How to get a check cashed for free at Chase (for non-customers)

Chase charges non-customers $5 or more to cash a check drawn on Chase Ban in the branch.  Here’s how one creative non-customer got one cashed for free.

My previous employer used Chase. One day I took my paycheck into the branch from which the check was written. They wanted to charge me $5 to cash that check. It’s my money, or at the very least, my employers money. Why should Chase get a cut?

I asked to speak to the branch manager to see if he would waive the policy. I mentioned that Walmart would cash the check for only $3. I asked how it was possible for Walmart to cash a Chase check at less cost than Chase, the bank (and branch) from which the check originated? The manager actually told me he didn’t know and didn’t care, and that perhaps I should go to Walmart and ask them!

He then said that if I opened a Chase account, I could get my check cashed for free. I thought about this for a moment, and said sure!

I opened a Chase acct. with $100 from the cashed check, and left. I went to a nearby store and grabbed a soda, then walked back into Chase (no more than 10 minutes later) and closed my account. I made a point of thanking the branch manager for the free check cashing service, and promised to tell all my friends and family about my experiences with Chase.

Thank YOU for the opportunity to repeat my story here today.

26 Comments

  • By coakl, March 22, 2011 @ 12:28 am

    Actually, they just reversed the account opening transaction and gave you your money back. Your name and SSN is probably flagged in Chase internal database. Don’t expect to repeat this stunt in the future.

    Worse case scenario:
    The account wasn’t closed nor did they reverse the opening transaction. They withdrew the cash for you but the account was left at a zero balance. There would have been a $25 fee if you actually closed the account within 90 days of opening. If this account really is at zero, you will start incurring any monthly service charge applicable to that account type.

  • By Johny no tell, March 29, 2011 @ 7:55 pm

    Ya, I work for Chase not that I want too but with the state of the economy and the lack of jobs I have no choice. I have a wife and family to support. Chase does charge a 25.00 closure fee for closing an account within the first 90 days. Which personally I think is horrible. Well, I also think the fee to catch a check is horrible too but most banks do it these days! I also would like to add that Chase’s employment and management sucks! Recently a ton of stuff was made up about me and just becauase it was made up HR and my manager disciplined me for it! Talk about illegal! I plan on getting out of here as fast as possible, also I am going to school to be a lawyer and you can bet that one of the first lawsuits that I am going to file is against Chase for illegal labor practices!! There moto is chase what matters, more like we chase your money!

  • By donald middleton, February 15, 2012 @ 12:51 pm

    actually, i have done the same thing only waited till the following bus day. acct was annulled. never ordered checks, returned chase card and got a check for my $250 that i deposited yesterday. ha! i guess they are getting away with this as a “convenience” fee, but, at my place of business, i don’t accept checks from a chase bank nor will i accept a credit/debit card with the name chase anywhere on the card. could prob get into some trouble for that but haven’t yet. it wont make any difference in the financial world, but i feel better knowing that i have taken some money from them in the form of not accepting their checks or cards. shame on you chase.

  • By The Muffin Man, May 19, 2012 @ 9:15 am

    I just called and asked. Chase doesn’t charge to cash a Chase check. Are you sure you were trying to cash a Chase check?

  • By admin, May 19, 2012 @ 9:18 am

    I’ve heard this many times from people – Chase charges to cash a check if you are not a customer regardless of where the check is drawn on.

    Given how many times I’ve heard stories about Chase employees giving flat out wrong information, I would not be surprised if you simply got an incorrect answer.

  • By coakl, May 20, 2012 @ 11:04 pm

    If you’re not a Chase customer and you bring in a check drawn on Chase, the check cashing fee is $6. Don’t be surprised if that is changed to a percentage fee in the near future. No other checks can be cashed for non-customers.

    If you are with Chase, there’s no charge. However, if the check is not from Chase, you must have at least that amount already in your Chase account. If you want to cash a $1,000 Wells Fargo check, you’d better have at least $1,000 in your Chase account to back it up.

    Why? Chase has no way to tell if the Wells Fargo check is good until checks are processed later that night. Even with provisional credit by a check processing center, that check could still be returned by the other bank several days later. Essentially, Chase is giving you $1,000 before it knows whether the Wells Fargo check is good or not.

  • By What fraud???, June 15, 2012 @ 3:06 pm

    I bank at Chase. Went to make a deposit and pay loan payment at branch. The teller next to me was assisting an obviously poor mom and teenage daughter. They were there to cash a check for $50, a graduation gift.

    When the teller announced she was charging them a $6 fee (that’s 12%!), I spoke up immediately.

    Me: why are you charging her $6?

    Teller: its because of fraud. There’s so many fraudulent checks we have to charge a $6 fee to cover the cost.

    Me: Is she committing fraud? If not, then why are you charging her? Yo have her ID, and you can verify the customer wrote the check, so where’s the fraud? Besides, if she’s committing fraud, shouldn’t you call the cops?

