Chime® is a financial technology company, not a bank. Banking services, credit, and debit card provided by The Bancorp Bank, N.A. or Stride Bank, N.A., Members FDIC.

What Is a Cashier’s Check? How to Get One in 5 Steps

How to get a cashier's check from a bank

Janet Berry-Johnson • March 8, 2024

If you’re putting money down on a home or handling another financial transaction that requires a large payment, you may need to make that payment via a cashier’s check.

A cashier’s check is a check that’s issued and guaranteed by a bank, so the recipient doesn’t have to worry about it bouncing. They also offer other benefits, like a lower risk of theft and fast access to funds for the payee.

Whether settling a major transaction, making a big purchase, or simply looking to improve your financial know-how, understanding how to get a cashier’s check can come in handy.

What is a cashier's check?

You’re likely familiar with personal checks, which rely on the check writer’s account balance for their value. A cashier’s check can offer a higher level of security and trustworthiness because it’s issued by a bank or credit union, drawn from the bank’s funds, and signed by a cashier or teller.

So, how does a cashier’s check work? Basically, you hand over the amount you wish to pay, plus a small fee, to the bank. The bank then issues a check, guaranteeing it won’t be declined due to insufficient funds.

When is best to use a cashier's check?

Not every transaction needs the extra confidence and security of a cashier’s check, but there are specific moments when a cashier’s check is helpful or even required.

Real estate transaction

Cashier’s checks are often required in real estate transactions. For example, making a down payment when closing on a home demands more than swiping a credit card or writing a personal check. Paying with a cashier’s check assures all parties the deal will close without a financial hiccup.

Large purchases

Say you’re buying a car from a stranger. You don’t necessarily want to walk around with thousands of dollars of cash in your wallet, and the seller doesn’t want to let you drive off in the car only to discover that your personal check bounced because you don’t have enough funds in your account to cover it. In this case, a cashier’s check can help give you and the seller peace of mind.

Changing banks

You can use a cashier’s check to move your money from one bank to another. Instead of withdrawing a large sum of cash or waiting for electronic transfers to clear, a cashier’s check offers a secure and immediate way to move your money.

Open a Chime Checking Account with no monthly fees to easily manage your money with 24/7 mobile banking.

How to get a cashier's check in five steps

Now that you know what they are, you may wonder, “Where can I get a cashier’s check?” Here’s where to go and what you’ll need.

1. Review the requirements

Different banks and credit unions may have varying requirements for issuing a cashier’s check. Some might require you to have an account with them, while others may not. Ask your financial institution about the requirements for issuing cashier’s checks and any cashier’s check fees, as these can vary from one institution to another.

2. Collect the necessary information

You’ll need to provide specific information, including the exact name of the payee (the person or entity to whom the check is payable), the amount of the check, and, in some cases, your account number.

Double-check the payee’s name and the amount because you can’t change these once the bank prints the cashier’s check.

3. Visit a teller or order the cashier’s check online

Now it’s time to visit or contact your financial institution. If you’re working with a brick-and-mortar bank, you can get a cashier’s check by visiting a teller in person. However, some online banks allow you to order cashier’s checks online through their website or mobile app.

4. Pay the check amount and get a receipt

Pay the exact amount you need the cashier’s check made out for, plus any applicable fees. If you’re an account holder at the financial institution, they’ll withdraw the funds from your checking account. Otherwise, you will likely need to pay cash.

Ask for a receipt for the transaction. A receipt is useful if the cashier’s check is lost or stolen.

5. Deliver the cashier’s check to the recipient

The final step is to deliver the cashier’s check to the payee. You can provide it in person or through a secure method, like registered mail, if distance or circumstances require it.

The cost of a cashier's check

As with many financial services, most banks charge a fee to issue cashier’s checks. Fortunately, the cost associated with securing a cashier’s check is typically minor, considering the value of security it brings to your financial transactions.

The typical cashier’s check cost ranges from $10 to $20.¹ It’s usually less expensive to pick up a cashier’s check at a bank branch than to request one online and have it mailed to you.

Some banks may waive the fee for customers with certain types of accounts, particularly those considered premium or high-tier.

Alternatives to using a cashier's check

A cashier’s check is one of many options for securely transferring money from one party to another. If the other party doesn’t require a cashier’s check, here are a few alternatives.

