401(k) Check Cashing: Where to Go for Fidelity, Vanguard, etc

Reaching retirement and receiving your 401(k) checks can be an exciting time in your life, one you've worked for and looked forward to for decades.

Knowing your options for cashing a 401(k) check can help you navigate your retirement, especially if you don't have a bank account, your bank's out of the way, or you're simply looking for the most convenient option.

Close-up of man's hands counting cash after cashing a 401(k) check

Below, I list the places where you can cash a 401(k) check from Fidelity, Vanguard, or another plan administrator, categorized by banks and credit unions, check cashing stores, and grocery stores.

Details include each business’s limits, fees, and requirements.

You’ll also find a list of places that won’t cash a 401(k) check to ensure you’re covered.

What I Recommend

If you have a bank account, your own bank can be a convenient place to cash or deposit your 401(k) checks. Check processing services are typically free for account holders as well.

If you don’t have a bank account or can’t get to your bank, you can visit the issuing bank or credit union, a check cashing store, or a grocery store with check cashing services.

Your plan administrator (Fidelity, Vanguard, etc.) usually doesn’t matter when choosing where to cash your check. Instead, you’ll need to find a place with a high enough limit to cover your check amount and fees that you find reasonable.

Walmart is a good option for most checks, with lower fees than other check cashing places ($4 to $8).[1]

However, if your check is worth more than $5,000, a check cashing store like ACE Cash Express or PLS may work better for you, since they tend to keep more cash on hand to process larger checks.[2][3]

Comparison Table

See the table below for a quick comparison of the limits and fees associated with 401(k) check cashing at the places that offer it, then select any business or scroll to the list for more information.

You can sort the table using the arrows at the top of any column.

Note that the limits and fees for banks and credit unions don’t typically apply to account holders.

Establishment Limit Fees
Citibank$5,000 None; not available in all locations
Fifth Third BankVaries by cash availability 2% of the check
KeyBank$5,000 Vary for checks greater than $15
Truist BankVaries by cash availability $8
Chase BankVaries by location $10 for checks greater than $50
Regions BankVaries by cash availability 1% to 4% ($5 minimum) for checks greater than $25
ACE Cash ExpressVaries by location Vary by state
PLS Check CashingVaries by cash availability Vary by location
Check Into CashNone Vary by location
Advance FinancialNone 1% to 5% ($5 minimum)
Money MartNone Vary by state
CheckSmartNone Vary by location and check
Kroger$5,000 Vary by check amount
Fred Meyer$5,000 Vary by check amount
Ralphs$5,000 Vary by check amount
King Soopers$5,000 Vary by check amount
Walmart$5,000 or $7,500 Up to $4 for checks $1,000 or less; up to $8 for checks above $1,000
Safeway$1,500 Vary by location and check amount
Albertsons$1,500 Vary by location and check amount
Table Plugin

The List

Regardless of where you have your 401(k) account, there are several places you can go to cash your 401(k) checks.

I list these places below, categorized by the type of establishment; I organized the list in each category starting with the best overall options.

Banks and Credit Unions

Your personal bank or credit union can cash your 401(k) check for you, free of charge.

It may limit you to immediately cashing the available amount in your account so that the bank can recover its funds if the check bounces. You can deposit the remaining amount.

If you don’t have an account at a bank or credit union, the following banks and credit unions can still cash your 401(k) check, but you will likely need to pay an additional fee.

Note that limits and fees listed below apply to non-account holders.

Citibank logo

1. Citibank

Key Bank logo

2. KeyBank

  • Limit: $5,000[7]
  • Fees: Vary by state for checks greater than $15[7]
  • Requirements: Two forms of ID, including one valid government-issued, photo ID; checks must be drawn on KeyBank for non-customers.[7]
  • Find a location

Fifth Third Bank logo

3. Fifth Third Bank

  • Limit: Depends on how much cash it has available[8]
  • Fees: 2% of the check[8]
  • Requirements: Government-issued ID; checks above $500 not drawn on Fifth Third Bank must pass its verification system.[8]
  • Find a location

Regions Bank logo

4. Regions Bank

  • Limit: Depends on how much cash it has available[9]
  • Fees: 1% to 4% of the check amount ($5 minimum fee); none for checks of $25 or less drawn on Regions bank[10]
  • Requirements: Must enroll in check cashing services; enrollment requires a valid ID and Social Security number.[11]
  • Find a location

Chase Bank logo

5. Chase Bank

  • Limit: Varies by location;[12] find out more about check cashing at Chase Bank.
  • Fees: $10 per check greater than $50[13]
  • Requirements: Government-issued photo ID; having two forms of ID is recommended, as some locations require this to cash checks greater than $500; non-customers can only cash checks that are drawn on Chase Bank.[13]
  • Find a location

Truist One Checking

6. Truist Bank

  • Limit: Depends on how much cash it has available[14]
  • Fees: $8[14]
  • Requirements: Valid photo ID; checks must be drawn on Truist Bank for non-customers.[14]
  • Find a location

Find out more about banks that cash checks even if you don’t have an account.

Check Cashing Stores

If you don’t want to use a bank or credit union, you can usually find 401(k) check cashing at major check cashing stores.

Keep in mind that check cashing stores sometimes have higher fees than banks.

