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When you are making a bigger purchase, it is common for the company to request a cashier’s check instead of a personal check.
While this is a common practice, not many people are aware of what a cashier’s check is and how to get it, especially if you don't have a bank account.
Getting a Cashier’s Check Without Bank Account
A cashier’s check is a check that is backed by the bank’s account instead of a consumer's individual account. They are written in the bank’s name and signed by a teller or a bank employee. Consumers will pay the bank the funds needed to cover the check and receive the cashier’s check.
It could be challenging to obtain a cashier's check if you don't usually conduct business at a bank or credit union. The bank checks your account when you ask for a cashier's check to make sure you have the money you need to pay accessible. You can't get a cashier's check at a post office or retail store.
However, even if you don't have a bank account, you may still have a chance to get a cashier's check.
- Do A Research: Since not all banks allow it, the first thing to do is to research which banks in your area allow non customers to get a cashier check.
- Come Prepared: After finding a bank or a credit union, make sure to gather all important details and bring the money with you + an extra money for the fee.
- Get Your Check: go to the teller and get your check. Keep in mind you'll have to pay a small fee, depending on the bank and the check amount.
Getting a Cashier’s Check Using a Savings Account
It is possible to get a cashier’s check using a savings account. In order to do so, you will need to follow the following steps:
- Gather Information – To start, you will have to know the name of the payee (who you are making the check out to) and the exact amount. Furthermore, you will need to have a state issued ID (license or passport), a note stating what the cashier's check is for, and your account information.
- Ask The Teller – You will then need to head to the local branch your savings account is associated with, approach a teller and inform them that you would like to get a cashier’s check. Here you will have to provide your ID, the note, and the account information of the account you wish to pull the funds from.
- Pay Check Fee – Finally, it is very common to have to pay for a fee for cashier’s checks at this point, which is typically $6 – $10.
Fees When Getting A Cashier’s Check
Cashier’s checks have a few different fees associated with, for getting a cashier’s check, and sometimes to cash them as well.
- Banks – Normally, a bank will charge $10 to $15 in order to purchase a cashier’s check. Of course this fee could be waived if consumers have a certain account. If you are purchasing a cashier’s check online, you will typically pay an $8 delivery charge in addition to paying the normal $10 to $15 fee. When cashing a cashier’s check at a bank, consumers will not typically have to pay a fee as long as they have an account with the bank.
- Retail Stores (cashing check only) – Of course it is not possible to purchase a cashier’s check at a retail store, it is however possible to cash a cashier’s check there. The fees associated with this depend on the store you go to, but it is common to see fees on a percentage basis, typically 1% to 2%. A lot of times, stores will set a limit on the amount you will be charged, usually up to $6.
Cashier Check Fee
$10 Free for Securechecking account, Premier Plus and Sapphire Checking account holders.
Bank Of America
$15 free for Preferred Rewards program customers
$10 Free for Performance Checking, Performance Select Checking and Foundation Checking
$8 Free for TD customers who have Beyond checking or savings, Private Tiered Checking or Savings, or 60-Plus Checking accounts.
PenFED Credit Union
%1 (min $5, max $12)
Alliant Credit Union
How To Find A Cashier's Check Near Me?
There are many different ways to find a place to get a cashier’s check.
- Banks – If you would like to get a cashier’s check through a bank, the easiest way would be to go to your local bank’s branch and request a cashier’s check from a teller.
- Credit Unions – If you want to get a cashier’s check through a credit union, you can find the local credit union near you using the NCUA’s Credit Union Locator. You can search for the credit union by address, credit union name, or charter number.
- Online – It is relatively simple to get a cashier’s check online; simply go to your branch’s website online, sign in, go to “account services & settings,” under “checks,” select “cashier’s check,” choose the account to draw the money from, and complete the process. This process is similar for each bank.
How Can I Cash A Cashier’s Check Without A Bank Account?
Even without a bank account, it is possible to cash a cashier’s check once it is endorsed. Here are a few methods one is able to do so even without a bank account.
- The Bank it is issued by – One method to cash a cashier’s check is to go to the bank the check is issued by. The bank that issued the check will be on the front of the check, and you are able to head to the local branch, go to a teller, endorse the check, and cash out for the full amount.
- Retail Stores – It is relatively simple to cash a cashier’s check at a major retail store. You would start with searching Google for the closest retail store to you that accepts cashier’s checks. This will typically be Walmart or KMart. Once you find the closest store to you, head to the store, find customer service, and tell the teller you would like to cash a cashier’s check.
