HOW TO CASH A CASHIER’S CHECK

HOW TO CASH A CASHIER'S CHECK
HOW TO CASH A CASHIER’S CHECK

The process to cash a cashier’s check is similar to validating a regular check, although the bank will likely ask for your identification for that particular form of payment. 

The check will be deposited into your account and will usually clear at the issuing bank within two to seven days, when the money is “officially” yours.

What Is Cashier’s Check?

A cashier’s check, also known as an official banker’s check, is a payment instrument issued by a bank or credit union to a third party, usually on behalf of a bank customer, who pays the face value of the check to the bank. 

In large transactions, such as buying a boat or a house, a cashier’s check assures the payee that the funds are available because the check is backed by the bank’s funds, so there is no risk of the check being bounced.

The buyer of the cashier’s check pays the bank in advance the full amount of the check.  The bank deposits these funds and then issues a cashier’s check for the requested amount to the designated payee.

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How Do Cashier Checks Work?

At one time, cashier’s checks were considered a very safe form of payment that was almost as good as cash. 

This is because the check is issued by the bank on its own funds, which means that the money is effectively guaranteed, unless the bank is closed between the time the check is written and the time it is cashed. 

This method of payment was often used between two parties when one would not accept a personal check from the other for fear that the check would not clear.  However, fake cashier’s checks have complicated the process of trying to cash a cashier’s check.

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Do You Need Bank Account To Cash A Cashier’s Check?

While in theory you should be able to cash a cashier’s check at any bank, you will most likely need to have an account with that bank in order for them to cash the check. 

This is because the check has to be cleared anyway, and if you don’t have an account with the bank and the check turns out to be fraudulent, the bank will have less recourse. 

Usually, when you cash this type of check, the funds are deposited into your checking account; then if the check doesn’t clear you are responsible for it. 

That’s why it’s important to verify the authenticity of any cashier’s check you receive by calling the issuing bank, which will tell you within minutes whether the check is valid.

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When to use a cashier’s check

Cashier’s checks are generally used for large purchases or purchases that require a certain amount of time.  It may not make sense to carry stacks of cash with you to pay for large purchases.  A cashier’s check solves this problem.

For urgent purchases, the recipient of the cashier’s check will not have to wait for the check to be issued.  When you receive a cashier’s check, the issuing bank returns the funds for immediate use.

In general, a cashier’s check is used when a seller or vendor requires cash but does not accept personal checks.  Checks are usually $1,000 or more.  For example, home buyers typically use cashier’s checks for down payments on homes.

If you need to use a cashier’s check, visit your bank or credit union at least 2-3 days before you need it to make sure you get it on time.  You will need your ID and bank information to purchase a cashier’s check.

Some banks and credit unions also allow you to purchase a cashier’s check online.  Please check the shipping time if you choose this method.

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How To Get A Cashier’s Check

The only way to get a cashier’s check is through a bank or credit union, and you usually have to be a customer to get one. 

Some online banks allow you to order a cashier’s check from your phone or computer, but traditional banks may require you to visit a branch.  If you are travelling in person, here is the general process:

  • Bring cash to top up a cashier’s check to your bank or credit union or have enough money in your account.
  • Provide official photo ID and all information required to fill out the check, including the payee’s name.
  • After you enter the money and the recipient’s name, the bank will print a check.
  • View check details and save the receipt to track its status.
  • Some banks charge a fee of up to $15 per cashier’s check.  Others provide cashier’s checks as a free service to checking account customers.

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How To Cash A Cashier’s Check

The bank that issued the cashier’s check

As long as you’re comfortable with it, it should be one of the first stops on your list.  It’s a bank that pays the check directly out of its own funds, so it will cash it for you, even if you’re not a member.

The bank where you have an account

If you have a bank account, you can take a cashier’s check there, even if that bank didn’t write the check.  Your bank can cash your check or deposit it into your account, usually without charging a fee.

Another bank that did not issue a cashier’s check

Many banks will cash cashier’s checks they haven’t written for non-members if you’re willing to pay a fee.  This fee compensates the bank for acting as an intermediary in your transaction.

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How To Cash A Cashier’s Check Without A Bank Account

Most institutions provide cashier’s checks to customers, but some smaller banks and credit unions also offer the service to non-customers for a fee.  You’ll need to look around your area to find one.

If you need to cash a cashier’s check but don’t have an account, you can find a bank or credit union that will issue checks for non-customers.  In such cases, be prepared to pay a fee.  Another option is a check cashing service, although such services often charge a high fee

  • A special check cashing shop.  Some stores will cash a cashier’s check for you, sometimes for a lower fee than the bank charges.  These include check cashing stores such as Moneytree or Money Mart.
  • Large retail stores.  Sometimes retailers like Walmart will cash checks for you.  They may charge a fee for check cashing services or offer these services only to customers participating in certain store membership programs.

How To Cash A Cashier’s Check Without ID

Normally, when processing a check, people use the ID to complete the transaction.  The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation requires banks to have an identity verification policy, so ID is required.  But you may have ways to cash a check even if you don’t want to use ID.

To cash a check without ID, you can sign the check for someone else, cash it at an ATM, or deposit it into your account and withdraw the funds during processing (usually 3-5 business days).

Conclusion

Cashier’s checks are a reliable and efficient way to pay large amounts of cash.  When you buy a cashier’s check, you pay the bank with its own funds to eliminate the risk of the check being bounced.  Cashing a cashier’s check is very similar to cashing any other type of check, and you can choose from a variety of methods.

It’s called a cashier’s check because it’s bank money issued by a bank teller (cashier) before it becomes yours.  There are several options for cashing a cashier’s check.  So, it is important to understand what cashier’s checks are and how to cash them.

How To Cash A Cashier’s Check FAQs

Where Can I Purchase Cashier Checks?

You can purchase cashier’s checks at bank or credit union branches.  Many financial institutions also have them available on their websites or by phone.  Some banks do not issue cashier’s checks to non-customers.

What Does It Take To Get A Cashier’s Check?

To collect a cashier’s check, bring a photo ID, such as a driver’s license.  Have enough cash on hand or funds in your account to pay the full amount of the check to the bank.  You must also include the payee’s name, as banks cannot issue blank cashier’s checks.  Be sure to keep the check receipt.

Some online banks provide cashier’s checks.  Some traditional banks offer several ways to receive a cashier’s check.  Wells Fargo, for example, allows its customers to order cashier’s checks in a branch or online.  If you order a cashier’s check online, expect to pay a shipping fee.

Are Cashier's Checks Safe?

Cashier’s checks are very safe because they are issued by the bank and are paid from the bank’s funds, not from the customers’ accounts.  The bank fills in the payment information and only the designated payee can cash the check.  Security is a big advantage of using a cashier’s check to make a payment.

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