Walmart is no longer just an American hub for retail shopping, it has now managed to evolve and become an immensely popular location for people who require financial services.
But… the main question most shoppers are asking here is: does Walmart cash checks? Well, yes! When visiting your local Walmart, you will be able to cash a check and obtain your money immediately.
As mentioned, a brilliant example of one of the most important financial services on offer is check-cashing, provided by Walmart Money Center, which can be found in most Walmart stores.
In a similar fashion to how checks are cashed at banks, Walmart encourages customers to take advantage of their services, cash their checks and be able to have cash in their hands immediately.
What this means is that people who do not have bank accounts (or have decided not to make use of them) are able to cash their checks with great ease.
Even better than that, people are not even required to register to access the service, it’s that easy! Most people will agree that the Walmart check cashing service is quick, reliable, and extremely convenient.
So, let’s dive into this process and take a look at how it really works!
What Types of Checks Can be Cashed at Walmart?
Due to the seriousness of check fraud, Walmart has placed a specific emphasis on exactly what kinds of checks can and cannot be cashed.
For the time being, only the following types of checks may be cashed at Walmart:
- Payroll checks: A check issued in payment of wages or salary.
- Government checks: A check issued by a federal, state, or local governmental entity, and treated as such.
- Tax Refund checks: A check that is a reimbursement to a taxpayer of any excess amount paid to the federal government or a state government.
- Cashiers’ checks: The movement with which money is moved out of your account and into the bank’s account, and then a bank representative (usually a teller) signs it over to a named third party.
- Insurance settlement checks: A check that you receive when you choose to settle an insurance claim or lawsuit.
- Retirement disbursement checks: A check provided by employers for your retirement in the form of an annuity.
- MoneyGram money orders issued at Walmart: An order that can be deposited into your bank/credit union account or cashed at many check cashing locations (such as Walmart).
What Types of Checks Cannot be Cashed at Walmart?
As was already mentioned in the previous section, there are certain types of checks that may not be cashed at Walmart.
In general, checks are denied for a variety of reasons including entering the wrong social number or having cashed incorrect checks at Walmart in the past. Most of the time, the workers at Walmart will not be able to tell you why the check you were hoping to cash was denied.
Currently, there are certain types of checks that will not be cashed at Walmart under any circumstances. These are as follows:
- Handwritten checks: These types of checks may only be cashed by banks, credit unions, or other retail stores.
- Personal checks: Individual slips of paper issued by your bank that come with your bank routing and account number on them.
- Checks with multiple payees: A check, in which the names of multiple people are included and to whom money is paid or is to be paid.
- Checks dated more than 180 days prior: All checks contain a place to write the date in the top right corner, if it is dated more than 180 days prior, it will not be cashed at Walmart.
- Post-dated checks: A check written with a future date. In other words, the date that appears on the check is after the date when the check was written.
- Non-MoneyGram money orders: Money orders that can be deposited into your bank/credit union account, but have not been made through MoneyGram.
- MoneyGram money orders not issued at Walmart: Money orders that have been made through MoneyGram, but not issued through Walmart.
As may seem obvious, each type of establishment is able to set its own policies regarding the size and types of checks that can be cashed, for security and cash management purposes.
At banks, they tend to carry enough cash to service day-to-day operations, but may not have enough currency on hand to cash a large check. Depending on the size of the check, the operation may take from one day up to two weeks.
Another important concern bankers tend to have when cashing checks is the possibility of fraud. Because of this, they are granted a great degree of flexibility in taking action if there is any suspicion of fraud.
Walmart is no different. Currently, the simple limit for check-cashing at Walmart is $5,000 per check. Not only this, but customers are only permitted to cash up to 3 checks per day.
That being said, because Walmart believes customers may bring in larger checks as a result of their tax refunds, during the months of January through April the check-cashing limit is increased to $7,500.
Funds Payment Methods
There are three most basic methods of paying for things. These are payments by means of cash, credit, or payment-in-kind (or bartering).
These methods are used in the most elementary transactions, such as paying for shopping with your credit card, but also in the largest kinds of transactions like mergers and acquisitions.
With regard to check-cashing, the principal is similar to that of paying by credit. An agreement between a buyer and a seller is set up to receive funds, but in this case, the cash is exchanged instantly.
At Walmart in particular, there are two ways to receive the cash funds you are entitled to when cashing a check. The options on offer are:
- Receiving cash instantly (not forgetting the previously mentioned limit).
- Immediately reload your Walmart MoneyCard.
Walmart has set the process up in the way that if you decide to load the funds from your check onto your Walmart MoneyCard, the reload fee you would usually have to pay is waived, making it a truly beneficial option.
This is a convenient option to choose if you tend to use the prepaid card account on regular basis as part of your overall financial system.