ACE Cash Express Logo

1. ACE Cash Express

PLS Check Cashing logo

2. PLS Check Cashing

  • Limit: However much cash it has on hand[3]
  • Fees: Vary by location, but can be as low as 1% of the check amount plus $1[16]
  • Requirements: Government-issued photo ID[17] [3]
  • Find a location

Check Into Cash logo

3. Check Into Cash

  • Limit: None[18]
  • Fees: Vary by location (usually around 3% to 5%)[19]
  • Requirements: Valid, government-issued photo ID[19]
  • Find a location

Advance Financial logo

4. Advance Financial

  • Limit: None[20]
  • Fees: 1% to 5% or a minimum of $5, whichever is larger[21]
  • Requirements: Valid, government-issued photo ID[21]
  • Find a location

Money Mart logo

5. Money Mart

Checksmart logo

6. CheckSmart

Grocery Stores

The following grocery stores cash government checks, including 401(k) checks.

Walmart logo

1. Walmart

  • Limit: Generally $5,000, but it increases to $7,500 from January and April;[1] find out more about Walmart’s check cashing policy.
  • Fees: Maximum of $4 for checks up to and including $1,000; maximum of $8 for checks $1,000.1 to $5,000[1]
  • Requirements: Valid form of ID[1]
  • Find a location

Kroger logo

2. Kroger

Fred Meyer logo

3. Fred Meyer

Ralphs logo

4. Ralphs

King Soopers logo

5. King Soopers

Albertsons logo

6. Albertsons

Safeway logo

7. Safeway

If you have other types of checks you also need to cash, see the list of grocery stores that cash checks.

Tip: If you need to take money from your 401(k) early, you may be able to borrow against it instead to avoid tax penalties.[29][30]

Places That Don’t Cash 401(k) Checks

While banks, check cashing stores, and grocery stores provide plenty of options for 401(k) check cashing, there are some places that don’t offer this service.

While the following businesses cash checks, they do not cash 401(k) checks:


Where can you cash a 401(k) loan check?

You can generally cash 401(k) loan checks anywhere you can cash regular 401(k) checks; they’re treated the same by financial institutions.[4][22]

What bank does Fidelity use for 401(k) checks?

Fidelity is a 401(k) plan administrator and each 401(k) is unique with guidelines set by the sponsor (your employer). You’ll have to check with your employer for specifics of your 401(k) plan, such as which bank it uses.[36]

What time does Walmart’s Money Center close?

Walmart’s Money Center hours are the same as Walmart’s store hours, so you can cash a 401(k) check at the Money Center during regular business hours.[37] Store hours vary by location, but are generally 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. seven days a week.[38]

In Summary

You can cash a 401(k) check wherever you have a bank account, though the bank may limit the amount to what you have in your account.

You can also cash them at some banks and credit unions as a non-account holder, as well as at check cashing stores and some grocers. These options generally have specific limits, fees, and requirements you should keep in mind.

Feel free to share your own 401(k) check cashing experiences below.

You can also ask questions, leave comments, and reply to others who could use a little wisdom from someone who knows what they’re experiencing.

  1. https://www.walmart.com/cp/check-cashing/632047[][][][]
  2. ACE Cash Express store customer service representatives[][]
  3. PLS Check Cashing store customer service representatives[][][]
  4. Citibank branch customer service representatives[][][][]
  5. https://online.citi.com/JRS/popups/ao/Consumer_Client_Manual.pdf[]
  6. Citibank customer service via Facebook chat[][]
  7. https://www.key.com/personal/services/branch/cashing-checks.html[][][]
  8. Fifth Third Bank branch customer service representatives[][][]
  9. Regions Bank branch customer service representatives[]
  10. https://www.regions.com/personal-banking/check-cashing-and-cash-solutions/check-cashing[]
  11. https://www.regions.com/-/media/pdfs/quick-guides/QuickGuide-Check-Cashing.pd[]
  12. Chase Bank branch customer service representatives[]
  13. Chase Bank customer service via Facebook chat[][]
  14. Truist Bank branch customer service representatives[][][]
  15. https://www.acecashexpress.com/check-cashing[][]
  16. http://pls247.com/nc/money/check-cashing.html[]
  17. https://pls247.com/tx/money/check-cashing.html[]
  18. Check Into Cash store customer service representatives[]
  19. https://checkintocash.com/store-services/check-cashing/[][]
  20. Advance Financial store customer service representatives[]
  21. https://www.af247.com/services/check-cashing[][]
  22. Money Mart store customer service representatives[][]
  23. https://www.moneymart.com/check-cashing[][]
  24. CheckSmart store customer service representatives[][]
  25. https://www.checksmart.com/store-services/[]
  26. https://moneyservices.kroger.com/check-cashing/[][][][][][][][][][][][]
  27. Albertsons store customer service representatives[][][]
  28. Safeway store customer service representatives[][][]
  29. https://www.northwesternmutual.com/life-and-money/how-can-i-avoid-paying-taxes-on-my-401k-withdrawal/[]
  30. https://www.prudential.com/financial-education/how-to-get-401k-money-without-owing[]
  31. Food Lion store customer service representatives[]
  32. Giant Eagle store customer service representatives[]
  33. Giant Food store customer service representatives[]
  34. Hannaford store customer service representatives[]
  35. Stop & Shop store customer service representatives[]
  36. Fidelity Investments customer service via Facebook chat[]
  37. Walmart customer service via live chat[]
  38. https://www.walmart.com/store-finder[]

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