Who Accepts Starter Checks? Does Walmart Take Starter Checks? Solved

If you’ve recently opened a checking account, you likely received several starter checks from the bank and are wondering who accepts starter checks. Starter checks are issued to customers immediately upon opening an account because it usually takes a week or two for official checks to be printed and shipped out. Starter checks don’t have the customer’s name or address on them but do have the routing and account numbers associated with the new account. Although issuing starter checks is a nice service offered by banks, most stores will not accept them as a form of payment because there is no way to verify the check is yours and it could present a liability to the store if the starter check was stolen. So, what stores take starter checks? Here’s the list for you of every store we could find that will accept starter checks.

Places That Accept Starter Checks

The list below provides you with a list of places that accept starter checks. When you open a new bank account, most banks will print a debit card for you at the same time. So, provided you open the account at the branch (as opposed to online), you’ll have a debit card the same day. (Learn more about banks that immediately issue debit cards through our article, What Banks Give You a Debit Card on the Spot?)

If your bank gives you a debit card right away, we recommend using that option over a starter check since debit cards are almost universally accepted. However, if you haven’t yet received your debit card and need to shop with starter checks, the stores below will be able to take your starter check.

Grocery Stores

BJ’s Wholesale Club

  • Accepts starter checks: At all locations
  • Requirements: A valid, government-issued photo ID; write your name and address (matching the ID) on the starter check
  • Source: BJ’s Member Care
  • Find a BJ’s

Costco Wholesale

  • Accepts starter checks: At all locations
  • Requirements: A valid, government-issued photo ID and a Costco membership
  • Source: Costco Customer Service
  • Find a Costco

Kmart

  • Accepts starter checks: At all locations
  • Requirements: A valid, government-issued photo ID
  • Source: Kmart Customer Service
  • Find a Kmart

Home Improvement Stores

The Home Depot

  • Accepts starter checks: At all locations
  • Requirements: A valid, government-issued photo ID; the store may need to call their check verification company before clearing you to pay with the starter check
  • Source: Home Depot Customer Service Center
  • Find a Home Depot

Lowe’s

  • Accepts starter checks: At all locations. A Lowe’s customer service representative told us that any Lowe’s location should be able to accept starter checks since neither she nor her supervisor could not find any documentation explicitly stating they don’t accept starter checks. She recommended that customers talk to a manager if a Lowe’s location refuses to take their starter check.
  • Requirements: A valid, government-issued photo ID
  • Source: Lowe’s Customer Service
  • Find a Lowe’s

Office Supply Stores

Office Depot & OfficeMax (owned by the same company)

Staples

  • Accepts starter checks: At some locations. A Staples customer service representative told us that the store accepts personal checks, but not all stores accept starter checks. Also note that Staples will not accept starter checks from business checking accounts, only those from personal checking accounts.
  • Requirements: A valid, government-issued photo ID
  • Source: Staples Customer Support
  • Find a Staples

Stores That Don’t Accept Starter Checks

Lots of major retail stores don’t take starter checks. Does Walmart take starter checks? Nope. Target? Nope. Here’s the complete list.

  • Albertson’s
  • ALDI
  • Baker’s Supermarkets
  • bfresh
  • City Market
  • CVS
  • Dillons Supermarkets
  • Dollar General
  • Dollar Tree
  • Family Dollar
  • Food 4 Less
  • Food Lion
  • Fred Meyer
  • Fry’s Food & Drug
  • Gerbes Super Markets
  • Giant
  • Hannaford
  • Harris Teeter
  • Jay C Food Stores
  • King Soopers
  • Kroger
  • Mariano’s (Roundy’s)
  • Martin’s Food Markets
  • Owen’s
  • Pay Less Super Markets
  • Publix
  • Quality Food Centers (QFC)
  • Ralphs
  • Rite Aid
  • Ruler Foods
  • Sam’s Club
  • Scott’s
  • Smith’s
  • Stop & Shop
  • Target
  • Trader Joe’s
  • True Value
  • Walgreens
  • Walmart
  • Whole Foods
  • WinCo

Many stores that don’t accept starter checks may still accept personal checks (once you have the official ones, with your name and address printing on them). For a list of stores that accept personal checks, see our article What Stores Accept Personal Checks?

In Summary

Now you know who accepts starter checks. Unfortunately for those of you stuck using them, it’s not a long list. Starter checks aren’t widely accepted because they are not preprinted with your name and address and therefore it’s more difficult for stores to verify their authenticity. Nonetheless, there are a handful of places that accept starter checks — like Costco, Kmart, and Lowe’s. Just be sure to bring along a valid photo ID with you.

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3 comments

  • Gerald R Vimont says:

    This article is mostly bogus. NO, Walgreens does not accept starter checks. I worked for them for 19 years and during training that is emphasized. And no, CVS does not do it on a store by store basis. They’re not supposed to take them according to their training documents.

    • Lindsey Desmet says:
      First Quarter Finance logostaff

      Thank you for bringing this to our attention, Gerald. We called both Walgreens and CVS to confirm that they do not accept starter checks at this time and have removed them from our list.