    Teller: Because fraud costs the bank so much, we have to collect a fee to offset the fraud.

    Me: Well, perhaps the bank should be more cautious in how they do business? Since she is obviously not committing a crime, can she come back in 30 days and get her $6 back–after all, it is HER MONEY!?

    Teller: No we don’t do it that way. Its just a fee to offset bank losses from fraud…

    Me: hmmm…thats interesting, because last week your boss, Jamie Dimond, lost $2 Billion dollars of bank money on a bad investment…and you demand $6 bucks from a high school kid?

    Teller: Is there anything else I can do for you?

    Me: Serious? Trust me, that girl is not your problem, the problem is in your bank! (adding loudly) How many $6 fees does it take to cover a 2 billion lost-bet?

    Followed by: “AND YOU WONDER WHY PEOPLE HATE BANKS!!!!”

  • By coakl, June 19, 2012 @ 10:43 am

    The $6 fee is designed to deter non-customer check cashers. The bank makes nothing on these transactions and you’re taking up the teller’s time and probably her supervisor’s too (reviewing and approving the bigger checks)…high costs and zero profit unless it adds that fee.

    For a small check like that, take it to your own bank. The days of bringing in a check like that and getting it cashed for free at the drawer bank, are *OVER*.

  • By KK, July 27, 2012 @ 2:25 am

    I don’t know where you guys are getting the $6 fee from but I tried to cash my paycheck at Chase (my company uses Chase as their bank) and was told I would be charged $40!!!!! They wanted 3 or 4% or some crap like that! I told them to go f- themselves!

  • By Sad, July 27, 2012 @ 8:57 pm

    You should not be charge to cash a check that was written by their customer..I was given a check by my employer plus customer and they bounce in mt account ,my bank charge me a bounce check fee of 34.00 for each check.I perfer to cash the check it is written on to avoid any charges to me,they will inform you if the money not available…..so their should not be a charge to the person whom receive the check.I shoud not have to open up a account with every bank to cash a check busineds i receive alot of checks.

  • By coakl, July 30, 2012 @ 11:04 pm

    Chase was testing a percentage check cashing fee (non-customers) in a few markets. It’s a nasty shock to people who still think banks cash their own checks for free.

    Every big bank charges for this. It provides a little fee income from those stupid enough to keep coming back to Chase (they usually stop after 3 or 4 times). Banks do it mainly to keep the poorer folks from coming back…non-customers who live cash-only and who don’t want to bank with Chase.

    From Chase’s perspective, you are the enemy. You provide zero profit, you take up our time, get out and don’t come back. Even worse, non-customers with checks are the biggest source of fraud…from the roommate who steals your checkbook and fakes your signature for a quick $300, all the way to fraudsters who create $3,000 checks.

  • By armybrat, August 20, 2012 @ 7:51 am

    Just called chase to get a military check cashed and was told it would be 6 dollars.

  • By jalatl, September 18, 2012 @ 3:47 pm

    Hasn’t everyone already realized that this happens at megabanks? I mean, BOA has been doing this for YEARS, not to mention all the other mega banks that charge this fee. Is it ridiculous? Sure it is! but they aren’t going to stop. Here’s a good way to fix the problem… open an account at a locally owned bank or credit union and don’t give any of your money to the big guys. Its not a great alternative for ppl that don’t want to have an account anywhere, but it’s the only alternative if you don’t want to be charged a fee. Sorry guys, there is a cost to remain anonymous in the United States these days. Just sayin’. We are way out numbered on this and no one cares.

  • By Allie, October 4, 2012 @ 7:40 am

    Some banks do not charge for personal checks drawn on the bank, but do for business checks. I just cashed a $100.00 personal check drawn on BOA and I do not have an acct. with them. There was no fee. If it were a business check (payroll) however there would have been. These banks are ridiculous. I have closed more than one acct. because of crazy fees and unfair bank practices that I just couldn’t deal with.

  • By shane, December 4, 2012 @ 3:13 pm

    Wells Fargo didn’t charge me for cashing a personal check either. For the few comments that are PRO chase, stop looking at numbers & realize what’s right! “Taking up time tellers time” c’Mon with a $6 fee for no more than 5 min, almost a $1 a min which is $60 an hour….I don’t think tellers make that much so that’s a lot of cash going into fat cats deep pockets. Also there customer basically referee you there to cash a check, what a bad first experience & knowledge that they charge for cashing their customers checks. Why would I bank there knowing they’ll rip off anyone I wrote a check too?

  • By Frank G, March 2, 2013 @ 1:51 pm

    The person or business that gives you the check has already paid Chase for the “privilege” of using their check service. Either by fees or by depositing money into a chase account. Chase then collects interest on that money through loans or investments. The person or business the check is from is Chase’s customer. Chase is already making money on that customer. Chase should not then charge the recipient of the check. That’s double dipping.

