Short Answer: Safeway offers several in-store money services including money orders, money transfers, bill pay, Coinstar, and check cashing. The grocery chain also sells gift cards and offers its own gas rewards program. For the details on money and other store services offered at Safeway, including fees and restrictions, see below.
Safeway Western Union
Safeway is a Western Union agent, so it sells Western Union money orders. To get a money order at Safeway, you’ll need to visit the customer service desk. The customer service desk usually has shorter hours than the rest of the store, and typically closes at 7 p.m. You may wish to call your local Safeway ahead of time and ask about its customer service hours before visiting.
The fees for purchasing a money order, as well as the accepted payment methods, will vary by Safeway location according to corporate customer service. We contacted Safeway stores in Colorado, Maryland, and Virginia to get more information. Store associates quoted us fees of either $0.59 or $0.99 per money order, which you can purchase up to a maximum value of $500 each. Most stores told us they accepted cash only for money orders, while one store in Denver, Colo. also accepted debit cards.
Safeway does not cash money orders, even those bought at Safeway. For a list of 20+ places that do cash money orders, see our article.
From the Safeway customer service desk, you can also send or receive a money transfer via Western Union. You can send money either domestically or internationally. Fees start at around $5 but vary greatly depending on where you’re sending to, so use the fee estimator to get an idea of the price. You must pay for the transfer with either cash or a debit card. Again, your local Safeway store may set its own rules regarding fees and payment method, so you may wish to contact them ahead of time for more details.
You’ll need to know certain information about the recipient, like their address and complete name as it appears on their ID. If you’re transferring money internationally, you might have the option to send the money to their bank account, so you’ll need information from their financial institution. After you pay for the transfer, you’ll get a receipt with a tracking number (the MTCN). Keep it: The recipient must have that number when they pick up the money. The recipient can pick up the money order at any Western Union agent, not just Safeway.
If you’re picking up a money transfer at Safeway, you’ll need a government-issued ID and the tracking number (MTCN). There’s no fee to pick up the money transfer.
Customers can pay bills in person at Safeway through Western Union’s Convenience Pay service. This service makes it convenient to send payments for credit cards, car payments, rent, mortgage, utilities, and more. Just go to the customer service desk, and from there, a Safeway associate can search the extensive database of payees to see if the one you need is there. If the payee is part of the C-Pay system, you will be able to pay your bill and receive a proof of payment in minutes.
Safeway Check Cashing
Don’t have a bank account? Looking for somewhere to cash a check after hours? Safeway cashes several kinds of checks. Specific policies about the types of checks accepted may vary by location. Most of the time, the following rules apply for cashing a check at Safeway:
- Types of checks cashed: Safeway typically does not cash personal checks, handwritten checks, third-party checks, or starter checks. You can typically cash government checks — such as disability benefits, Social Security benefits, tax refunds, and unemployment benefits — and payroll checks at Safeway.
- Cost for check cashing: Around $2.25 for every $200 cashed; may vary by store
- Maximum check value: Typically $1,499
You’ll need to present a government-issued photo ID when cashing a check at Safeway.
Safeway Check Writing
In addition to getting a check cashed, customers can write a personal check to pay for their grocery purchase and get up to $25 cash back by overwriting the amount owed. You must provide a government-issued photo ID to pay with a check.
Safeway uses Certegy, a third-party verification system, to process personal checks. The Certegy system reviews your check writing history for potential risks, and your check may be declined if you have past returned checks, unpaid checks, or issues with your checking account. Your check could also be declined for something more innocent, like Certegy simply not having any records about you. If Certegy declines your check at a Safeway store, the cashier will be unable to accept a check as payment. You can call Certegy at (800) 237-3826 or use the Certegy declined check lookup to find the reason your check was declined.
