In the age of Venmo, PayPal, and CashApp, it may seem like personal checks are going out of style.
However, they are still a widely accepted and popular form of payment.
Though it may be obvious to cash your personal checks at your local bank, there are several other places where you can cash a check if your bank is closed, if you are not nearby, or you do not have an account.
Keep reading to find out eleven places to cash your personal check.
Where Can I Cash A Personal Check?
1. Your Bank
This is perhaps the most obvious and easiest answer.
Since you already have an account here, all you will need is a deposit slip with your signed personal check.
Free check cashing is probably already one of the benefits included with your account.
You can take it inside to the front desk, or if available, send it through the drive-thru window.
If your bank is a chain like Charles Schwab or Bank of America, there is the added convenience of being able to submit your personal check at any location in the country.
If you have a personal bank account, chances are that you have also signed up for online banking.
If you have your bank’s app on your smartphone, you can probably deposit your checks from the comfort of your home.
To do this, first, endorse the check by signing it on the back.
Then, open your bank’s app.
Usually, there is a button for a “deposit.”
You will have to enter the amount of the deposit, and then take a clear photo of the front and back of your check.
It is best to take these photos on a dark surface so there is a clear contrast between the background of the image and the check.
Do not throw your check away until your deposit has been processed and approved because it usually takes one to three days.
Sometimes, there is a problem with the server or with your deposit photos, so be sure to hold onto your personal check just in case.
Depositing your check from a mobile phone is one of the most convenient, cost-effective ways to cash a personal check.
2. Local Credit Union
Credit unions are member-owned (unlike banks) and offer a lot of the same services that banks do, such as checking accounts, savings accounts, business accounts, auto loans, custom loans, home loans, and certificates of deposit.
If your bank’s fees are too high, you might find lower fees at a credit union.
They may have lower minimum balances, sometimes just $5, that can help you avoid overdraft fees.
Though you might miss the customer service experience offered at banks, you’ll also have lower fees, lower loan rates, exclusive membership, more lending flexibility, and of course, another place to cash a personal check.
3. The Issuing Bank
If you do not have a bank account, you can visit the bank of the person or business who wrote you the check.
This could be the easiest and cheapest option if you do not have your own account.
Since banks often have a higher cashing limit, this is a good choice if you have a large amount of money to deposit.
You can find the name of the issuing bank in the bottom left corner of the check, beneath the memo.
If it is a popular bank, chances are that there is a location near you.
Since this is not your bank, you will have to bring an ID with you to verify your identity.
The teller will also have to check if there are adequate funds available to withdraw the money for you.
There are varying policies for non-customer check cashing.
It is possible that you will be charged a fee since you do not have an account with that bank.
It is wise to call the bank or credit union beforehand to check the fee.
Some standard fees are as follows: $0 for checks below $50, $7 to $10 for checks above $50, 10% of the check balance, or $7 per check regardless of balance.
It is also possible to receive a prepaid debit card instead of cash for the balance of the check deposit.
You should try to use this money quickly to make sure it does not expire.
Some of these cards also charge extra fees at ATMs or in international locations.
Walmart is known for its incredible conveniences, but many do not know that Walmart also offers check-cashing services.
More than 90% of Americans live within 15 minutes of a Walmart, so if you’re in the United States and need to cash a check, there is a very high chance that you will be able to receive your funds at a Walmart that is not far from your house and is also open late.
It is especially convenient to cash your checks at Walmart if you do your shopping there anyway because it eliminates an extra stop.
You can also use your newly acquired funds as some grocery money!
Please note that Walmart does not allow you to cash personal checks over $200.
Walmart charges fees for its check cashing service.
The fees include $4 for checks up to $1,000 and $8 for checks over that amount.
For businesses and organizations, you can only cash $5,000 worth of checks in a day.
This amount increases to $7,500 between January and April to account for Christmas gift money and tax refund checks.
You can receive your deposit in cash or via a Walmart MoneyCard.
Walmart waives the MoneyCard fee for payroll and government checks.
5. Grocery Stores
It depends on your grocery store because not all stores offer check cashing services.
To find out if your favorite grocery store participates, check with the customer service desk.
Some cash all checks, while others only accept checks from payroll companies, cashiers’ checks, and money orders.
In other words, they will only handle typed—not handwritten—checks.
Others do not cash checks at all.
There is a large issue of money fraud with handwritten personal checks, so many grocers that once participated in check cashing have since opted out of offering the service.
Some national grocers that still offer check cashing include Albertson’s, Kmart, Kroger, Publix, Safeway, WinCo, and Winn-Dixie.
Depending on the store and the amount of the check, the grocery store might cash your check for free.
This is more likely if you accept cash instead of credit for your check.
Every store has a different policy.
Some charge a 2% fee of the balance or $6 per check.
It is important to check with the store about their fees and policies before cashing your personal check.
6. Gas Station Travel Centers
Unfortunately, this is not a service that many gas stations provide anymore due to the high rate of money fraud involving personal checks.
You will probably have more luck at truck stops or travel centers on the interstate.
Two chain travel centers that offer check cashing include Pilot Flying J and TravelCenters of America.
Since only some of their locations offer this service, you can check online or call ahead before making the stop.
If you purchase fuel from one of these places first, it is possible to get free check cashing within two hours of your fill-up.
