ATMs are very convenient for depositing cash. But what about cashing a check at an ATM? Can you cash a check at an ATM?
You can cash a check at most ATMs. To cash a check at an ATM, simply follow the screen prompts. You also need to ensure that the funds are ready for cashing out; otherwise, the ATM will not dispense any cash.
Read on to learn more about cashing a check at an ATM at major banks such as Bank of America, Wells Fargo, and Citibank.
Can You Cash a Check at an ATM?
You can cash a check at most ATMs. To cash a check at an ATM, simply follow the screen prompts and ensure you have enough cash available to cash out.
At some point in time, we may encounter unavoidable circumstances. It could be an experience wherein you badly need to encash a check as soon as possible. (Encashment is exchanging a check or other financial instrument, like a bond, for cash.)
But what if you don’t have time to visit the bank physically? What if there’s a long queue in the bank, and there’s no way you could wait for your turn?
Indeed, a solution to this is for banks to provide convenience to their clients. And a better way to do it is to equip ATMs with a check-cashing feature.
Fortunately, several banks have started offering this option to their clients. To use this feature, you must bring the following:
- Your bank card
- The check for cashing
- A pen for check endorsement purposes
How to Cash a Check at an ATM?
How to cash a check at an ATM? To begin, you have to insert your card in the ATM’s appropriate slot. Then, hover over the touchscreen until you see the correct button to press. The process may be confusing for first-timers. However, there’s no need to panic. Just follow the prompts on the touchscreen. Before you know it, the ATM is already dispensing money for you!
When cashing checks in banks, the teller normally asks you to endorse the check. It means that you have to affix your signature at the back. Other times, the teller even instructs you to write your complete name, address, and contact number at the back along with your signature. This process is called check endorsement.
When you cash your check at an ATM, you need to endorse the check too. To save time, you might want to accomplish this step even before you go out looking for an ATM. Moreover, you might want to ask your bank to ensure which details to indicate at the back of the check. Simply call their hotline and talk to their customer service representative.
Tips for Cashing a Check at an ATM
Cashing a check at an ATM indeed brings convenience to us. But there are some pointers we need to consider to ensure that we cash a check successfully.
1. Determine the Maximum Amount of Cash That the ATM Can Dispense
As you know, there’s a limit to the amount of cash you can withdraw via the ATM. This limit typically ranges between US$300 and US$2,500. There is no fixed amount limit for all banks. That’s why it’s best to confirm with your bank the maximum amount you can withdraw using the ATM.
The same rule applies to check encashment via the ATM. There is a limit to the amount of cash that can be dispensed by the ATM. In which case, you have to double-check the amount indicated in the check vis-a-vis the maximum amount of cash that the ATM can dispense.
If the amount written in the check exceeds the amount that can be dispensed, you can’t get the cash via the ATM.
2. You Need a Bank Account with the Issuing Bank
Determine if the check issued to you comes from a bank that you have an existing bank account with. Otherwise, you won’t be able to cash the check.
When cashing a check over the counter, it doesn’t matter whether or not you have an existing bank account with the bank. The reason is that it is convenient for the teller to verify the validity of the check. Moreover, it’s easy to get in touch with the issuer and obtain the requirements from you. For sure, you will be able to cash your check in a jiffy.
But this isn’t the case when you cash it at an ATM. An extensive verification process is not yet feasible. So, if you are asking, can you cash a check at an ATM without a bank account? The answer is not yet. For the time being, we can only cash a check if we have an existing account with the issuing bank.
3. Double-check the Date Indicated in the Check
Before leaving the house or the office to go to an ATM, determine first if your check is ready for encashment. That way, you won’t waste your precious time.
For instance, the check given to you was post-dated and has reached the maturity date. Also, there’s no harm in double-checking the details before going to an ATM. There’s a chance that you are carrying a check that will not mature until after 24 hours.
Can You Cash a Check at an ATM Without a Bank Account?
As previously mentioned, cashing a check at an ATM is not feasible if you don’t have an account with the issuing bank. So, what will you do if somebody issues you a check, but you don’t have a bank account to deposit it to? Is it still possible to cash it?
The answer is yes. But it may not be that convenient for you. It might require a process longer than usual, and unfortunately, additional fees may apply.
What to Do If You Don’t Have a Bank Account, but You Have a Valid ID Card?
1. Cash at the Issuing Bank
If you don’t have a bank account but you have a valid ID, then you may cash the check at the issuing bank. The reason is that the funds will be coming from them.
