Have You Found An ATM With Minimum Deposits?

When Paul’s wife brought a small check to deposit at a Chase bank ATM, she didn’t expect to have the machine spit it back out. Deposits, you see, have a $15 minimum. Wait, isn’t that the point of using an ATM to deposit checks – not having to waste a teller’s time on an $8 transaction?

My wife tried to deposit an $8 check into a Chase ATM, and the ATM
would NOT accept the transaction because it said the amount was too
small, below $15.

I have never heard of this, nor encountered this before, as I have
deposited small rebate checks before with no problem.

She said the ATM offered her the option to insert another check or
cash in order to reach the minimum.

It did return the check when she declined.

How common is this and when did this start?

That’s where you, the Consumerist Hive Mind come in. Have you encountered this problem at Chase or other banks? This doesn’t make a lot of sense–one would think the bank would rather have the robo-teller process little checks so you never have to take up a human’s valuable time.


Edit Your Comment

  1. FearTheCowboy says:

    No, my credit union doesn’t jack me around like that.

  2. Blueskylaw says:

    Pretty soon there will be an ATM Check Deposit Convenience Fee.

    It seems that we need to stop using ATM’s and start using physical tellers again.

    • Daggertrout says:

      Then you just get charged a Teller Interaction Convenience Fee. The obvious answer is just to stop using money.

      • Blueskylaw says:

        Anytime corporations try to herd us into using a technology, it is always for their benefit first. ATM’s were created to save the banks money by getting rid of tellers and they achieved that purpose. Then they discovered that hey, not only do we save money with these things, we can also start charging money for using these things. It makes me wonder if the bean counters even thought that if the ATM doesn’t take it then you have to pay a physical teller to take it for me.

        • joako says:

          This is how I fell at Wachovia, I mean Wells Fargo. The only time I went inside the branch in the last two years was to deposit a check. A 2 minute transaction took 20 minutes. They insisted on calling Bank of America to “verify the check” I told them don’t bother, deposit it with a hold — they ignored me. Finally I told them to just give me back the check and I would deposit it in the ATM to which again they ignored me. I wanted to walk about but wouldn’t be caught dead leaving them a check and not getting a receipt. I know why they did this whatever threw a red flag and they called to verify, if it was fake they call the cops, yada yada. I deposit and have been depositing the same check from the same account for around the same amount every single week in the ATM, it takes my check and deposits it in 30 seconds.

          The other time I dealt with the “fine people” of this bank was a debit card issue. I wasted 30 minutes of my time twice and did not get the replacement check card. They told me they had to link business and personal accounts, get my SSN on file (why!? business account!). They told me I owed Wachovia $ from a closed personal account (I assure you it was closed with a $0.00 balance — they gave me cash and everything!) I gave up and walked out, logged into online banking and in under a minute requested a replacement card that arrived about a week later.

          Never going back in there again.

      • Vulpine says:

        Which is almost exactly what Chase wants. They’d rather you used plastic all the time so they can charge you for each and every transaction. The only way around that is to go cash-only but that brings out its own problems in today’s society.

        • Bsamm09 says:

          I use a credit card for all my transactions and never pay anything? How are you getting charged?

          • jiubreyn says:

            Same here. I bank with Chase and use a debit card at the ATM whenever I need money. I don’t think I have deposited a check below $15 dollars though so I don’t have anything to say about that topic. :o

        • HomerSimpson says:

          How you gonna do that when they charge to get your own money out?

    • HomerSimpson says:

      To which you’ll pay a live teller convenience fee.

      And don’t expect to get away from it online…’online convenience fee’ of course.

    • Sarek says:

      Next will be a fee for driving on the road in front of the bank because, hey, it makes use of their security cameras.

    • sweaterhogans says:

      My credit union gives me money every month for NOT going to a teller.

    • huadpe says:

      Unless they start charging a fee to speak to a teller.

  3. Marlin says:

    I guess you could withdrawl $20 and then deposit the $20 and the check?
    Seems kinda dumb but if thats what they want?

    Or better yet join a credit union that does not jerk you around like this.

    • longfeltwant says:

      Seriously. It’s hard to have sympathy for people that do business (on purpose) with huge banks.

      • vivalakellye says:

        Sorry, some of us live in more than one state and are actually in situations in which we need to have access to a particular bank’s ATM.

        • Engine-B says:

          My credit union, along with many other credit unions, is in the Co-Op network, which has 28,000 ATM’s in the US and Canada. I never have a problem finding an ATM and I travel all across the US.

        • Engine-B says:

          My credit union, along with many other credit unions, is in the Co-Op network, which has 28,000 ATM’s in the US and Canada. I never have a problem finding an ATM.

