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7 Best Places to Cash A Check Near Me

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Do you want to know the best places to cash a check near me but don’t know where to look? Here are the 7 top places to cash a check without a bank account.

Like it or not, paper checks are still a part of our culture. Despite the prevalence of ACH, direct deposit, and PayPal personal checks are still common. If you don’t have a traditional bank account and regularly receive checks, you likely ask yourself ‘where can I cash a check near me?’ and not know where to begin.

I worked at a bank during college and saw firsthand how many people deal with this situation. They don’t have a traditional bank account and need to cash a check. This poses an obvious problem.

This may not be your situation. You may receive checks for side hustle work or another situation and want to know the nearby places that cash personal checks.

Regardless of your situation, you need cash for your check. This post shares the best places to cash a personal check and get your money as soon as possible.

Best Places to Cash A Personal Check

 

There are countless options to cash personal checks. However, not every opportunity is equal. If you want to know where can you cash a personal check, below are the seven best options to cash your paper check.

1. Your Local Bank or Credit Union

 

Do you have an account with your local bank or credit union? If you do, this is the best place to cash paper checks. You already have a relationship with the institution, so it makes sense to use them to cash your check. Most financial institutions offer check cashing as a free benefit of having an account.

The easiest way to cash a personal check is to visit a branch and ask to cash the check. If your institution has a mobile app, you may be able to scan the check and instantly deposit (and access) the funds in your account.

The only issue you may encounter is that your bank may put a portion of the funds on hold until the check clears. This amount depends on the regulations of your institution, so ask if you’re uncertain.

If you don’t have a bank account and want to open one, there are benefits to choosing either a bank or credit union. Check out our guide bank vs. credit union to determine which is best for your needs.

2. The Issuing Bank

 

If you don’t have a bank account, or are out of town, visiting the issuing bank is your best option to cash a paper check. This is also a good option if you want instant access to the funds as the bank can tell if the account has sufficient funds to cash the check.

You may ask yourself ‘how can I find a bank’s name on a check?’ in figuring out the issuing bank. Personal checks vary, but in most cases, you can locate the name of the bank in the bottom left-hand corner of the check, just above the memo line.

If the address is not listed below the name, locate the local branch to visit to cash your check. You will need the following to cash your check at the issuing bank:

  • The check
  • At least one form of government-issued photo ID (ex., driver’s license)

Each bank has different requirements, but expect at least the above. The bank may also charge a small fee to cash the check, but that varies by financial institution. This fee will almost always be less than one at a check-cashing store.

In some cases, a financial institution may offer a prepaid debit card in exchange for cashing a personal check. Make sure you know the terms and conditions before accepting so you don’t lose any of your funds.

3. Go To Walmart

 

Most people live near at least one Walmart location as they have over 5,300 locations in the United States, according to their website. If you’re asking yourself, ‘where can I cash a personal check besides a bank?’, Walmart is one of the best available options.

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Most Walmart locations offer banking services, which include check cashing. Other services they provide include:

  • Bill pay
  • Check printing
  • Money orders
  • Prepaid debit cards

It’s not free to cash checks at Walmart, but the fees are fairly reasonable. Walmart Check Cashing charges the following to cash paper checks:

  • $4 per check, up to $1,000
  • $8 per check, up to $5,000

If you have three checks and they’re all under $1,000, expect to pay $12 to cash those checks. They also limit you to $5,000 for a daily limit, and that increases to $7,500 during the first quarter of the year.

Walmart will cash the below checks:

  • Cashier’s checks
  • Checks from the government
  • MoneyGram money orders
  • Payroll checks
  • Personal checks (daily limit of $200)
  • Pre-printed checks
  • Retirement distribution checks

You can choose either cash or prepaid debit card to receive your funds. Like you would at a local bank, expect to show your government-issued photo ID to cash a check at Walmart.

4. Your Local Grocery Store

 

Walmart isn’t the only retail store that lets you cash a check without a bank account. Many grocery stores also provide check cashing services as a part of their offerings. Keep in mind this varies by grocery stores, but most larger stores or chains offer check cashing services.

Here are grocery store chains that still cash paper checks:

  • Albertson’s
  • Hy-vee
  • Kroger stores
  • Publix
  • Safeway
  • Winn-Dixie

Each grocery store charges a different fee to cash checks, but expect something similar to Walmart. Some stores may waive fees if you choose to receive funds via store credit. If you typically shop at that store, this makes it one of the best places to cash a personal check as you can handle everything in one location.

*Related: Need to buy a money order? Here are the best places to get money orders near me for cheap.*

Like Walmart, expect to be able to cash the following checks at most grocery stores:

  • Cashier’s checks
  • Checks from the government
  • MoneyGram money orders
  • Payroll checks
  • Personal checks
  • Pre-printed checks
  • Retirement distribution checks

If you still have questions, go to the customer service center of your grocery store to ask what check cashing services they offer.

5. Gas Station Travel Centers

 

Gas stations used to be a popular place to cash paper checks. Unfortunately, that is no longer the case regardless of the type of check you want to cash.

However, if you live nearby a large truck stop or are traveling near one, you may be able to cash a check. Below are the two best travel center options to use for check cashing:

Not each location cashes checks, so make sure to verify what your local center does before stopping into the store.

6. Sign the Check Over to A Friend

 

Often the best way to cash a check without a bank account is to endorse the check to a friend to cash. Upon endorsing, also known as signing a check over, your friend will cash the check at their financial institution.

