The idea of cashing a check seems obsolete as we live in the age of online banking. However, you would be surprised by how many services are still paid with checks, with paystubs attached. (If you sell real estate or work in some other field where you often need proof of income from people, you should learn how to make fake paystubs. If you know their peculiarities well and someone tries to deceive you with them, this knowledge will help you.) If one or even several sources of your income are paid by check, you have no choice but to cash your checks regularly.
Cashing checks can be expensive without a bank account. Even if you have one, but you need money urgently, you may have to get it at a quick but expensive cash checking center near you. So it’s a good idea to cash checks at the cheapest places we describe below.
Your Local Bank
One of the cheapest places to cash checks is your local bank. It’s often free for account holders. Otherwise, you’ll need to pay a very small fee. You deposit the funds and withdraw them later.
So, if your bank offers free check-cashing services, it’s your best choice because you don’t have to worry about depositing that cash later.
Local Credit Union
Credit unions usually charge less than banks. And you are not required to have any minimum balance. Many people may ask why this is the case. The answer is simple: banks are for-profit institutions, and credit unions are not-for-profit. Capital One, for example, charges $0.
The cheapest place to cash checks is the issuing bank. In most cases, their services are free to account holders. They can better verify the check and the availability of funds. In addition, their rates are also minimal.
For instance, Bank of America charges a flat fee of $6 for check cashing. M&T Bank charges you 2% of the check, a minimum of $3. Call your local branch to find out the exact fee for your check.
Money services offer the cheapest cash check services. Their fees are pretty low, and they often hold special promotions that you can use to save money.
They serve cash payroll, government, income tax refund, insurance claims, and even business checks. Money services offer instant cash checks for those who need them urgently. Look for them at your nearest grocery store.
PLS is another place to cash a check, available throughout the United States. Here you can cash personal checks as well as government and payroll checks. The commission depends on the type of check you want to cash. Just check the commission at the store.
Retail stores are cheap places to cash checks as well. While some stores cash checks for a fee, others do it for free, assuming you’ll make some purchases. To cash checks, Kmart stores, for example, take a $1 fee from Shop Your Way members. In other words, retail stores’ fees are not expensive. You must sign the check or give it to the store.
Many retail stores cash checks only for those who want to shop in their stores. The reason for that is they want to reduce the risk of bad checks.
Confirm Your Check With a Trusted Partner
It is the cheapest way to cash a check if you don’t have a bank account. Write a check to someone you trust. You can only write “Pay to name” and sign at the bottom.
They will cash the check for free at their bank and give you the cash. You may have to accompany them to the bank to fill out a confirmation form. Depending on how often you use checks, you might open a checking account for more convenience.
Bank of Regions
It is another great option for cashing checks because there are many outlets near you.
The fee is 1% to 5% of the paycheck value. And it may depend on the type of check.
You don’t need a bank account to cash checks. In addition, there are discounts to look out for. For example, there is a 10% discount on tax cash checks.
Grocery stores are among the most convenient places to cash checks. You will need to provide state-issued identification. Each store has its commission and check limit.
There is nothing complicated about cashing a check. Only a wrongly filled-in or invalid check can cause trouble. You should take the following precautions to prevent yourself from getting into such an unfortunate situation:
- Accept checks as payment only from people you trust. In all other cases, it’s better to ask for cash.
- Check all information carefully. Check if your name and the name of the person who gave you the check are spelled correctly. If even one of the letters is spelled wrong, the bank employee has the full right not to pay out the money.
If you take these precautions, you should be alright.