Cashing Your Check at Walmart for $3.00

Do You Really Need a Checking Account?

With our global financial house in complete disarray, banks closing and going bankrupt, scams on Wall Street and the values of homes and our savings accounts plunging, many people are starting to re-access their banking habits and their ways of doing money.

I for one have made some major changes in my life. After closing our sign business a few months ago - and starting a new venture - I have made some radical changes to the way I handle money. One of those ways is utilizing WalMart to cash my checks.

Yes, you heard that right - WalMart - or "Wally World" as some people like to affectionately call the behemoth store that offers everything from diapers to financial services - including cashing checks, getting money orders and even offering a down-loadable credit/atm card.

Cut Cost - And Save Money!

I have gone on strike against banks. After running a small business for over 14 years, getting gouged right and left for service charges, late charges, and charges just to be charges, I have gotten sick and tired of my hard earned dollars go down some wasteful bin at my local bank. In retaliation, I have closed all my checking accounts and now deal strictly in cash. I cash my payroll checks at Walmart for just $3.00 - then I upload the money to my WalMart credit card, which means I will now spend only what I have earned - no more, no less. I have no credit cards so there is no temptation for me to overspend on items I really don't need or want. I pay only $4.95 a month for my monthly service charge on my up-loadable credit card, and when I upload my paycheck to the card it is free.

Works for me!!!

I'd Rather Wait In Line at WalMart

The only tiny drawback is sometimes a brief wait to cash my check at Walmart - but it's no more of a wait then the one I used to have standing in line at my bank.

With proper id and a signature after cashing my check for just $3.00, I'm on my way into the store where I can then pick up items I also need (killing 2 birds with one stone !) If I have a bill that needs to get paid, I get a money order for a cheap 43 cents which then gets mailed. No more automatic debits to keep track off, no more check book to have to balance, no more service fees because I slightly overdrew my account ( that would just rankle me to no end when I ended up paying an "over-limit" charge of $29.00 for a $4.00 item!!) No more worries about the endless array of charges on my supposedly "free" checking account ( free is not really free you know)

So for those of you out there that are making changes to the way you handle your money, and are going the cash route, you might want to check out the $3.00 check cashing service that Walmart offers.

$3.00 sure works for me!

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Comments 56 comments

Georgiakevin profile image

Georgiakevin 8 years ago from Central Georgia

Great hub but not quite ready to do what you are doing just yet!

Dorsi profile image

Dorsi 8 years ago from The San Francisco Bay Area Author

Georgiakevin - It took awhile for me to get to this mentality. My husband was always saying "use cash, cash, cash" and now I finally understand what he has been saying all this time. When we had our business we had so many charges it wasn't even funny- one month a whopping $600.00 service charge! That was it!

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multimastery 8 years ago

I definitely understand Dorsi.  Many of these cards work just as good or better than a "traditional" bank account.  I use AccountNow and it works well for me:)


LondonGirl profile image

LondonGirl 8 years ago from London

Can you not just get a free current account?

hot dorkage profile image

hot dorkage 8 years ago from Oregon, USA

Dorsi, I have banked at a credit union for years. Credit unions are not for profit member-owned organizations. My credit union was awesome when I had my business disaster. Because (a) I had always had a clean record prior to that and (b) I had let them sit on hundreds of thousands of dollars on the float they tried very hard to make me happy. They were very understanding, and they erased all kinds of overdraft charges that accrued because of what that SOB Card Service International did to me. Of course they get socked with interest rates on investment products just like everybody, but they are unlikely to pull a Maddoff with our money, not with the amount of member oversight that they get.

Rose Ella Morton profile image

Rose Ella Morton 8 years ago from Beverly Hills, Michigan

I haven't had a credit card in years. I but I do have a checking with direct deposit, which mean free checking. But you have to very careful because the banking system is a smart computer and will switch you transaction around deducting one larger amount allowing you to bounce three cheecks. Banks will hide debits, trying to summit when there is not enough funds to cover the charge. I have check my account at night, made a withdrawal only to go on the computer at 6:00am the next morning to find a debit has went through and charge my account $35.00 I have went to the bank that morning to cover my debit and they still won't take off the $35.00 so now I am really careful.

anjalichugh profile image

anjalichugh 8 years ago from New York

I thought, till now, that the only way to do this was 'Money Gram'. Thx for adding on to my info.

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C. C. Riter 8 years ago

Dorsi, this is very interesting. I was wondering if one can direct deposit in this Wal Mart card? I too am disgusted with the unethical and crooked bank practices. Thanks dear.

