Where to Get a Cashier’s Check Without a Bank Account

Posted by in Banking | Updated on November 15, 2022
At a Glance: If you don’t have a bank account, it can be difficult to get a cashier’s check. Some banks and credit unions may allow you to purchase a check without an account.

Key Takeaways:

  • Some banks may allow you to purchase a cashier’s check without an account.
  • Call different banks in your area to find out which ones allow non-account-holders to purchase a cashier’s check.
  • You could also opt to open a bank account so you can get a cashier’s check or use a money order, instead, if that’s allowed.

If you are making a big purchase, the seller probably wants some guarantee that the check won’t bounce. You could pay in cash, but that is inconvenient for everyone, especially if you are not going to see the seller in person. 

You have heard that a cashier’s check, or bank check, is a safer alternative to paying cash for a big purchase. But where to get a cashier’s check without a bank account?

It may still be possible to get a cashier’s check, even if you do not have a bank account. Some, but not all, banks will issue a cashier’s check to a non-customer for a fee. You will have to phone around to see whether a financial institution will be willing to help you.

Here we look at where to get a cashier’s check without a bank account and what your alternative options are if you can’t. 

How Cashier’s Checks Work

When you write a personal check, the funds to pay it are drawn from your checking account. If you do not have enough money in your account, the check can bounce, or fail to be backed by sufficient funds.

For big purchases, like vehicles and real estate, sellers often prefer to be paid with a cashier’s check. A cashier’s check is guaranteed by the bank. This means that the check won’t bounce, decreasing the risk for the seller.

Requesting a Cashier’s Check

When you request a cashier’s check, the bank first checks your account to make sure you have the amount you need to pay available. That amount is then withdrawn from your account and deposited into the bank’s account.

If you do not have a bank account, you will have to deposit the amount into the bank’s account.

Next, the bank prints the cashier’s check with the name of the payee and the amount to be paid. In place of your bank account, the bank’s own account number will be provided. When the payee deposits the cashier’s check, the funds used to pay it are drawn from the bank’s account. The check is guaranteed by the bank and will not bounce. Usually, it will also clear faster than a traditional personal check.

Where to Get a Cashier’s Check Without a Bank Account

You are reading this because you want to know where to get a cashier’s check without a bank account.

If you don’t have a bank or credit union where you regularly do business, it can be difficult to get a cashier’s check. When you request a cashier’s check, the bank first checks your account to make sure you have the amount you need to pay available. That amount is then withdrawn from your account and deposited into the bank’s account. If you do not have a bank account, this process is impossible.

However, some banks and other financial institutions may allow you to purchase a cashier’s check without an account. Call the different banks near you to see whether this is an option. You will generally need to pay cash for the cashier’s check if you don’t have an account where the funds can originate.

Opening a Bank Account to Get a Cashier’s Check

You can also open an account at a bank to get a cashier’s check. If you have all of the documentation handy, this is a straightforward process. You will then need to deposit money into your bank account so that you can withdraw the money for the cashier’s check from the account.

Keep in mind it can take some time for non-cash deposits at a bank to clear. The money you deposit into your account may not be immediately available for withdrawal via a cashier’s check.

Contact your bank directly to clarify the funds’ availability policies for new accounts, including how they relate to cashier’s checks.

Do You Need a Bank Account to Get a Cashier’s Check?

A cashier’s check is guaranteed by the bank and will not bounce. When the payee deposits the cashier’s check, the funds used to pay it are drawn from the bank’s account. Cashier’s checks also tend to clear faster than a traditional personal check.

If you have a bank or credit union account, you can request a cashier’s check from your bank easily. It is a normal service that a financial institution will offer its customers. You usually get charged a small fee. You can even apply for a cashier’s check online.

If You Do Not Have a Bank Account

If you do not have a bank account, it may still be possible to get a cashier’s check. Some, but not all, banks will issue a cashier’s check to a non-customer for a fee. You will have to phone around to see whether a financial institution will be willing to help you.

If you are battling to get a cashier’s check without a bank account, see whether you can pay by money order instead. A money order is paid for upfront and can be issued without a bank account.

Difference Between a Cashier’s Check and a Money Order

A money order is an alternative to a cashier’s check. In many situations where a cashier’s check is needed, a money order will also do the job. Check with the payee whether they will accept a money order rather than a cashier’s check.

You “buy” a money order by providing the required amount, plus a fee. You can usually deposit the amount and then buy a money order in one stop. A money order is completely prepaid so it won’t bounce.

The downside to money orders is they are often restricted by a maximum amount. For example, the U.S. Postal Service offers a money order service, but only for purchases up to $1,000.

Key Differences Between Cashier’s Checks and Money Orders

Here are the main differences between a cashier’s check and a money order:

Cashier’s CheckMoney Order
Used for paying large purchases safelyUsed for paying large purchases safely
Guaranteed by the bank, won’t bounceCompletely prepaid, won’t bounce
Usually requires a bank accountDoesn’t require a bank account
No maximum amountRestricted by the maximum amount

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Final Thoughts

A cashier’s check is a convenient way to make safe, guaranteed payments for large amounts. 

Some banks and other financial institutions may allow you to purchase a cashier’s check without an account. Call banks near you to see whether this is an option. You will generally need to pay cash for the cashier’s check if you don’t have an account where the funds can originate.

If you are wondering where to get a cashier’s check without a bank account, then a money order might be better suited for your needs. In many situations where a cashier’s check is needed, a money order will also do. Check with the payee whether they will accept a money order rather than a cashier’s check.


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