Cashing a check seems like an odd and outdated practice, especially with the advent of digital payment, PayPal, and other services. Of course, lots of people still do it, and though the method itself might be old, it’s still legitimate. And speaking of legitimacy, you can cash a check even if it involves more than two parties.
‘But where can I cash a third-party check?’ you might be asking. In this article, you will get all of the answers related to that question, and so much more.
What Are Third-Party Checks?
Most checks are two-party documents. The check is made available from a single person or business to another person or another business. Third-party checks work a bit differently. An individual can actually endorse the check for a different person to cash. All they have to do is make it clear on the check itself.
The endorsing process is rather simple:
• You write down your own name and the sum you’re required to pay
• You flip the check on its blank side
• Near the corner of the check, you write ‘Pay to the order of’ followed by the full name of the person you want to cash the check
• Finally, you sign this page using your proper check signature
Quite a few places outright refuse to accept third-party checks. Their concern is valid since these checks are the perfect opportunity for fraud to take place. For example, if you lose a check, a different third party may find it and simply cash it themselves. That’s why check cashing places often require an ID upfront; some will even request IDs from both parties listed on the check.
Places Where You Can Cash a Third-Party Check
Broadly speaking, the vast majority of places will accept regular two-party checks, while that number for third-party checks is significantly lower in comparison. These places will want proof of identity, sometimes even proof of your signature, for extra safety. In addition, expect to pay a small fee while cashing the check in question.
Listed below are some of the most common places where you can expect endorsement or depositing of your third-party checks.
Banks and Credit Unions
Banks and credit unions are possibly your safest bet for cashing a third-party check. There are several ways you can approach the process, however.
Firstly, you can cash the check in the bank whose client you are. Your branch manager can help you with the specifics, and even then, it will depend from branch to branch whether they will allow you to cash such checks.
The second approach is to try cashing the check in the issuing bank or credit union that the document was drawn upon. The process will be just as smooth, though you will more than likely have to pay a fee.
The third and most difficult approach is to cash the check at a credit union or a bank that has nothing to do with either you or the check issuer. Not only do you risk paying larger fees than you normally would, but the bank itself might simply deny providing this service to you.
But the good news is — there are quite a few banks and credit unions that actually do cash third-party checks. The list that follows contains the most popular options. It is by no means comprehensive, so we encourage you to do additional research and figure out which bank or credit union works best for you.
By far, the most prominent financial institutions that cash third-party checks are:
• Bank of America
• Chase Bank
• Navy Federal Credit Union
• SunTrust Bank/Truist
• TD Bank
• M&T Bank
• First National Bank of Omaha
• U.S. Bank
• Connexus Credit Union.
Check Cashing Stores
The US is packed with different check cashing stores that offer exactly what their name suggests. However, they often require you to pay a certain fee before cashing the check. Of our choices for some of the best check cashing stores, we recommend the following:
• ACE Cash Express
• Advance Financial
• Check ‘N Go
• Speedy Cash
• The Check Cashing Store
Places That Don’t Cash Third-Party Checks
As you might have concluded, not all banks and credit unions cash third-party checks. However, some of them might still allow an account holder to deposit such a check with a teller. But keep in mind that you won’t get any endorsement or be able to receive the amount of money listed on the check.
Naturally, there are other venues people tend to visit in order to cash said checks only to come up empty-handed. We will list a few of those in the paragraphs that follow.
Specific Banks, Credit Unions, and Check Cashing Stores
What follows is a list of banks, credit unions, and check cashing spots that will not allow any third-party cash-checking, even if you have the proper ID:
• Allied Federal Credit Union
• Ally Bank
• Bank of the West
• Charles Schwab
• Citizens Bank
• Discover Bank
• PenFed Credit Union
• Regions Bank
• Wells Fargo
• Check Into Cash
• Community Financial Services Center (CFSC)
• Friendly Check Cashing
• Money Mart
• Mr. Payroll
• PLS Check Cashing
• United Check Cashing
Grocery Stores and Supermarkets
As a general rule, supermarkets and grocery stores will almost always cash a two-party check, but never a third-party one. That also includes retail giants like Walmart. Due to the potential fraud that might take place, a store or a supermarket could be held accountable for trying to cash a check without the consent of the original payee.
That can result in the payee taking legal action, which can cost the company thousands of dollars.
Overall, cashing a check online is not advisable, since the possibility of fraud increases. In order to make sure that a check is valid (be it two-party or otherwise), official bodies have to scrutinize it in great detail, and that’s not possible with online endorsement.
The same goes for PayPal transactions. As of 2021, the company is still only accepting two-party checks and electronic funds transfers. Third-party check cashing is not something they do, nor intend to in the near future.