Aya Katz profile image

Aya Katz 8 years ago from The Ozarks

Dorsi, it looks as if you found a way that works for you. Now, if only Wal-Mart could tie the value of their "dollars" to the price of groceries, this would be a good way to fight inflation, too.

Lgali profile image

Lgali 8 years ago

good info

MellasViews profile image

MellasViews 8 years ago from Earth

I bank with Washington Mutual, and my checking and savings is 100% free. No monthly charges, and no problems as of yet. Been with them for 2 years now, and love it. You should try it though, why pay a month fee to use them? I dunnno though, maybe this bank is not in your area. A great bank though for sure.

RGraf profile image

RGraf 8 years ago from Wisconsin

I don't blame you for striking on the banks. They are the theives of today. We are getting hit with overdraft fees when there is not overdraft and they cannot explain them. We are looking at taking them to court right now.

Dorsi profile image

Dorsi 8 years ago from The San Francisco Bay Area Author

Thanks everyone for stopping by and reading. I've banked with many different banks over the years- B of A, Washington Mutual and Fremont Bank. So far the "bank of Walmart" has been the easiest to keep track of! Perhaps if I still had a retail storefront I would still have to have a checking account but now I don't need one and I love it!!

I do have a credit union account which I actually should be utilizing better. My dad always swore by credit unions!

Kevin 8 years ago

I wish i could understand using Wal-mart as your bank, but I just cannot. You should try direct deposit into an ING Direct or FNBO Direct and gain interest on your checking account. I've never been charged a fee for ING Direct and if I overdraw, I can transfer the money from my Orange Savings account the same day and receive no penalty. Just my thoughts.

Dorsi profile image

Dorsi 8 years ago from The San Francisco Bay Area Author

Kevin, because we were in a small business, we had so many things to keep track of. Visa statements, American Express statements (we took credit cards), service charges for our "analyzed" business accounts (which would vary from month to month), overdraw fees when our customers checks were on hold and we didn't even know it, just a few "perks" of our business. Am I bitter? Yes, banks make most of their money off of service charges. Charges I am glad I no longer have to be part of. In an attempt to simplify our life this is the easiest route and I love it!! It keeps me accountable, Walmart sends me a message on my phone everyday on what the balance on my Walmart card is, and this is working just wonderfully for me. It is a totally different mindset though, and not for everyone. At one point I will utilize my credit union again, but not a bank, at least not the way I did before!

Constant Walker profile image

Constant Walker 8 years ago from Springfield, Oregon

Great story, Dorsi. Disgusted with banks and their crap, I closed my account altogether and chose to cash my checks at a local "Checks Cashed" place. The aggravation ceased immediately! But, Wal-Mart sounds like an even better option.

Mighty Mom profile image

Mighty Mom 8 years ago from Where Left is Right, CA

Hi Dorsi, Constant Walker directed me over to your hub. A novel solution, indeed. But this is definitely the time to get creative. It is anything but business as usual. I am on the verge of pulling my money (such as it is at present) from Wells Fargo. A credit union or smaller, more small-business-frienly bank is looking good to me.

For me, the problem with cashng checks at Walmart is that I would then have to violate my personal "No Walmart" policy. But I am sure Costco, of which I am a member, offers similar services.

Thanks for the seed of an idea! And for (as usual) a great hub. MM

Dorsi profile image

Dorsi 8 years ago from The San Francisco Bay Area Author

Thanks Constant and Mighty Mom for the comments! I didn't used to like Walmart but we've got a couple new ones close by that are really nice, not alot of traffic and a good selection. I love banking this way but eventually I will probably open a checking account with my credit union if I start getting personal checks from people. That's the only drawback with Walmart is that they only cash state and payroll checks.

kappa022 profile image

kappa022 8 years ago from Florida

Nice hub, very useful advice, thanks!

zero 7 years ago

Walmart wont cash my payroll check i make over 2,000 so walmart is of no use to me until they up how much they will cash.

sophieqd profile image

sophieqd 7 years ago

Cash Your Check at Walmart for 300

Great Article.

Dorsi profile image

Dorsi 7 years ago from The San Francisco Bay Area Author

Thanks everybody- glad the article was helpful. Cashing a check at Walmart is easy and cheap-especially if you don't have a back account.

And yes I guess they do have limits on the amount of the check. I was not aware of that.

prasetio30 profile image

prasetio30 7 years ago from malang-indonesia

Nice HUB, but unfortunatelly walmart is not in my country.