*Related: Looking for the best place to get rid of your coins? Read our guide on the best places that offer free coin counting near me and avoid the Coinstar fee.*

Signing a check over to someone else is known as a third-party check. Here is how you sign a check over to a friend:

  • Verify their bank accepts third-party checks
  • Sign the back of the check as you normally would
  • Write “Pay to the order of” followed by your friend’s name below your signature

Not every financial institution cashes third-party checks, so you want to verify if they allow them before pursuing this option. The bank may also require you to be with your friend, or they may charge a fee to cash the check.

7. Transact from 7-Eleven

 

Few gas stations offer check cashing services. If you live near a 7-Eleven, you can use them to cash a paper check through their Transact by 7-Eleven app.

After downloading the app to your phone, you take a picture of the check to deposit it. You don’t receive funds immediately but must wait two days to have access to the money.

*Related: New to writing checks? Check out our guide on how to write a personal check for step-by-step directions.*

After the check clears, the funds are placed onto a prepaid Mastercard debit card you can use at any location that accepts Mastercard. You can also use the service to send funds to friends and family members.

If your local 7-Eleven has a V-com check-cashing kiosk, you can perform additional financial transactions such as paying bills.

What do you need to cash a personal check?

If you’re asking yourself ‘who offers check cashing near me?’ you first need to know what’s needed to cash a personal check. Each financial institution has its own requirements to cash a paper check, but expect to provide the following:

  • The check
  • Government-issued photo ID
  • Contact information
  • Employer information

If you have a bank account with a negative balance, expect your branch to hold back enough funds to bring the account to zero. Similarly, if you cash the check at the issuing bank, don’t expect to be able to cash the check if the account the check is drawn on is in the negative.

Keep in mind each institution and retailer has its own limits and fees to cash checks. It may pay to research options to ensure you receive as much cash as possible.

Below are the easiest checks to cash:

  • Cashier’s checks
  • Checks issued by the government
  • Payroll checks
  • Retirement distribution checks

You can expect to have more requirements and lower redemption amounts if it’s a personal check.

Can you cash personal checks at ATM machines?

If you’re asking yourself ‘where to cash a personal check made out to me’, an ATM is the first option to consider. However, before you drive to an ATM, know you must be a member of the bank to use their ATM to cash a check.

If you are, you must use an ATM that offers check cashing services. When you do find one, they may also have a hold time for the entire amount. If your bank has a mobile app, you might be able to use that to access funds sooner.

Just take a picture of the check with your phone and the funds will be deposited into your account. Like cashing the check at an ATM, you may run into hold times over a certain amount.

Why Many Need to Cash Paper Checks

 

Believe it or not, check cashing is a big issue for many Americans. This is referred to as being unbanked. There are over eight million unbanked homes, as of 2017, according to the FDIC.

If someone is unbanked, they struggle to get access to cash and other services, and need somewhere to cash checks. I regularly saw this working at the bank and know it’s a struggle for many.

This causes issues from being hindered in paying bills to breaking the paycheck-to-paycheck cycle. Unfortunately, this often leads to paying exorbitant fees to cash checks, and other issues.

Of course, you may be someone that regularly receives paper checks. Thankfully, there are typically options to cash those checks. Despite the prevalence of digital options, paper checks are still commonplace.

24-Hour Check Cashing Places to Avoid

 

If you do an internet search for the term “check cashing place near me” you will receive many options for 24-hour check cashing places. These are often retail stores that specialize in cashing personal checks.

Check cashing is a big industry, slightly above payday loans. While 24-hour check cashing places offer a convenient way to cash checks, they also charge outrageous fees. Fees are typically a specific dollar amount or a percentage of the check.

They may also offer reloadable debit cards to use funds. These typically carry monthly fees that eat into your cash. If you need to cash a check without a bank account, it’s better to use Walmart or a local grocery store before using check cashing places.

Why is it Difficult to Cash Personal Checks?

 

If checks are still common, why is it difficult to cash paper checks? The main culprit is fraud. Personal checks are easy to abuse, and banks put rules in place to protect their institution from fraud. They also do this to protect you as well as their account holders.

This often leads to frustration when trying to cash a check. I experienced this a lot when working at the bank. The best way to avoid this frustration is to know the requirements of local institutions prior to attempting to cash a check.

If you can open a bank account, this is the best way to cash checks without hassle.

Do you want to know the best places to cash a check near me but don’t know where to look? Here are the 7 top places to cash a check without a bank account.

How to Cash A Check Near Me: Bottom Line

 

Cashing a personal check is a hassle in certain instances, but there are several options that simplify the process. If you need money now, it’s easy to get tempted by check cashing places that promise instant cash.

Unfortunately, that option often leads to lost money. No one wants to pay high fees to receive their cash, so pursue one of the options in this post to get your money.

If you’re unbanked, it’s important to work towards opening a bank account. Plenty of banks have minimal opening balance requirements and low to no fees. Having a bank account makes cashing checks, and other financial needs, much simpler and is a great way to reduce financial stress.

Do you have an active bank account? Have you ever used a check cashing place? What are some other places to cash a personal check?

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John is the founder of Frugal Rules, a dad, husband and veteran of the financial services industry whose writing has been featured in Forbes, CNBC, Yahoo Finance and more.

Passionate about helping people learn from his mistakes, John shares financial tools and tips to help you enjoy the freedom that comes from living frugally. One of his favorite tools is Personal Capital , which he used to plan for retirement and keep track of his finances in less than 15 minutes each month.

Another one of John's passions is helping people save $80 per month by axing their expensive cable subscriptions and replacing them with more affordable ones, like Hulu with Live TV.

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