How to Get Cash From an ATM Card That Won't Swipe

by Louise Balle ; Updated July 27, 2017

If you use ATM cards frequently, swiping to make a withdrawal is an everyday activity that doesn’t require much thought. But over time, the magnetic strip on your card can wear out, making it problematic or impossible to swipe the card at an ATM machine. You have to get a new card from your bank as soon as possible when this happens, but in the meantime if you need cash urgently, you may have an alternative solution.

Step 1

Check the front and back of your ATM card for a Visa or MasterCard logo. These card companies allow you to use an ATM card as if it were a credit card for a purchase at a retail store. When the card has this logo, is better known as a debit or check card. You can sometimes also process a debit transaction with an ATM card if it has a NYCE, Cirrus or other ATM network logo.

Step 2

Visit a retail store that allows cash back on purchases with an ATM, debit or check card. Ask the merchant if he can input the card number to process the transaction instead of swiping.

Step 3

Purchase an item from the store. Inform the clerk that you want to process a debit transaction with cash back and hand him the card. Wait for the clerk to manually enter the card information into his own terminal.

Step 4

Enter your ATM PIN when prompted and select the option to get cash back. Select the amount you wish to withdraw. Some retailers have a maximum cash-back rule, so ask beforehand.

Step 5

Wait for approval of the debit transaction. The register adds the amount of your purchase to the cash-back amount and withdraws the total from your checking account.


  • Go to your local bank branch for a card pocket to protect your ATM card strip from becoming worn over time.

About the Author

Louise Balle has been writing Web articles since 2004, covering everything from business promotion to topics on beauty. Her work can be found on various websites. She has a small-business background and experience as a layout and graphics designer for Web and book projects.