Cashing Personal Checks On Sunday – Cashier’s checks and money orders are considered safer forms of payment than personal checks, but they differ in where you can buy them, how much they cost, and when to use one over the other. Instead, you can use a money order or cashier’s check if you have to pay someone and you don’t want to use cash or write a personal check.
The bank takes money from your checking or savings account and transfers it to its own account when you buy a cashier’s check. The bank will then write a check to the person or business you want to pay. Typically, you’ll have to pay a fee to the bank to get a cashier’s check issued to the bank, with the average fee at the nation’s largest banks being about $10.
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The advantage of using a cashier’s check to pay someone (or receive payment) instead of a personal check or cash is that it is safe. The bank takes the money directly from your account and transfers it to the bank’s account, so the check is guaranteed not to bounce. Whoever you want to pay is guaranteed to receive the money. And you don’t have to worry about any overdraft or non-sufficient funds (NSF) fees that can be charged when you don’t have enough money in your account to cover a check.
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However, cashier’s checks are not completely secure and fraudulent cashier’s checks can be one of the financial frauds. The scammer may give you what looks like an official cashier’s check, which you then deposit into your account. Weeks later, your bank may discover that the check is fake.
A cashier’s check is an official check issued by a bank. It is unlike a certified check, which is drawn on the depositor’s checking account after the bank has certified and retained sufficient funds to cover the amount of the check.
One key difference is that a bank representative will sign the cashier’s check because the money is technically withdrawn from the bank’s own account while the bank verifies that the customer’s signature on the check is certified as genuine .
A cashier’s check is an official check issued by a bank. Not to be confused with a certified check, which is a check drawn on a depositor’s checking account that the bank confirms has sufficient funds to pay.
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Money orders are also a more secure form of payment than personal checks. You can buy money orders at banks, U.S. Post Offices, convenience stores, drug stores, grocery stores, and check cashing companies. These places will often also honor money orders they have issued, or you can deposit the money order into your bank account.
You must pay for the money order with cash, debit card or traveler’s check when you purchase. Generally, you cannot use a credit card or write a personal check, and the transaction may be considered a cash advance if you can use a credit card. Like a cashier’s check, you’ll pay a fee for a money order but it’s usually inexpensive. The fee can be as little as $1 or as much as $5 depending on where you purchase the money order and the amount.
One advantage of money orders over cashier’s checks is that they are often easier to replace. You must request a new cashier’s check from the bank if it is lost or stolen, and in most cases, you must purchase an indemnity bond from an insurance company. This bond protects the bank if you lose your cashier’s check a second time. It can take 30 to 90 days for the new check to be issued after you submit your request.
Replacing a lost or stolen money order is often as simple as returning your receipt to the place of purchase and requesting a replacement or refund. The money order issuer may charge you a replacement fee, but you can receive it immediately instead of waiting months for the cashier’s check to be reissued.
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Money orders are often easier to buy, but cashier’s checks are more secure. So which one should you use and when?
The safety factor makes cashier’s checks a better choice if you’re making a large payment, perhaps for a car or boat. In fact, a cashier’s check may be your only payment option in some cases. Your lender may require you to get a cashier’s check to cover the money you owe during closing if you buy the home.
Money orders are less expensive, making them better suited for smaller payments or when writing personal checks is not an option. You might want to use a money order to pay your rent or send a few hundred dollars to a friend who’s short on cash.
The maximum amount for a U.S. Postal Service, MoneyGram, or Western Union money order is $1,000 as of 2023. However, different limits may apply if you buy a money order from a retailer and this amount can be adjusted annually.
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Contact the bank named on the check to make sure the check is authentic before you accept payment from an unknown party or attempt to cash or deposit funds.
Contact the issuing bank immediately if your cashier’s check is lost or stolen. You will have to submit a document called a loss statement. A bank may refuse to accept a check if it is stolen or cashed by someone other than the individual or business intended for payment if it has taken the necessary steps to report the loss.
Money orders and cashier’s checks can be a convenient way to pay someone or receive money. Be sure to check the fees involved and whether the issuer has placed any limits on the dollar amount if you plan to purchase either. Most importantly, keep your receipt or statement showing when the money order or cashier’s check was purchased in case it is lost, stolen, or damaged.
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Every night, millions of checks cashed across the country, headed for their hometown banks. Starting Thursday, technology will begin landing many of those flights. And it could also affect some consumers who try to sneak an extra day or two out of their checking accounts.
A new era in banking has begun as the 21st Century Check Clearing Act, commonly known as Check 21, takes effect. Banks will gradually get out of the business of sending checks flying across the country every night. Instead, the check is cleared electronically and is usually canceled when cashed.
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“We are moving the industry out of the Pony Express era,” said John Hall, a spokesman for the American Bankers Association.
But the new law could have some surprising — and unwelcome — side effects for checking account customers. Consumers trying to spend money have become accustomed to taking advantage of “float” – the period of time it takes after they write a check for the bank to deduct it from their account. It was a secret loan, but Check 21 means it’s about to be closed forever.
Congress passed legislation authorizing the change last year. The 21st Century Check Clearing Act cleared the way for a simplified process by allowing a digital image of a check to be considered a legal representation of payment – so-called substitute checks now these can be presented to angry landlords or phone companies as proof of payment.
The drive to eliminate e-checks was partly spurred by the 9/11 attacks. While all flights across the US were grounded, banks were unable to process checks, creating a vital cog in the trading system. Bad weather can have a similar impact, says Ed Bachelder of Dove Consulting. The new Check 21 procedure cannot be stopped by grounded flights.
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