How to withdraw cash from an ATM without your debit card

Learn how to get withdraw cash, even if you’ve misplaced, lost or forgotten your bank card.

It’s all too easy to be stuck without your bank card and find you’ve got no cash when you need it. If you’ve ever stepped out your front door with just your smartphone but ended up needing to buy something with physical money, you’ll understand. Worry not, there are still several ways to get cash, even if you don’t have your bank card with you.

Getting cash out at the bank without a bank card

If there’s a physical branch of your bank nearby, this is probably the easiest way to get cash, as long as you have ID on you. Most banks in the UK allow you to get money out if you provide your bank account number, sort code and can prove you are who you say. A driver’s license or passport should suffice. However, different banks have different rules, so it’s worth ringing up to find out what you need.

Of course, with many bank branches in the UK shutting up shop, finding a physical location may not be as easy as it once was. All the UK high street banks have branch locators or finders that allow you to pinpoint your nearest option.

Withdrawing cash from an ATM without a card

Typically, most banks do not let you withdraw money from a cash machine without having your physical card.

However, RBS, NatWest and Ulster Bank customers can use the “GetCash” service to take out funds using just their mobile phones. This allows people to request money through the app and gives out a six-digit code. When the code is entered at an ATM, the money is released. To use the service, customers need at least £10 in their account and an active debit card.

Getting cashback from shops

One quick way to access cash with no card is to take advantage of cashback in a shop or supermarket. Not all stores offer cashback, so make sure you check first.

Often, you’ll need to buy something to be allowed to use the cashback service. However, Link (the UK’s largest cash machine network) is working with shops around the country to offer cashback without a purchase. Obviously, you’ll still need a way to pay, such as using contactless payments on your phone.

You can find participating shops by using the Link Cash Locator, typing in your location or postcode and looking for the orange or blue CT symbols. Orange means the cash at the till service is free to use, and blue means you’ll need to make a purchase.

Another advantage of this approach is that you don’t need to take your cash in notes. That means if you’re low on funds, you could withdraw smaller amounts in change. You need enough money in your account to cover the total you take as cashback.

Asking a friend or family member

If you have money in your account but need cash, you could consider transferring what you need to a trusted friend or family member’s account and asking them to withdraw it. This can be a quick and easy way to access physical money while you wait to be reunited with your card.

Bottom line

Accessing cash without a bank card can be tricky, but several options are available. Visiting a branch, getting cashback locally and even asking friends or family members can all be solutions. Different banks have their own rules, so it’s worth making a quick call to see your options before you make a trek into town.

Frequently asked questions

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