasionally confused voice and the odd recalcitrant u after an o.

This post was updated March 18, 2019. It was originally published February 22, 2019.