How and Where to Get a Cashier’s Check Without a Bank Account

By Kelly Boyer Sagert · March 15, 2022 · 5 minute read

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How and Where to Get a Cashier’s Check Without a Bank Account

When the recipient of a payment wants reassurance that a check is valid and will not bounce — especially in large transactions like a car purchase or a down payment on a house — a cashier’s check can be a good solution. In fact, in some financial transactions, a cashier’s check is required.

But if you don’t have an account with a financial institution, you may be wondering, ‘Where can I get a cashier’s check without a bank account?’ Indeed, while some banks may issue cashier’s checks without an account, many only do so under certain circumstances or require you to have an account.

What Is a Cashier’s Check and How Does It Work?

A cashier’s check is a type of check that is issued by a bank from its own account and signed by a representative of the financial institution. Because the funds are guaranteed by the bank as opposed to the check writer, recipients of a cashier’s check can be assured of its security and know that it won’t bounce (assuming, of course, that it’s not a fake or forged document — not even cashier’s checks are immune to fraud, which is why it’s important to verify a check).

When a consumer buys a cashier’s check, the bank will typically withdraw funds from that person’s checking or savings account and then deposit them into its own account. From there, the bank will write the cashier’s check from its own account.

This is different from a certified check where the money is withdrawn from an account holder’s check and then certified by the bank. While this certification indicates that there are enough funds in the account to cover the check and verifies that the account’s owner’s identity was confirmed by the bank, the money is not placed into the bank’s own account as an interim step.

Like ordering checks that aren’t cashier’s checks, banks generally charge a fee for a cashier’s check. This could be a flat fee of $10, or a percentage of the check’s amount.

Do You Need a Bank Account to Get a Cashier’s Check?

Bank policies can vary, but it can be more challenging to get a cashier’s check without an account. Credit unions may be more willing to offer this service than banks, but it’s important to check with an individual institution to find out whether they’ll offer a cashier’s check without an account. Keep in mind that you can only get a cashier’s check through a financial institution like a bank or credit union.

If you do find a financial institution that will issue a cashier’s check to non-customers, the rest of the process will be largely the same as it is for customers — except that you will need to pay in cash because the funds can’t be withdrawn from an account. After providing proper identification, you’ll let the bank employee know the amount of the check you’ll need and provide the correct spelling of the recipient’s (payee’s) name. The bank will print all of the information and you can’t make any changes, meaning no cross-outs or handwritten corrections.

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Where to Get a Cashier’s Check Without a Bank Account

As far as which banks give cashiers’ checks without an account, most don’t. However, there may be some that may. Huntington Bank, for example, may issue one cashier’s check to a non-account holder (meaning, an individual with no savings or checking account at the bank) if they have a credit card, safe deposit box or insurance with the financial institution. SunTrust Bank, now Truist & BB&T, also may offer this service for non-customers.

You may have to meet certain requirements in order to be able to get a cashier’s check without an account. For instance, two other circumstances where you can get a cashier’s check at Huntington Bank include if you’re the beneficiary of a deceased person’s account and you’re closing that account, or if you’re a previous customer who is using cash or an equivalent to address a charged off account.

Opening and Closing an Account

If you know you’ll need to have a cashier’s check in the near future, opening a checking account now can position you for this financial transaction. To do so, you will typically need to provide information confirming your identity and choose which type of account you wish to open. From there, you can fill out an application and make an opening deposit, if required.

If you’re closing an account, it makes sense to open a new one first, if that’s your plan. That way, you can transfer funds and move automatic transactions over to the new one. Make sure to keep records along the way to ensure all goes as smoothly as possible.

Before you move forward with closing your account, keep in mind that if you need to purchase cashier’s checks, it will be easier to do so while an account is still open. Make sure not to get one too far in advance either, because of how long a check is good for.

Money Order: An Alternative to a Cashier’s Check

If you’re struggling to get a cashier’s check without a bank account or are simply curious what alternatives there may be, you may consider a money order. A money order is a type of paper check that can’t bounce because it’s been prepaid by the sender, and one big advantage of them is that you don’t need a bank account to get one.

For instance, you can go to the post office to purchase money orders using cash, a traveler’s check or a debit card (though not a credit card). You’ll pay the face value of the money order, plus a fee, and you can then fill out the money order to the payee.

Many banks and credit unions also sell money orders, perhaps for a fee $5 each (this fee may be waived for certain customers). Money orders are also available at some retail locations, such as pharmacies, convenience stores and more.

The Takeaway

A cashier’s check is a form of payment that must be issued by a financial institution. Typically, funds are taken out of a customer’s savings or checking account, deposited into the bank’s account and then issued from the bank’s account for the maximum of security.

As far as the answer to this question, “Where can I get a cashier’s check without an account?,” some banks or credit unions may allow you to buy a cashier’s check even if you are not a customer, but you may need to call around to determine where this is available. Money orders, meanwhile, can be purchased at the post office and some retail and convenience stores.

Still, the easiest way to get a cashier’s check if that’s what you need is to open an account. If you’re looking for a high interest bank account, SoFi Bank allows you to easily spend, save and track your money management – all while earning 1.25% APY. You can use your account to write checks, make convenient P2P transfers and more.

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FAQ

Can you get a cashier’s check without a bank account?

Many financial institutions do require a bank account to issue a cashier’s check although you may be able to find one without an account, perhaps through a credit union. It’s easier to buy a money order if that form of payment is acceptable to the recipient. This type of check is more widely available, including at the post office and some retail and convenience stores.

Can I get a cashier’s check somewhere other than a bank?

No. By definition, a cashier’s check comes directly from a bank’s account. You can, however, get a money order from a variety of establishments, including the post office and some stores.

Can I use a money order instead of a cashier’s check?

That depends upon the recipient. Both forms of payment are considered safer than a personal check, but you’ll need to verify that your payee will accept a money order instead of a cashier’s check if that’s what they requested.

Can you get a cashier’s check at the post office?

Only a bank can issue a cashier’s check because it comes directly from their own account. Thus, you cannot get a money order at the post office. The post office does issue money orders, however, so if your recipient will accept a money order, you can buy that at a post office location.


Photo credit: iStock/pixdeluxe

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