Does Kroger Take Checks? How Does Kroger Process Checks? Answered

Kroger is one of the largest grocery chains in the United States. But does Kroger take checks? Yes. Kroger’s check writing and processing policies are tricky, but we’ll show you how to navigate the process with no issues. We also present information on using a credit or debit card and how to get cash back on any of these payment types.

Kroger Check Writing Policy

Kroger accepts personal checks as a form of payment. When you pay with a check, the cashier will run the check through their system. In two to three business days, Kroger deposits the check into the bank.

When you pay with a check, you’ll need to provide a state-issued ID from the state where you are shopping or an adjoining state. First-time check writers have restrictions, which vary by store. Generally, first-time check writers are only allowed to write a check of up $150 and cannot get cash back. This limit is pretty standard across stores, although there are a few Kroger locations, mostly in California, that have a $250 limit and allow new check writers to get up to $20 cash back.

If you are a regular Kroger shopper and have an established relationship with your local store but have not been paying with checks, you can ask your store to grant you a higher limit as a new check writer. The store will need to call the customer relations department to have your higher limit approved.

Be aware that Kroger’s check writing system only goes back 90 days. Therefore, if you let more than 90 days go by without paying by check, your history will be lost, and you may have to start over as a first-time check writer. When we talked to the customer relations department about this rule, they recommended paying by check about once a month to ensure that your history won’t be lost.

Kroger Returned Check Policy

If a check is returned for non-sufficient funds, Kroger will resubmit the check to your account up to two more times. Returned checks are subject to a return check fee, which Kroger will charge to your account seven to ten days after the check clears. Return check fees are limited by state law and generally range from $20 to $40. If the check still doesn’t clear after two attempts, Kroger will contact you with respect to the outstanding check. Returned checks reflect negatively on your check history with Kroger. If your check has been returned, you won’t be able to pay by check again until the check has cleared.

Getting Cash Back from a Check

After writing five to seven good checks, you will have a history with the store and your limits will begin to rise. Usually, check writers with a history can get up to $20-30 cash back. Keep in mind, though, that Kroger stores have the option of setting their own limits on check amounts and cash back amounts. To find store-specific cash back limits, you can ask in-person at your store, or you can call the customer relations department at 1-800-917-6484. For more information, check out our article on Kroger’s cash back limits for checks and other payment methods.

Cashing a Check at Kroger

Kroger also offers in-store check cashing. Kroger cashes payroll checks, government checks, tax refund checks, insurance checks, and corporate checks. To cash a check, you need to provide (1) the check, (2) your Social Security Number or Individual Taxpayer Identification Number, and (3) a current ID. Acceptable IDs include a U.S. driver’s license, a state-Issued ID, a temporary ID, a military ID, a resident alien ID, a Matricula Consular ID, a valid passport, a Tribal Nation ID, or a Reservation ID. Depending on the amount of the check, there is either a $3 or $5 fee for this service. Suggested article: These Places Let You Cash Checks for Free

Kroger uses Certegy, a check processing service, to electronically process payroll checks. Certegy is a “check risk management” company and as such will analyze your check information against its database and then approve or decline your check. Approval or denial is not based on your credit score. You can request a copy of your file, which Certegy references when approving or declining your check. Other factors not related to your file may affect whether Kroger will cash your check. For example, Certegy may contact your financial institution to process the check. You might therefore only be able to cash your check during regular business hours.

When cashing a check, Kroger also gives you the option of loading the money onto a qualifying prepaid card, Kroger’s 123 Rewards Prepaid Temporary Card, or Kroger’s Personalized Card. If you choose this option, you will need to provide your Kroger 123 Rewards Card or other qualifying prepaid card to scan at the counter. You can reload a temporary card with $10-$500 and a personalized or other qualifying prepaid card with $10-$1,000.

For more information, check out our article on Kroger’s check cashing policy.

Accepted Credit and Debit Card Issuers

For those who prefer not to pay by check, it’s important to know which cards you can swipe. And since many places don’t accept American Express, does Kroger accept American Express? Yes. Kroger accepts Visa, Mastecard, Discover, and American Express credit and debit cards.

When paying with a debit card, you cannot run the debit card as a credit card — you must enter the debit card’s PIN.

