Chase bank customers are upset that they can’t deposit their own cash into someone else’s account. Chase said it shifted its policy on cash deposits to combat misuse of accounts, including money laundering. So, what alternatives do frustrated customers have?
1. Tell your loved one to open a Chase account
Telling your loved one to open a Chase account might work if, say, you want to send money to a child and they have no bank account currently or if your loved one is unhappy with their current bank. Of course, critics of Chase’s no-cash deposits policy might cry foul at such a suggestion because it’s your money, right?
Why should you force a loved one to open a Chase account just to transfer money to them with your hard-earned cash? There’s no good answer to that question. However, if you plan to transfer funds frequently, this might be the easiest way to sidestep Chase’s no-cash deposits policy.
2. Add authorized users to your account
One way to sidestep the new rule is to add an authorized user to your account. Adding an authorized user essentially gives the individual access to your financial account. Parents and couples add authorized users to their bank or credit card accounts all the time. Adding an authorized user to your account has pros and cons.
The biggest upside to adding an authorized user to your Chase account, of course, is convenience. You won’t have to utilize any time-consuming or costly methods — like getting a money order or cashier’s check — to sidestep depositing money into your loved one’s account.
There are drawbacks, however, to adding an authorized user to your account. The biggest drawback: the primary account holder is legally liable for everything an authorized user does. If you add a relative to your account and he or she goes on a spending spree, you’re out of luck. That bill still has to get paid and as the primary account holder, it’s your ultimate responsibility to ensure that happens.
3. Use a personal check
Another way to sidestep Chase’s new cash deposit policy is to write a check. Of course, some people might say no one writes or carries checks these days. More problematic, though, is the time it takes for a check to clear at a bank.
A bank will consider your account history, balances, dollar amount, and the type of check being deposited when determining whether to place a hold on a check. Even if everything looks OK, it might take up to five business days for the check to clear. If someone needs money immediately, writing a check isn’t going to help.
4. Get a cashier’s check
Cashier’s checks are more secure than personal checks because funds are guaranteed by the bank that issues the check. Unless the bank suspects the check is fraudulent, funds from a cashier’s check are usually available to you by the next business day. But because of that guarantee, as you might expect, cashier’s check come at a price.
A cashier’s check costs an average of $9.10 at America’s 10 largest banks fees. Sending someone money via a cashier’s check might be an option if it’s a one-time deposit and you don’t mind paying the fee. Otherwise, it’s not plausible for everyday or regular transactions.
5. Get a money order
Money orders are an acceptable form of payment if you can’t write a personal check or it’s not safe to do so. Why would you choose to use a money order instead of a check? Checking accounts are more convenient, but you might consider using a money order if you want a more secure form of payment than, say, a personal check.
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You can purchase money orders at the post office, some retail stores, grocers, etc. Of course, the major downside to a money order is that it costs money — fees can range between $0.50 to $10. There is also a maximum amount you can include on a money order, which is $1,000. Plus, you might get tricked into purchasing a fake money order if you’re not careful. And just like with a personal or cashier’s check, the funds won’t be available immediately.
6. Use your loved one’s ATM card
If you need to quickly deposit cash into a loved one’s account, you can use his or her ATM card. Clearly, this implies a high level of trust that you wouldn’t typically extend to a stranger or non-relative.
7. Use Chase QuickPay
Some critics of Chase’s new no cash deposits policy have suggested that the bank made the switch in order to get users to sign up for its online service, QuickPay. With Chase QuickPay, you can send money to another person — virtually anyone with an email address, the bank says — or request money from someone else without cash or checks using a smartphone, tablet or computer.
There are no fees for users and you don’t need a Chase account to use the online service, but the big downside is that at least one person involved in the transfer must have an account at the bank. While using QuickPay is instant, the actual transfer of funds isn’t always quick. The deposit still must be cleared before going through.
If you want to avoid going to a bank or ATM and your recipient doesn’t need the funds right away, QuickPay might be a good option for you. If you’re hoping to send money off to someone quickly, though, QuickPay might not live up to its name. (Update: Chase recently upgraded Chase QuickPay so that it’s very easy for Bank of America and Wells Fargo customers to send money to Chase accounts.)
8. Use another peer-to-peer service
PayPal is the most popular person-to-person online payment service, but funds aren’t always immediately available. If the sender already has the funds in his or her PayPal account, the money is available for the recipient immediately. But if the money has been sent via eCheque — which might happen if you don’t have a card and bank linked to your account — it will take 3-5 business days for the funds to show up.
If you send money to someone through PayPal, but have no balance left in your account, you can send money via your checking account. However, the transaction might take a few days. It depends on the bank and whether both accounts linked to PayPal have been verified. Plus, depending on how you transfer money, you might get hit with a fee.
PayPal isn’t the only person-to-person online payment service. Other alternatives include Google Wallet, Amazon Payments, Skrill, and Payoneer. But just like with PayPal, these online payment services have pros and cons including cost and ease of use.
Suzanne Ryan, a spokeswoman for Chase, told us what she recommends people to do if they want to deposit money for someone else. “They can deposit personal checks, cashier’s checks and money orders. They can use Chase QuickPay online. They can add an authorized user to their account.”
While each of these eight options listed might allow you to sidestep Chase’s no cash deposit policy, if you’re spending too much time or money trying to circumvent the problem, you might consider switching banks.
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