      • sponica says:

        well most small banks keep getting gobbled up by bigger banks…and credit unions aren’t always in the most convenient locations to work and home. my primary acct is USAA but I still need an account with a normal bank for cash deposits, so I have a student acct with TD

  4. webweazel says:

    I don’t get what would be the point?
    Like what manager came up with the idea and what other managers agreed that this would be a great way to go with it, then put it down on the spec sheet for the programmers to institute in the software? I’d like to know what the logical thinking was on this one.

  5. Hoss says:

    This is so contrary to the revenue impact of process flow that I have to believe that there must be some mistake here in understanding what happened

  6. Vulpine says:

    Looks like Chase is already vying for next year’s “Golden Poo” award. Stunts like that are going to drive customers away.

  7. dulcinea47 says:

    Just deposited a $5.44 check at my local bank on Monday, no problem.

  8. crispyduck13 says:

    Never encountered it, but I’ve been banking with my credit union for the last 10 years. I am curious as well – how would this benefit the bank??

    • dulcinea47 says:

      I’m sure they’d argue that it costs them $X to keep the ATM up and running, what with electricity, maintenance, someone to come put money in and take out the deposit checks, and all that nonsense. I’m also quite sure that having some low amount checks in there does not raise their cost by any noticeable or significant amount, it’s just another way for them to gouge customers.

      • RandomHookup says:

        Especially if they are willing to accept the check when you add a cash deposit. They still have to process the check.

  9. Guppy06 says:

    Next time you’re in a branch, get some bank-by-mail envelopes and deposit slips.

  10. consumed says:

    Chase has that iphone app that lets you take a picture of a check and deposit it that way. I’ve used it to deposit $1 checks and it doesn’t charge a fee. I haven’t deposited a check to an ATM or to a bank teller in a looooong time.

    • MrMagoo is usually sarcastic says:

      My bank just came up with this capability a couple of months ago. I downloaded the app, and then found out that they charge $2/month to participate in this program. I uninstalled the app.

      • Bsamm09 says:

        $2/mo? Mine is free but I would pay $2/mo if it came to it and I might only deposit 1 or 2 checks a month on average. But figuring the cost of gas and at least 30min travel and wait time, I come out ahead.

      • jamar0303 says:

        I live in China. I earn some money here. But I have credit card bills to pay in America. I have only two options to move money back to America- wire, for over US$30 a pop, or the bank here can print a US cashier’s check, for $7.50. Thankfully, my bank’s deposit app doesn’t charge. But even if it charged $2/month I’d take it ’cause it’d be cheaper than a wire.

      • jenl1625 says:

        No fees for Chase’s phone app, which is also available for Android phones.
        Assuming, of course, you have a smartphone…

  11. backbroken says:

    This is why I always add a couple of zeroes to the checks I deposit at the ATM.

  12. sn1per420 says:

    I’m assuming they want to drive people to use the smartphone apps. If ATMs aren’t being used as often, maybe they can get away with physically retrieving the checks less often and save some money on paying someone to go out to get them.

  13. MaxH42 thinks RecordStoreToughGuy got a raw deal says:

    This is as asinine as charging an “account maintenance fee” for EZ Pass. I’m sorry, do you need to water or dust my account? Would you prefer I paid cash and required more labor hours for toll-takers?

    So I agree with the suggestion to do mail deposits if your bank sets a minimum for ATM deposits. If your bank doesn’t take mail deposits, or charges a fee for them and/or for depositing at a teller window, find another bank.

    • Sarek says:

      But some EZPass issuers DO charge monthly fees. The MTA in New York tried it, but it was eventually outlawed. Guess they didn’t earn enough interest from all the money they keep in our accounts.

      • MaxH42 thinks RecordStoreToughGuy got a raw deal says:

        I know. Maryland started charging a monthly fee a few years ago, so I cancelled my account and had Massachusetts send me a (free) tag. For some reason, MA is happy to keep my money without charging me a monthly fee. If anyone is being charged a monthly fee, I recommend MA FastLane. You will have to apply via mail, as the online application is only for state residents, but I filled out a MD mailing address and MD plates, and they signed me up without a peep.

        • Willow16 says:

          I thought they based your EZPass location on the billing address on your credit card? We don’t have one because NJ charges a monthly fee and we don’t use toll roads enough to make it pay. Years ago I thought about getting one in a state that doesn’t charge a monthly fee but had heard it wouldn’t work because our billing address is NJ.

      • nybiker says:

        And those wonderful, I mean really, really wonderful, folks at PATH are still gouging folks with a monthly account fee.

