Where Can I Cash My Stimulus Check?

Updated on April 10, 2024

At a Glance

  • To cash your stimulus check, consider local banks, credit unions, or merchants like Walmart.
  • Fees may apply, varying based on the check amount and service provider.
  • Check cashing stores are an option but may have higher fees.
  • Smartphone apps like PayPal, Venmo, or Netspend offer alternative methods with different requirements and fees.

Stimulus checks have been offered to millions of Americans as a way to help them during these trying times. However, not everyone knows where they can cash in their stimulus checks, especially if they don’t own a bank account. So, if you came here wondering “Where can I cash my stimulus check?”, you will find the answer in the following paragraphs.

Things to Know Before Cashing Your Stimulus Check

People who are eligible to receive stimulus checks had their amounts sent by the Internal Revenue Service. Everyone qualified to receive stimulus checks should get them either through paper checks, EIP debit cards, or direct deposit.

Nowadays, numerous Americans have a bank account. Still, more than 5% of the population had no bank account in 2019, So, these people would have to think of other ways to receive their stimulus checks.

Before you are even thinking of leaving your house and collecting your stimulus checks, you have to think of the best option for you. Which one of the methods would suit your needs the most? There are several things to consider when making your choice, such as the amount you will get from the EIP, as well as how much you will be charged in fees. The payment you will get is going to be the biggest from this category, and some of the options available will put a limit on how much you will be able to get.

So, before you sign up for a certain service, make sure to read the fine print. You should also think of what you want exactly. Should you add the money you receive on an electronic payment system, or do you prefer to receive it as cash or on your debit card?

How to Cash a Stimulus Check

If you want to take your stimulus check money and use it or simply save it, you need to find a suitable method to cash it. Therefore, after you analyze every detail involving the methods available, you can pick one that is the most convenient for you. Here are the ways you can cash your stimulus check:

Local Bank or Credit Union

Even if you don’t have a bank account at the moment, you can still seek a local bank or credit union to cash your stimulus check. Government checks are considered safe, which means the banks won’t have any issue cashing the stimulus checks for people who aren’t their customers. At the same time, you should be aware that they might take a fee from you if you use this method. It all depends on each bank or credit union.

Before going to the bank or credit union, you should give them a call. Ask them whether any fee will apply for cashing stimulus checks as a non-customer. Usually, fees could be between $5 and $20. In order to be able to get your stimulus check, you also need to present two IDs with photographs. These could be your passport, military ID, driver’s license, or anything of the sort.

Also, FDIC, aka the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation told financial institutions that they should help people who are struggling because of the pandemic. This can be done by making the restrictions less harsh, waiving fees, and allowing non-customers to cash their stimulus checks. As such, there are high chances that there is a credit union or a bank that will instantly help you cash your stimulus check, while not charging you any fee.

Local Merchants

Local merchants are not just here to help you do your grocery shopping. They can also allow you to cash your stimulus check. Larger retailers are especially useful when it comes to this procedure. But remember that these merchants will charge fees for this service.

Walmart is one of the biggest merchants in the country, so it will surely be used by many people. They have their own fees for government checks. A check of up to $1,000 will come with a $4 fee. Meanwhile, a check over $1,000 will come with a fee of $8. If you don’t want to get the money in cash, you can also choose to have it added to your Walmart “MoneyCard”.

Check Cashing Store

There should be a check cashing store in most areas. Whether you live in a large American city or a smaller town, there should be stores that allow you to cash your stimulus check. Before you do this, you should consider the fact that you may be charged a certain fee, a fee that may actually be much higher compared to the other options out there. If you need to cash in a large sum of money, this may not sound like the best option for you. Some people think this fee is not bad, especially when they consider the store’s location and working hours, as well as the additional services.

At the same time, the great part about this method is that you don’t need to establish a relationship with them to obtain your stimulus check. It’s also possible for the fees charged by the business to be limited, depending on the state you live in.

California is a great example in this regard. In the state, a business can only charge a maximum of $3 for stimulus checks. Meanwhile, in Pennsylvania, the fee is 1.5% of the total value of the check. So, it all depends on the state you live in.

At the same time, Texas and Michigan don’t have regulations for check-cashing businesses. So, they don’t have limits on the amount they can charge.

On Your Smartphone

Believe it or not, but even your smartphone can be used to cash your stimulus check. There are several services that can be used to cash these checks, but each one is different when it comes to how much you can cash, as well as how much it charges in fees.

Many services waive the fee if you wait until you can have your stimulus check cashed. Before anything else, you should do some research and understand all the requirements and fees. Once you understand all details, you can sign up and cash your check.

Some services that will let you do this are PayPal, Venmo, and Netspend. PayPal is actually one of the most popular e-wallets. If you choose this option, not only can you have the money deposited there, but you can also credit the amount to your “Cash Plus” account. All you need is your phone camera and your check. Send a picture of the check and wait until it’s approved. If you wait 10 days, there will be no fee, but if you want instant crediting, you will have to pay a fee. For paper stimulus checks, PayPal waives the fees though.

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It’s important to know where you can cash your stimulus check if you don’t have a bank account. Consider all the options, weigh the pros and cons and settle for the one that works best for you.

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Frank Gogol

I’m a firm believer that information is the key to financial freedom. On the Stilt Blog, I write about the complex topics — like finance, immigration, and technology — to help immigrants make the most of their lives in the U.S. Our content and brand have been featured in Forbes, TechCrunch, VentureBeat, and more.

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