What Is the PNC Cashier’s Check Fee?

Find out if the PNC cashier's check fee is a good value.

PNC’s cashier’s check fee is $10 per check, but there’s more to know about cashier’s checks than just the fee. Understanding exactly what a cashier’s check is, how to get one and when to use it is just as important.

This guide will dive deeper into these topics and show how PNC cashier’s check fees compare to other banks’.

What Is a Cashier’s Check?

A cashier’s check as a secure payment backed by a bank. It’s purchased at a financial institution like PNC, where a bank teller makes the check out to a third party. The check is drawn against the bank’s own funds, so it’s unlikely to bounce.

Banking customers typically use cashier’s checks for large or important fees requiring guaranteed payment, such as apartment lease deposits.

How To Get a PNC Cashier’s Check

To get a PNC cashier’s check, you’ll need a checking or savings account from which to pull funds. If necessary, you can open a new account with sufficient funds to cover the check. In either case, you must have the full amount available in your bank account.

How To Get a Cashier’s Check explains what else you’ll need to get your check:

  1. Personal ID like a driver’s license or a passport
  2. Account number or ATM card
  3. The check recipient’s information, including their bank account and routing numbers
  4. $10 for PNC’s cashier’s check fee.

Related: Where Can I Cash a Cashier’s Check?

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How PNC Cashier’s Check Fees Compare With Other Banks’ Fees

It’s smart to compare PNC cashier’s check fees with fees from other financial institutions to see if there’s a better deal for you. That said, GOBankingRates has listed cashier’s check fees among banking fees you should never pay. The table below shows the comparison and how to get the fee waived. Although PNC’s $10 cashier’s check fee is one of the highest, PNC offers four different accounts that waive it.

Financial Institutions’ Cashier’s Check Fees and Options to Waive Them
Financial InstitutionCashier’s Check FeeOptions To Waive Fee
PNC$10No fee for Performance and Select checking, Virtual Wallet Performance and Performance Select accounts
Bank of America$15No fee Preferred Rewards customers
Chase Bank$8No fee for Premier Plus and Sapphire checking accounts.
Wells Fargo$10
No fee for Preferred checking account
Capital One$10Can’t escape it
Ally Bank$0N/A
U.S. Bank$8No fee for military
Navy Federal Credit UnionTwo free cashier’s checks per day, then $5 eachAvoid going over two cashier’s checks per day

Learn More: How Much Does a Cashier’s Check Cost?

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How To Avoid Cashier’s Check Scams and Fraud

Complaints of check fraud — including cashier’s check fraud — more than doubled between 2014 and 2017, jumping from 12,781 to 29,513, according to a report by the Better Business Bureau.

Here are common examples of fraudulent check scams to watch out for:

  • Check overpayment fraud: This usually happens with an online purchase, when the customer sends a cashier’s check for more money than is requested and asks the seller to perform a specific action with the extra money. For example, you’re selling an item for $800 and the customer wants to send you a cashier’s check for $1,500, with the extra $700 to go to the movers who are going to pick up that item.
  • Foreign lottery scam: This is essentially the same scam as check overpayment fraud, only in this case, you receive a check in the mail for alleged foreign lottery winnings plus extra money for taxes and wiring fees. The issuer requests that when you cash this check, you immediately send them the extra tax and wire-fee money.
  • Secret shopper scam: In this scam, you sign up to be a secret shopper and are asked to evaluate a money transfer service. The company sends you a cashier’s check that you cash against your own account before using the service to transfer the funds to the phony secret shopping service.

Although a bank usually makes part of the funds from a cashier’s check available right away, it takes time for the bank to verify the funds and clear the check. Scammers take advantage of this lag, so by the time the bank finds out the check is a fraud, the victim is out of the overpayment or any amount they’ve drawn against the bad check. GOBankingRates’ Complete Guide To Cashier’s Checks advises that you never pay for a prize, accept a payment for more than the purchase price or wire money to strangers. In the event that you do need to be paid by cashier’s check, ask that it be issued by a local bank.

Essential Reading: What To Do If You’re a Victim of Cashier’s Check Scams

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Other Ways To Make Payments

You can use other methods of payment as alternatives to a cashier’s check. Some methods have similar benefits, but they differ from cashier’s checks in important ways.

  • Personal Checks: Whereas a cashier’s check is written against the bank’s funds, a personal check is written against the funds in your checking account. You don’t have to go to the bank to get personal checks — you get a starter supply when you open your account and order more when they run out. Unlike cashier’s checks, personal checks contain sensitive information like your account number and address. However, you can stop payment on a personal check if you suspect fraud, this is not so with a cashier’s check.
  • Certified Checks: A certified check is like a personal check, but its certification by a bank officer guarantees payment. While a cashier’s check is drawn from the bank’s funds, a certified check is drawn from your own funds, so it’s slightly less certain to clear.
  • Money Order: Money orders function somewhat like cashier’s checks in that payment is guaranteed because you purchase the money order by paying the face value plus any service fee upfront. They’re more widely available — you can purchase money orders for very low cost at the post office and grocery stores, gas stations and other retail establishments — but they’re typically limited to $500 each, and there might be a limit on how many you may purchase.
  • Wire Transfers: A wire transfer is the digital transfer of money between banks. The process is highly secure because no checks are needed, but many banks charge high fees for this service.

Compare: Certified Check vs. Cashier’s Check — Here Are the Differences

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Summing Up the PNC Bank Cashier’s Checks Fee

PNC’s $10 cashier’s check fee seems pretty steep at first glance, but you can avoid it by upgrading your account to one offering free cashier’s checks. Either way, cashier’s checks have clear advantages over other forms of payment, as long as you’re careful to avoid being scammed. They’re more secure than personal checks, and there’s no ceiling on the amount you can get one for like there is with money orders. And because they’re drawn against the bank’s account, they’re a preferred payment method for important expenses and purchases over $5,000.

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More From GOBankingRates

Rates and fees are subject to change. This content is not provided by PNC Bank. Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone and have not been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by PNC Bank.

About the Author

Jared Nigro is from Pittsburgh, which is obvious by the way he gravitates toward cheese at parties. He is a comedy writer from The Groundlings Sunday Company, Upright Citizens Brigade and has his own digital show on Comedy Central called “Broken People.” When he isn’t being funny, he’s reading books on debt and finance and listening to his favorite finance podcast, ChooseFI.