The best checking cashing apps make it easy to cash a check without a bank account and quickly access your funds. There are several platforms to choose from, and it’s worthwhile to compare the various features.
Using a check cashing app removes the need to find a local check cashing store which is costly and takes time. Having the ability to cash checks online instantly from home is a much more convenient option.
Table of Contents
- Best Check-Cashing Apps
- 1. Venmo
- 2. PayPal
- 3. Green Dot
- 4. Ingo Money
- 5. ACE Flare
- 6. NetSpend
- 7. Brinks Money Prepaid
- 8. Cash App
- 9. GTE Financial (Deposit2Go)
- 10. The Check Cashing Store
- How to Cash a Check Online Without a Bank Account
- What Other Services Do Check-Cashing Apps Offer?
- Final Thoughts
The best check-cashing apps allow you to make a mobile check deposit and transfer the funds to your spending account, where you can pay bills or make purchases. The most flexible apps also offer debit cards and ways to send money to friends or complete online shopping trips.
In most cases, additional fees apply for instant cashing to access your money within minutes. A ballpark estimate is 2% for government or payroll checks and 5% for all remaining checks. You may need to wait as long as 10 days for a check to clear for free. There are no fees if a check cannot be cashed due to an insufficient balance or improper notations.
Best for: Debit card purchases, splitting purchases with friends
Venmo is an excellent all-around check cashing app that lets you pay for purchases, transfer money to friends, and split the bill with others. This PayPal alternative lets you cash a check within minutes with either a 1% or 5% fee. Unfortunately, free check cashing requires a 10-day waiting period.
As of July 2022, New York residents cannot cash checks using Venmo, but the feature is available in the rest of the United States to app users with verified accounts and email addresses.
Funds are deposited into your digital app wallet, where you can make online or in-person purchases. Look for the Pay with Venmo button for seamless transactions. Both the Venmo Credit Card and Venmo debit card offer ATM access.
For a chance at some bonus cash, check out our Venmo new account promotions.
Best for: Online shopping and sending money internationally
PayPal is one of the original digital wallets and provides more payment tools than other apps. For example, you can send invoices for side hustle income, and many online merchants have a “PayPal Checkout” button that makes paying with your PayPal account easier.
Check cashing fees are 1% for pre-printed payroll and government checks and 5% for others (a $5 minimum fee applies) for instant cashing. Waiting 10 days makes the process free, but can you live this long without your money? It’s easy to earn free PayPal money from money side hustle apps in your free time.
You can easily send money on PayPal to friends within the States or in other countries. Fees can apply for international transactions and instant transfers. The app also offers a debit card that can sync to your banking accounts.
PayPal is the parent company of Venmo. Which app you should choose will depend on your desired features. Read our PayPal vs. Venmo comparison for more.
3. Green Dot
Best for: Multiple cash reload options
There are four different ways to cash checks with Green Dot:
- Green Dot mobile app: Take a picture with your mobile device and receive your funds within one to five business days, though you may receive your funds sooner. This is a free service.
- Ingo Money App: Cash a check directly through Ingo. This ia good option if you want to instantly cash your check, although fees can apply.
- Walmart: Head to a Walmart Money Center to cash pre-printed government and payroll checks. Check cashing fees and limits apply.
- Financial Service Center: Select Green Dot kiosks will cash checks and allow you to load the balance onto your Green Dot debit card.
You may also consider opening a GO2bank spending account, a Green Dot Bank brand. A Green Dot Unlimited card can earn unlimited 2% back on purchases. Service fees vary by product.
4. Ingo Money
Best for: Flexible redemption options and quick check cashing services
The Ingo Money App lets you quickly cash a check and then complete one of the following transactions to access the funds:
- Amazon.com gift card purchases
- Bank transfer
- Credit card payments
- Moneygram (an additional $5 fee applies)
- Prepaid debit card
You can also split a transaction and send funds to multiple accounts. For example, you could use a portion to reload your prepaid card and apply the rest to your credit card balance.
If you’re willing to wait 10 days, there is no fee to cash checks with balances between $5 and $5,000. If you want to cash your check instantly, the Money in Minutes feature costs 2% for pre-printed payroll and government checks plus 5% for all remaining checks or money orders (a $5 minimum fee applies).
Cashing at least six checks within a 90-day period qualifies you for the Ingo Gold Preferred Pricing. Members pay a reduced fee of either 1% or 4% with a $5 minimum.
Unlike PayPal and Venmo, Ingo Money doesn’t provide any additional digital wallet features beyond cashing a check.
5. ACE Flare
Best for: ACE Cash Express members
The ACE Flare Account by MetaBank is a prepaid Visa debit card that lets you receive direct deposits and complete purchases with the same account. You can withdraw up to $400 per day fee-free at ACE Cash Express locations.
Instead of heading to an ACE Cash Express location, you can use the app’s mobile deposit feature for cashing checks, though there are additional fees for expedited deposits. In addition to loading your prepaid debit card, you can send money to other ACE Flare members at no extra cost.
The standard monthly account fee is $9.95 is reduced to $4.95 if you receive at least $500 in qualifying direct deposits each month.
Check out our ACE Flare Account by MetaBank review for more information.
Best for: NetSpend debit card members
If you have a NetSpend prepaid debit card, you can earn a NetSpend referral bonus by making qualifying direct deposits, cash deposits, or check cashing. You can snap a picture of your check using the NetSpend mobile app via the Mobile Check Load feature.
The expedited check deposit fee is either 2% or 5% and free for standard processing times. It’s best to spend your funds with a NetSpend debit card, as transfer-out fees apply if you send the money to a linked bank account.
