Why can’t I withdraw money from atm?

Most people encounter one of the top three reasons you can’t withdraw money from an ATM. Those reasons include insufficient funds, you’ve exceeded your daily limit, or you’ve entered the wrong PIN. 

Other common reasons include traveling outside your home area without notifying your bank, expired cards, and technical problems. 

This article examines these reasons in detail and what you can do to troubleshoot them.

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Why Can’t I Withdraw Money from an ATM?

The most common reasons you can’t withdraw money from an ATM include insufficient funds, exceeding daily withdrawal limits, or entering in the wrong pin. ATMs will also reject your withdrawal for fraud detection (e.g. when traveling), expired cards, or ATM technical issues.

While it’s frustrating to figure out why I can’t withdraw money from ATMs, it’s best to remain calm. The ATM will likely display or print out an error code and message.

Insufficient Funds

For instance, you’ll get an ATM printout that says insufficient funds. This tells you that you’re trying to withdraw more than your available balance. Remember, an available balance doesn’t include pending deposits on hold.

Different banks have various policies regarding how much of a deposit becomes available and when. Your bank might release the first $100 immediately after you make a manual deposit. The rest might not be available for up to four days.

So, if you deposit a check for $700, only $100 will be available that day. Trying to withdraw all $700 from an ATM that day will be unsuccessful. You can call your bank to see how much is available for withdrawal or check online.

If you believe an insufficient funds message is incorrect, check your account online. Look at your account activity and verify each transaction. If you notice something amiss, let your bank know asap that you suspect fraud. 

Daily Withdrawal Limits

Debit and credit cards have daily ATM withdrawal limits. Even if you have $1,000 in available funds, your daily limit might only be $400. Once you withdraw $400 in a day, you’ll get denied if you try to take out more.

Check your card agreement’s fine print online to see if you might have reached your limit. Sometimes this is printed on the back of the card. However, you can also verify the limit by asking a bank rep.

Incorrect PIN

An incorrect pin can cause an ATM to deny your withdrawal request. If you mistype the pin or forget what it is, you can try putting it in again. You can also contact your bank via phone or online chat to reset your pin.

However, you’ll probably need to verify your account information, including recent transactions. The bank may issue you a standard or automatically generated PIN. Be sure to write this down.

Some banks let you reset your pin online within your account, but only if you know the current one.

Not Notifying Your Card Issuer About Travel Plans

You’re on vacation and trying to withdraw some money from an ATM. However, it denies your request. It may be because you didn’t tell your bank about your travel plans.

Banks and card issuers constantly monitor card activity for suspected fraud. Making purchases or withdrawal attempts from a different state or country can raise a red flag.

To clear the flag, you’ll need to speak to the rep on the phone. You’ll have to verify your account information, recent transactions, and let them know it’s you who’s traveling. Let the bank know where you’ll be going and the date range.

In the future, you can do this ahead of time online or by calling a service rep.

Expired or Stolen Card

Expired or canceled cards won’t allow you to withdraw money from an ATM. You can check the expiration date on the card itself. Another way is to call your bank and verify if the card is active.

The person you speak to will need the card number, the expiration date on the card, and the CVV number. A CVV number is a three-digit security number on the back of the card. It is at the end of the signature.

While you should know if you’ve canceled a card, sometimes oversights happen. For instance, you recently got a replacement card. You forgot to put the replacement in your wallet or purse. Or, you’ve placed both cards in there.

You could have mistakenly reached for the wrong card. It’s also possible you haven’t activated the replacement card. You can go online to activate the replacement or call the number your bank provided.

If a card has been reported stolen, the bank will automatically deactivate it. Any card you may have reported as stolen usually can’t be reactivated. You’ll need to wait for a replacement.

Technical Problems

Sometimes ATM machines run into technical issues. This could be due to problems with the online connection. An error can occur on the machine or bank’s end.

At times, the intermediary that exchanges digital information with your bank is offline. Or something goes wrong with the transmission. At other times, the machine is out of money.

You can call your bank to verify your card is active, and you have available funds. Try a different ATM or at another time. There are instances where debit cards won’t clear if you process transactions using the credit option.  

Transactions processed as credit typically ask to verify your zip code. You’ll need to enter the zip code on the account. If you mistype this, your transaction will be denied. Try re-entering the zip code that’s tied to the billing address.

If the bank tells you everything is fine with your account and card, the ATM link is to blame. There is nothing else to do except try your card on a different machine.

Summary: Why Can’t I Withdraw Money from an ATM

When you can’t withdraw money from an ATM, it’s usually because of an error or withdrawal limits. Another common reason is there’s not enough money in the account.

Errors like incorrect PINs and zip codes can be caused by forgetfulness or fatigue. In some cases, you may be trying to use an expired card. Call your bank to verify funds, limits, and account information in all instances.      


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John is the founder of TightFist Finance and an expert in the field of personal finance. John has studied personal finance for over 10 years and has used his knowledge to pay down debt, grow his investment portfolio, and launch a financial based business. He is committed to sharing content related to personal finance based on his experience in his career, investing, and path towards reaching financial independence.