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What is a Cashier’s Check and How Do I Get One?

Filling out a checkbook
Adriano Gadini/Pixabay

Have you ever been asked to provide a cashier’s check for a large purchase? Or, are you looking for a different way to pay for something like rent or a car? If so, you may want to consider paying with a cashier’s check.

What Is a Cashier’s Check?

A cashier’s check is a form of payment that’s guaranteed by your bank. When you obtain a cashier’s check, your bank confirms that you have the funds available to complete the purchase. There’s no chance of a cashier’s check bouncing—it’s confirmed and backed by your bank.

Because cashier’s checks are guaranteed by banks, some vendors require them for large purchases, like a down payment on a house or a car. Because these types of transactions require a lot of money, the seller wants a guarantee that they’ll be paid. A cashier’s check is this guarantee.

While cashier’s checks are typically used for larger purchases, you can get a cashier’s check in any amount. You might need a cashier’s check to put a security deposit down on your apartment, for example, or to pay your rent.

Where Can I Get a Cashier’s Check?

teller window at bank
Africa Studio/Shutterstock

You’ll need to go to a bank or credit union to get a cashier’s check. You can’t write one on your own.

When you go to purchase a cashier’s check, you’ll need to bring the exact amount of money you want the check made out for, as well as the name of the person or institution that you’re paying. Make sure you have the name correct; the receiver won’t be able to deposit the check if you have the wrong name on it.

You’ll typically purchase a cashier’s check from the bank or credit union where you do your banking. When the bank writes the cashier’s check, they’ll automatically debit the needed funds from your account. You won’t be able to get a cashier’s check if you don’t have the money available.

If you’re not a customer of a bank or credit union, you might still be able to obtain a cashier’s check by bringing cash to a local branch and asking for them to write you a cashier’s check in exchange for the money. However, every bank has different rules, so check before you go.

Most banks require you to appear in person to order a cashier’s check, but some, like Wells Fargo, allow you to order them online. Note that ordering a check online will require additional processing and mailing time.

Banks and credit unions require fees for writing cashier’s checks, even if you have an account with them. Here’s a look at some cashier’s check fees for basic checking account holders at popular banks.

Bank Fee for Cashier’s Check
Chase $8
Bank of America $10
Wells Fargo $10
Citibank $10
U.S. Bank $7
PNC Bank $10
Capital One $10
TD Bank $8
BB&T $10
Suntrust $8

The exact fee you pay will be dependent on your bank and the type of account you have.

How to Get a Cashier’s Check

Here’s how you can get a cashier’s check from your local bank or credit union.

  1. Check that you’ve got the funds to cover the check before you go to the branch. Your account will be immediately debited for those funds. If you don’t have enough in your account, you’ll have to have the cash on hand.
  2. Check that you’ve got the correct name of the person or institution you’re paying.
  3. Bring your government-issued photo ID (like a driver’s license or passport).
  4. If you’re going to a bank where you have an account, make sure you have your account information, like the account number or your debit card.
  5. Tell the teller at the bank that you’re interested in purchasing a cashier’s check.
  6. Give the teller your account number or the cash needed to back the cashier’s check.
  7. Give the teller the name of the person or institution you’re paying.

After the teller has confirmed you have enough money, they’ll issue the check and hand it over to you. Be careful not to lose it! Remember, the money for your cashier’s check has already been debited from your account. If you lose it, you can’t recover it.

A cashier’s check is a safe way to pay for a big purchase because it ensures you have the money needed to cover the sum. You’ll need to head to your local bank or credit union to get a cashier’s check; you can’t write one on your own.

Hayley Milliman Hayley Milliman
Hayley is a former Teach for America teacher turned curriculum developer and writer. Over the past five years, she's written hundreds of articles on everything from education to personal finance to history. She's co-author of the book  Females. Read Full Bio »
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