September 29, 2021

Best Check Cashing Apps


Check cashing apps let you cash physical checks on the go at any time. Review the top 11 non-bank check cashing apps (and their fees) in this guide.

Best Third-Party Apps for Cashing Checks
  1. Brink's Money Prepaid: Most Secure App
  2. Ingo Money: Most Versatile App
  3. Venmo: Best for ATM Access
  4. PayPal: Most Trusted Cash Checking App
  5. Lodefast: Best for Akimbo Card Carriers
  6. ACE Flare: Best Nontraditional Bank Account
  7. NetSpend: Best for Prescription Purchases
  8. AnytimeCheck: Best for Businesses
  9. The Check Cashing Store: Most Simple App
  10. Waleteros: Best for People with Family in Central America
  11. Deposit2Go: Best Free Check Cashing Service

Need to cash a birthday check from your aunt? Or maybe a tax refund, or a security deposit?

Due to "Catch Me If You Can"-style fraud, most banks won't cash your check without an account.

Luckily, there are several workarounds if your bank doesn't offer mobile check deposits. Read on for options if you're unbanked or if you just prefer using prepaid cards.

Best Third-Party Apps for Cashing Checks

The apps below let you cash checks instantly using your phone's camera. These range from prepaid card providers to virtual alternatives to traditional checking accounts.

Brink's Money Prepaid: Most Secure App

Talk about tight security - Brink's is primarily known for their work in the armored transportation industry delivering cash to ATMs and banks. Brink's also offers a prepaid debit card and check cashing service using their mobile app.

The check cashing functionality and prepaid Mastercard debit cards are offered through First Century Bank, N.A.

  • 4.3 stars on Google Play Store | 3.3 stars on App Store
  • Get paid faster with direct deposit
  • 2% expedited check cashing fee for government and payroll checks
  • 5% expedited fee for all other checks
  • Earn cash back with Brinks Money Prepaid Points

Which apps let you cash checks instantly?
Most of the apps listed in this article will allow you to cash a check instantly. However, prepare to pay a 2%–5% expedited fee depending on the type of check.

Ingo Money: Most Versatile App

There's a good reason Ingo is the most popular app in this category.

With Ingo, you can link your bank; prepaid, credit, or debit card; or PayPal account to deposit money. You can even split a check between accounts (for example, 50% to PayPal and 50% to a prepaid card).

You can also qualify for Ingo Gold Preferred Pricing if you cash checks frequently (at least six checks in the last 90 days).

  • 3.9 stars on Google Play Store | 4.1 stars on App Store
  • $5 fee for payroll or government checks $250 or less (2% for checks over $250)
  • $5 fee for all other checks $100 or less (5% for checks over $100)

Don't want to use Ingo? Here are 5 alternatives:
  • Venmo
  • PayPal
  • NetSpend
  • CashApp
  • Boost Mobile Wallet

Venmo: Best for ATM Access

You may be surprised to learn that Venmo is more than just a person-to-person payment app. If you sign up for a Venmo Debit Card or direct deposit, you can cash checks inside the app.

  • 4.3 stars on Google Play Store | 4.9 stars on App Store
  • 1% fee for payroll and government checks (5% fee for all other checks)
  • No fee for 10-day approval option
  • Fee-free ATM withdrawals at 30,000+ MoneyPass locations
  • Earn cash back with Venmo debit Mastercard

How to cash a check on Venmo:
  1. Download the Venmo app
  2. Sign up for Venmo Debit Card or set up direct deposit
  3. Go to top right drop-down menu
  4. Select "Manage Balance"
  5. Select "Cash a Check" and follow the prompts

PayPal: Most Trusted Cash Checking App

PayPal's check cashing service is another that is provided through First Century Bank and Ingo, but it provides a better fee structure and a more trusted name.

  • 4.2 stars on Google Play Store | 4.8 stars on App Store
  • 1% fee for payroll and government checks
  • 5% fee for all other checks
  • $5,000 maximum check amount
  • Near-instant approval

Lodefast: Best for Akimbo Card Carriers

Important note: Lodefast is currently only available for Florida residents (with California coming soon), according to their website.

The Lodefast app by Lodestar Financial allows you to cash checks online to deposit into your linked bank account, debit card, any prepaid debit card, or Akimbo Card.