  • By Nick, March 20, 2013 @ 7:34 am

    Sorry Frank G, although everything you said above is correct, the reason for that fee is convenience. Meaning why would you not deposit that check into your own bank? Oh wait, you need the funds immediately available? Oh well in that case you are paying for your funds upfront. I’m not sorry I don’t feel bad for the people who struggle check by check. Bank at your own bank and don’t worry about Chase. They are a great bank. enough said. For all the cheap people out there, Chase does not charge a fee when the check is $50 or less.

  • By Sally Smith, April 6, 2013 @ 10:02 am

    @Nick, March 20, 2013:

    Not all people who don’t have accounts are struggling or hand-to-mouth people. Go read about the UNBANKED and UNDERBANKED populations. Google will help you do that.

    And there more reasons to cash out a check rather than depositing it to your own account, than just “getting cash because I need it now.”

    The first reason is possible fraud by the person who wrote you the check. The writer of the check may be the one in the “iffy” position, and you want to make sure you get YOUR money out of their acct before someone else does, or before the writer of the check overdraws his own account. Like receiving a “final payment” from one of your customers who has had a habit of bouncing checks (each of which have already cost you $12-$25 at your own bank).

    Another reason, which I used once, is that the writer of the check (the enemy) wrote the check to me as the result of a formal negotiation to settle matters. The last thing I wanted was to notify the enemy what my bank and account number was. (All deposited checks get such information stamped on the backs before returning them to the writer’s bank.)

    So, Nick, you can get off your high horse about thinking that people who want to cash checks at the payor’s bank are pathetic hand-to-mouth deadbeats.

  • By Mike, April 10, 2013 @ 7:41 pm

    @Nick

    Your brains must be sorry to belong to you, your narrow-mindedness is astonishing to say the least. Good luck.

  • By Tommy, May 17, 2013 @ 7:03 am

    This is interesting… this “fee”. The depositor puts his/her money into an account and the bank uses that amount to assess it’s assets that can be converted into loans… Ah but not just a loan of the amount deposited. Throug fractional reserve the amount can be 9 or 10 time that amount. It is legal fraud and sucks. So the purpose of having a checking account is to pay someone. The the person paid has to pay a fee to have the “prime-service” purpose of a checking account in the first place. You bank a$$holes can put forth all your reasons for the fee but in the end it is just a way to make more money for a action that is the fundamental reason a person has a checking account in the first place. Chase is especially arrogant. In truth the international banking ba$tards and the cabal of global government (corporatocracy) would like to have us all on debit cards. Then when they dislike what we do or say the ‘funds’ could be shut off or removed from our use. Think I am crazy? Ha! When it comes remember this crazy guy’s warning. You should read ” the Creature from Jekyll Island” by G Edward Griffin…. just for starters…if you give a hoot about what the real world is all about. Most of you don’t give a darn and this is why Banks and ultimately the brotherhood of scientific feudalism will make you all new age serfs on their global plantation. You know, few will tell it like it is because of fear of reprisal and detection… Gutless fools. This is how Tyranny wins the day.

  • By Salek, September 15, 2013 @ 1:08 pm

    well I’m a bank teller at one of the “Big Four” US banks… I can tall you that all of them charge about the same amount and while it might be unfair, please remember that banks are for-profit institutions. And as far as I know, only checks over $50.00 will be charged a fee.

  • By admin, September 15, 2013 @ 1:23 pm

    Yes, we all know they are for profit. And they do seem to be making a lot of it these days.

  • By Lynn, November 13, 2013 @ 11:20 am

    I have to take exception, I am not cheap nor do we struggle check to check, my grandmother sends my birthday gift with a check every year and my husband is in the military so we have USAA. we also have a Marine federal acct and can utilize shared branching. That being said the last place we lived was an hour from the nearest shared branch. DO you want to spend your whole check on gas to deposit it? I highly doubt it.
    So please dont assume in ignorance that only poor people want to cash a check on the account it was written on. I dont want to have to open an account at every banking institution that people could write me a check on to not to be charged aa service fee. Food for thought

  • By Tim, December 16, 2013 @ 11:50 am

    I cashed a check at a Chase bank in Houston as a non-customer. They charged me $18.00. The check was issued to me by a client. I do IT consulting. I told the owners of the business what I had experienced and they shutdown every commercial account they had with Chase and moved them to a local bank. They have 14 different companies, including a couple of huge equipment distributors for the South Eastern United States. Chase totally screwed themselves on this deal. Penny wise and pound foolish. Chase sucks. Always have. Always will.

  • By admin, December 16, 2013 @ 12:00 pm

    Love it!

  • By Connie, May 31, 2014 @ 5:37 am

    We have stopped doing business with Chase a while back. First because of its stupid rules, like the 6 dollars check cashing fee.. WHAT.. that is plain stupid. Now they will not let me put cash into my daughters account, just a few bucks a month to help her out. We are not talking thousands here just 2 hundred.Worse bank ever. Also to the people who said all big banks charge to cash a check when you do not have accounts with them, that is false. I do this every day with every bank and no charge. Would never use chase, EVER!!!.

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