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What are Daily ATM Withdrawal Limits and Debit Purchase Limits?

When it comes to withdrawing money from an ATM, you are limited to the amount you can withdraw in one day. You’re also subject to the amount of money you spend with your debit card each day. All banks impose these limits, both for security and practical reasons. These limits prevent thieves from withdrawing and spending all your money. Plus, banks can only keep a limited amount of cash on hand to distribute. The daily ATM withdrawal and debit purchase limits depend on your bank and the type of account you have.

Average Daily ATM Withdrawal Limits and Debit Purchase Limits

Daily ATM withdrawal limits range from a few hundred to a thousand dollars. Simpler checking accounts tend to have lower limits than, say, a premium or elite checking account. Student accounts also have lower limits to help students better manage their money.

Keep in mind that these limits apply to checking accounts. You can withdraw money with no limit from savings accounts. However, federal law limits you to six savings account withdrawals (or transfers) per statement cycle.

The chart below lists the daily ATM withdrawal and daily debit purchase limits for popular banks’ basic accounts. If you have a different account or bank, or are unsure about your limits, you can always call your bank or refer to your account documents.

Bank Daily ATM Withdrawal Limit Daily Debit Purchase Limit
Bank of America $1,500 $5,000
Capital One $1,000 $5,000
PNC $500 $2,000 with PIN, $5,000 non-PIN
Santander $2,500 $9,000
SunTrust $500 $3,000
U.S. Bank $500 $1,000
Wells Fargo $300 $1,500

It’s important to note that when you open an account with the above banks, these listed limits may not apply. Banks like Bank of America and Chase set limits after you open an account based on your financial history. Chase can’t even give you an estimate should you call without an account, as SmartAsset did. If these limits are a concern for you when looking at accounts, you’ll want to ask a customer service representative what your limits will most likely be.

How to Get Around Withdrawal Limits

What are Daily ATM Withdrawal Limits and Debit Purchase Limits?

If you need more money than your daily ATM withdrawal limits allow, there are some ways to get around it. For one, the ATM limit applies only to ATM withdrawals. So during banking hours, you can go into the bank and make withdrawals of any amount with a teller. If you need to withdraw a large amount of money, this is the best and safest way to do it.

You can also call your bank and ask to temporarily raise your limit, whether the ATM withdrawal or debit purchase limit. This helps when you need to make a one-time purchase that exceeds your current limit. Just be sure to ask when the increase goes into effect and for how long.

Another way around the ATM withdrawal limit is to choose the cash back option when you make a purchase at a store. Cash back still counts toward your daily debit purchase limit, but this is generally higher than your ATM withdrawal limit.

If none of these options work out for you, you could get a cash advance through your credit card. You’ll likely want to see this as an absolute last resort, however. A cash advance allows you to withdraw cash from your credit card. However, unlike withdrawing from a checking account, this withdrawal comes with its own fees and high interest rates, costing you more than you may like.

How You Can Increase Your Debit Purchase Limit

It’s usually not difficult to get your bank to increase your limits for a one-time situation. But sometimes you find yourself making purchases above your daily limits. In that case, you can ask your bank to permanently raise your debit purchase (and/or ATM withdrawal) limit. This is done at the bank’s discretion and may not be as much of an increase as you would like.

You could also upgrade your account to a more preferred account. The daily ATM withdrawal limits for premium accounts tend to be higher than for basic accounts. For example, Citibank’s regular checking account has a $1,000 daily withdrawal limit and $5,000 daily debit card payment limit. The Citigold account has a $2,000 withdrawal limit and a $10,000 debit card limit. Before upgrading your account, you’ll want to make sure the account fits your lifestyle. The account may have a higher annual fee, account balance minimums or other requirements you may or may not be able to meet.

The Takeaway

What are Daily ATM Withdrawal Limits and Debit Purchase Limits?

Every checking account has its own limits for ATM withdrawals and debit purchases. It’s important to be aware of these limits so you don’t find yourself unable to make a purchase or withdrawal when you really need it. If your account limits are too restrictive, you can contact your bank to increase the limit either temporarily or permanently.

Tips for Responsible Banking 

  • Whenever you have a checking account, you always want to be aware of the fees that come with the account. This includes monthly fees, overdraft fees, minimum balance fees and more. Knowing about the fees will help you avoid any unnecessary costs.
  • You also want to avoid overdrafts on your checking account. This is when you make a purchase that you can’t entirely cover with your checking account funds. You’ll face a fee for overdrafts, though there are some checking accounts designed to have a low overdraft fee. You may be able to set up overdraft protection on your checking account.

Update: If you have further financial questions, SmartAsset can help. So many people reached out to us looking for tax and long-term financial planning help, we started our own matching service to help you find a financial advisor. The SmartAdvisor matching tool can help you find a person to work with to meet your needs. First you’ll answer a series of questions about your situation and your goals. Then the program will narrow down your options to three fiduciaries who suit your needs. You can then read their profiles to learn more about them, interview them on the phone or in person and choose who to work with in the future. This allows you to find a good fit while the program does much of the hard work for you.

Photo credit: ©iStock.com/vm, ©iStock.com/vm, ©iStock.com/GeorgeRudy

Danielle Klimashousky Danielle Klimashousky is a freelance writer who covers a variety of personal finance topics for SmartAsset. She is an expert on topics including credit cards and home buying. Danielle has a BA in English from Wesleyan University.
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