You can cash your stimulus check straight to your Venmo account. Here’s how

Am I eligible to use the Venmo app for cashing stimulus checks?

The new check-cashing feature doesn’t apply only to stimulus checks, but you can use it add the money from a second stimulus check directly into your account. To use the feature, you’ll need a Venmo account, a verified email address, a Venmo debit card or an active direct deposit on the account. Location services are also used. The app partnered with First Century Bank and Ingo Money to provide the service. Ingo Money also provides the check-cashing feature for PayPal, Venmo’s parent company. 

See also: Best credit cards for January 2021

Check-Cashing Stores

As you travel busy streets, you’ll likely see check-cashing stores alongside—or inside of—payday loan shops. Those places cash checks, but it won’t be free. Check the fees carefully before you cash a check at a check-cashing store. There’s a good chance that you can pay less elsewhere.

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Others ways to cash a government check

If you rely on services other than a bank for your check cashing needs, you have probably heard of several options for how to get your money in hand. We believe EZ Money Online provides a better service for our customers than some of the alternatives. One such alternative is to endorse your check to a friend. You would have to be able to have complete trust in your friend to even consider this, and individual banks will each have their own policies on whether or not they will honor a check in this manner. So for many individuals, this is simply not an option. Stores like Walmart will often provide cash checking services, however, they do have limits on the amount the check can be and the types of checks they cash. Like all check cashing services, they do also charge fees. One way of potentially avoiding fees is to load the money onto a prepaid debit card. But again, not all banks will do this and sometimes you just need cash, not a card.

Open a U.S. bank account

There are a number of commercial banks that will allow you to open a U.S. bank account from a non-US address. They may charge you to open an account or require some other fee(s). This is obviously less than ideal, but if it solves the problem then it might be worth the effort.

You can set up a U.S. bank account with the State Department Federal Credit Union if you live abroad and have no U.S. address. SDFCU accounts are not free of charge.

Supermarkets

Cashing Fee: Between $0 and $6

Select supermarket chains can cash large balances including your stimulus check or tax refund.

Your best option can be the Kroger KR family of supermarkets with a Money Services desk. The Kroger family supermarkets are in many cities across the United States.

These Kroger company brands will cash your stimulus check for free:

  • Kroger
  • Fry’s
  • King Sooper’s
  • Smith’s
  • City Market
  • QFC
  • Ralph’s
  • Gerbes
  • Bakers
  • Dillons
  • Pay Less
  • Fred Meyer
  • Pick ‘N Save
  • Metro Market
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You may only be able to cash check balances up to $5,000 at the above stores. Call ahead if your stimulus check is larger than this amount.

Other stores may charge a check cashing fee as high as $6 on your stimulus check. Some grocery stores may only cash checks smaller than $500.

Most stores should give you the option of receiving your check amount as cash. You have the flexibility of buying groceries or paying for other essentials.

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.

Do I Need an ID to Cash a Check?

How to cash a check without ID:

  • Deposit it into your account through an ATM at your bank
  • Take advantage of ATM check cashing if your bank offers it
  • Sign the check over to someone else

Most banks require your ID be presented before they cash a check, but there’s no standard list for what’s considered an acceptable form of ID. Check with your bank or the bank that issued the check to see if you have a document that they’ll accept as ID.

As a last resort, you can sign the check over to someone you trust and ask them to cash it for you. This creates a third-party check. However, if you choose this option, keep in mind that many banks will require verification that original payee authorized the signing over of the check, by having the original payee present and presenting their ID. Read about how to endorse a check to have a friend cash it for you.

PayPal

Cashing Fee: Free

PayPal is temporarily waiving its check cashing fee. (usually 1% for government checks) to access your funds within minutes. This fee waiver is for stimulus checks, tax refunds and pre-printed payroll checks. Each check has to be $5,000 or less to cash with PayPal.

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Cashing your check with PayPal can be the easiest option as you can cash it from home. You only need a smartphone with a functioning camera and the PayPal app (iOS or Android).

You will need to access the PayPal app from your smartphone. Click on “More” and then “Cash a check.” The last step is taking pictures of the front and back of the check with your phone. 

PayPal will have you create a free PayPal Cash Plus Account if this is your first time using their advanced money services.

You can use your PayPal funds for these transactions with a PayPal Cash Plus Account:

  • Online purchases
  • Cash withdrawals at Walmart using the PayPal app
  • Make local purchases using the PayPal Cash Mastercard
  • ATM withdrawals using the PayPal app
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PayPal cashes other personal checks too. However, you will need to wait up to 10 days to access your funds if you want to avoid the check cashing fee.

How long does it take for the full amount to be available when you deposit a check?

Generally speaking, federal law requires the first $225 of funds from a deposited check to be available on the next business day after a deposit, and the remaining amount must be available on the second business day. In some cases, such as with a new account, a large check over $5,525, or a suspicious payer, the bank might be able to hold your check longer.

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