Where can I cash a check? Your 5 best options nearby

Adam Rozsa

With the world moving towards digital banking, auto-deposits, and auto-drafts, physical checks are becoming less and less common. However, there are still some occasions when you might need to cash a check—and it’s good to know where you can actually do this.

So, in this article, we’ll show you where you can cash a check: as there are some differences when it comes to fees, we listed all the possibilities for you—to be able to make an informed choice.

And if you’re not interested in opening a bank account, but still want the convenience of online banking, check out Wise. It’s an easy and safe way to manage, send, and receive money.

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📝 Table of contents

Where can you cash a check?

You have the physical check in hand and need to know where to go. Let’s look at your options.

1. Your Bank or Credit Union

Your own bank is the best option if you want to cash a check. When you have an account, there are usually no fees—based on the amount of the check—and some banks even offer the option to cash a check at an ATM.

Credit unions are another solid option as you’ll get the same perks as a bank, but with lower fees all around.

With a bank or credit union, you might not receive all the funds immediately based on your bank’s policy—they’ll deposit the rest in your account when available. But at least there are typically no fees and lots of convenience in the process.

Are you without a bank account?

It’s a bit more tricky to cash a check without a bank account, but you have options.

Whether you have an account or not, you must endorse the check. Cashing a check requires two signatures: one from the person that wrote the check and another from the person receiving the check. The endorsement area for the person receiving the funds is located on the back of the check.

Endorse the check

After endorsing the check, it’s possible to sign the check over to a friend or relative who has an account with the bank or credit union. From there, the bank will cash the check, and they can give you the funds.

Simply sign the check in the endorsement area and then write ‘pay the order of’ with the friend or family member’s first and last names. Check with the bank before going with this option as some banks won’t cash a check that’s been signed over to someone else.

2. The bank which issued the check

Another option is to go to the bank that issued the check. This is usually the cheapest option beyond your personal bank, but there’s still a fee sometimes.

You’ll generally pay around $7 - $8 to cash the check from an issuing bank in the US. However, some charge a percentage that can cut deep into the amount on the check, so review the bank’s fee policy for non-customers before cashing.

The bank logo and address information should be located just below the check amount line. From there, you can find a local branch of that bank, endorse the check, and cash it there.

Supermarkets or Retail Stores

3. Supermarkets or Retail Stores

If you’re in a rush and willing to pay a small fee, some retail outlets and many grocery stores offer check cashing services. Simply visit the service desk and show a valid ID, and they’ll cash almost any type of check—some won’t cash a personal check.

For example, Kroger cashes checks up to $5,000 and even offers a discount on the fee if you’re a member.¹

Can I cash a check at Walmart?

Yes, Walmart is one of the most popular options in the US for check cashing. They’ll cash many types of checks including:

  • Pre-printed checks
  • Tax Checks
  • Payroll checks
  • Retirement checks
  • Cashier’s checks
  • Insurance checks
  • Two-party personal checks
💡 Walmart's fees and amount limitations vary by state, but most stores will cash checks up to $7,500 from January through April and then $5,000 for the rest of the year. On checks up to $1,000 the max fee is $4 and above $1,000 the max fee is $8.²

What stores will cash a check?

Here’s a shortlist of retail stores and supermarkets that will cash a check, but there are many more out there.

  • Albertsons
  • Winn-Dixie
  • H-E-B
  • Hy-Vee
  • Kmart
  • Kroger
  • Publix
  • Stop & Shop
  • Walmart
  • WinCo

4. Payday Loan Stores

There are many Payday Loan Stores in the US who will also cash a check, but this might not be the best option. These check cashing stores often don’t list the fees on their website and charge a percentage of the check amount.

In a percentage scenario, retail or grocery stores are always a better option to save money. For example, even at 1%, cashing a $2,500 check would cost you $25. Why pay that much when Walmart charges a fee of $8 max, and Kroger would charge a fee $7 with a membership card?

5. Online

To be clear, if you want to cash your check and get cold-hard cash in your hand, then you’ll need to go to a physical location.

However, there are online check cashing options available—like PayPal, Venmo, and Ingo Money. These three companies offer online check cashing services on checks between $5 and $5,000.

With these services, simply download their app on your smartphone and navigate to the check cashing option. From there, endorse the check, enter the amount into the app, and then it will prompt you to take a photo of the front and back of the check.

After that, your money will be available in 10 days with no fee on your PayPal account, Venmo account or on a prepaid debit card. You also have the option to get the funds instantly by paying the fees listed in the table.

PayPal1% for payroll and government checks and 5% for all other checks with a minimum of $5³
Venmo1% for payroll and government checks and 5% for all other checks with a minimum of $5⁴
Ingo MoneyFor the first six checks:
    $5 on checks $250 or less and 2% over $250 on payroll or government checks.⁴

    $5 on checks $100 or less and 5% over $100 on all other checks.⁴

Beyond six checks cashed within 90 days:
    $5 on checks $500 or less and 1% over $500 on payroll or government checks.⁵

    $5 on checks $125 or less and 4% over $125 on all other checks.⁵

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Requirements to cash a check

Requirements to cash a check

Most banks and check cashing services require that you provide one to two forms of identification with a picture ID. Your driver's license, government-issued ID, and/or passport will all work.

How long do you have to cash a check?

Banks are only legally required to cash a check—personal or payroll—for up to six months.⁶ Beyond that, they can deny cashing it, or they might contact the account holder to make sure the funds are in place to cover the check.

If you’re trying to cash an older check, it’s a good idea to check with the person first as you don’t want them to be hit with an overdraft fee on an account that’s short of funds.

US Treasury checks are good for up to 1 year, but you can request a new check from whichever agency issued the check.⁷

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  1. Kroger - Check Cashing
  2. Walmart - Check and Card Cashing
  3. PayPal - How do I use the Cash a Check service in the PayPal app?
  4. Venmo - Cash a Check FAQ
  5. Ingo Money - Benefits & Fees
  6. Government Printing Office - Uniform Commercial Code Statute 77
  7. US Treasury - Treasury Manual Ch. 7000

*Please see terms of use and product availability for your region or visit Wise fees and pricing for the most up to date pricing and fee information.

This publication is provided for general information purposes and does not constitute legal, tax or other professional advice from Wise Payments Limited or its subsidiaries and its affiliates, and it is not intended as a substitute for obtaining advice from a financial advisor or any other professional.

We make no representations, warranties or guarantees, whether expressed or implied, that the content in the publication is accurate, complete or up to date.

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