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What Is a Cashier’s Check?
A cashier’s check is a check written by your bank on your behalf. Unlike traditional checks, which draw their payment amounts from the funds available in your checking account, the recipient of a cashier’s check is paid directly by from the bank’s funds.
This is especially useful when you’re making a large purchase, or if you’re concerned that your check won’t clear a check reporting service like TeleCheck or Certegy.
Cashier’s checks aren’t just for purchases. If you are transferring money between banks or closing an account, you may receive the full balance in a cashier’s check to deposit into your new account. Of course, electronic money transfers have become more common today.
How To Get a Cashier’s Check
Follow these steps to get a cashier’s check from your bank:
- Know the amount that the check should cover and who the check should be made out to. A cashier’s check is written at the bank, so there won’t be any opportunities to wait and see what the expected payment amount is and fill it in right before making your purchase. Know in advance to avoid hiccups.
- Visit your bank or credit union and ask for a cashier’s check from the teller. If there isn’t a bank location that’s convenient for you, you may be able to request a check from your bank through the mail or online, but this process will take much longer.
- Have the necessary funds in your bank account. A cashier’s check may end up drawing its payment amount from the bank’s funds, but that doesn’t mean you’re off the hook. The bank will reimburse itself from your bank account when the write the check. Some banks charge fees for cashier’s checks, so ask their policy in advance and be prepared to pay those if applicable.
Where Can I Get a Cashier’s Check Besides a Bank?
Cashier’s checks can only be provided at a bank or a credit union and usually only at such institutions where you are a member. Some banks will offer cashier’s checks to non-members for a fee, but you will need some method of paying the amount on your cashier’s check to the bank, whether it’s cash, a personal check, or a debit card.
If visiting a bank branch isn’t an option or you’d rather not make the trip, then you can request a cashier’s check online or through the mail by contacting the bank’s customer support.
Be sure to specify the amount that the check should be written for and who it should be made out to in your communications. Following a request, the cashier’s check should be mailed to you. However, some of these checks will still need to be taken to a branch location for a signature from bank staff.
How To Cash a Cashier’s Check
If you are the recipient of a cashier’s check, then your priority should be to cash that check. Since cashier’s checks are guaranteed by the bank’s funds rather than the funds of the person who gave you the check, you can be sure that the money is there.
The process of cashing a cashier’s check involves bringing the check to an appropriate financial institution and either trading the check for cash, or depositing that amount given on the check into an account of your choosing.
When cashing a cashier’s check, it’s important to be aware of any fees that may be a part of the process. As we’ll see below, there are ways to avoid unnecessary fees by picking the right place to bring your cashier’s check.
In some cases it’s also possible to cash the check remotely using a mobile checking app from your bank or another institution.
Where Can I Cash a Cashier’s Check?
The most important part of cashing a cashier’s check is finding the right place to do it. Your should make your decision based on potential fees, speed, and convenience. There are many places where you can cash a cashier’s check:
- The bank that wrote the cashier’s check. As long as it’s convenient for you, this should be one of the first stops on your list. This is the bank that’s paying the check right out of their own funds, so they will cash it for you even if you’re not a member.
- A bank where you have an account. If you have an account at a bank, you can take a cashier’s check there, even if that bank didn’t write the check. Your bank can either give you cash for the check or deposit it into your account, typically without charging a fee.
- Another bank that didn’t write the cashier’s check. Many banks will cash cashier’s checks that they did not write for non-members as long as you’re willing to pay a fee. This fee reimburses the bank for acting as a middleman in your transaction.
- A special check-cashing store. Some stores will cash a cashier’s check for you, sometimes at lower fees than a bank would charge. These include check-cashing stores like 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 only offer those services to customers who belong to certain store membership programs.
Cashier’s checks are a great way to make large payments. The funds are guaranteed by the bank that wrote the check, so there can be no doubt that the check will clear once it’s cashed at an appropriate financial institution. When cashing a cashier’s check, be sure to compare potential fees at different banks, credit unions, or check-cashing stores.
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