In fact, this is the most convenient approach for you. It is also the safest, and bank charges may not apply too. However, one inconvenience that you may encounter is if the issuing bank doesn’t have a branch near you.
2. Find a Retailer That Cashes Checks
Some retailers cash checks for the convenience of their customers. These retailers are usually grocery stores, department stores, discount stores, and the like.
But there are charges that you need to pay. And these charges are higher than when you directly transact with the issuing bank. We can’t blame retailers for charging fees; we need to pay for their services too.
3. Seek Assistance from a Payday Lender
If you think you have exhausted your options, you might want to try payday lenders. They don’t ask too many questions and won’t ask you to submit complicated requirements.
If you badly need to cash a check, this is the most convenient option. However, it is the most costly one too. Payday lenders are known for imposing high charges in exchange for uncomplicated transactions. As others would say, “We pay for our convenience.”
4. Use a Prepaid Card Account
If what you have is a prepaid debit card instead of a bank account, there’s a likelihood that you’ll be able to cash your check at an ATM. However, the funds will go directly to your debit card. You won’t receive the funds in cold cash. Nonetheless, once funds are transferred, you can start doing online transactions.
Of course, there will be charges deducted from your funds. In fact, you might also pay a monthly service fee for as long as your debit card stays active.
5. Find a Friend Who Is Willing to Cash the Check for You
You can also seek help from a friend who has a bank account. It even doesn’t have to be an account with the issuing bank. Any bank will do as long as the check is properly endorsed to him. Allow him to deposit the check to his account and give you the funds in cold cash.
This may come as a convenient method as you don’t have to prepare any requirements. You may even save money from waived bank charges. Also, there’s no need to go to the bank anymore to transact. However, you have to ensure that your friend will act in good faith. He may be one of your trusted friends, but of course, it wouldn’t hurt to be extra careful, especially when a large amount of money is involved.
We’ve answered the question, “Can you cash a check at an ATM?” and “Can you cash a cashier’s check at an ATM?” Next, let’s explore the banks that allow and don’t allow check encashment at an ATM.
Do All Banks Allow You to Cash a Check at an ATM?
Bank of America
Bank of America is one of the banks that have augmented the features of their ATMs. They call it ATMs with Teller Assist. The features of these ATMs are as follows:
- You can cash checks for the exact amount, and it can even receive change
- Withdrawing cash in different denominations is feasible
- Checks may be deposited with cash backs
- You may split your deposits into multiple accounts
- Credit card or loan payments are allowed
Can you cash a check at a Wells Fargo ATM? At Wells Fargo, clients may deposit checks via an ATM. However, they don’t have an ATM facility for check cashing.
A Citibank check may be cashed at a Citibank ATM. If there are no Citibank ATMs near your area, there are ATMs of other banks that allow Citibank checks to be cashed. However, you have to confirm with Citibank how you can go about it.
Accessibility of the Check Encashment Facility
While several large banks allow check-cashing using the ATM, not all their machines have this facility. Perhaps, this is to limit risks facing both the client and the bank, which strives to improve this newest ATM feature.
Certainly, there will come a time when this check encashment feature will be available in most, if not all, ATMs.
Conclusion – Can You Cash a Personal Check at an ATM?
Can you cash a check at an ATM? Can you cash a cashier’s check at an ATM? You can cash a check at most ATMs in the U.S. To cash a check at an ATM, simply follow the screen prompts. You also need to ensure that the funds are ready for cashing out; otherwise, the ATM will not dispense any cash.
The Bank of America introduced its ATM with Teller Assist feature back in 2013. It was the first financial institution to launch such a feature in an attempt to augment its customers’ ATM deposit experience.
As mentioned in our discussion, cashing a check may seem complicated if you are a first-timer. In your second try or so, you will realize that it is not as complex as you thought it was. You simply have to follow the prompts indicated on the ATM screen. Furthermore, you have to make sure that the check is well funded for encashment. Otherwise, the ATM will not dispense any cash for you.
It is also best to remember some pointers before going out to look for an ATM. These pointers are:
- Determine the maximum amount of cash that the ATM can dispense
- You need to have a bank account with the issuing bank
- Double-check the date indicated in the check
If you don’t have a bank account, here are options you might want to consider to cash your check:
- Cash at the issuing bank
- Find a retailer that cashes checks
- Seek assistance from a payday lender
- Avail of a prepaid card account
- Find a friend who is willing to cash the check for you
An ATM with a check-cashing feature is truly convenient for us. We don’t have to go inside the bank and waste our time doing nothing but wait for our turn. Now, we can cash checks conveniently at ATMs. But, this comes with a fee, of course.