Your step-by-step guide to cash a check

If you are depositing your check at your bank, you usually will not have to pay anything for it. Most banks offer this as a free service, part of your checking account.
cash a check
Your step-by-step guide to cash a check
Checks are commonly used even today to make payments. So, if someone pays you using a check, how can you encash it without paying a large fee for it? Read on to find out more on how you can do this in simple ways.

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If you do maintain an account with a bank, you can cash the check either through the bank’s mobile app, directly with the teller at your bank’s branch, or through an ATM machine.  Doing this with your bank is the easiest and cheapest way since it usually is a free service. If you do not have a bank account, you can cash the check at a retailer that offers this service. 

Is there a fee for cashing a check?

If you are depositing your check at your bank, you usually will not have to pay anything for it. Most banks offer this as a free service, part of your checking account. If you don’t have an account and have to cash it at a retailer, you will have to pay a small fee based on the encashing amount. 

What are the various places I can cash a check?

Here are the various places you can cash your check:

At the bank or credit union: There are two cases here. You can encash the check at the bank or credit union mentioned on the check or at the bank in which you have an account. If you do not have an account, the bank may charge you a fee to encash it. 

At a retailer that offers this service: Large retailers like Walmart and Kmart offer check deposit services. They usually charge a small fee for this, depending on the amount being cashed. This fee is usually a maximum of $10. 

Using retailer prepaid debit cards: A few major retailers like Walmart and 7-Eleven allow you to cash the check on their prepaid debit cards. You can load the check amount onto the card and then withdraw the amount later at one of the stores. The check amount determines the fee charged.

Payday lending store: This should be an option you should usually avoid since these stores charge you a large percentage of the check amount. The best would be to go to a bank or retailer. 

How to Cash a Check Without a Bank Account 

If you do not have a bank account, here’s how you can deposit your check:

  • Go to the payer’s bank or a retailer. The payer’s bank’s name will be printed on the check. Go to a branch of that bank or visit a retailer that offers check cashing services. Walmart is one such retailer. 
  • Before you deposit the check, make sure you sign on the backside. This space will usually have an indicator showing you where to sign. 
  • When you present the check, the bank’s teller or the retailer will ask you to show a valid and authorized ID. Simply show your ID and collect your cash.

How to cash a check if you have a bank account 

If you have a bank account, follow the steps given below to cash your check: 

  • Simply go up to your bank or your bank’s ATM to deposit it. If your bank allows you to encash it through its mobile app, it is even more convenient. 
  • Sign the check on the backside before handing it in for encashing. 
  • Your bank’s teller may ask you for ID, so be ready to present an authorized and valid ID. 
  • The teller will deposit the check amount into your account first. After this, you can withdraw the money if you want. 

All said and done, the best way to cash or deposit your check is to get a checking account with a bank. In such cases, all you have to do is to walk into one of your bank’s branches and deposit the check. Or use an ATM or the bank’s app to load your check into your account. However, do keep in mind that you may not be able to access your funds right away. It usually takes a day or two for the check to be cleared and the amount to reflect in your account. 

Also, to keep enjoying this free service, make sure you maintain a good relationship with your bank. Ensure that all dues are paid on time and that you maintain good standing. This will prevent the bank from blocking your account. A blocked account cannot accept checks. 

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Johnathan James

Johnathan James

With over 11 years of experience, Johnathan started his writing career as a copywriter. Coming from a finance and management background, he excels in covering financial topics. When he's not spurning out fintech content, you will find him playing football, basketball and racing.

This page is purely informational. Beem does not provide financial, legal or accounting advice. This article has been prepared for informational purposes only. It is not intended to provide financial, legal or accounting advice and should not be relied on for the same. Please consult your own financial, legal and accounting advisors before engaging in any transactions.

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