We do not yet live in a cashless society. Direct deposit, PayPal, and Venmo are becoming increasingly popular, but paper cheques are still in use.
You may still receive checks that need to be cashed until that day arrives. You’ve most likely come here to cash a check.
If you start a side hustle this year, whether it’s local or online, you might have a client who pays you in cash. Or maybe Grandma sent you money for your birthday.
Whatever the case, you must cash that cheque.
Here is a list of the best places to cash your cheque:
1. Your Local Bank or Credit Union
Your local bank or credit union is the ideal place to cash a check. One of your account’s benefits could be free check cashing. You could have instant access to your cash by going to your local branch.
However, depending on your local banking options, you may be better off joining a credit union. Fees are typically lower at credit unions than at banks.
Credit unions are an excellent choice if you do not require access to a national network of branches. To prevent monthly checking account fees, a credit union may also have a lower minimum balance requirement.
Many credit unions have a $5 minimum balance requirement to keep your account open.
Choose a local credit union or bank that provides free checking and is easily accessible. If your bank does not provide free check cashing, you should consider opening a new checking account.
2. Visit the Issuing Bank
If you do not already have a bank account, the issuing bank is the best place to begin. When compared to some of the other options on this list, it may be the easiest and fastest option.
Banks may also have a higher cashing limit than some of the other options.
The name of the issuing bank appears in the bottom left corner of the check, above the memo line. To cash the check, go to your nearest branch of that bank.
For example, if the check was issued by BB&T Bank, you can go to the nearest BB&T branch. The teller can then check the account balance to ensure that there is enough money in the account to cover the check.
You will need to carry your ID to any of these check cashing locations to confirm your identity.
Non-customers are subject to different cashing policies at each bank. Don’t be shocked if you’re charged a non-customer fee, but keep in mind that not all banks and credit unions do.
The easiest way to find out is to contact the bank or go to their website.
If you must pay a fee, most banks charge one of the following:
- If your check balance is less than $50, you will be charged nothing.
- Check balances greater than $50 are subject to a $7-$10 fee.
- 10% of the total check balance
- Regardless of the balance, each check is $7.
Non-customer bank fees can sometimes be higher than those of the other options mentioned here.
A few banks only provide prepaid debit cards to non-customers for cashed checks. This is a comparably uncommon practice. These prepaid cards may have monthly maintenance fees as well as expiration dates. Read the terms and conditions if you receive a prepaid debit card.
Make sure to use the card as soon as possible to avoid having your money expire.
3. Walmart Check Cashing
90 percent of Americans, believe it or not, live within 15 minutes of a Walmart store. You’re almost certainly going to drive by a Walmart before you get to the issuing bank.
And if you shop at Walmart, your cashed check can double as your weekly grocery budget.
For Walmart Check Cashing services, you can expect to pay the following fees:
- Each check is worth $4, up to a maximum of $1,000.
- $8 for each check-in excess of $1,000
The cashing limit per day is $5,000. Between January and April, the limit for Christmas money and tax refund checks rises to $7,500. However, keep in mind that Walmart will not cash any personal checks for more than $200.
Walmart will cash your check-in exchange for cash or a Walmart MoneyCard. They revoke the MoneyCard reload fee for certain payroll companies and government checks.
Walmart accepts the following types of checks:
- Pre-printed checks
- Payroll checks
- Government checks
- Tax checks
- Cashiers’ checks
- Insurance settlement checks
- MoneyGram money orders
- Two-party personal checks (limit: $200)
4. Your Local Grocery Store
Check cashing services at grocery stores are hit-or-miss. To find out, contact their customer service department. Some businesses may only accept payroll checks, cashiers’ checks, and money orders.
These checks are not written with a pen but rather printed. Unfortunately, check fraud discourages many businesses from accepting handwritten checks.
Only a few grocers still accept handwritten personal checks, but there are some that do.
Here are four national supermarkets that still accept checks:
Check cashing fees for grocery stores can be as low as 2% of the balance or $6 per check. Each store has its own cashiering policy.
If you use store credit instead of cash, some grocers will waive the check-cashing fee. This is the better choice if you buy groceries at that particular supermarket.
5. Gas Station Travel Centers
Personal checks of any kind are no longer accepted at most gas stations. It makes no difference whether it’s handwritten, from your employer, or a government check.
The threat of check fraud is far too much. You’ll have the most success if you stop at travel centers (truck stops) along the interstate.
A travel center acknowledges personal vehicles and has semi-truck refueling lanes.
There are two full-service travel center brands to consider:
- Pilot Flying J
- TravelCenters of America
Only a few of their locations accept checks, so you’ll have to try your luck or call ahead of time to find the nearest location to you.
You can get free checking cashing if you buy gas within two hours of cashing your check.
6. Transact by 7-Eleven
7-Eleven is one of the few gas station chains that accept checks. You must first install the Transact by 7-Eleven app. This app allows you to cash a check by taking a picture of the check with your phone.
The balance is deposited onto your reloadable 7-Eleven prepaid card after most checks clear within 48 hours.
The card can then be used anywhere that Debit MasterCard is accepted, which includes most online and retail stores.
7. Endorse Your Check to a Friend
You can also approve your check to a friend who will cash it for you for free. After all, what is the advantage of having friends?
Endorsed checks are also known as “third-party checks.”
It is simple to endorse a check for a friend to cash. Follow these simple steps on the back of the check:
- Write “Pay to the order of Friend’s Name” on the top line.
- Under this approval, you sign the check.
