Best way to get cash into my online checking account?
March 20, 2009 10:11 AM   Subscribe

What is the best way to get this cash into my online checking account?

After dealing with Bank of America for about 10 years I finally shut that account down and I'm doing all my banking online (Fidelity). I never really deal with cash at all so it has worked beautifully.

Well, until now. I just sold some stuff and have a few thousand dollars in cash that I'm not really sure what to do with. Fidelity won't accept cash deposits, even at their physical branches. I don't have an old school bank account to make a deposit with (and I really don't want one; this is something that might come up once every 2 or 3 years).

Is anyone else in the same boat? How do you deal with this? Will a bank write me a check for my cash if I'm not a customer? Should I just give the cash to a friend with a checking account and get a check from him? I don't necessarily want to saddle a friend with a big wad of cash.

Help me before I just head to the nearest strip club!
posted by subclub to Work & Money (13 answers total)
Ask Fidelity if you can send them a money order, to be deposited to your account.
posted by Penelope at 10:13 AM on March 20, 2009

I believe you should be able to go to a bank with the cash and ask for a cashier's check in exchange for the cash.
posted by ocherdraco at 10:14 AM on March 20, 2009

Response by poster: Well with money orders and cashier's checks, if they get lost in the mail I'm screwed right? And I don't think Fidelity will take cashier's checks under $10,000.
posted by subclub at 10:16 AM on March 20, 2009

If you're worried about the check getting lost, which, as far as I know is a valid concern with cashier's checks, then I would just go the friend route. Assuming I could get to the bank relatively easily during the day, I wouldn't find this an overly stressful/onerous request.
posted by mercredi at 10:23 AM on March 20, 2009

No you're not screwed if it gets lost in the mail. It would be made out to you, so no one else could cash it. Anyway just send it registered mail if you're concerned.
posted by Penelope at 10:27 AM on March 20, 2009

I use Schwab, so I know what you're talking about. I have deposit envelopes I can mail to them with cash or check. See if you can give the cash to a friend and have them write you a check you can mail. Worst case, if it gets lost you can have it canceled.

I keep a brick & mortar checking account for just this purpose. I keep very little money in it, but I can make deposits and transfer the money online. This is what I'd really recommend if you're willing. Just keep the balance in it in the black and it won't cost you anything.
posted by JuiceBoxHero at 10:28 AM on March 20, 2009

Best answer: seconding JuiceBoxHero. It never hurts to have an account at your local credit union just for this purpose.
posted by special-k at 10:49 AM on March 20, 2009

Look at postal service money orders -- apparently they can be replaced if lost or stolen.
posted by mercredi at 10:58 AM on March 20, 2009

Ditto the money order - even the ones for cheap are secure, and the funds are more readily available once deposited, though if it is indeed lost it might take a while for the recovery process - there's probably a waiting period no matter what kind of money order you buy. But it's really unlikely that the post office will lose your envelope anyway.
posted by DandyRandy at 1:38 PM on March 20, 2009

You could also buy a pre-paid credit card. This wouldn't get the cash into your account, but would allow you to spend the money without using cash. I have no idea what kind of fees are involved in buying a card, however.
posted by hootch at 2:37 PM on March 20, 2009

Response by poster: Thanks for all the answers! USPS money orders actually look like my best bet. And I can mail them immediately from the post office to minimize the chances of anything going horribly wrong.
posted by subclub at 3:01 PM on March 20, 2009

Response by poster: Followup: Fidelity doesn't accept money orders. I had to bite the bullet and get an account at my local credit union.
posted by subclub at 11:43 AM on May 2, 2009

Thanks for following up!
posted by ocherdraco at 8:21 AM on May 4, 2009

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