From getting fast access to a birthday check to turning that tax refund check into cash, there are a number of reasons why you might need to cash a check from your phone. If your bank doesn't offer mobile check deposit, you can still compare the top check-cashing apps to find the best one for your needs.
- What Is Check-Cashing?
- Best Check-Cashing Apps
- How To Cash Instantly
What Is Check Cashing?
Check cashing is when a recipient converts a paper check to cash to use the funds. Traditionally, checks have been cashed at bank branches and ATMs or via mobile banking apps, but a new generation of check-cashing apps lets you load checks to an online account or a credit or debit card.
Best Check-Cashing Apps
Here's a quick look at the costs associated with the best check-cashing apps, along with how they're best used:
How it works: ACE Flare is a nontraditional bank account offered by MetaBank. It comes with features similar to traditional bank accounts, including fee-free ATM withdrawals, direct deposit and check cashing through the app.
Cost: There is currently no charge for the standard check-cashing service. Expedited requests have a 2% to 5% fee with a $5 minimum charge.
What the app is best for: ACE Flare is a banking option for individuals who don't want to use a traditional bank.
Brink's Money Prepaid Mobile App
How it works: The Brink's Money Prepaid Mobile App offers mobile check cashing to a prepaid Mastercard debit card with many of the same benefits as bank debit cards. You add funds by loading a check, scheduling direct deposits or transferring money from another Brink's card or a bank account. When you enroll in direct deposit, you can receive your paycheck up to two days faster.
Cost: The check-cashing fees are third-party fees that are subject to change. Expedited services range from 2% to 5% or a $5 flat fee. This does not include charges for mobile data.
What the app is best for: Transferring money to family and friends who use Netspend accounts
The Check Cashing Store
How it works: Using the Check Cashing Store mobile app, you can make check deposits directly to your bank account or any prepaid card by taking a photo of a check and uploading it. When you use a Momentum Prepaid Mastercard, you can view your transaction history within the app to track your spending habits.
Cost: A mobile check-cashing fee schedule is not available on the company's website. Contact The Check Cashing Store for details on fees.
What the app is best for: Transferring money to prepaid cards
Ingo Money App
How it works: The Ingo Money App is a favorite choice for payroll check cashing. When you sign up, you must link at least one debit card, prepaid card, credit card or PayPal account to your user profile. To cash a check, take a photo of it in the app, choose when and where you want to receive the money and submit the check for review.
- $5 or 2% for preprinted payroll and government checks (whichever is higher)
- $5 or 5% for other types of checks and money orders (whichever is higher)
- Preferred pricing plan, available to customers who've cashed at least six checks within the last 90 days, offers discounted rates
What the app is best for: Transferring money to a debit card or gift card
How it works: The app makes it easy to reload a Netspend prepaid debit card without stopping at an ATM. In addition to check-cashing services, you get direct deposit and the option to receive paychecks up to two days early.
Cost: The cost is similar to other apps. You'll pay either 2% to 5% of the check amount or a flat $5 fee.
What the app is best for: Sending money to family and friends with Netspend accounts
How it works: The PayPal app has a check-cashing feature that lets you deposit checks into your PayPal Cash Plus account. The PayPal Cash Plus account lets users carry and manage a balance in their personal PayPal account, much like a traditional bank account.
Cost: Cash government and payroll checks for a 1% fee or $5 flat fee. All other checks have a 5% or $5 flat fee.
What the app is best for: An alternative to a traditional checking account
Western Union Netspend Prepaid Mastercard Mobile
How it works: The Western Union Netspend Prepaid Mastercard offers popular features like direct deposit and cash back rewards in addition to check-cashing through the mobile app. You also have the ability to send and receive money through WU money transfer.
Cost: You will pay 2% to 5% of the check value or a flat $5 fee to cash checks.
What the app is best for: Sending and receiving money from long distances
How Can I Cash a Check Instantly?
Most check-cashing apps offer expedited service that processes the check within a few minutes or hours.
Alternatively, the following options are available if you'd like to get your cash in person:
WAYS TO CASH A CHECK INSTANTLY
- Visit a local check-cashing store.
- Use the check-cashing service available at many Walmart stores.
- Some banks, like Regions, also offer check-cashing services for non-account holders.
This article has been updated with additional reporting since its original publication.
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