Each bank has its own set of rules for cashing endorsed checks. To address check fraud, you may need to accompany a friend to the bank branch to confirm your identity as well.
Some banks will ask you to fill out a form. This form authorizes your friend to cash your check. Before your friend goes alone to cash the check, check online, or call the bank.
Third-party checks are not accepted by all banks, including Ally Bank, Discover Bank, and Regions.
8. Cash Your Check Using an App
Your personal check can also be cashed online. PayPal and Ingo’s Money are two apps that do not require you to be a bank customer in order to cash a check.
(a) Ingo Money
This could be the leading website for check cashing services. Most types of checks, including handwritten personal checks, can be cashed using Ingo Money. You approve the check and use the app to take a picture of its front and back after downloading the app. Then you choose where you want the money to go.
Because of the variety of redemption options, you might choose Ingo Money:
- Prepaid debit card
- PayPal account
- Amazon gift card
- Online bill pay for retail credit cards
- Cash pickup at participating MoneyGram locations
The check balance will be deposited in a matter of a few minutes with the first three options. When you use your check amount to pay a retail credit card, the payment is posted the following business day. You can also divide the balance among several redemption options.
Ingo accepts checks as small as $5 and as large as $5,000.
This flexibility does come at a cost. Cashing handwritten personal checks worth less than $100 costs $5. Balances greater than $100 are charged 5% of the balance.
For balances under $250, pre-printed payroll and government checks cost $5 to cash. When the balance exceeds $250, you will be charged 2% of the balance.
You can prevent cashing fees on both types of checks by waiting 10 days to receive the balance. However, you can only deposit the balance into one account in that case.
You can deposit your check into a Chime Bank account using Ingo Money. Chime provides free ATM service. You may also gain your direct deposit funds up to two days sooner than you would if you used a traditional bank.
PayPal is one of the world’s biggest payment processors, and it also allows you to cash a check. This service is provided in collaboration with First Century Bank and Ingo Money.
As with Ingo Money, you must first approve the check before taking a picture of the front and back with the app. When your check is approved, you will be asked to write “VOID” across the front of it.
You can then pay a fee and have your money available within minutes. The standard fee for payroll and government checks with a pre-printed signature is 1%, and the fee for all other approved checks is 5%, with a $5 minimum fee per check.
You can also choose to wait 10 days for the funds to arrive, in which case the transaction is free.
Checks must be between $5 and $5,000 in value. You can cash up to $5,000 in checks per day and $15,000 in checks per month.
There are several ways to view your PayPal funds once your balance has been opened up. You can move it to another bank account for free in one day. Another alternative is to transfer the balance in minutes to an authorized debit or prepaid card.
As of September 2020, debit card transfers cost 1% of the transfer amount (up to $10).
You can also transfer it to a PayPal Debit Card, which you can use to withdraw cash from any ATM.
NetSpend also provides an online check to cash. You can also find a NetSpend partner in your area to cash checks. The check balance is transferred to a prepaid debit card.
Standard processing is completely free. However, for expedited processing, you must pay 2% ($5 minimum) for preprinted government and payroll checks.
Handwritten checks are subject to an expedited processing fee of 5% of the check balance, with a $5 minimum fee.
With their Premier Card Account characteristic, you can also get $10 overdraft protection.
(d) Green Dot
Green Dot is yet another prepaid debit card option that offers mobile check cashing through the app. You can also reload your prepaid Green Dot debit card by cashing checks at Walmart. If you can wait 10 days to reach your funds, depositing checks with the mobile app is free.
Otherwise, you can get your money in minutes if you pay a 1% fee for government and payroll deposits. There is a 4% fee for handwritten checks.
Green Dot has the following mobile check cashing limits as of December 2020:
- The minimum check balance must be $5
- Single check balance can’t exceed $2,500
- Can cash up to $5,000 in a single day
- Can only cash up to $10,000 every 30 days
Green Dot will send you a book of paper checks if you require to write a check. You do not need to open a checking account because the balance is deducted from your debit card.
9. Check Cashing Stores
Because of the high fees, this recommendation should only be used as a last resort.
Instead of a flat fee, most places charge a percentage of the balance. This can be less expensive than other stores that charge a flat fee for smaller check balances. However, even if they charge a percentage of the check balance, fees for large balances are frequently lower at most other places.
These check cashing places are simple to locate in your town. They accept all personal checks, including handwritten checks from family and friends. Unfortunately, this ease comes at a high cost. These places have the highest check-cashing fees.
You must also pay a monthly charge when you load money onto their reloadable debit card. You should also expect to pay a reload fee each time. If you want a reloadable debit card, cash your checks at Walmart if possible.
10. PLS Check Cashing
PLS is available in the United States, with locations in California, New York, Texas, Ohio, and other states. Personal, government and payroll checks can all be cashed there, with fees varying depending on the type of check.
11. Money Services
Money Services provides instant cash checking for those who would rather not wait! It’s also very efficient because you’ll most likely be able to find Money Services in a grocery store near you, avoiding the need to go out of your way.
They usually have low fees and special promotions that permit you to save money. Payroll, government, income tax refund, insurance settlement, and business checks can all be cashed.
12. Friendly Check Cashing Store
There are also multiple check cashing places that may be able to help. One of them is Friendly Check Cashing, but it is only available to citizens of North Carolina.
Insurance checks, payroll checks, government-issued checks, tax refund checks, cashier’s checks, money orders, checks made out of business, and personal checks can all be cashed at Friendly Check.
However, they do charge high fees (up to 10%), so this should only be used if all other options have been failed.