In this post, I want to discuss how to cash a check.
With the prevalence of internet banking, you would be pardoned to think that checks are no longer being used.
Unfortunately, even though their use is steadily going down there are still being used.
So what do you do to cash a cheque?
You basically have two options to get your money. The check can be cashed or deposited into a bank account.
Just be mindful of the processing fees that some institutions may charge you.
Tips before you decide to cash a cheque
- Find out about the charges if any you might be charged and pick the less expensive option for cashing your check
- Make sure you have a valid identification
How to cash a check at your own bank
You basically have two options if you want to cash a check: you can to go to your bank or credit union or use other alternatives.
I have an article titled, where to cash checks, where I have listed places where you can cash checks.
Below are the steps that you need to take to cash a check:
- Fill a deposit slip if required
- Take your check to a bank teller
- Sign your name at the bank of your check and pass it to the bank teller
- Show valid identification to the teller
- Get your cash and leave
I will now explain in detail each of the above steps.
Fill a deposit slip
Even though you are just cashing a check and not depositing it in your bank account, some banks or institutions require you to fill a deposit slip.
In the deposit slip, you will fill the details found on a check.
If the check you are cashing is from another bank some banks may require you to just deposit it in your account.
Take your check to a bank teller
In most banks and credit unions, you have to line up and wait for the next available teller.
Sign at the back of the check and present it to the teller
It is important that you sign the check in front of the teller for security purposes. Otherwise, if you lose and someone picks it he may be able to cash your check.
Show a valid identification to the teller
Most banks and financial institutions require a valid identification or you can hand them your debit card. Government-issued ID such as passports, etc are generally the most widely accepted form of ID.
Get your cash and leave
The only advice here is that you need to secure your cash before you leave the bank or credit union branch.
Cashing a check at the issuer’s bank
This is probably the easiest way to cash the cheque as the teller will have access to the bank account of the issuer.
The advantage of cashing the cheque at the issuer’s bank is that you will most likely get the full amount immediately.
Thes steps for cashing a check at the issuer’ bank are the same as the ones for cashing a check at your own bank.
How can I cash a check without a bank account?
Besides your bank or the issuer’s bank, there are other places that can cash checks. They include major retailers like Walmart, Check cashing stores, etc.
These will most likely charge a high fee for these services. It can be as high as 5-10% of the cheque amount in the case of check-cashing stores.
The supermarkets and groceries fare much better as they charge less. On average you can expect them to be charged one to three US dollars.
It is therefore advisable to avoid the check cashing stores and even the supermarkets if you can.
The cheapest way to cash a check is usually your own bank or the issuer’s bank.
You also need to be aware that each of these institutions will have their own restrictions.
For instance, while you can cash any amount for government checks, for two-party personal cheques most of these places will only accept up to $200.
Which is better cashing a cheque or depositing it?
Unless you want to use the whole amount on the check the best way is to deposit your cheque into your account.
For the security of your cash, it is better to keep it in the bank and only withdraw what you need.
Unfortunately for those that do not have a bank account the option of a deposit is not available. However, if you have a pre-paid debit card you can still deposit your cheque into it.
Can you cash a check at any bank?
No, banks are not obligated to cash your check if you don’t hold an account with them. If you or the issuer does not hold a bank account at a bank they are most likely to turn you down.
The best option is to cash the check at your own bank or the issuer’s bank.
Can you cash a check at an ATM?
Yes, you can at some ATMs where you can deposit and immediately withdraw the cash. However, in most cases, you may have to wait for the check to clear before you access the funds. Clearance usually takes 1-3 days.
Can I cash a check at Walmart?
Yes, you can cash a check at Walmart. However check cashing is limited to preprinted checks and includes payroll, tax, government, and insurance settlement checks.
They charge a maximum fee of $4 for checks up to $1,000 and $8 for cheques greater than $1,000.
Can I cash a check online?
You can cash a check online by scanning it through a mobile phone app or online. Just take a picture of the front and back of the check and download it to the bank app. However, the cash won’t be available until a day or two in most cases.