        And let’s not forget that more and more of the money-grubbing toll-taking agencies are deciding to charge cash rates for folks that are not using their particular in-state transponder. So much for saving money buy having an EZPAss account. That means if you do a lot of driving around the East Coast, you might want to order a few different EZ Pass units from those agencies so that you can benefit from the discount accorded worthy individuals. Of course, if you just drive through a particular location once or twice, it’s probably not worth having to give them $25 to fund the account. But still, it’s both the principle of it and the principal amount that means if you have a transponder, you should get the reduced toll rate.
        /end of rant.
        /s for the ‘wonderful’ adjectives above, in case it wasn’t obvious.

  14. SlimDan22 says:

    I was always leary of depositing checks into ATM’s, mostly because i’m in I.T an I know for a fact most ATMs run Windows, usually Windows XP because licenses are cheap.

    Does anyone know what would happen if an ATM “ate” my check or what the process would be.

    Obviously they are not going to open the ATM and try to find my check, but it would be a pain if they sent the check back to the originator.

    • CubeRat says:

      Yes, actually they do open the ATM, quite often in fact to add more money and take the box with the checks out. Now, many banks use armored cars & drivers to service ATMs and the locked boxes are taken to a centralized area for processing. Small banks probable still have this done by two employees, like it was when I was a teller at a CU, later at a bank.

      Now, if a check – or for those whose bank still use envelopes – tears, it will jam the machine and then you have to have maintenance come out to fix it.

    • kosmo @ The Soap Boxers says:

      This happened to me when I was in college (90s). I used an “foreign” ATM to deposit – one I had often used because it was within sight of my apartment. This one time, it ate the deposit. I called the bank the next day, and they found the check and sent it on its way. It delayed things a bit, but not by much.

    • SeattleSeven says:

      I left a zero off of a deposited check amount once. Turning my sweet sweet $1500.00 into a much less sweet $150.00. I called the bank, they told me not to worry about it and that it gets resolved automatically. Sure enough two days later there was a “deposit adjustment” for $1350 applied to my account.

  15. Marine2531 says:

    This happened to me a couple of months ago at Chase. I was closing another bank account and received a check for something like $5.44. I went to a Chase ATM and tried to deposit the check, only to have the ATM spit it out and tell me there was a minimum for deposits. I waited until the next business day, went to Chase, and withdrew all of my cash and opened an account at a local credit union.

    • scoutermac says:

      The interesting thing was.. when I opened my new account at my local credit union it seemed as though what fees they do charge they do not want to charge. Like they are only trying to cover operating costs. The manager told me what fees they do have and told me that if my current bank does not charge me for those to let me know and she would wave them. Of course they were fees for services I do not use anyways.

  16. CubeRat says:

    No, I’ve never encountered this. I admit it’s been about a year that I made a deposit under $15; but it was a check for $2 at a WF ATM. No fuss/no muss.

  17. lovemypets00 - You'll need to forgive me, my social filter has cracked. says:

    My credit union doesn’t seem to have a minimum, if they do, I haven’t run into it yet. I just deposted a rebate check for $3.99 recently, and had no problem.

  18. scoutermac says:

    I recently switched from Fifth Third Bank to a local Credit Union. Neither have this as far as I am aware. I have deposited $1 checks into the Fifth Third Bank ATMs. I have not yet used the Credit Union ATMs to deposit money.

  19. dilbert69 says:

    Why not just pull $7 out of your wallet and deposit that, too? It’s not like each CHECK has to be $15, right? Just the total amount of the deposit. And if you don’t carry cash, here’s another reason why you should.

    • Greggen says:

      I have never deposited cash into an ATM, dont know what kind of idiot would deposit cash into an ATM.

  20. Pete the Geek says:

    The minimum ATM cheque requirement will force you to use a teller, where you will learn that your bank balance is so small that there is a fee to use the teller. It is the bank’s way of telling you to take your puny cheques and your low balance elsewhere.

  21. rambo76098 says:

    I put a check for $.62 in a Chase ATM recently.

  22. moonunitrappa says:

    If this happens to me, I’ll be in line at chase and I …will…speak…very…slowly…my concerns…and annoyances…about…this…matter…

    That ought to help remove the minimum.

  23. mmmwright says:

    I have not – I recently deposited a $7.00 rebate check at the ATM at Chase and had no problems.

  24. PurplePenquin says:

    You found an ATM that accepts deposits?!!?

  25. amuro98 says:

    Wow. The credit unions couldn’t get better advertising if they paid for it.

    They should hire Chase to do their new ad campaigns.

  26. soj4life says:

    I can’t see a reason unless they are trying to minimize the total amount of deposits or make sure people aren’t putting in coin.