  • Wire transfer: Wire transfers are ideal for immediate transactions –especially international ones. While typically faster than cashier’s checks, they can come with higher fees, making them best suited for urgent or high-value transactions.
  • Money order: Money orders are available at banks, post offices, and some retail stores. They’re generally limited to smaller amounts but offer a cost-effective and widely accepted payment method.
  • P2P payment apps: Peer-to-peer (P2P) payment apps allow you to send money directly from your bank account or credit card to another individual’s account via a mobile app or website. These services are convenient for quick, small to medium-sized transactions among friends or trusted parties but may lack some security features for larger, more official transactions.
  • Certified check: A certified check is a personal check verified by a bank. The bank confirms the account holder’s signature is genuine and they have enough funds to cover the check amount. The bank then sets aside the check amount until it’s cashed or deposited. Certified checks offer a level of security similar to cashier’s checks but are drawn against your account.

Cashier's checks offer security and convenience in one

You may not use a cashier’s check often, but when you need a secure form of payment that assures adequate funds, they offer both security and reliability.

Understanding when and how to use different payment options empowers you to confidently navigate your transactions, ensuring that you choose the most suitable method for your needs.

Find out about common frauds and scams and how to avoid them to further protect yourself financially.

FAQs

Still have questions about cashier’s checks? Here are answers to a few frequently asked questions.

What happens if I lose the cashier's check?

If you lose a cashier’s check, contact the issuing bank to inform them of the loss as soon as possible.

The bank will require that you get an indemnity bond for the amount of the lost check before it will issue a new one. The indemnity bond is like insurance to protect the bank from losses if the lost cashier’s check is found and presented for payment.

Even with an indemnity bond, the bank may require a waiting period of 30 to 90 days before issuing the replacement check.²

 

How can I avoid cashier's check fraud?

To avoid cashier’s check fraud, be cautious and verify the check’s authenticity before accepting it, especially in transactions with strangers. Here are a few tips:

  • Verify directly with the issuing bank (using contact information you find independently—not from the check itself) that the check is valid.
  • Try to avoid accepting overpayments where you’re asked to refund the excess amount.
  • Avoid using the funds until the check clears, which can take several days.

What is the maximum amount you can get on a cashier's check?

There’s no universal maximum amount for a cashier’s check. The limit depends on the issuing bank’s policies and the funds you have available.

Chime® is a financial technology company, not a bank. Banking services are provided by The Bancorp Bank, N.A. or Stride Bank, N.A., Members FDIC. The Chime Visa® Debit Card and the Chime Credit Builder Visa® Credit Card are issued by The Bancorp Bank, N.A. or Stride Bank pursuant to a license from Visa U.S.A. Inc. and may be used everywhere Visa debit and credit cards are accepted. Please see the back of your Card for its issuing bank.

While Chime doesn’t issue personal checkbooks to write checks, Chime Checkbook gives you the freedom to send checks to anyone, anytime, from anywhere. See your issuing bank’s Deposit Account Agreement for full Chime Checkbook details.

By clicking on some of the links above, you will leave the Chime website and be directed to a third-party website. The privacy practices of those third parties may differ from those of Chime. We recommend you review the privacy statements of those third party websites, as Chime is not responsible for those third parties' privacy or security practices.

Third-party trademarks referenced for informational purposes only; no endorsements implied.

Opinions, advice, services, or other information or content expressed or contributed here by customers, users, or others, are those of the respective author(s) or contributor(s) and do not necessarily state or reflect those of The Bancorp Bank, N.A. and Stride Bank, N.A. (“Banks”). Banks are not responsible for the accuracy of any content provided by author(s) or contributor(s).

¹ Information from Experian’s "What's the Difference Between a Cashier's Check and a Certified Check?" as of February 26, 2024: https://www.experian.com/blogs/ask-experian/cashiers-check-vs-certified-check/

² Information from Office of the Comptroller of the Currency's, "I Purchased a Cashier's Check from the Bank and Then Lost It" as of February 26, 2024: https://www.helpwithmybank.gov/help-topics/bank-accounts/cashiers-checks/cashiers-check-indemnity.html#

Address: 101 California Street, Floor 5, San Francisco, CA 94111, United States.

No customer support available at HQ. Customer support details available on the website.

© 2013-2024 Chime Financial, Inc. All rights reserved.