According to studies, there are around 7.1 million households that are unbanked. This means that they do not have an account at an insured financial institution. This is a terrifying thought especially if you need to cash a check and do other banking.
There may also be times when you need to get cash from your check immediately, even when you have a a bank account but can’t get to the bank. Continue reading to learn where to cash a check and see some of the best places to cash a check.
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Best Places You Can Cash a Check
For those of you out there who don’t have a bank account, there are actually a couple of options if a paper check lands in your lap. First you need to learn how to cash a check. Then look at places you can go to cash it, and find out about the fees associated with it, requirements and limitations involved.
You can go to the bank or credit union the check is drawn upon to cash it. You’ll find the name of the financial institution on the face of the check.
From there you can follow these steps to cash your check:
- Endorse the check by signing your name at the top of the reverse side.
- Present it to a teller inside the bank or credit union for cashing.
- You’ll need to show your driver’s license or some other form of acceptable identification.
Keep in mind that you should not expect this service to be free. Many banks actually charge a fee for cashing a check if you do not hold an account there.
- Bank of America: $8 for checks greater than $50
- Regions Bank: 1% to 4% of check amount ($5 minimum, $20 maximum)
- Suntrust: $7 for checks greater than $50
Check Cashing Apps
With check cashing apps, you can load checks via your mobile phone whenever you need to. You can send the funds to a connected bank account, PayPal account or prepaid card. Once the funds hit your account or card, the money is all yours.
All you have to do is download the app that you want to use and link it to a bank account that you currently own or to a prepaid card. Then, select the mobile check deposit feature and follow the instructions provided.
Also, keep in mind that transaction fees and other costs and restrictions may be different and will vary depending on which vendor you decide to go with. Here are some examples of what some may charge:
- Ingo Money (Standard):
- 2% for payroll and government checks
- 5% for all other checks
- No fee with a 10-day wait
- Ingo Money (Gold):
- 1% to 4% depending on check type
- $0 for standard check loading
- 2% for expedited government and payroll check loads
- 5% for all other expedited check types
- 1% for payroll and government checks
- 5% for all other checks
- No fee after a 10-day wait
The minimum fee for each provider is $5.
Banks aren’t the only places where you can cash in your check. Some retail stores, including supermarkets and discount department stores, will cash checks for individuals.
Here are some stores that offer this service, the types of checks and the maximum amount they will accept and the fees they charge.
|Store Name||Types of Checks Cashed||Maximum Amount of Check||Checks Cashed Fee|
|Walmart||All preprinted checks, including payroll, government, tax, cashier’s, 401(k), insurance settlement and two-party personal checks||$5,000 for preprinted checks
$200 for two-party personal checks
|Preprinted check up to $1,000: $4
Preprinted checks from $1,001 to $5,000: $8
Two-party personal checks up to $200: $6 or less
|Kroger||Payroll, tax refund, government, insurance, business and child support checks||$5,000||Checks up to $2,000: $4 to $4.50
Checks between $2,001 and $5,000: $7 to $7.50
If you work for a company, you may have the option of receiving a paper check from your employer and having them cash the check for you, with or without a fee. However, keep in mind that nowadays, direct deposit and payroll cards are the most popular form of payment by employers to pay their employees.
Cashing a check at a check-cashing outlet, such as The Check Cashing Store, ACE Cash Express or United Check Cashing, is likely the most expensive option. Instead of a flat fee, these stores charge a percentage based on the value of the check.
If these outlets are your only options, be sure to call in ahead of time to see what the fees are.
Things To Consider When You Cash a Check
If you must cash a check outside of a bank where you have an account, it will take a lot more than simply endorsing the check and handing it over to get fee-free cash. here are some things you should consider before you head to the retailer or check-cashing store to exchange your check for cash.
Typically, there will be fees when you are trying to cash your check at a bank that isn’t yours. You can call ahead to see if there are any fees associated with cashing a check at that location. However, there are some odd exceptions if you wanted to cash your check at a retailer that charges lower fees if you were traveling. For example, Kmarts in Connecticut and New Jersey allows you to cash your check for free.
Documentation or Identification You May Need
Do not expect to be able to cash your check at any business unless you ahve at least one form of valid identification. Keep in mind that some places may even require that you have two forms of ID.
Here are some different types of documentation or identification you might need when you try to cash a check:
- Driver’s license
- State-issued ID
- U.S. passport
- Military ID
- Mexico Matricula Consular ID
- Tribal ID
- Green card
- Resident alien ID
Types of Checks
Keep in mind that there are certain types of checks that you may not be able to cash, depending on where you go.
Here’s a list of check types that you might find difficult to cash:
- Non-U.S. traveler’s checks
- Handwritten payroll checks
- Insurance checks
- Counter checks
- Rapid refund tax checks
- Credit card checks
- Checks exceeding a certain dollar value
- Multi-party checks
- Postdated or predated checks
- Starter checks
Benefits of a Checking Account Over Check Cashing
As you’ve read through this post, you might see that there are quite a few obstacles you’d have to go through in order to cash your check if you don’t have a checking account. That is why we highly recommend that you open one to make your life easier. Checking accounts can provide you with a ton of benefits such as cashing checks at retailers, check-cashing outlets or the checkwriter’s bank can’t.
They also come with some of these benefits:
- No fees to cash a check
- Options to make withdrawals, write your own checks, use a debit card or initiate digital transfers with your money
- Record of the transactions you make with your pay
- Faster access to your money by participating in direct deposit
Depending on how often you need to cash a check or access your money, it will most likely be easier to do both of these things with a checking account.
Overall, the best place to cash a check would be at your own bank. Cashing a check anywhere else would be troublesome because you don’t know what type of fees are associated with doing so. Even thought some grocery stores or check-cashing stores seems convenient, you will be undoubtedly spending more money than you need to. For more posts like this, check out our list of bank guides!