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 you don’t have a bank account with access to mobile check deposit, you can still compare the top check-cashing apps to find the best one for your needs.
Best Check-Cashing Apps
If you need to cash a check on the go, doing so from your mobile phone is a fast and easy option. Here’s a look at the best apps for cashing checks.
1. 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.
What the app is best for: Transferring money to family and friends who use Netspend accounts
2. 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
- No fee if you choose to receive your money in 10 days
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: No mobile check load fee applies for standard service. For expedited service, you’ll pay either 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 add funds from checks to your PayPal Balance account.
Cost: No fee applies if you choose the 10-day delayed funding option. Cash government and payroll checks with a preprinted signature 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
5. 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 a Western Union money transfer.
Cost: $5 card purchase fee. No mobile check load fee applies for standard service. For expedited service, 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
6. Green Dot
How it works: Green Dot makes your paychecks and government benefit checks available up to two days sooner and pays you 2% cash back on online and mobile purchases. There’s no minimum balance requirement. The app offers up to $200 in optional overdraft protection.
Cost: Accessing funds in 10 days is free, accessing in minutes is 2% or 5% with $5 minimum; $15 opt-in fee for overdraft protection
What the app is best for: Combining spending account with savings account, which pays 2% annual percentage yield
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:
- Visit a local check-cashing store.
- Use the check-cashing service available at many Walmart stores.
- Some banks, like Regions Bank, also offer check-cashing services for non-account holders.
Daria Uhlig contributed to the reporting for this article.
Information is accurate as of Jan. 1, 2022.
This article has been updated with additional reporting since its original publication.