Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Is There a Workaround to the JPM Cap on ATM Withdrawals?

An EPJ reader emails in reference to Chase Clamps Down on ATM Withdrawals of Over $1,000 a Day :
I use Chase. I'm wondering if you have any tips or strategies that you might recommend for those of us in the US that use Chase and are alarmed over the $1,000 daily withdrawal limit for non-customers. This seems far off from me, but that is usually how things like this creep in and all of sudden apply directly to me.

Should Chase users have a separate bank checking account in case of the need for a sudden shift? Quit Chase altogether? Keep a small balance in our Chase accounts? Wondering your thoughts on how to handle a potential Greece/Cyprus situation here, if that were to happen.

First, it is important to understand that the limit appears to be only for non-Chase customers. But more important, if a Greece/Cyprus situation ever developed in the United States the limits on ATM withdrawals would likely come from the government and apply to all ATMs of all banks.

The focus on just Chase is incorrect. The real problem is the government cap---which, of course, would come at the worst possible time. Having accounts at more than one bank is certainly one workaround, but if there is a cap it is going to be a very tight cap so that won't allow you to get your hands on a lot of money, at a time when it might prove most useful to be able to do so.

The only real workaround is to pull funds out of your bank account now and hide the money at home. Keep in mind that if there are ever restrictions on cash withdrawals, those who have cash are going to be in a very strong position in terms of buying power. Ten thousand dollars under the bed could possibly equal $100,000 in buying power at such a time.

One other point, I would be very careful attempting to pull large sums out of an ATM, because a machine might jam and then it is a real hassle to get your money. This happened to me once in Washington D.C., I was attempting to pull $500 out of a Bank of America ATM (all twenties back then) and the machine jammed, shut down, didn't give me any money but my account was debited the $500.

I had to fill out all kinds of forms to get the money credited back into my account.



Q.What about small denomination gold bullion coins?

A. Yes, and don't forget silver coins.

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