Where can I cash a check? There are several places to use, including banks, online banking apps, ATMs, retail stores, and more. Each place has its own process, restrictions, and potential fees. This guide covers the details of the top eight options to help you find the best place to cash your check.
8 best places to cash a check
If someone pays you with a check and you want to cash it, you can do so at one of the following eight places.
1. Your online banking app
Many banks have online banking apps that allow you to deposit a check using your phone. Open your banking app and look for an option to make a mobile check deposit.
You typically need to submit pictures of the front and back of the paper check. Make sure to endorse the back of the check before taking the picture. Your bank may also require you to write “for mobile deposit only” on the back and manually enter the check amount.
After completing these steps, the funds may take one to three business days to become available in your account, depending on your bank.
RememberIt’s a good idea to hang onto the check after depositing it until your bank approves the deposit.
2. Your local bank branch
Your local bank branch is one of the top places to consider when you want to cash a check you received. Using your local bank branch may give you access to the money right away.
Most banks won’t charge fees if you’re an account holder. In most cases, you simply need to endorse the back of the check and show a photo government ID, such as a driver’s license, to the teller to successfully cash your check.
NoteThere may be limits on how large of a check your bank can cash, so check the bank’s policies before going.
3. Your bank’s ATM
Consider depositing your check via an ATM to quickly access your cash. ATMs are typically available 24 hours a day, and certain ATMs have the ability to deposit checks. This allows you to deposit a check outside regular bank hours.
However, you’ll probably only be able to deposit a check through an ATM that belongs to your bank.
To use this option, you need to locate an ATM of your bank with check-depositing capabilities, endorse the back of the check, select the option for depositing a check, and place your check into the ATM. Depending on your bank, you may also have to fill out a deposit slip.
4. The bank that issued the check
You don’t have a savings or checking account? You can still cash a check at the bank that issued it. The name of the issuing bank should be printed on the check. You can use its name to find the nearest branch to you.
Make sure to have a valid government-issued ID along with your check. Some banks may also have other specific requirements, so you may want to call the bank beforehand to ask about the things you’ll need.
Keep in mindThis check-cashing service is not always free, and some banks may charge a low fee. It can be a flat fee or a percentage of the check amount.
5. Retail and groceries stores
Several retail and grocery stores, such as Walmart and Kroger, offer check-cashing services at their customer service desks.
You typically need to provide the check and a valid government photo ID to get your cash. Some stores may even require two valid forms of identification.
Most stores that offer this service also charge. For example, Walmart charges $4 for checks up to $1,000 and $8 for checks between $1,000 and $5,000.
6. Gas stations
Another option to consider for cashing checks is gas stations. As with retail stores, you’ll need the check along with one or two valid forms of identification. You’ll also typically pay a fee for this service.
Some gas stations that offer check cashing include TravelCenters of America, Pilot Flying J, and Road Ranger.
7. Mobile phone apps
You can use certain mobile apps like IngoMoney, Transact by 7-Eleven, and PayPal to cash a check online.
Using these apps, you can have your money sent as a direct deposit to your bank account. You can also use your money to load a prepaid debit card, pay your bills, or arrange to pick up the cash at certain physical locations.
Keep in mind that you may pay some fees for cashing your check with a mobile phone app. For example, IngoMoney doesn’t charge fees if you are willing to wait 10 days to get your money. If you want your money sooner, you can use IngoMoney’s “Money in Minutes” option, but you have to pay $5 for checks of $100 or less or 5% of the total amount for checks over $100.
8. Check-cashing stores
You can use a money store or a check-cashing store to get your cash. Stores such as Amscot and ACE Cash Express offer financial services that include cashing checks.
You’ll need to provide the store with the check and a valid government ID. You may also need to endorse the check by signing your name on the back.
Keep in mindYou may want to use this option as a last resort after you’ve exhausted all other options. Check-cashing stores often charge high fees to provide the service.
4 things to consider when cashing out a check
Each bank, credit union, or store may have somewhat different requirements to cash a check. However, most places to cash a check will likely require you to endorse the back of the check and to have a valid government ID on you.
There are some considerations to keep in mind when you’re cashing a check. This is especially true when you need the money quickly for your budgeting needs. Four factors to consider are:
- What are the fees you’ll pay? The higher the fees, the less money you will get.
- How soon will your money be available? The sooner it’s available, the sooner you can use it.
- What documents will you need? Some places that cash checks require you to show not just one but two forms of identification.
- Is it a personal or a payroll check, or is it issued by a government agency? Cashing government checks, such as tax refund checks, sometimes has a different process than personal checks or payroll checks.
FAQs about cashing a check
Where can I cash a check without a bank account?
If you don’t have a checking or savings account, you can cash your check at the bank that issued it. You should find the name of the issuing bank on the check. The issuing bank will cash the check, even if you aren’t a client of the bank. And there are usually little to no fees for cashing a check with this option.
What’s the cheapest option to cash a check?
The cheapest way to cash a check is to use your own bank, whether through its mobile app, ATM, or branch. Most financial institutions don’t charge their clients check-cashing fees. However, if you don’t have a bank account, cashing a check at the bank that issued it may be your cheapest option.
Can you cash a check at any bank?
No, you can’t cash your check at any bank. You usually need to go to a bank with which you have an account or the bank that issued the check. Keep in mind that if you go to the bank that issued the check, it may place a hold on the funds until the check clears, which can take several days. Some banks may not cash certain types of checks, such as traveler's checks, cashier’s checks, or money orders.
There are several options available for you to cash a check and access your money. You can use your bank’s mobile app, go to your local bank branch, or use an ATM of your bank that supports check deposits. These are the most convenient options and typically have no fees.
However, if you don't have an account at a bank, you may still be able to cash a check at certain retail stores or gas stations. There are also online services you can use to get your cash. But you should generally expect to pay a fee for the service.
In determining the best places to cash a check, we used factors such as fees, convenience, and reliability. We identified the best places to cash a check and listed them in an order that reflects these factors.
It is important to note that we did not review every available option for cashing checks. This means that this list is not exhaustive, and each person may have different preferences and circumstances.
More from FinanceBuzz: