Short Answer: You can cash a check at any branch of your bank or you can cash it at any branch of the bank where the check was drawn. Furthermore, many banks and credit unions will let you cash a check there, even if you have no association with them. Sometimes for free. For more information on where you can and can’t cash checks, see below.
Can You Cash a Check at Any Bank?
You cannot cash any check at any bank. Banks set restrictions on who can cash checks at their branches, as well as what check types and amounts you can cash.
Most banks will allow you to cash checks whether or not you have an account. However, if you don’t have an account, you may be subject to limits and fees or only be able to cash a check drawn on the bank you visit.
We explain the check cashing process at banks where you do and do not have an account in greater detail below. We gathered this information by contacting various banks and credit unions, including Bank of America, Citibank, and Navy Federal Credit Union.
Cashing Checks at Banks Where You Have an Account
You can cash or deposit almost any type of check at a bank or credit union where you have an account, including checks that were not drawn on that bank. This includes payroll checks, government checks, personal checks, and handwritten checks.
Your bank may place a hold on the check if it is for a significant amount. For more details, see our research on how to cash a large check without a hold.
Cashing Checks at Banks Where You Don’t Have an Account
You can cash a check at most banks or credit unions where you don’t have an account. Usually, the check must be drawn on the bank where you cash it, but some banks will allow non-customers to cash checks drawn on different banks.
Whether the bank will cash the check will also depend on the check type. For more details, including specific rules at different banks and credit unions, see our research on where to cash checks without a bank account.
Bank Check Cashing Fees for Non-Customers
Some financial institutions, such as Navy Federal Credit Union and PenFed Credit Union, provide check cashing services for non-customers for free. However, most banks charge a fee — usually a flat fee ranging from $2 to $10 per check or a varying fee based on the check amount. It is best to check with the particular bank you’re using to verify fees associated with cashing a check as a non-customer.
Types of Checks Cashed for Non-Customers
Some banks will cash all types of checks for non-customers as long as the check is drawn on that bank. For example, Bank of America, Citibank, HSBC, Navy Federal Credit Union, and PenFed Credit Union will cash any type of check for non-customers as long as the check is drawn on the bank.
Other banks will only cash certain types of checks for non-customers, even if the check is drawn on the bank. For example, BB&T will only cash personal and payroll checks for non-customers, even if the check is drawn on BB&T.