Dorsi profile image

Dorsi 7 years ago from The San Francisco Bay Area Author

Thanks everyone for dropping by and reading up on check cashing at Walmart, and the Walmart money card. I am only a writer who has written about this from my own personal experience so I cannot help you get balances or anything else like that. You need to go the Walmart money card website to do that.

Rochelle Frank profile image

Rochelle Frank 7 years ago from California Gold Country

I do most of my banking on computer-- the bank likes it. Easier for them and for me. There's no fee on my accounts. In fact, if I have a couple of direct deposits (I always do) and a few debit card purchases (I always do) and log in every month-- they pay me a little interest.

Maybe you need to shop around for a bank. But if you are happy with paying the Wal-mart charges instead of getting interest, I guess it is working for you.

Dorsi profile image

Dorsi 7 years ago from The San Francisco Bay Area Author

For me Rochelle it's actually about trying to avoid banks, at least for now. I found myself having too many service charges for not staying right on top of my accounts. When we had our business I had a whopping $600 service charge one month, and after we closed I decided it was in my best interest to go "cash" until I could do a better job at tracking my money. One problem I had was keeping track of debits. It got me into trouble. I like the Walmart money card and check cashing services because it's relatively inexpensive. I go to Walmart anyway and the lines are sometimes less then what my bank would be so it's convenient for me too.

Amy H 7 years ago

I just shut down all of my business accounts as well. It was horrible. I counted in the last 90 days BOFA has taken me for over $2600 in fees. I had overdraft and everything. I would tranfer funds at 4:30pm on Thursday for payroll. Cut my girls there checks. They would deposit or cash them and some how almost every payroll period BOFA would lose my transfer. They would pay the item's but than charge me $35.00 per one. It was a nightmare. I would immediately go into the branch monday morning and instead of them saying "It was their fault" they would try to negotiate with me on how much they were going to credit. It get's even better. I one time paid pitney bowes a $150 for postage. They authorized my debit card on accident 3 times for the $150.00. I know that those are just authorizations and not actually posted to the account so I waited for them to drop off. The next morning I get online to check my account and notice BOFA has charged me $35.00 2 times. I call them and say What the Hell? The rep tried to justify their charges as even though it was an authorization and not something that I did, I was still responsible for the $35.00 charged 2 times as I didn't have enough money in there to cover that. What is even sicker about it I had a line of credit for overdraft and money in my savings. They still after it was all said and done to refund me my money. It is MY MONEY.... They just lost a customer that runs close to 2 million a year through my business accounts. I went to a small credit union and it has been soooooo much better. I don't run everything through the bank account now as I don't have that great of access anymore but at least now I am not being ripped off. I will tell my employees to start going to walmart as well to cash their payroll checks for now on.

Michael W 7 years ago

If you OR a family member was in the military one of the best out there right now is USAA ... if you obtain a credit card with them or insurance you can do what's called "deposit from home" with a check. You fax the front and back of the check to them and BINGO - it's instantly in your account. You DO NOT even have to turn around and mail the check in afterwards - don't ask me how that works but since it's all about a check # I'm sure they have their ways! Also, when you use an ATM that charges you $2.50 or whatever to deduct your money - USAA refunds that money to you! How can you beat that? You can't ..

Lauren 6 years ago

I have a question for those who do walmart check cashing... I'm with citizens union now and just got charged a 79!!!!!!!! dollar overdraft fee for going 3.00 over!!! FYI, i had already deposited a check to cover it, but it was "on hold". Ughhh. So I'm looking to give up banks as well. Anyway, the stupid payroll people at my job keep spelling my last name wrong on my check. Not terribly, they've just got two letters switched. Will walmart still cash my check? The bank, as irritated as I am with them, have been very understanding. Thanks for your help :)

Dorsi profile image

Dorsi 6 years ago from The San Francisco Bay Area Author

Lauren) I understand your frustration. This is why I go "cash" basis now. No more bank service fees. I'm not sure about the name issue, but I'd just go down there to Walmart and see if they will cash your check.

Thanks everyone for stopping by!!

Rick Stone 6 years ago

Thanks for the info, Dorsi. Came in very handy today.

One oddity though. Walmart charges a $6.00 fee if the check you are cashing is more than $1,000.

Another odd thing. They charged $3.00 for the card and told me that if I bring back other checks to "reload" the card there is no charge for reloading. And if you keep a certain balance on the card or make a certain dollar amount of recharging during the month, the fee is waived. But they charged me a total of $9.00 today. $3 for the card AND the $6.00 "cashing fee". I felt that since they were putting the check balance on my card and they told me future additions via check were at no charge, there shouldn't have been the $6.00 fee. But it is what it is and I'm overall happy.