When paying with a credit card with a chip, you may need the PIN number associated with your card. Chip credit cards with PINs will not require you to sign a copy of the receipt. Kroger has implemented these PIN requirements in an effort to make payments more secure.

How to Get Cash Back from a Debit or Credit Card

We visited a Kroger location in central Illinois to confirm that customers can get cash back at checkout when using a debit card. The PIN pad screen allows you to request $20, $40, or $60, or you can select “other” and enter a different amount. If you’re looking for an amount over $60, ask the cashier what their cash back limit is. According to Kroger’s customer service, stores are allowed to set their own debit card cash back limits.

Want to get cash back using a credit card? It’s possible on certain credit cards. If your card allows cash back, you’ll be prompted on the screen. Discover cards allow this.

For more information, check out our article on Kroger’s cash back limits for debit cards, credit cards, and other payment methods.

In Summary

Does Kroger take checks? You bet. How does Kroger process checks? Now you know… You also now know that Kroger even accepts American Express. Enjoy your time at Kroger.

Wondering about if Kroger takes rainchecks? See our article: Kroger’s Raincheck Policy Explained


  • Does Kroger’s handle return checks locally through county attorneys or does customer have to work it out(get checks paid) with Kroger’s?

    • Laura Bachmann says:
      First Quarter Finance logostaff

      Hi Bruce,

      The customer should contact the Kroger Customer Relations department to resolve check related issues at (800) 917-6484.

  • If you write one check and you get $20/$25 back, can you write another one for cash back in the same day? Lost debit card, bank is out of town needed to get some cash.

    • Vmissvickie says:

      No you have to pay the fees before you can write another check and Kroger returned a check that I wrote after only
      sending it through one time!

      • Carrie Cook says:

        Hi, you cannot get cash twice in one day. You may even have to wait or have a manager override the transaction to get cash back the next day. At least this has been my experience when I was in the same situation.

  • If you have a returned check from 2 years ago and that account is closed can you go to another Kroger and pay with a check from another account. I’m asking for my grandmother, I’m in charge of her financial stuff now.

    • Laura Bachmann says:
      First Quarter Finance logostaff

      Hi Andy,

      Kroger only keep you check payment history for 90 days, so a two-year-old check definitely shouldn’t be in their records anymore. If your grandma pays with a check now, she’ll be starting with a clean slate.

  • If all the checks have cleared but the return fees have not been paid, are you allowed to write checks to purchase groceries?

    • Laura Bachmann says:
      First Quarter Finance logostaff

      Hi V Brown,

      As long as your check has cleared, you should be able to go ahead and pay by check again even though the fee hasn’t been paid yet. But, the store has the discretion to make an exception to this general rule and could decide not to let you pay by check. Their decision depends on the relationship you’ve established with Kroger. They keep info on your check history with them for 90 days, so if you had a couple checks not clear in that time frame or they have other reasons to be concerned, they could decide not to accept your check. In your position, I would try to pay with a check again, but be prepared with an alternative payment method in case they won’t accept your check.

    • Vmissvickie says:

      No you have to pay the fees before you can write another check and Kroger returned a check that I wrote after only sending it through one time!

    • Laura Bachmann says:
      First Quarter Finance logostaff

      Hi Fds,

      Because starter checks don’t have any of your personal information printed on them, stores generally don’t accept them because they don’t have any way to verify that the check won’t bounce. In addition, because the account is new, check authorization services like Telecheck and Certegy often won’t accept starter checks. You’re better off waiting until your regular checks get in before trying to pay by check at Kroger or any other large store, for that matter.

  • Kris Anders says:

    I don’t know if you can answer these questions, but 1)Are they required to attempt to run the check three times before they can classify it as a returned check? 2) If there was another check written they day after the check that did not go through the first time was written (for a much smaller amount which would have gone through just fine) are they allowed to charge a return check fee for both even though they did not even attempt to run the second check?

    • Rebecca Turley says:
      First Quarter Finance logostaff

      Hi Kris,

      While some retailers will attempt to run the check more than once, they are not required to do so. The only way a retailer can charge a returned check fee is if they actually attempted to run it. Hope this helps!