You might come across a 7-Eleven at one of these facilities (or elsewhere in your travels).
Well, 7-Eleven doubles as a financial servicer if the location has a check-cashing kiosk where you can deposit checks or pay bills.
If you sign up for the Transact prepaid debit card through 7-Eleven, you can get rewards points, load cash or deposit checks directly onto your card, deposit personal checks through the mobile app, and avoid recurring transaction fees by just paying a flat rate of $5 per month.
7. Endorse Your Check To A Friend
This is one of the more cost-efficient options, especially if you do not have your own bank account.
To do this, take your personal check and turn it over.
On the back, write, “Pay to the order of [insert friend’s name].”
Sign the check underneath that.
Banks have varying policies for cashing third-party checks.
You should accompany your friend to complete the transaction, and bring a photo ID, because the bank may not accept the check without your presence, to avoid fraud.
Other banks require you to fill out a form that authorizes your friend to deposit the check on your behalf.
After filling out this form, you might not need to accompany your friend to the bank next time.
It is important to check which banks handle third-party personal checks before you go through the trouble of asking your friend to do it for you and writing their name on the back.
You can call ahead or check online beforehand.
Some banks that do not offer this service include Ally Bank, Discover Bank, and Regions.
8. Ingo Money
In the digital world, there are tons of ways to deposit your money online.
Ingo Money is one of the best apps for cashing personal checks.
You use Ingo Money in much the same way that you use your own bank’s mobile app for check deposits.
You endorse the back of the check and take clear photos of the front and back.
You can then decide how to redeem your money.
Ingo Money offers a lot of options such as a prepaid debit card, PayPal account, Amazon gift card, online bill pay for credit cards, or cash from a MoneyGram location.
You can receive the money instantly if you choose the debit card, PayPal account, or Amazon gift card.
You can also deposit your funds into a Chime account, a service that offers free ATM access and immediate availability of funds.
If you wish, you can allocate your money between multiple options.
You can cash checks on Ingo Money for balances between $5 and $5,000.
Of course, this convenient, flexible service comes at a cost.
Personal checks under $100 cost $5.
Ingo Money charges 5% of the balance for checks over $100.
If you want to avoid the fees, you can choose to wait ten days to receive the funds.
Though this limits you to only one of the deposit options, it is a more cost-efficient way to deposit your money.
PayPal is a huge financial transaction conglomerate, with deposit capabilities all over the world.
It partnered with First Century Bank and Ingo Money to allow check deposit capabilities.
Like other mobile apps and Ingo Money deposits, you will have to endorse the back of the check and take photos of the front and back.
After the check is successfully processed, you will be asked to write “VOID” across the check so that you know it has been deposited.
If you want your money immediately, you must pay a minimum $5 fee on all checks.
If you opt to wait for ten days to receive your money, there will not be a processing fee.
Check deposits can range from $5 to $5,000.
You can process up to $5,000 worth of checks per day or $15,000 per month.
If you have a PayPal debit card, you can withdraw the funds from any ATM.
Netspend is a prepaid debit card retailer that allows you to refill your balance and deposit checks online.
There is a mobile check load feature that users can use for personal checks.
To use it, users will need to have a Netspend prepaid debit card, and then download the latest version of the corresponding app.
There will be onscreen instructions to guide you through your deposit.
When finished, the money will be added to your Netspend debit card.
Standard processing is free.
If you want your funds immediately, there is a 5% fee (or a minimum of $5).
11. Green Dot
Green Dot is yet another prepaid debit card that offers mobile deposits within the app.
You can also reload your Green Dot debit card when by depositing personal checks at Walmart.
If you are willing to wait ten days to access your funds, there will be no transaction fee.
If you need your money sooner, there is a 4% fee for personal checks and a 1% fee for deposits originating from payroll companies or the federal government.
You can deposit checks from a minimum of $5 and a maximum of $2,500.
You can cash up to $5,000 worth of checks in a day and up to $10,000 in a month.
If you have a Green Dot debit card, you can order a checkbook to write your own personal checks.
Do’s And Don’ts And Alternatives
Avoid cashing checks at check cashing stores.
They sometimes do not accept personal checks anyway due to the risk of money fraud.
The ones that accept your handwritten checks may charge very high fees, up to 20%.
Some of these places also require the person who wrote the check to accompany you to the location, so it is not the most convenient option.
However, there are some decent check cashing store options, one of which is Ace Check Express.
They will cash your check if you bring a valid form of ID.
They do not list their fees online, so it might be a good idea to call ahead to find out what you will be charged for their check cashing service.
Another check cashing store with good reviews is Check into Cash, which has 1,000 locations in the U.S.
Again, it is always a good idea to check on the fees beforehand.
Some people opt to not open accounts affiliated with banks due to the hefty fees they can charge.
This means you will have to find another place to handle your checks.
Personal checks are a bit harder to cash because some places do not want to deal with them due to the risk of money fraud.
The good news is that there are plenty of options where you can deposit and receive your money, some of which you can access from the convenience of your home.
In fact, online services often have the lowest fees.
Just be sure to call ahead of time to make sure that they accept personal checks and ask what fees they charge.
Whatever you choose to do, there is a very good chance that you can cash your check within 15 minutes of your home.