Like most other check-cashing services, there is a free option if you can wait 10 days for your deposit with the option for instant deposit with a modest fee.

ACE Flare: Best Nontraditional Bank Account

Provided through MetaBank, ACE Flare provides many of the same services you can receive at a traditional bank, such as check cashing, ATM access, a Visa debit card, and direct deposit. However, this is 100% a check-cashing app.

ACE uses First Century Bank, N.A. — the same provider as Brink's and Ingo. With an optional ACE savings account, you can even earn an absurd 6.0% APY on balances under $2,000.

  • 3.9 stars on Google Play Store | 2.7 stars on App Store
  • Fee-free cash withdrawals at 950 ACE locations in 23 U.S. states
  • No charge for standard check cashing
  • 2-5% expedited check cashing fee

NetSpend: Best for Prescription Purchases

Netspend, provided through Ingo, offers a fairly standard fee structure. However, customers can receive sizable discounts on prescription purchases on FDA-approved pharmaceutical medication with the Pharmacy Savings Card.

  • 4.0 stars on Google Play Store | 2.7 stars on App Store
  • 1% or $5 fee for payroll or government checks (whichever is greater)
  • 4% or $5 fee for all other checks (whichever is greater)
  • Up to 50% discount on FDA-approved pharmaceuticals

AnytimeCheck: Best for Businesses

With AnytimeCheck, business owners can get paid by customers by paper check without having to wait for the mail or visiting their bank to make a deposit.

  • 3.6 stars on Google Play Store
  • Basic Plan (20 checks): $1.75 per check
  • Pro Plan (50 checks): $1.50 per check
  • Premium Plan (150 checks): $1.25 per check

The Check Cashing Store: Most Simple App

You won't get a lot of frills with The Check Cashing Store — indicated by the name — but you will be able to deposit checks on your mobile device and send the money to a linked Visa, Mastercard, or Discover card.

The fee structure is not listed on the company website and customer service representatives will not disclose it over the phone. However, you can expect the standard fee schedule of between 1% and 5% for each check.

  • 2.6 stars on App Store
  • Only available to Florida residents
  • Physical storefront locations available across the state

Waleteros: Best for People with Family in Central America

If you have relatives in Central America, Waleteros is the optimal pick for you. Waleteros offers one-time $0.99 transfers to various locations in Mexico, Cuba, El Salvador, Guatemala, and Nicaragua at the beginning of each month.

This app allows you to cash checks, receive your direct deposit, and send money with very few fees. There are no minimum account balances, no overdraft fees, and customers can enjoy over 20,000 nationwide fee-free ATM locations.

  • 1.75% check cashing fee
  • $0.75 charge for sending money to family and friends

Deposit2Go: Best Free Check Cashing Service

If you don't mind a retro-looking app that will bring you back to 2007, Deposit2Go offers fee-free check cashing for members of NCUA-insured GTE Financial.

Can You Cash a Check Instantly?

Yep! Many apps on this list (including Ingo, Venmo, and PayPal) allow you to access cash within minutes of submitting your request.

Unfortunately, these companies know instant deposit is in high demand. While they may not charge for 10-day check clearing, they almost always charge fees for expedited deposits.

Be aware that if your check does not clear, your deposit will be reversed, and you could face some steep overdraft fees or returned check fees. Make sure that you trust the check issuer before utilizing the instant deposit feature.

Where Can I Cash a Check Without Verification?

The only true way to cash a check with no bank account and no identification is to sign the check over to another person by signing the back and asking them to cash it for you.

If you have an ID card but no bank and do not want to download a check-cashing app, you can cash checks by visiting the bank that printed and issued the check, also known as the "bank of origin."

The Bottom Line: Should You Cash a Check with an App?

Check cashing apps are a quick and easy way to deposit your check money. If you're unbanked, prefer using prepaid cards, or just like the convenience of a check cashing app, the picks on this list are definitely worth checking out.

Keep in mind, if you need to deposit checks frequently or rely on expedited deposits, be careful of the fees you might incur. Even a modest 1% fee for payroll checks can add up.

Write to Justin Barnard at feedback@creditdonkey.com. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook for our latest posts.

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How to Cash a Check Without a Bank Account

Looking to cash a check without a bank account? You aren't alone. More than 5% of American households don't have a bank account. If you're one of the "unbanked" masses, here's how to cash a check.
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