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Receiving a check is nearly always a positive experience. The only caveat is that before using the money from the check, you must first cash it in. Although most establishments charge exorbitant fees to convert a check to cash, occasionally, cashing a check is free if you know where to search. So, in that case, where would be the best place near you where you could cash checks cheaply or for free?
The 6 Best places to cash in checks for free or next to nothing are below.
- Your local credit unions and local banks are one of the top choices for individuals looking for a free check cashing since you are already an existing client of theirs. Alternatively, many consumers find that cashing checks at the check giver’s bank is their preferred option since you will deal with their bank directly and may receive no fees or avoid high fees.
- Local retailers are often one of the best low-cost options for individuals miles away from banks. Furthermore, one of the popular choices, Walmart, offers a wide range of checks to cash in.
- If transportation is difficult to come by, opting to use check-cashing apps is a straightforward option for many. Although many apps have high rates, there are few that charge prices similar to banks and may not even charge any fees under certain conditions.
- Gas stations with travel centers frequently have check-cashing services that may be free if you spend in-store. Although many gas stations don’t deal with checks, 7-Eleven still has alternative ways to cash checks with their low-cost third-party app.
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Checks were the standard method of payment until credit cards became widely used. Checks are still a reasonably popular method of sending and exchanging money, despite many businesses no longer accepting them.
One of the key benefits of utilizing checks is that you may make purchases without carrying a lot of cash or precise change. Because of this, utilizing checks is significantly simpler than using cash. However, finding a means to reduce the cost or even cashing it in for free is not always straightforward. And that’s where this list comes in.
So, starting with your local credit union or bank near you, here are some of the best places to cash in your check to maximize your money.
1. Your Local Credit Union Or Local Bank
Any bank or credit union you created an account at is your best bet for free check cashing. It is because account-holders typically don’t pay anything to cash checks at most institutions. Additionally, after depositing the cheque, you can withdraw cash.
On the other hand, you could not gain access to the total value of the check, depending on the sort of check you’re cashing and your bank’s “funds availability” policy. However, receiving around $200 is usually permitted.
It could be worthwhile to create a bank account if you don’t already have one. It is feasible to exist without a bank account, but doing so requires more effort and ingenuity.
Only if you cannot create an account will being bankless make sense. You can use a check you already have to create your first account, especially if you anticipate receiving additional checks in the future. When it comes to cheks, you can save a lot of time and effort by opening an account.
You could have more possibilities than you think for cashing your check if you belong to a credit union. Thousands of shared branching sites exist around the nation, allowing you to cash checks at credit unions you aren’t a member of, and if you are looking for your local bank near you, try searching for them through this online bank locator.
2. The Bank Of The Checkwriter
Another choice is to take the check to the bank where the money was drawn to cash it. In other words, visit the financial institution where the check’s author has an account. For instance, you can stroll into a branch and ask for cash if the check is drawn from a Bank of America account.
Furthermore, look for the name of a bank or credit union in the lower-left corner of your check to find out which bank issued it. Then use the online bank locator to pinpoint the closest branch near you.
Things operate in a different manner if you’re dealing with a check that the government issued. The checks should be simpler to cash at banks and retail establishments because they are considered safe checks, even though you can’t just stroll into the U.S. Treasury to get cash.
Remember that not all banks run in the same way. Even if you go to the bank where the money was taken from, there are times when it costs money to cash a check. So it won’t hurt to stop by and ask if you have the patience and time.
Additionally, banks may impose fees on people who are not clients, so be sure to find out the price before you proceed. Finally, you can try other banks if you can’t get to a branch of the check writer’s bank (banks at which neither you nor the checkwriter has an account).
Finding someone who will cash a check, though, could be difficult, and you’ll be lucky to have it done for nothing. But, yet again, you may always inquire to find out which one offers the lowest fees – especially if it is a big check.
3. You Can Cash Your Check At A Nearby Retailer
In the event that banks are not an option or if you intend to go shopping regardless, you may be able to cash your check at a nearby merchant. Some people might do it for free, but most shops will charge something.
They occasionally give a store credit, which may be a decent choice if you currently frequent their store for necessities like food. Again, the shop will benefit since consumers will have more money in their pockets and may spend more than they would have otherwise.
However, among the numerous disadvantages is the significant possibility of check fraud and faulty checks. To reduce their risks, some merchants restrict the types of checks they’ll cash, such as payroll checks, cashiers’ checks, and money orders.
Every business has a different cashing policy, so you should quickly stop by the customer service desk to get the information you need to make your choice. Below are some of the best examples from which retailers to choose.
Walmart is one of this list’s most accessible and international check cashing locations. Nearly 90% of Americans, who have access to more than 5,000 Walmart shops, reside within 15 miles of one. Walmart also has a store locator on its website.
Additionally, Walmart charges modest costs of $4 for checks up to $1,000 and $8 above that amount. This cost is precisely in line with those levied by most big banks. So if you stay around the corner from a Walmart and miles away from a bank, from a gas consumption perspective, Walmart may be the cheaper option.
The fact that Walmart offers a variety of alternatives is its most considerable perk for check cashing. For instance, you can receive a Walmart Money card that can be reloaded or just cash back. Walmarts check cashing options include:
- Payroll checks
- Tax checks
- Pre-printed checks
- Government checks
- Cashiers’ checks
- And more
Each day, you can cash up to $5,000. From January through April, the daily cashing limit rises to $7,500 to accommodate holiday cash and tax return cheques. However, some Walmart money centers only take personal checks up to $200.