You will have to provide a government issued ID along with the cashier’s check. Please note, when cashing at a retail store, they will typically take a percentage of the check in addition to their usual fee, so it is important to know how much you will lose before you go into the store.
- Online Applications – There are a few online applications that will allow you to cash the cashier’s check online. Users are able to sign up, link a PayPal account or select the prepaid card option, endorse the check, take a picture of the front and back of the check, and then hit submit.
When To Use A Cashier’s Check?
While personal checks are sufficient for many different things, there are instances where cashier’s checks are required.
Since a cashier’s check is backed by the bank it is administered by, a cashier’s check is considered to be “guaranteed funds”. Because of this, it is great to use cashier’s checks when they are making large purchases.
- Large purchases – It is common for car dealerships or mortgage companies to require the down payment to be completed with a cashier’s check. Most cashier’s checks do not have a limit and the payee usually has quicker access to a larger amount of the funds with a cashier’s check.
- Safety – Cashier’s checks typically offer more security features than money orders or personal checks. The company receiving the check will feel more secure as the funds are backed by a bank. Finally, a merchant who wants to avoid risking counterfeit checks, or a check simply bouncing, they will require a cashier’s check for their own piece of mind.
Cashier's Check vs. Personal Check
A majority of people grow up using personal checks, and just assume cashier’s checks are the same, but in reality they have a few distinct differences.
- Personal check – These checks are written by the person making the payment, with their account information on the check. The check will be pulling the funds directly from the payee’s account.
- Cashier’s Check – One of the main factors that sets a cashier’s check apart from a personal check is that they are written by the bank that the consumer is going through. Furthermore, the bank is actually backing the funds that are written on the check instead of the individual's funds, ensuring the company will be able to receive the funds once it is cashed. As with personal checks, the name, account number, and routing number of the bank should all be listed on the face of the check.
This is the biggest difference between personal checks and cashier’s checks, cashier’s checks offer companies and individuals who are cashing checks a peace of mind knowing the funds will go through.
Can I Cash A Cashier’s Check At A Retail Store?
It is possible to cash a cashier’s check at major retail stores like Walmart or KMart. You are not required to make a purchase, but you will have to give a small percentage of the check amount in addition to a flat fee in order to complete the transaction.
- Walmart – You are able to cash a cashier’s check at Walmart, the amount is not able to exceed $5,000 and you will have a maximum fee of $6.00.
- Kmart – It is possible at KMart as well, but it is only available for Shop Your Way Members. The checks are again limited to $5,000, but your fee will not exceed $1.
Can I Cash A Cashier’s Check At A Check-Cashing Outlet?
There are many different check-cashing outlets available that allow consumers to cash a cashier’s check. A few of the check-cashing outlets would be Ace Cash Express, Check ‘n Go, Check into Cash, Money Mart, and Moneytree.
Of course these stores make their money by charging a fee to cash your checks. These fees can be significant as they sometimes could be relatively high depending on the percentage and how much the check is worth.
A great way to picture this is if you are cashing a $2,000 cashier’s check at one of these stores that charges a 5% fee, you will have to pay an astounding $100 to get your own money.
Cashier’s Check Alternatives
If you do not want to get a cashier’s check or are unable to get one, there are a few alternatives you could use instead of cashier’s checks.
- Money Order – A money order is similar to a check, but it is unable to be bounced. They may be purchased with cash or through another. Guaranteed form of payment like a traveler’s check or debit card. The difference is that money orders have limits on the amount a person is able to put on the check.
- Certified Check – Certified checks are extremely similar to cashier’s checks. With certified checks, the bank “certifies” that the funds exist in the account that will cover the check. The major difference is that the checks are signed by the person creating the check instead of the bank signing for it.
Cashier’s checks are good for 90 days after the bank issued the check.
The major difference between the two checks is that certified checks are signed by the account holder and the bank “certifies” the funds are available, while cashier’s checks are signed by the bank.
Since cashier’s checks are only able to be written when there are sufficient funds available, it is impossible for a cashier’s check to bounce.
There are a number of places to get a cashiers check: banks, credit unions, and online.
If you are purchasing a cashier’s check in person, you will be able to get the cashier’s check the same day as long as funds are available. If purchasing online, it can take up to 10 business days to reach your doorstep.
A cashier’s check is regarded as cash in the sense that it is drawn from a bank’s account and can be used to purchase just about anything.
It is different from cash however in the sense that not every place will allow you to purchase goods with a cashier’s check, typically if the amount is low.