In today’s technology-driven world most people pay for things using a credit card or a debit card. Sometimes, people will even go old school and use cash. But there are those situations that get really, really, old school and someone pays you with a paper check.
Most employers don’t even pay with paper checks anymore, instead opting for direct deposit right to a bank account for you. But there are situations where you do some work for someone and they pay you using a paper check. Now you have to worry about the check cashing, where to go and how to get access to your money.
If you have a bank account, you could deposit the check. Yet, not everyone has a traditional bank account anymore and maybe you want access to the funds right away.
Are you wondering what check cashing places you could use to cash a check and get your money right away? Read on to learn about check cashing locations with the lowest fees possible.
Check Cashing Places Near Me
You have a few goals in mind. Mostly, you want your check cashed. You want it to be convenient so the place is close by and easy to access.
You also don’t want to pay an enormous fee to get access to your funds. You probably worked hard for that money. The last thing you want to do is hand it off in ridiculous fees.
The good news is that most states have regulations about how much can be charged for cashing a check.
When you visit any of the below places to cash a check, be sure to ask about fees before you commit to the check cashing. Also, you want to know if there are limits on the amount on the check that they can cash.
Your Own Bank
The most obvious choice for cashing a check is to visit your own bank assuming you have an account. If you have an account at a local bank, they should allow you check cashing without fees.
In most cases, you will need to deposit the check. Then withdraw the funds later on. If you already have enough money in your account to cover the check, they may let you withdraw all of the amount of the check. Sometimes, however, they will put a hold on the check to make sure the funds are available from the issuer before releasing the funds to you.
Every bank is different. But often banks will make a portion of the funds available at the time of deposit.
The good news is that even if they don’t make the funds immediately available, cashing a check at a bank where you already have an account is often free. You might just have to wait for the funds to become available.
Area Credit Union
If you don’t have an account or access to a local bank, you might consider an area credit union. They are usually more flexible than banks and will often cash checks for minimal fees.
If you don’t already have an account, a credit union is a great place to consider getting an account. Because credit unions are not for profit, unlike a bank, they often charge lower fees than a bank will charge even if you don’t have an account with them already.
Another thing worth noting is that often credit unions honor each other’s privileges. So, while you might not have an account at the particular credit union you are visiting, they will still provide services if you have an account at another one. This may be a way to avoid the fees altogether.
This is another great option to get access to funds right away. You need to look at the check that was written to you. In the lower-left corner of the check you can see the issuing bank. This simply means where the money is being drawn from by the person who wrote you the check.
Often you can visit an issuing bank with the check. They can see immediately, because they have access to the person’s account, whether the funds are available from the check. You hope they have written you a good check and the funds are there.
Many times, a bank who is the issuing bank will go ahead and cash the check for you. They may charge you a fee for doing so. Sometimes it is a percentage of the check, often though it is a fee for using the services of the bank teller.
Wal-Mart is a surprising accessible option because they are located in so many places. They have over 5,000 stores across the country and they offer check cashing services.
Wal-Marts fees for cashing checks are as follows:
- $4 max for a check under $1,000
- $8 max for anything over that limit
When you cash a check with Wal-Mart you can either get the cash minus the fees or they will load for money on a Wal-Mart card that is reloadable.
Wal-Mart will cash any of the following types of checks:
- Pre-printed checks
- Payroll checks
- Government checks
- Tax checks
- Cashiers’ checks
- Insurance settlement checks
- 401k and retirement distribution checks
- MoneyGram money orders
They also recently started to cash personal checks. The fee for this service is $6 max with a $200 limit.
Most grocery stores do offer some check-cashing services. Each will be different, so check with your local store. Many will not cash a personal check because there is too much risk of fraud.
However, most will cash payroll checks, government checks, cashier’s checks, or money orders.
Some chains that offer check cashing services include:
- Winn Dixie
- Albertsons ($1,000 limit)
- Stop & Shop
Often they will charge a fee for cashing the check. They vary from store to store, yet are often in line with what you might pay at Wal-Mart.
Transact by 7-11
Transact by 7-11 is another option for getting a check cashed. You can visit a local location to get started. You will also need to download their app.
Here’s the great news, once you have the card and the app, you don’t need to visit a location. You can “deposit” the check right from your phone and the app. The money will then get loaded onto your 7-11 prepaid card. This card works like a prepaid credit or debit card. You can use it in any of the places you might use a credit card.
Your check can take up to 48 hours to be available on the card. 7-11 does allow you to use the funds right away for gas or in their stores.
Another feature worth noting, is that Transact by 7-11 works like a bank account in that you can have payroll or government checks deposited directly to your account.
Gas Station Travel Centers
It used to be that many gas stations and even convenience stores would cash a payroll or government check for you. That is happening less and less. Many don’t keep that much cash available and want to reduce the risk of fraud from cashing checks.
However, there are many travel centers that are located next to large gas stations often found near the highway or toll road that will still cash checks. You have to do your homework to find them. Two pretty big travel centers that still do check-cashing are Pilot Flying J and TravelCenters of America.
Check Cashing Companies
There are many companies popping up in communities that provide money services like check cashing. One of these companies is the Ace Check Express. This company has locations in 23 different states. They offer to cash checks for:
- Personal checks
- Payroll checks
- Government checks
- Tax refund checks
- Insurance settlement checks
- Money orders
There are many localized companies like Ace Check Express. While you might be able to get access to the funds immediately, you will pay a heftier fee than some of your other options. Fees are dependent on the state and company.
Two easy options for check cashing online include PayPal and IngoMoney.
PayPal will allow you to deposit checks to your account using their app. You can deposit up to $1,000 per day with a 1% to 5% fee depending on the type of check. The funds go into your account, and you can use a PayPal prepaid card or transfer the funds to your regular banking account.
IngoMoney works similarly to PayPal. You can deposit a check into your account. Then access the money through:
- Direct deposit
- PayPal account
- Prepaid debit card
- Amazon gift card
You can also use IngoMoney to pay bills online. Fees are a minimum of $5 per check and 1% and 4% depending on the amount or the type of check you are cashing.
Check Cashing Made Easy
Often when you have been issued a check from someone, you just want access to your money. You want a quick check cashing option that won’t cost a fortune. You want it to be convenient and fast, but not break the bank too.
Consider trying one of the options above to get your check cashed easily and without crazy fees.