In addition to the incidental fees, the following monthly maintenance fees apply:
- Pay-As-You-Go Plan: $0 monthly service fee, but $2 per purchase
- Monthly: $5.95 per month and $0 per purchase
A $5.95 inactivity fee applies after 90 days without any transactions.
7. Brinks Money Prepaid
Best for: Cash back rewards and receiving direct deposits
Many associate Brinks with the armored truck company that keeps bank vaults and ATM machines filled with cash. But Brinks also offers the Brink’s Money Prepaid Mastercard, which allows you to earn cash back rewards on purchase transactions.
You can make mobile check deposits via the Android or iOS mobile app. Brinks uses Ingo Money to help process check cashing requests within 1.5 hours.
Your account can be eligible for a $10 cash cushion to avoid overdraft fees or declined transactions when you receive at least $500 in direct deposits. Direct deposit also reduces the monthly fee from $9.95 to $5 monthly and gives you access to a high-interest savings account.
NetSpend issues the Brinks Rewards debit card. You’ll earn points on card purchases that can be redeemed for cash back through the Pay Back rewards program.
Unfortunately, this service isn’t available to Vermont residents.
8. Cash App
Best for: Peer-to-peer payments with friends
The app offers a check cashing feature to select users with a verified account. Data points indicate that verifying your account won’t automatically make you eligible for Mobile Check Capture. Due to the limited availability, the app doesn’t appear higher on our list.
To see if you can cash a check, open Cash App, tap “More ways to add money,” and then select “Checks.” The Mobile Check Capture feature will appear, and you can take a picture. You can also deposit physical cash at participating stores to reload your Cash App Card.
In case you’re wondering, you can find out what bank Cash App uses to provide free money management services.
There are no fees to open a Cash App spending account and debit card. This differs from other cashing apps, which are more likely to charge a transactional or monthly maintenance fee.
You can get free money from the Cash App. For example, get a $5 bonus by signing up with our new user referral code, ZBJVLJJ, and sending at least $5 to a friend.
9. GTE Financial (Deposit2Go)
Best for: Free check cashing
GTE Financial is an NCUA-insured credit union that allows you to cash checks for free with quick access through its Deposit2Go platform. The service is free for GTE members, although you will pay a flat monthly fee between $4.95 and $9.95 for a checking account. There are three account options with different perks and fee schedules.
Deposit2Go lets you access the first $200 per check deposit within one business day. The remaining balance is released within two business days. Further, you can deposit up to $10,000 per day in checks which is at least double the cashing limit of most competitors.
Consider GTE Financial if you also want a banking account, as you’ll get more complimentary perks than what most check cashing apps offer.
If your credit history isn’t great, you can also consider other second-chance bank accounts to get a fresh start and have access to your hard-earned income.
10. The Check Cashing Store
Best for: Florida residents
Florida residents can access The Check Cashing Store App on behalf of the Check Cashing Store to deposit checks remotely. The mobile app is available for Android and iOS devices.
You can deposit pre-printed and personal checks. The institution primarily offers payday loans, so you can use the tool to pay back these loans or to get a cash advance.
How to Cash a Check Online Without a Bank Account
If you don’t have a bank account, you can deposit your check online using a digital wallet app such as PayPal, Venmo, Ingo, or a prepaid debit card that supports this function. The remote deposit process is similar to that of a regular bank account, except your digital wallet account may not be FDIC-insured.
You may also pay check cashing fees or monthly service charges.
While the procedures for each app will vary slightly, here is a general overview of how to use a check-cashing app:
- Download your preferred check cashing app onto your mobile device.
- Create an account.
- Select the check deposit feature.
- Endorse the check with the necessary membership details, if required.
- Upload front and back images of the check.
- Access your funds once your check deposit has been verified.
Instant deposits are usually available within 15 minutes to a linked debit card or mobile payment app, but you will almost always pay for expedited processing (up to 5%, $5 minimum).
If you need quick access to your money but don’t want to pay the additional fees, you may want to inquire about receiving the funds using direct deposit or with a money-sending app instead, as you can receive funds quickly and with zero fees.
What Other Services Do Check-Cashing Apps Offer?
Services like PayPal or Venmo offer features that make it easy to spend money or split purchases with friends. When you make a mobile check deposit, your balance can be ready within minutes if you’re willing to pay an additional fee. Free check cashing usually requires waiting between five and 10 business days unless you use a bank or credit union account.
The best check-cashing apps can help you avoid dealing with an expensive check-cashing service. Not only will they help you access your money quickly without using your bank account, but most check-cashing apps are affordable and provide other valuable services, including spending options and money transfer services.
But while you can cash a check in minutes, keep an eye on monthly service fees and expedited processing fees, which can offset the convenience.
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About Josh Patoka
After graduating in $50k with student loans in May 2008 from Virginia Military Institute with a B.A. International Studies and Political Science with a minor in Spanish (he studied abroad in Sevilla, Spain for 3 months), Josh decided to sell his soul for seven years by working in the transportation industry to get out of debt ASAP and focus on doing something else with a better work-life balance.
He is a father of three and has been writing about (almost) everything personal finance since 2015. You can also find him at his own blog Money Buffalo where he shares his personal experience of becoming debt-free (twice) and taking a 50%+ pay cut when he changed careers.
Today, Josh relishes the flexibility of being self-employed and debt-free and encourages others to pursue their dreams. Josh enjoys spending his free time reading books and spending time with his wife and three children.
Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank or financial institution. This content has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.