Banking 101: How to Cash a Check Without Going to the Bank
Note: This article is part of our Basic Banking series, designed to provide new savers with the key skills to save smarter.
With digital banking and peer-to-peer payment services on the rise, it can come as a surprise that people still pay each other using paper checks. For many, receiving a check may be an unusual experience, leading to the inevitable question: What to do with the thing?
The good news is that in this day and age, there’s no reason to stand in line at the bank to cash a check. You have many options to gain access to that money and cash it without going to the bank.
Use mobile check deposit
This is the best option for those who do most of their banking digitally and tend to stay away from cash. Most banks now have apps that allow you to take a picture of a check and deposit it into your account virtually.
Your bank’s policies and the size of the check will determine how quickly you have access to the money, but for relatively small amounts it may be immediate — the only catch is that you must have a bank account to use this option.
Load it onto a prepaid card
One way to get money from a check is to deposit it onto a prepaid debit card, which you can then use to access the cash at an ATM or to make purchase. Get a prepaid card associated with a mobile app that allows you to deposit a check using your phone so you can capture the check onto the card easily. But be aware that there may well be fees both for initiating the card and for the mobile-deposit service, especially if you want access to the money quickly.
Endorse the check to a friend
A tried-and-true method of getting cash out of a check is to endorse it over to a friend who is willing to deposit it into their bank account. Endorse the check on the back with “pay to the order of [your friend’s name]” and then sign your name underneath. Your friend will be able to sign below to endorse it for deposit, and their bank will treat it as a normal check deposit with no fees; your friend can then pass on the fee-free cash value to you. This is a free and easy way to cash a check, but be aware of how doing business transactions with friends may impact your relationships.
Cash a check at a retailer, but beware of fees
Some major retailers provide check-cashing services to their customers, either for free or for a low fee. For example, Walmart cashes checks up to $5,000 for a fee ranging from $4 to $8, while Kmart cashes checks up to $2,000, with a fee ranging from 50-cent to $1 in certain states.
Retailers that don’t provide the service themselves sometimes partner with third-party providers to offer the service in their stores. For example, a variety of major grocery chains such as Kroger, Ralph’s and QFC provide check cashing to customers via a partner company called Money Services.
Go to a check-cashing store as a last resort
If all else fails, you can find a store that will exchange your check for cash for a very high fee. That fee is likely calculated as a percentage of the check amount — and some may also add a flat fee in addition to that. Check-cashing establishments include Moneytree, ACE Cash Express, Check Cashing USA, United Check Cashing, CFSC, Check Into Cash, The Check Cashing Store and Money Mart, among many others. This is a very expensive way to get access to your money.
There are many options for those who find themselves in possession of a check and want to avoid the bank. While you should be on the lookout for fees, know that you can cash a check with no or low fees in various ways.
Or if feeling lazy, mail it to said bank. Done.
Some people even put mail in their own mail boxes and raise the flag on the box indicating mail that's going out.
Lastly, you have some dishonest postal workers. The post office also uses many temps.
Bad idea, he/she will give you cash for an instrument that can create headache to your friend, some friend you are.
Chase does not cashes third party checks and if they let you deposit it, it will be a long hold put on it and his/her fingerprints will be taken like being a criminal. Meanwhile, your friend's money are on hold for the amount of the check and they already withdrew the money and paid you for the check in advance.
What if the check bounces (some checks are endorsed only to the original name on the check), goodbye friendship for ever.
If you like your friend, never ever try tricks like this, it will bring an end to the relationship forever.
Although they are allowed to cash/deposit third-party checks, banks are not required to. Most banks will only do it for properly vetted commercial customers like check- cashing stores. Some might allow individual consumers to deposit a third-party check with management approval if the original payee accompanies the depositor in person and presents an ID, In modern times, banks that will allow unrestricted third-party check deposit for consumers are rare.
Don't endorse a check over to someone else unless the other party has first confirmed with their bank that they will accept the check or else you may be stuck with a check that the other person cannot cash/deposit.
Teaching the young to become lazy and dishonest, no wonder this country is going down the hill very fast.
I would recommend this article to NOBODY.