Do you occasionally need a little more cash than you have in your pocket?
If so, you need to get access to your money. You have a check in your hand, but what do you do with it? The obvious option is to take it to a bank, but what if you can’t do this for whatever reason?
Well, let’s look at the alternatives and provide a few solutions, as we find out where can you cash a Personal Check besides banks? 8 Best Places.
It Can Be A Risky Business
You may find that some establishments will charge you an excessive fee to make the transaction. Knowing how much it costs to cash a personal check at a bank is something you must consider before entering a transaction.
Where Do You Go?
If you are in a strange city, it may pose a different set of problems. At home, you know just where to go. But, locating places that cash personal checks in unfamiliar territory could be a major hassle.
To try and ease the problems, I have a few suggestions. Let’s consider the alternatives and break down the options. Let’s start with the banks.
Naturally, when looking for the best places for cashing personal checks, you should start with the banks. After all, money is their business. So, let’s see what options are available.
1 Your Own Bank
It is probably the obvious first choice to locate a branch of your bank first. Having an account with the bank will mean that you benefit from check cashing services at no charge. If cashing checks is something that you do regularly, you should always try to find banks that offer check cashing services for free.
If you can wait a few days for the money, you can deposit the check at a branch or an ATM and then draw on the funds once they are cleared.
However, you may not have the time and need it urgently. In that case, you can go to the bank and cash the check instantly, provided you can fulfill their ID requirements. This should always be your first port of call, if possible.
2 A Credit Union
Credit unions were established in Europe in the 19th Century and quickly spread to many nations. They are popular in America and an option that many people take up.
A credit union offers many of the same services as a commercial bank. Checking and savings accounts, credit cards, online banking, etc. The difference is that a credit union is a non-profit organization and is owned by its members. If needed, members can borrow from the pooled deposits at a low-interest rate.
This is what makes such transactions attractive to many people…
If you can find a branch of your credit union near you, they will cash a check. The formalities will be the same as for a regular bank, and you will indeed have an acceptable form of ID.
If there is a charge, it will usually be at a lower rate than at other check-cashing services. If you don’t have a credit union account, it may be worth considering opening one.
3 The Issuing Bank
A question that is often asked is, “Can you cash a personal check at any bank?” The answer can vary, but in most cases, you will need an account with a particular bank to allow you to cash your check.
Quite understandably, banks will not usually just accept any check. Therefore, it is always best to start with the bank that issued it. That is known as the “issuing bank”; it is the one named on the check. This will usually be one of the recognizable bank names, like Citibank, Chase, or Bank of America. You can visit the branch of the issuing bank and usually get the check cashed.
And there’s another advantage to the option…
If you take the check to the issuing bank, you will not have to wait for the clearance process. Funds will be available immediately, but you will need an ID.
There could be fees involved, and bank charges may vary. Fees could be as high as 10% of the amount of the check. Although, it is more likely that there will be a flat fee for anything up to $10.
If you have an account at the issuing bank, the fees will be less than if you do not. Often there are no fees at all for customers wishing to cash such a check. Banks are by no means the only option to get your check cashed. Let’s look at some alternative check-cashing options.
Surprisingly, when discussing “Where can you cash a personal check besides banks? 8 best places” many people are unaware of the retail store option. Some retail outlets will offer check cashing facilities, although there will be a charge. You will find these facilities offered at large retail facilities and grocery stores.
There are three very good reasons why Walmart is a good place to cash a personal check. Firstly, as Walmart has retail outlets all over America, so you should easily find a location near you.
Secondly, if you do not have a current bank account, Walmart will cash your check as long as you can provide the required ID. And thirdly, Walmart offers a service that covers cashing a wide range of different kinds of checks. These include:
- Checks for tax refunds.
- Government-issued checks.
- Checks from insurance companies in the settlement of a claim.
- Cashiers checks.
- Retirement disbursement checks.
Furthermore, there are very few types of checks Walmart will not cash. Some types of checks Walmart might refuse are:
- Personal checks that are made out for cash.
- Checks that are 180 days old.
- Handwritten checks.
- Savings Bond checks.
- EFS checks.
You will not be surprised to hear that Walmart charges for this service. For amounts over $1000, the fee is in the region of $8, and below $1000, it is approximately $4.
