Where Can You Cash Checks?

Checking accounts offer convenience for managing money, but a sizable number of Americans don’t have one. According to Federal Reserve (Fed) data, 6% of U.S. adults are unbanked, meaning that they have no checking account, savings account, or money market account. Instead, they rely on alternative financial services, such as check-cashing companies and payday lenders, to meet their needs.

Another 16% are underbanked, meaning that they have bank accounts but still depend on alternative financial services.1 Using alternative services to perform even simple tasks, such as cashing checks, can get expensive. Fortunately, there are ways to cash a check without paying steep fees.

When deciding where to cash a check, there are multiple options to choose from. 

Depending on whether you have a bank account or not, some avenues may be more obvious than others. Here are the top places for check cashing that you may consider.

Local Banks or Credit Unions

If you have a bank account or an account at a credit union, this could be the best option for cashing a check.

Banks and credit unions can cash personal checks, payroll checks, certified or cashier’s checks, and government-issued checks.

But what if you don’t have an account at a bank or credit union? Federal law does not require banks or credit unions to cash checks for people who are not their customers. Nevertheless, it’s possible that the bank may agree to cash your check in exchange for a fee.

The Issuing Bank

It’s possible to cash a check at the issuing bank, even if you don’t have an account there. In other words, you could take the check to the bank of the check writer. 

Again, it’s up to the bank to determine whether to honor your request for cashing a check, and you may or may not pay a fee. The bank may be unable to cash a check if the check writer’s account doesn’t have sufficient funds to cover it

Grocery Stores

There may be a fee to cash a check. For example, Pay Less Super Markets charges from $4.50 to $7.50, depending on the amount of the check.5 In lieu of a fee, a grocery store may require you to make a minimum purchase, as WinCo Foods does.6

Your local grocery store may offer check-cashing services whether you have a bank account or not. If you’d like to cash a check at your grocery store, you can ask the customer service desk whether that’s an option.

Convenience Stores and Gas Stations

Convenience stores and gas stations may be willing to cash checks, depending on the type. For example, at Mr. Payroll stores and some Shell gas stations, you can cash a payroll checks, government-issued checks, and other types of checks.78 Similar to grocery stores, you may have to pay a fee or be asked to make a minimum purchase.

If you don’t necessarily need cash but have a check that you would like to be able to spend, you could consider Trans@ct by 7-Eleven. This is a prepaid debit card that allows you to upload checks via mobile deposit through the 7-Eleven Transact app. 

You could then use your prepaid debit card to make purchases or withdraw cash at an ATM. In terms of fees, you can either pay per transaction or enroll in a monthly plan for $5.9

Your Employer

It’s possible that your employer might allow you to cash a check.

There may be specific guidelines on what type (e.g., personal checks only) or limits for check cashing. Still, this could be an option for cashing a check without paying a fee, so it doesn’t hurt to ask.

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