How to cash a check in 4 simple steps? Tips, options & more

Adam Rozsa

Checks might be less popular these days, but it still can be useful to write and receive checks from time to time, especially when transferring large sums of cash. If you don’t know how to cash a check, you’re in luck – this guide will break down exactly how to cash a check anytime you need to.

Alternatively, you can try Wise if you are looking for a more convenient way for both sending and receiving money. With Wise, you can make instantaneous money transfers all over the world via an easy-to-use platform – all without leaving your house.

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How to cash a check: Step-by-step

  1. Either visit a major retailer or brick-and-mortar bank location. If you have a regular bank, you can visit one of your bank’s branches or ATMs. Alternatively, your bank’s mobile app may have a mobile check deposit method.

  2. Now you need to endorse the check, which means signing the back of the check on the indicated line. Do not write anything else below that line, as it may render the check void. Endorse the check only after you are at your deposit location. This protects the check from being cashed against your will if it is stolen.

  3. Give the check to a bank teller or retail clerk with identification, like your driver’s license.

  4. Depending on where you go, the check value will either be deposited into your bank account (if you visit a bank where you have an account) or be handed to you in cash. You can tell the bank teller or retail clerk to leave the value in your bank account if you like.

Before you cash a check

Before you cash a check

There are a few things you need to in mind before cashing a check. You need to make sure the check is legitimate, as trying to cash a fake check can get you in trouble¹ or even result in you owing bank fees.

To verify if a check is legitimate:

  • Call the bank that issued the check to verify that the check’s amount is available on the associated account.

  • Deposit the check, but wait a few days to a few weeks before spending money from it to make sure the funds are deposited into your account.

  • If you’re still not sure if the check is legitimate, in any case, it’s best to visit the check writer’s bank in person and verify the check with them.

Where can you cash a check?

You can cash a check in a variety of locations, including:

  • A bank or credit union where you have an account. Keep in mind that your bank or credit union may have a policy that prevents you from receiving all of your funds immediately while they verify if the check is legitimate.

  • The bank or other financial institution that issued the check in the first place

  • Retail stores or large grocery stores like Walmart

  • Payday loan stores

  • Online through check cashing services like PayPal, Venmo or Ingo Money

💡 To save money and avoid high fees, it’s probably best to go to your bank. Locations like the check writer’s bank, retail stores or check cashing stores typically higher fees for cashing a check.

Cash or deposit a check?

Keeping a lot of cold hard cash in your pocket may not be the best idea, especially if you don’t plan to use it anytime soon. When cashing a check, it’s often best to keep most or all of the sum in your checking account until you need cash, at which time you can withdraw as much as you need from an ATM using your debit card or bank teller window.

Try Wise – A safe and easy way to transfer money

While checks are generally a convenient way of sending and receiving money, there might be some alternatives which can make your experience even better.

For example, through Wise, you can easily receive and send money without leaving your home. Just open a Wise account to send and receive money in a fast and convenient way from all around the world.

Furthermore, you can even link your Wise account to credit card providers, PayPal, a U.S. bank, and other services. Wise is also a user-friendly option for paying bills, automating debt payments, and more.

Best of all, signing up is free and easy, and it takes just a couple of minutes.

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All sources checked on 20 May 2021

This publication is provided for general information purposes only and is not intended to cover every aspect of the topics with which it deals. It is not intended to amount to advice on which you should rely. You must obtain professional or specialist advice before taking, or refraining from, any action on the basis of the content in this publication. The information in this publication does not constitute legal, tax or other professional advice from Wise Payments Limited or its affiliates. Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome. We make no representations, warranties or guarantees, whether express or implied, that the content in the publication is accurate, complete or up to date.

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