There is a recently amended upper limit for transactions of cashing a check that has now risen to a maximum of up to $7500. This may vary as some states have laws on this issue that restrict the upper levels of the amounts cashed.
5 Grocery Stores
There aren’t many places where you can cash a check on a Sunday. However, some Grocery stores and outlets offer the service seven days a week. We have already considered Walmart, but there are plenty of other outlets, some quite small, that offer a check cashing service.
The downside is that most do not allow larger amounts, and they may only take personal checks. However, if the charges are reasonable and they are much closer to you than your bank, it could save you time. Some of the stores that offer this service are:
- Giant Eagle.
- Market Basket.
Of course, they are by no means the only shops that cash checks. Sometimes, you will see a sign in the window of a smaller outlet offering cash checking services. We will look at those a bit later.
6 Prepaid Cards
Using prepaid cards is something that has become popular. These cards act in a similar way to bank debit cards. One difference is that you can load up the card with cash to use when necessary.
They do not require you to hold a bank account, so for some people, prepaid cards are an ideal answer. Not all prepaid cards will allow you to deposit checks, so you will need to find that out first.
You will also need to download an app from the prepaid company, which will allow you to forward photos of checks. Check clearance times will vary by provider.
7 Check Cashing Phone and Device Apps
There are other online check cashing facilities provided by companies like PayPal, Ingo Money, and Venmo. Clearance times for checks will depend on the provider. But, if you are not in a hurry for the cash, it is a solution.
Fees charged will depend on the provider and may be linked to the amount of the withdrawal required. All fees and conditions are always worth checking first.
8 Other Retail Outlets
So, let’s return to the smaller retail outlets, usually the grocery shops we mentioned. They will usually offer to cash checks that other retailers will not cover. These could be personal checks or checks that may be issued by small businesses.
The potential downside is the amount of fees involved. They are almost certainly going to be higher than many of the other options available and typically could be between 1% and 12%.
No Shortage Of Options
As you can see, there is no shortage of options for where to get your check cashed. Each has its benefits, and some may, at times, be advantageous over using the formal banking system for occasional transactions.
There are some things to consider when using any of these options. You need to be sure that the company or business you go to accepts the types of checks you want to cash. And, very importantly, you will need the correct ID.
Some of the acceptable IDs to cash a personal check are:
- Driver’s License.
- Green Card.
- Military ID.
There are others, of course, but using these, you are unlikely to encounter difficulties.
Some of these suggestions might sound irrelevant or even silly. But there are some clever people out there scamming potential users every day. There are some important things to ask yourself before you cash a check.
Do you recognize the issuing bank?
Scammers often invent bank names. If it is a well-known name, like Citibank, or Bank of America, there isn’t a problem. But, if you don’t recognize it, just do a bit of research yourself. Try calling them. Don’t accept checks from banks you have never heard of or cannot speak to.
Is everything correct on the check? Is the amount right, and is your name spelled correctly? There should be no blank spaces. The info on the check or associated documentation must match that of the ID you are providing, or it is unlikely to be cashed.
Does the check look real?
That might sound like a silly thing to say. But, once again, some of the people who forge bank notes also know how to forge checks. Look out for any smudges or discoloration on the check itself. If in doubt, do not accept it.
That’s the end of the worst-case scenario section. But it is better to be safe than sorry.
Need More Help With Getting Some Quick Cash?
If so, check out our guides on How And Where To Cash A Check Without ID, the Top Speedy Cash Competitors & Alternatives, the Best Check Cashing Places Near Me, Does Dollar General Load Cash App, Netspend, Green Dot, and Chime Cards, and Can You Get Cash Back From A Walmart Gift Card for more information on check-cashing.
Also, have a look at our breakdowns on Do Safeway Cash Checks, Does Walmart Cash Two-Party Checks, What Time Does Walmart Stop Cashing Checks, Does Walmart Cash Checks on Saturday & Sunday, and Does Publix Cash Checks to learn about the best places to cash a check in 2023.
As you can see, there are a number of places to cash personal checks, including Walmart, Grocery Stores, and other Retail Outlets. And most transactions will go through smoothly if you provide everything required to cash a check. Regardless of which of the best places to cash a personal check you choose, since there are so many options these days, you need not worry about not being able to cash your check.
Until next time, good luck, and may you find success.