Why can I cash a check instantly, but have to wait if I deposit it?

Okay, I can understand the need to wait for a check to clear. I have no problem with that. Midnight the same day if depositted by 2 PM, or midnight the next if after 2.

What I don’t understand is how I can walk into that same bank with that same check (which comes from an account at a different bank, BTW), and receive cash for it on the spot.

Could I cash the check, then immediately deposit the cash, thereby avoiding the wait?

It is easy to prove the fallacy of your assertion. Sometime when you have only $100 in your bank account, go to your own bank and try to cash a $500 check drawn on some other bank.

I don’t think the last part is correct. The reason it takes time for a deposit to show up in your account is that it’s not recorded at the branch you deposited it at. It goes to a central office where it’s counted, confirmed and deposited, usually by second-shift workers.

The same thing would happen if you deposited cash. The cash is sent with your deposit slip to the central office with the rest of the days receipts and recorded by the second-shifters to be posted for the next day.

This is the way it was done when I was working for a regional bank a few years ago, anyway.

As Chas pointed out, when you cash a check, that amount is removed from your account until the check goes through, at which point you are reimbursed. So you can’t cash a check for more than you already have; you’d have to wait for the check to go through and then withdraw some cash.

It’s possible to take a check drawn on a particular bank to that very bank to get it cashed, isn’t it? I thought that in that case, even if you don’t have an account with them, you can cash a check immediately. Presumably they can check for available funds immediately, since they’re the bank the funds are coming from.


Arjuna, you are correct in that. I receive several checks a month drawn off a bank that is not my own. There are no branches of my bank in the city I live in-I never changed the account when I moved, and with the check card, automatic debit and such, I haven’t had any sort of need to change banks. Rather than drive 2 hours to the nearest branch of my bank, I often go to the bank upon which the check is drawn and receive cash on the spot.

Along the same lines, in a former job I often had to call the banks that returned checks were associated with, and take the check to the bank when the funds were available. The bank would usually issue a cashier’s check for the amount of the check, and I would pay the fee associated with it out of petty cash. Some banks wouldn’t give a cashier’s check, but would actually cash a check not made out to me, but to the business I worked for.

I am always asked to give my right thumbprint when I cash a check at a bank that I don’t have an account with. At most banks, if you don’t want to do that, you’re going to have to deposit that check into your account and access it from there.

that is not always true. when i banked with bank of america, i rarely had more than $50 in my account, but i never had a problem cashing my paycheck for a couple hundred dollars.

Generally the rules are as follows:
At the bank it is drawn on, a check for funds can be made and you get your cash.
At your bank, but not bank the check is drawn on, you must have the funds in your account to cover the amount.
At a bank that is neither yours nor the bank it was drawn on, they tell you to scram.

Cessandra, it is possible that you and your company used the same bank, allowing a balance verification. Or as it used to be in my area, large employers would have agreements with local branches of all area banks to honor the payroll accounts, to keep employees from emptying out one branch on payday. Or BOA is a great place to bank and I am going to open an account with them Monday!

Hmm, I guess every time I cashed a check, I had enough to cover it in my account and never noticed.

My bad.

Thanks for the answers.

I spoke with TCF regarding this and I NEVER had trouble getting money from a check drawn on another bank. He told me if the manager trusts the customer they will often cash the check as a sign of good faith.

In fact when I opened the account he let me take money against the inital deposit because it was a payroll check. Again they stated that isn’t the policy but it is up to the branch manager if they TRUST you or not.

So they trust you mark? Ive been going to the same branch for 27 years & I have to show ID when I cash a check. Only one lady doesn’t ask for it & thats cause shes been there 20 years I suppose :slight_smile:

What bank is trusting Markxxx?? (Reminding self to pull any stock in said bank tomorrow at market open) :wink: :slight_smile: