How Do You Withdraw Money From a Savings Account?

Quick Answer

To withdraw funds from your savings account, you can get cash at an ATM, go to a bank branch or transfer money to your checking account. Before taking money out of your savings account, however, weigh the purpose against your long-term financial goals.

A young adult man holding paperwork listens as the mature adult male bank teller explains how to withdraw money from savings.

A savings account is designed to help you accumulate money, not spend it. But sometimes, you may need to tap into your savings to cover a financial emergency or planned expense, like a vacation or down payment on a car. You can withdraw money from a savings account by using an ATM, transferring funds to your checking account or visiting a bank branch.

Earn Money Faster

Find High-Yield Savings Accounts

Can You Withdraw Money From a Savings Account?

You can withdraw money from your savings account at any time (although in some cases, you may have to pay a fee). Because taking money out of savings accounts is so convenient, they're a good place to keep funds you may need to access quickly, such as your emergency fund.

Although it's possible to take money out of your savings account whenever you want, that doesn't mean it's always a good idea to do so. Before withdrawing money from savings, carefully weigh the planned use of the funds against your efforts to save for the future.

Savings Account Limits on Withdrawals

Before March 2020, the Federal Reserve's Regulation D restricted transfers or withdrawals from savings accounts to six per month. This rule was intended to help consumers save money and ensure banks didn't run out of funds.

During the pandemic, this rule was eliminated. Financial institutions are no longer required to limit the number of savings withdrawals, but they can charge fees if you make more than six transfers or withdrawals from a savings account in one month.

Not all banks impose fees for excess transfers; to see if yours does, check the terms of your savings account or contact your bank. If your bank charges a fee for excess transfers, keep track of your savings withdrawals to help you stay within the bank's limits and avoid fees.

Learn more >> 7 Common Savings Account Fees

How to Withdraw Money From Savings

When you need to take money out of your savings account, you have several alternatives.

Withdraw Funds at an ATM

Getting cash from an ATM is an easy way to take money from your savings account. Simply use your debit card or, in some cases, your bank's mobile app to make a withdrawal.

ATMs at your bank or credit union branch aren't your only option. Many financial institutions participate in ATM networks that have locations inside grocery stores, gas stations or other retailers. This can be more convenient than visiting a bank, and offers a way for customers of online-only banks to access cash.

However, using ATMs could get expensive. Banks and credit unions typically charge fees for using non-network ATMs; the ATM network may charge its own fees as well.

Need to take a large sum out of your savings? Most banks and credit unions restrict how much money you can withdraw via ATM in one day. Although this amount can vary from one bank to another, $300 to $1,000 are common daily limits for ATM withdrawals. Non-network ATM providers may set limits of their own.

Learn more >> How to Avoid ATM Fees

Transfer Money to Checking

If you don't need cash but want to write a check or pay a bill, you can transfer funds from your savings account to your linked checking account. Typically, the easiest way to do this is by using your bank's website or mobile app. You can also transfer funds by visiting an ATM or calling the bank.

Transfers between linked accounts at the same bank generally happen instantly or within 24 hours. Your bank may have a cutoff time for same-day transfers, and there may be delays on weekends and holidays. Transferring funds from a savings account to a linked checking account at a different bank can take a little longer—up to three business days.

Visit a Local Bank Branch

Visiting your bank or credit union branch provides plenty of options for taking funds from your savings account. Have the teller transfer money from your savings account to a checking account at the same bank, or fill out a withdrawal slip and ask the teller for cash from your savings account.

Although you can't write a check from your savings account, you can use money from your savings account to buy a cashier's check. Cashier's checks are a secure type of payment used for major transactions, such as buying a car from a private party or putting a down payment on a home. You purchase cashier's checks from your bank; there may be a fee.

You can also use your savings account to pay someone by wire transfer. Wire transfers electronically move money from one bank account to another. They're often used for large transactions or to send money to family in other countries. You can initiate wire transfers at your bank or through services such as MoneyGram and Western Union. Expect to pay fees as high as $50.

No matter how you plan to withdraw money from your savings account at a bank, be prepared to give the bank teller your account information and/or some form of identification.

The Bottom Line

A savings account is key to good financial health. It can provide a financial safety net for emergencies or help you accomplish major goals, such as buying a home. Automating your savings can help you build a solid savings account without having to think about it.