Several options exist for cashing checks cheaply or even for free.
Although not as many checks are being issued nowadays as in previous years, many people still rely on them for payment. If you still cash checks regularly, you’ll want to find the cheapest option for having them processed – otherwise you’ll find yourself losing a lot of money to check processing fees over time.
Here are some of the most affordable – and even free – options for getting your checks cashed:
1. The Issuing Bank or Credit Union
If there’s a branch of the check writer’s bank that’s nearby or a credit union, you may be able to cash your check there. In most cases, you should be able to get it cashed free of charge or at a very minimal fee this way. You’ll need to produce valid photo ID and ensure that your check has been appropriately endorsed before it will be cashed though.
2. Local Stores
One of the most convenient options for getting your checks cashed affordably is to take them to stores like Walmart, Kroger, Walgreens and many other big box stores. Walmart will usually be able to cash checks of up to $5,000 in value while charging a minimal fee of around $3 to process it for you. The fee may increase when larger checks are being cashed though, so always inquire beforehand if you’re unsure.
3. Through an App
Nowadays, you can even get your checks cashed by using an app such as PayPal, CashApp or IngoMoney.
These apps work by having you take photos of the back and front of your checks and uploading them to the app, along with entering the face value of the check you intend cashing. The app will determine whether your check is valid or not, and if it is, you’ll be able to access your funds virtually immediately if needed.
When using these apps to cash your checks, you will be charged a fee if you need immediate access to your funds. However, no fees will be charged if you’re willing to wait the standard 10 days to access your money. Fees may be percentage based and could rise according to the face value of the check that is being processed.
Before attempting to cash any check, ensure that it is not post-dated and that it has not been altered or damaged in any way. All text on the check must also be 100% legible, especially if you intend using a check-cashing app to access your funds.