How Much does Check-Cashing Cost?
The way the system has been set up makes it so that cashing a check at a place other than a bank can be extremely costly.
This means that the moment people decide to cash their checks, their options are certainly limited.
The few retailers and payday lenders who offer check-cashing services typically charge fees, and in this case, Walmart is no exception.
To be completely honest, the fees Walmart offers for check-cashing are more reasonable than one may think. But, as is obvious, they do charge a different fee based on the check amount.
Currently, the check-cashing fees Walmart has in place are:
- For checks of $1,000 or less, the maximum fee in place is $4.00.
- For checks of more than $1,000 up to $5,000, the maximum fee is currently $8.00.
The manner in which it works is that the fee is deducted from the total value of the check, so in the end, you’ll receive that much less than the check amount.
When comparing these check-cashing rates to other retail stores, it becomes immensely clear that similarly to Walmart, most do charge a fee.
From the viewpoint of the store, cashing checks must be quite lucrative- when they have cash in hand, people tend to be more willing to spend it.
What Does the Entire Process Look Like?
The whole procedure of cashing a check is fairly simple. The first step to take is obviously to visit a major retailer (such as Walmart) or your local bank.
The next step is to endorse the check itself. You have to sign the back of it with your name to make it payable to someone other than the stated payee or to accept responsibility for paying it.
Finally, in most places, you must hand over your ID or bank card in order to finalize the process.
If you have cashed the check at a bank, the check will be deposited first in your account and then you will be able to withdraw the cash.
In the precise case of Walmart, as previously mentioned, to cash a check no prior registration is needed.
What this means is that as long as you are able to provide an endorsed check in addition to a valid form of government-issued ID that must include a photo (e.g., state ID card, driver’s license, U.S. passport, etc.) you will have no trouble.
It must be mentioned that in order to cash a check at Walmart, in some cases you may have to provide your Social Security number.
Comparison with Cashing Checks at a Bank
As has been explained throughout this article, there are several options with regard to cashing a check. In this section, we will look into whether it is more convenient to do so at Walmart or at a bank.
These are the main differences between cashing a check at a Walmart and cashing a check at a bank.
When you receive a check, you can decide to cash it at the bank that issued said check, without necessarily having to deposit it into your bank account.
However, this does come with a cost- banks tend to charge a non-customer check-cashing fee. Next, we will delve into the cost of cashing checks at banks as a non-customer:
|Bank||Non-customer check-cashing fee|
|Bank of America||$8 per check for amounts greater than $50|
|BB&T||Free under $50; Over $50 a fee of $8|
|BMO Harris Bank||$10 ($50 is the minimum amount you can cash)|
|Citibank||Free for checks under $5,000|
|Fifth Third Bank||1% of the check amount ($4 minimum and $25 maximum)|
|HSBC Bank||Free for personal checks; $3 for business checks under $100 and $5 for business checks of $100 or more|
|KeyBank||1.0% of the check amount ($3 minimum and $25 maximum)|
|M&T Bank||2% of the check amount (3$ minimum)|
|PNC Bank||Free for checks that are $25 and under; 2% of the check amount for checks greater than $25 ($2 minimum)|
|Regions Bank||Free under $10, but above $10, 1% of the check amount ($2 minimum and $20 maximum)|
|SunTrust||Free for checks $50 or under, $7 if greater than $50|
|Union Bank||$10 fee for personal checks over $100; $10|
Now we know the exact amount each bank is charging for their check-cashing services, it becomes clearer that despite being more accessible or readily available than a Walmart, it is definitely more expensive.
Another extremely relevant difference between cashing a check at a bank and cashing a check at Walmart is that banks tend to cash personal checks, whereas Walmart doesn’t. Personal checks are handwritten and the reason Walmart doesn’t cash them is mainly that they consider them to be too risky.
If you do have a personal check, but no bank account, you may have to cash the check at the issuing bank. Unfortunately, that means the non-customer check-cashing fee will probably be unavoidable.
The final difference worth noting between cashing a check at Walmart and cashing a check at a bank is the limits on the size of the check they’ll cash.
As pointed out within this article, Walmart has certain limits in place with regard to check-cashing. At banks, if the check funds are available, the payment should not be limited.
Of course, this means that if your check is larger than the limit set in place, you would have to find a bank at which to cash it.
Currently, Walmart provides users with a check-cashing alternative, an example of the many extremely beneficial financial services they are now offering. This service at Walmart is cheaper than check-cashing at banks, but it does come with its downsides.
The cons with regard to cashing a check at Walmart are the restrictions on the types of checks that can be cashed, and the size of the checks themselves.
Looking forward, the hope is that Walmart will take these limitations into consideration and work on improving them, making the whole process as straightforward as possible.