Writing a check payable to cash is as easy as writing cash on a pay-to-order line.
However, checks written to cash are risky because anyone can cash them. Some banks may refuse to cash checks written in cash or hold them to prevent fraud.
Below, we have step-by-step instructions on how to write cash checks, plus a list of safer alternatives to writing cash checks.
How to write a check for cash withdrawal
Checks paid in cash are exactly like checks paid in cash not in the name of the recipient.
Checks written for cash offer an alternative way to withdraw cash from your account or to transfer funds between accounts. For example, if you want to move $50 from your checking account to a savings account, you can write a check to cash to withdraw $50 from your checking account. You can then deposit cash at your bank or ATM.
Making a check payable in cash is also an option if you do not know the full or exact name of the payee; he can still deposit checks this way.
The Risks of Writing Checks for Cash
Checks written in cash are convenient, but not listing your name on the pay-to-order line is also risky. Once you have written this type of check, you should treat it like cash, and make sure you keep track of it.
Some banks refuse to honor checks written for cash because of the risk of fraud. Your bank may choose not to cash the check, or it may hold your funds until you can verify that the check was properly used. However, if you go to a bank where you have an account and you are a customer in good standing, the bank will likely cash your check for you.
Also, because a check to cash doesn't tell you who the money is for, keeping track of finances can be tricky. Finding out the exact name of the payee and making the payment to them may be the simpler option.
Check Payable to Cash
Writing a check payable to cash is similar to writing a regular check. First, start filling out the check as usual; instead of writing the name or company on the pay-to-order line, just write "cash". Next, write down the amount of cash you need, just as you would a regular check. Once you sign the check, it will apply to cash.
How to Cash and Deposit Checks for Cash
If you have received a check written to cash, you can deposit it in the same way as any other check. Your best bet is to visit the bank that issued the check. These banks may be more willing to cash checks because they are written by the account holder.
Other banks may refuse to pay checks with cash in an effort to prevent fraud. Banks may also issue additional checks to ensure that they are valid.
To avoid this additional waiting time or being rejected by your teller, you can request that all checks you receive be paid to you by name.
Can I write my own checks for cash?
If you lose a check that is due, whoever finds it can cash it. Without the beneficiary's name, the bank or shop that agrees to cash the check will assume that the person checking the check is the correct beneficiary.
If you lose a check written to cash, you should contact your bank to pay the check immediately. As long as no one is cashing the check, the payment will prevent the withdrawal of funds from your account. You can request termination of your check payments online, over the phone, or directly with the teller.
If you are unable to get your payment and someone other than the intended payee uses a check, you may have to take action to get your money back or you may lose the cash. Our related research has more on what to do if your check is stolen or cashed.
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Alternatives to Writing Checks for Cash
Writing a check for cash is a quick and easy process, but there are ways to transfer money that are just as easy and less risky. Below, we've listed a safer alternative to writing a cash check.
Online banking: Your bank's website or mobile app should offer options for account-to-account and bank-to-bank transfers.
Teller transfer: Visit the teller in your bank lobby. Brick-and-mortar banks often provide the types of transfer services available online.
In PayPal, for example, you can transfer money in and out of your bank account, as well as to other PayPal accounts.
This service takes additional time and effort to register, but once you're ready, it's just as efficient as any other type of transfer. Some examples of other online money transfer programs include WePay, Skrill, ProPay, Dwolla, Brain Tree, Line, and Payoneer.
Write a check for yourself: Instead of someone else's name, just write your own name in the "pay to order" line. You can then deposit the check into another account. You may need to provide a photo ID when cashing a check written to yourself.
Note: Banks, digital wallets, and other financial services often limit the amount of money you can transfer in a single transaction, day, or month. Pay attention to your account rules before scheduling any transfers.
For Unknown Payee
There is no direct alternative to writing a used check into cash if you are writing it to someone else. Alternatives to traditional checks such as money orders and wire transfers are more secure than cash checks, but they also require that you know the payee's full name and other personal information.
If possible, it's a good idea to provide the recipient's full name and write the check directly to the recipient.
ATM: You can use an ATM at your own bank or look for an ATM at another bank or store nearby. ATMs are easy to find and support you to withdraw money from your checking account. be aware that fees may apply if you use an ATM outside your bank's network.
Cashback: Many retailers, especially grocery stores, allow customers to get cash back at the checkout. Some shops support you to withdraw as little as $5, and others allow you to withdraw more than $100 in a single transaction.
For more details on earning in-store cashback, see our special articles on gas stations that give cashback, stores that give back $5 and $10, and stores that give out the most cashback.
Write yourself a check : Write your own name on the pay-to-order line. You will be able to cash the check and get the money you want to withdraw. Be aware of check disclosure fees and ID requirements at the place where you cash the check.