This Is the Most Annoying Part of Having an Online Bank Account

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KEY POINTS

  • Online bank accounts offer many advantages, including lower fees.
  • It can be very annoying to deposit cash in an online account, though.

If you are thinking about an online bank account, be prepared for this to be an issue.

I really love my online bank and I have multiple checking and savings accounts with the company. I chose my bank because it offered free checks, high mobile deposit limits, and accounts that had no monthly maintenance fees and no minimum balance requirements.

But, while I think my bank is great, there is one aspect of using an online-only financial institution that I really dislike.

I don't like this aspect of online banking one bit

The single most annoying issue with my online bank account is that it is really difficult to deposit cash.

My bank accepts mobile deposits and mailed-in deposits, but it does not allow me to put cash directly into my account. This can become a major issue in the event I receive a large amount of cash that I don't want to just keep sitting in my house.

The fortunate thing is that this doesn't happen often, because most payments are made via check or credit card now. But a few times per year, I'll get a birthday gift or friends will pay me back for something with cash instead of using Zelle or Venmo and I'll end up stuck with a pile of money that I have no way to deposit into the bank.

I don't like spending cash, because I miss out on credit card rewards if I do that, and I also can't track my spending as easily if it's not showing up on my credit card statement. That means I have to find a way to solve the problem of my bank not accepting cash deposits. Otherwise, I'll have to either spend the cash (even though I would rather use my card instead) or have the money sitting in my house or wallet where it's not earning interest and where there's a risk of loss or theft.

How to actually get cash into an online bank account

There are a few workarounds to depositing cash into an online account -- but none of them are really good ones.

One option is to deposit the cash into another account and then transfer the money into the online account either by writing a check or using some electronic method. This works only if you have another account -- and I don't. If there's someone you trust, you could also give them the cash and have them write you a check for the amount, but you'll want to be sure you're confident that they'll deposit the money and the check will clear, because otherwise you could be out the cash.

You could also buy a money order and use mobile deposit or mail in the money order, but this means you are spending money to deposit your money.

I've done both of these two methods in the past, but it's inconvenient and can be costly or risky to employ either one. This isn't a big enough issue for me to opt out of online banking because for me the benefits outweigh the downsides. If you need to deposit cash often, the hassle associated with doing so could be enough to give you pause if you're considering opening a bank account with an online-only financial institution.

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