Safeway Gift Cards
Safeway carries over 300 gift cards. Cards are offered from multiple retailers, including prepaid credit cards, and they can be purchased either in-store or online through partner company Gift Card Mall. Available gift card types include:
- Leading retailers and restaurants
- Prepaid cards for digital gaming and online entertainment
- Visa, Mastercard, and American Express gift cards
- Sports cards from major leagues and teams
- Ticket cards for theme parks, ski resorts, and more
Gift Card Mall Options
Online shoppers at Gift Card Mall can even personalize the gift card with their photo, which adds a special touch. Gift Card Mall provides gift cards from a wide variety of retailers, including (but not limited to):
- Build-A-Bear Workshop
- Forever 21
- The Home Depot
Accepted Payment Methods for Gift Cards
You can pay for your gift card purchase with cash, debit, credit, or personal check. But, if you pay with a credit card, you’ll be limited to four gifts cards or $200 per day. If paying with a debit card, customers are limited to 20 gift cards or $2,000 per day, unless authorized by a manager at the store.
Checking Your Gift Card Balance
If you have a gift card for Safeway, you can check the balance by calling Safeway at (877) 258-2799 or visiting the customer service desk in-store. Currently, there is no way to check the balance online.
Safeway Gas Rewards Points
Safeway offers rewards points for discounts on gas purchases at Safeway gas stations. When you shop at Safeway and use your Club Card at checkout, you’ll earn one point for every dollar spent on groceries or pharmacy items, and two points for each dollar spent on qualifying gift cards.
Points are redeemed in increments of 100; 100 points = $0.10 off per gallon. You can redeem up to a max of $1 off per gallon at Safeway gas stations and $0.20 off per gallon at participating Chevron and Texaco gas stations. You’ll need to swipe your Club Card or enter the phone number linked to your card at the pump.
Point totals less than 100 expire at the end of the calendar month in which they were earned. Point totals over 100 are good until the end of the following calendar month after they were earned.
Safeway Fast Forward Debit Card
In select California locations, customers can sign up for the Safeway Fast Forward debit card, which provides twice as many gas rewards points for every dollar spent. The card allows you to pay for groceries at Safeway with your existing checking account and links to your Safeway Club Card to give you the same benefits.
Fast Forward is available at these California Safeway locations: Alamo, Anderson, Antioch, Bay Point, Brentwood, Burney, Cameron Park, Carmichael, Chico, Citrus Heights, Clayton, Concord, Danville, Discovery Bay, Dublin, El Dorado Hills, Elk Grove, Fair Oaks, Folsom, Jackson, Lincoln, Livermore, Lodi, Madera, Manteca, Martinez, Modesto, Moraga, Orinda, Paradise, Placerville, Pleasant Hill, Pleasanton, Pollock Pines, Rancho Cordova, Redding, Rocklin, Roseville, Sacramento, San Ramon, Sonora, Stockton, Tracy, Turlock, Walnut Creek, and West Sacramento.
Another money service offered at Safeway is the Coinstar machine. You can insert all your extra coins into the machine and get paper money or an e-gift card back, or opt to make a donation. Fees apply for cash.
- Cash/paper money: 11.9%
- e-Gift card: No fee
- Charity donation: No fee
If you choose cash, the machine will print out a voucher, and you can redeem it for cash at the customer service desk. If you choose an e-gift card, you’ll be prompted to select which store you want credit for, and then the machine will print a voucher. You can browse which stores are available on Coinstar’s website. If you choose to make a donation, the machine will prompt you to select a charity. You can also see which charities are available at Coinstar’s website.
Other Grocery Stores With Money Services
If Safeway isn’t in your town or isn’t convenient for you, there are a number of other grocery stores that offer similar financial services. Grocery stores usually have reasonable fees for check cashing and money orders and are a great option if you don’t have a bank account.
For the list of grocery stores that cash checks, see our article. If you want to find out about other types of businesses that cash checks, or if you don’t mind going somewhere other than the grocery store, our article can help you find other check cashing places near you.
Many grocery stores also sell money orders, though you can also buy a money order at the Post Office and many banks. We’ve also outlined the list of places where you can get a money order.