If you’re wondering on how to cash a check without a bank account then you aren’t the only one. More than 5% of American households do not have a bank account. If you’re a part of the unbanked statistics then you should keep reading to learn more, we’ll show you other ways to cash a check without a bank account.
Editor’s Note: If you are interested, be sure to check out these promotions from other banks such as HSBC Bank, Chase Bank, Huntington Bank, Discover Bank, TD Bank, BBVA Compass Bank or CIT Bank.
Cashing A Check At The Issuing Bank
The easiest way to cash a check is to visit the issuing bank, you can find the issuing bank’s name right on the check. If the bank has a branch near you, you can head over to cash the check. This method typically costs the least of any cash checking method other than your own bank account.
Some issuing banks don’t charge a fee while others charge based on the amount of the check. When visiting the issuing bank, the teller can look up the availability of funds. If the funds are available, they will then deduct the fee from the cash you receive.
Cashing A Check At Retail Stores
You can do more than just shop at retail stores since many places offer check cashing at their service desk. The most popular retail stores offering these services include:
- Walmart: They can cash checks up to $5,000 with the exception of two-party personal checks. You may only cash two-party personal checks up to $200. Additionally, you can cash pre-printed payroll, government, tax, cashiers, 401(k) distribution, and insurance settlement checks. Walmart charges a flat fee for checks up to $1,000. The fees double for checks over $1,000.
- Money Services: You can find Money Services in many grocery stores like Kroger, Fred Meyer, and Fry’s. You can cash payroll, government, income tax refund, insurance settlement, and business checks at Money Services. They don’t accept personal checks. Money Services charges a fee and can cash checks up tp $5,000.
- Kmart: Shop You Way members can cash checks at Kmart. They accept government, payroll, and tax refund checks up to $2,000. Kmart charges a fee, but it’s much lower than many other retail outlets.
- Food Lion: They cash payroll checks and tax refund checks up to $1,000. They also cash rebate checks and traveler’s checks (up to $499.99). They do not cash personal or two-party checks. You also can’t cash handwritten payroll checks.
Cashing A Check At A Check Cashing Store
As a last resort, you may considering cashing a check at a check cashing store. This method may seem convenient, but it’s the most expensive option. Check cashing centers charge a fee for the convenience of the availability of the funds. The fee is a percentage of the check amount, usually up to 5%.
You get the full amount of the check right away. If you have a bank account, you will have to wait at least one business day for the funds to be available. Check cashing centers give you a short-term loan by giving you the cash right away. The service fee is their interest for the loan.
Cashing a Check Using a Prepaid Account
If you use a prepaid debit car, you may be able to deposit your check into that prepaid debit card account. Services such as InGo allow customers to deposit the check right from their mobile phone. Usually, the app will require you to take a picture of the front and back of the check and wait for approval.
On the other hand, if you aren’t comfortable taking a picture of your check or using a mobile app, there are some prepaid debit card companies that have partner locations where you reload your card with your check. Additionally, if your work place does payroll checks, you can simply request direct deposit right to your prepaid debit card account.
Cashing a Check at a Gas Station
One of the lesser known places to cash a check is actually at your local gas station. Although it is not as popular now, some gas stations still offer this service using some sort of touch screen kiosk. For example, 7-eleven still cashes checks using the Vcom kiosk service, where you can handle most of your financial tasks at.
The easiest option is to download their Transact App to deposit your check into a re-loadable 7-eleven debit card that can be used like any other debit card. Similar options to gas stations would be travel centers, so a Pilot Flying J or Travel Centers of America might have the service you need, but you should call ahead to make sure.
Cashing A Check Using Your Employer
In certain cases, your employer has the ability to cash your check for you. However, there are some rules and regulations on check cashing by employers, so most employers avoid offering this service. Still, some offer this service, and there is no daily limit on how many they can cash as long as they are payroll checks. Employers can even do non-payroll checks up to a maximum of $1,000 or else they will be labeled by the bank as a “check casher”.
Cashing A Check At The Grocery Store
One of the most reliable and convenient options when you’re looking to cash a check would be a grocery store. Generally, it would be one you go to several times a week anyways, so you wouldn’t be going too far out of your way to get your check cashed. Not all grocery stores offer this service, but an example of some that may include:
- Winn Dixie
- Albertsons ($1,000 limit)
- Stop & Shop
Keep in mind that fees and check limits will differ store to store, and you will need to have a government I.D. to cash your check. Most of these places will not let you cash a personal check, due to risk of possible fraud, but they will most likely let you cash a government check, payroll check, cashier’s check, or money order.
Endorse The Check To A Family Member or Friend
If you want to save the few dollars it may cost to cash an occasional check, consider asking a friend or family member for help. In order for someone else to cash your check, you have to endorse it over to them. You sign the check as you normally would and then write ‘pay to the order of’ and the person’s name underneath your signature. It goes without saying and keep in mind that you should only do this with someone you trust.
Cashing a check without a bank account is possible, but it will cost you money. When you have a bank account, check cashing is often a part of the services provided under the account agreement. Without a bank account, you have to use other resources and pay for the convenience of cashing a check.
For a variety of options, see our list of the Best Bank Promotions & the Best Bank Rates! While you’re here on HMB, check out more ways to Save Money!