Where Can I Cash a Cashier’s Check?

Cashier’s checks are a reliable and widely accepted form of payment, commonly used for significant transactions such as buying a car, purchasing a boat, or making a down payment on a home. Their reputation for security and the guarantee of available funds make them preferred for large, critical payments. However, despite their convenience, figuring out where and how to cash them can be challenging, especially if you find yourself needing immediate access to the funds.

cashing a check

If you’re holding a cashier’s check and need to cash it, you might assume that the process is as simple as visiting your local bank or credit union. While this is often the case for those with bank accounts, the situation can get tricky if you don’t have one. Without a bank account, you may need to explore alternative avenues to convert your check into cash.

Below, we will guide you through the various options available for cashing a cashier’s check, regardless of banking status.

Where to Cash a Cashier’s Check if You Have a Bank Account

Do you have a checking or savings account at a bank or credit union? If so, you don’t have to think twice about where to cash cashier’s checks. In fact, you should be able to do so via the mobile app or ATM if you’re unable to make it to the branch.

Credit union members get the luxury of depositing at locations across the United States that are a part of the shared network. (ATM deposit capabilities may also be available).

While cashier’s checks typically clear faster than personal checks because they are guaranteed, some banks won’t release the funds to you right away. For larger amounts, the funds availability policy may restrict your access for one business day or longer. And if you are a new account holder, there’s a chance the funds won’t be available until the check clears the writer’s bank.

Where to Cash a Cashier’s Check Without a Bank Account

Don’t have a bank account? No problem. You still have several options to cash cashier’s checks without spending a fortune. And depending on which place you choose, you may be able to cash your cashier’s check for free.

Bank of Origin

You can visit the issuing bank or credit union listed on the cashier’s check. It usually appears on the left-hand sign below the line designated for the long-form amount of the check.

Depending on the bank, a nominal check-cashing fee may apply. (Note: you should expect to pay a fee if you don’t have an account). Furthermore, prepare to present a valid form of identification, like a driver’s license, passport, or state-issued ID card, so that the bank can confirm your identity. But you’ll have the funds right away if they’re available in the account.

This option may also be worth considering even if you have a bank account but prefer not to wait to access your funds.

See also: How to Cash a Check without ID

Major Retailers and Grocery Stores

Many big-box retailers and grocery stores offer convenient check-cashing services that do not require you to make a purchase. However, be prepared to pay a small percentage of the check’s amount or a flat fee for the service.

Walmart, for instance, provides check-cashing for various types of checks including payroll, government, tax refunds, cashier’s, insurance settlements, and retirement disbursement checks. Walmart has a limit of $5,000 per check, with a maximum fee of $6.00.

Kmart also offers check-cashing services, although it’s restricted to Shop Your Way members. They can handle payroll checks and two-party checks, with a limit of $5,000 for single-party checks and $500 for two-party checks, with the highest fee capped at $1.

Other large retailers like Target or Costco, as well as local supermarkets such as Kroger or Safeway, might also provide check-cashing services. These venues often have financial service centers with varying fees and types of accepted checks.

Convenience Stores

Convenience stores are increasingly offering check-cashing services, making it easier to access your funds. For example, 7-Eleven has partnered with Refund Advantage to feature self-serve kiosks where checks can be cashed for a fee. These kiosks are generally accessible during store hours, and some locations offer 24/7 availability.

Other convenience store chains, such as Circle K and Speedway, also offer check-cashing services, typically through third-party providers like MoneyGram or Western Union. These services can be a quick solution when traditional options are closed or inconvenient.

Before using a convenience store for check cashing, it’s wise to verify the types of checks they accept, the fees charged, and the maximum allowable amounts. This will ensure that you choose the most cost-effective and convenient check-cashing option available.

Check Cashing Stores

You can also visit a check cashing store to swap out your cashier’s check for cash. These types of stores also sell money orders. Check cashing fees vary by location and brand, but expect to pay a flat fee plus a percentage of your check.

The funds will typically be issued at the time of your visit. But the representative will have to call the bank to confirm that you have an adequate balance to cover the check.

Open a Bank Account

Have you considered opening a checking account to cash your cashier’s check? This is a free way to cash the check. And depending on the amount, you can use the check to make the opening deposit. But, the hold time may be longer if you’re new to the bank or credit union.

What if you don’t qualify for a traditional checking account because of your poor banking history?

There are several options available to you. Some banks offer second chance banking to consumers with ChexSystems or Early Warning Services (EWS) reports.

In addition, there are some banks that don’t use ChexSystems, so you shouldn’t have any difficulty opening an account.

Prepaid Debit Card Accounts

If you prefer not to open a bank account or visit a check cashing service, you can buy a prepaid debit card and deposit the cashier’s check into the account to access funds.

Most prepaid debit cards, like NetSpend and Bluebird by American Express, allow you to make deposits from your smartphone. But you may have to wait until the check clears to make withdrawals or purchases.

How to Cash a Cashier’s Check Online

Some banks and credit unions allow you to deposit cashier’s checks online through their mobile apps. It’s basically the same process as depositing a personal check.

To deposit the cashier’s check, open your mobile banking app and select the “Deposit” option. You’ll be asked to enter some information about the check, like the amount and the account number it’s drawn on. You’ll also need to provide a photo of the front and back of the check.

Once you’ve entered all the information and submitted the cashier’s check for deposit, you’ll typically receive notification that the deposit has been accepted, and the money is available. Depending on your bank or credit union’s policies, you may be able to access the funds immediately, or you may have to wait a few days.

When you deposit a cashier’s check online, it’s important to keep the original check in a safe place until you receive confirmation that the funds have been credited to your account. This will help you if the check is returned for any reason.

Choosing the Right Place to Cash Your Check

The choice of where to cash your cashier’s check comes down to how urgently you need access to the funds and the costs you are prepared to incur. With a checking account, you can cash cashier’s checks without fees, and many checks can be cashed immediately without lengthy holds.

Without a checking account, you may want to open one or get a prepaid card. While these methods can be economical, if you need immediate access to cash, you might opt to visit the issuing bank, a local check cashing store, or retail outlets that provide check cashing services. These places typically offer quick access to your money, but often at a cost.

What to Do If Your Cashier’s Check Is Returned

When you deposit a cashier’s check, you might initially see the amount credited to your balance; however, this does not necessarily mean the funds are immediately available for withdrawal. This temporary credit allows you to continue with transactions like debit card purchases and electronic funds transfers, pending the check’s clearance.

But what happens if the cashier’s check fails to clear or is returned due to insufficient funds from the issuer? In such cases, not only will the credited amount be withdrawn from your balance, but you may also face the financial burden of any overdraft fees if the account falls below zero as a result. So, be sure to manage your spending carefully after depositing a cashier’s check until you’re certain the funds have fully cleared.

Bottom Line

Whether you’re a banked or unbanked consumer, there are several ways to cash a cashier’s check and access the funds you need without pulling your hair out. However, you’ll probably have to pay a small fee if you don’t have an account at a financial institution.

But if you cash checks often and are getting fed up with paying fees, it may be worthwhile to explore checking account options. Even if you’re in ChexSystems or EWS for poor banking issues, there may be low-cost second chance banking options available to you.

Allison Martin
Meet the author

Allison Martin is a syndicated financial writer, author, and Certified Financial Education Instructor (CFEI). She has written about personal finance for almost ten years and holds a master's degree in Accounting from the University of South Florida.