5. A Nearby Grocery Store
It’s inconsistent whether grocery stores provide check cashing services. To learn more, you must contact their customer service desk. Some businesses might only accept money orders, cashiers’ checks, and payroll checks.
Instead of being scribbled using a pen, these checks are printed. Unfortunately, check fraud deters many businesses from cashing personal checks. However, a small number of grocery stores still accept handwritten personal cheques.
For example, checks can be cashed for less than $1 each if there is a Kmart in your area and you are a member of their Shop Your Way Rewards Program. Although they accept fewer types of checks than Walmart, the price is lower. Bring your personal checks up to $500 or your payroll and government check up to $2,000 with you. Besides from Kmart, other grocery stores that can still cash checks include:
6. Various Apps Can Cash A Check At Low Fees
There are several online choices if you don’t have a bank account but an internet connection or a smartphone. PayPal and Ingo Money are the two most well-known applications that don’t need to be tied to a bank account, with the ease of accessing them right from your sofa.
You may deposit practically any type of check using Ingo money, including handwritten personal checks. Simply sign the check, then snap pictures of the front and back to endorse it. The funds will be sent to the designated location once the check has been accepted.
The Ingo Money App is a popular option for cashing payroll checks. When registering, you must attach a minimum of one debit card, prepaid card, credit card, or PayPal account to your user profile. Next, take a picture of the check on the app, select the time and location you wish to collect the money, then submit the check for approval to cash it.
There are several methods to get at your money using Ingo, including:
- Pick up cash at a MoneyGram store
- Prepaid debit card
- PayPal account
- Amazon gift card
The costs for Ingo, though, might pile up rapidly. Payroll and government checks cost $5 apiece. In addition, you must pay a 2 percent charge if the sum exceeds $250. It implies that you will pay $20 for a $1,000 cheque and will be charged a 5% fee for all other checks.
The costs are just somewhat better using PayPal. Payroll checks and government checks will cost you 1% each, while all other checks will cost you 5%. The money may be transferred to a prepaid debit card, which can then be used to withdraw cash from most ATMs.
However, there is a way to skip the fees from both these apps. If you’re prepared to wait ten days to access the cash with any of the two online programs, you may avoid incurring these costs.
7. 7-Eleven And Travel Centers
Most gas stations no longer accept any personal checks. It makes no difference if the check is handwritten, from your company, or government-issued.
That said, it is too big of a possibility of check fraud. One of the rare gas stations that still cash checks is 7-Eleven. However, many users claim that the Trans@ct By 7-Eleven app is the most acceptable option. With this app, you may pay a check by snapping a photo of it on your phone.
The balance of most checks is put into your reloadable 7-Eleven prepaid card within 48 hours to clear. In addition, the card can be used in most retail and online establishments where Debit MasterCard is accepted.
However, the check-cashing costs charged by 7-Eleven may differ from store to store. The cost is typically 0.99 percent of the check’s total amount. However, you should review the policies of your particular store.
The travel centers (truck stops) you come across when traveling down the interstate, on the other hand, are where you will have the best luck if you can find any 7-Elevens nearby.
Dedicated refueling lanes for semi-trucks are available at a travel center, which also takes private automobiles. Unfortunately, only a handful of their locations accept checks, so you’ll either have to try your luck or call the nearest site in advance. Two full-service travel center companies to try are:
Regarding fees, each travel center offers similar rates to that of Banks, but with unique conditions to reviewing no fees attached. For example, If you purchase fuel within two hours after cashing your check, you may be eligible for free check cashing. While with others, they may waive the fee if you spend a particular amount in-store or on gas.
8. Through Your Employer
Finally, although payroll cards and direct deposit are standard methods for firms to pay their employees, some employers may still use physical checks. If this is the case, the establishment you work for could be willing to cash your check for you, for a charge, or for free.
For instance, if you work at a grocery shop or other establishment that deals in cash, they may be able to cash your check immediately. So inquiring with your employer to cash your check for you won’t do any harm.
Check to cash is subject to several restrictions and regulations; hence most employers do not provide this service. But some do; as long as the checks are payroll checks, there is no daily cap on the amount that an employer can cash.
As long as you don’t cash more than $1,000 in non-payroll checks every day, employers can also cash them. Anything more than that would make them a recognized “check casher” and subject to banking rules.
Where Would The Place To Cash Your Check Be?
A cheque should always be cashed at your own bank. As a result, you may avoid the unnecessary and high fees of check-cashing businesses and retain your money with you by cashing a check where you already have a bank account.
Can You Use A Friend To Cash Your Checks?
You can sign your cheque to a friend or relative so they can deposit it at their own bank. However, you will need to write “Pay to the Order of (friend or relatives full name)” on the back of the cheque.
After that, sign it and get your money from them. Most of the time, your friend’s bank will happily accept this third-party check, but some may want you to go to the bank with your peer and fill out a form as a fraud prevention step.
What Places Do Not Accept Checks?
Unexpectedly, neither Costco, Sam’s Club, nor B.J.’s Wholesale accepts personal or business checks. Like it sounds, they should be providing it to their members; however, they are not, as of this writing. Trader Joe’s, Target, ALDI, and Whole Foods are further retailers that do not offer check-cashing.