If you don’t want to deposit a check, the alternative is to cash it. Find out where the best places are to cash checks without crazy fees.
1. Your bank or credit union
Most financial institutions cash checks for account holders without a fee. If you have a bank account, the first place to check is your financial institution because it’ll save you time, you already have a relationship with them, and they’ll likely do it for free.
Depending on check hold policies and your ATM withdrawal limit, you may be able to deposit the check through a mobile deposit or an ATM, then withdraw the funds immediately after.
2. Issuing bank
If you don’t have a bank account, contact the issuing bank to see if they can cash the check. Typically, the issuing bank’s name and contact information is on the check.
If you’re not able to locate it, search the web by using the routing number. You can find the routing number at the bottom of the check. It’s the first set of numbers on the left, and they’re nine digits long.
Although you may be able to cash it at the bank that the funds are being drawn from, they can charge you a fee because you aren’t an account holder.
3. Check-cashing app
Ingo Money, PayPal, and Venmo offer check cashing through the app. It’s the most convenient way since you don’t have to leave your home to do it.
Each app has its own requirements and limits, so contact them if you have any questions.
4. Third-party check
A third-party check is when you sign a check over to somebody else. Although you can sign it over to anyone, only do so to someone you trust.
If you don’t have a bank account and your friend does, you can ask your friend to cash the check and give you the money.
On the back of the check and the endorsement line, write “Pay to the order of” and the person’s name. Then you’ll sign it right underneath that.
Keep in mind that some financial institutions won’t accept a third-party check. You may also be required to visit a teller with the other person with a valid ID to complete the transaction.
Walmart MoneyCenter is the in-store financial center where you can cash your check without going to a bank or credit union. All you need is a check and a valid ID.
The limits can vary based on the laws of your state. However, call them ahead of time for the exact details. The following are the types of checks you can cash at Walmart:
- Pre-printed checks.
- Payroll checks.
- Government and tax checks.
- Cashier’s check.
- Insurance settlement check.
- 401(k) and retirement disbursement checks.
- MoneyGram money orders.
- Two-party personal checks.
The fees that they charge are fixed and minimal.
For checks up to $1,000, there’s a $4 fee. For checks over $1,000 and up to $5,000, there’s an $8 fee. It’s great because some places charge 10%, which adds up.
Frequently asked questions
Where can you cash a check for free?
To cash a check for free, visit your bank or credit union because most offer free check cashing for account holders.
What information do I need to cash a check?
To cash a check, you’ll need a government-issued form of identification, and you might need your social security number or Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN).
Can you cash a check at any bank?
No, banks and credit unions aren’t obligated to cash a check. If you’re unsure, call them ahead of time to verify whether they can or can’t.
The best way to cash a check is to go to your bank or credit union because they’ll most likely be the only one to do it without charging you a fee. If you don’t have a bank account, there are other great options. Be sure to look for the one that’ll charge you the least amount of fees.
Featured image courtesy of Pexels.
About David Em
David Em is the founder of More Money More Choices, which he launched to help you take control of your finances and build your dream life. Before More Money More Choices, David worked in leadership positions in the finance industry.