Thanks again.

Dorsi profile image

Dorsi 6 years ago from The San Francisco Bay Area Author

Hi Rick, glad the card is working out for you. I think the same thing happened to me when I signed up for the Walmart Money Card. I did know about the fee waiver though if you keep a certain amount in there.

Thanks for reading and commenting!

Ben 6 years ago

Wow this is moronic...Be a responsible human being and don't overdraft your checking account. I have never been charged a single bank fee in my entire life. It cost you 3 dollars to cash your cost me zero. You have to pay for a money order to pay bills, my checks are free. You put all your money on your person or that pre-paid walmart card? What about savings and keeping your money in a federally insured institution? This is a dangerous way to run your finances and should only be used by irresponsible individuals who don't understand the simple task of not spending more than you have.

Dorsi profile image

Dorsi 6 years ago from The San Francisco Bay Area Author

Ben) I wouldn't go around calling people irresponsible because they choose to bank differently than you. If anything, this shows RESPONSIBILITY AND ACCOUNTABILITY by using Walmart for check cashing, money orders or anything else. If you know you have trouble keeping track this is a more responsible way to use your money. Not everyone can keep an accurate bank checking account. In the old days I had an easier time taking care of my account but choose to do so differently now.

Thanks for reading.

Mark 6 years ago

Ben, not everyone is a Jew like you. We aren't all accountants, so relax ok?

BarrelRoll profile image

BarrelRoll 6 years ago

Thanks for the great article. Im with you on going on strike against banks. Ive wasted too much money and anguish on frivolous bank fees and charges.

Dorsi profile image

Dorsi 6 years ago from The San Francisco Bay Area Author

BarrelRoll) Thanks from another fellow anti-bank excessiveness charges!!

Roy 6 years ago

Aren't you just trading bank fees for walmart fees? $3 per check, times 24 checks a year is $72. $4.95 a month for 12 months is almost $60. That's $132 a year in fees that you could avoid by simply not using overdraft and avoiding atms.

Dorsi profile image

Dorsi 6 years ago from The San Francisco Bay Area Author

@Roy) I guess you could look at it that way but to make yourself really accountable (which I need) makes this work better for me. I have to track things even closer.

Brooke Lorren profile image

Brooke Lorren 6 years ago from Mesa, Arizona

Wouldn't do me very much good when I cash the $3 checks that I often receive... I'd be left with nothing afterwards.

I like the new bank laws where you can choose not to let them overdraft anything. I had one instance where I was going to charge about $3 the other day, and didn't realize that my husband had already spent all the money in the account. Saved me a lot of money there. I had money in another account, so I just used that one.

Dorsi profile image

Dorsi 6 years ago from The San Francisco Bay Area Author

Brooke) Interesting. I had not heard of the new banking laws. Thanks for reading and commenting to let us know!

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GBeckhamfan 6 years ago

This is a well put together Hub, although I do not agree with not having money in the bank, I definitely understand your frustration with them. I have had some issues with them in the past. I saw a comment on here that said they noticed their bank was switching around transactions to maximize fees. This is illegal, I actually just got something in the mail about a class action lawsuit against Fifth Third for this exact same thing and I will be claiming in the lawsuit. But at the same time I feel like its more worth it to have at least a savings account with a bank to have something set aside and making some interest at the same time. I also use ING Direct for this service.

Dorsi profile image

Dorsi 6 years ago from The San Francisco Bay Area Author

@GBeckhamfan) Yes I agree that a savings is good. My first $500 was saved in a bank when I was 12 years old. With so many banks closing though I'm leary..very leary. Over 150 banks closed last year. Yikes!

Tawnya James 5 years ago

Great content in this article, it was really useful. Thank you

for posting it.


Payroll Checks

Dorsi profile image

Dorsi 5 years ago from The San Francisco Bay Area Author

@YW Tawnya!

JamaGenee profile image

JamaGenee 5 years ago from Central Oklahoma

I've had the same bank for something like 10 years and kept it when I moved 300 miles away because incoming funds are set up on direct deposit. As long as I keep a positive balance, there's no fee for anything. Purposely don't have a credit card, only an ATM/debit card that works most anywhere. A friend recently sent an out-of-state personal check as a surprise "thank you" gift. Rather than drive 180 miles to my bank's nearest branch, I simply scanned the front and back and deposited it electronically, which has to be the greatest thing since sliced bread. Can't remember the last time I wrote a check because I pay cash or use the debit card. Don't trust snail mail so sending money orders is out of the question. I pay utility and other bills online, for which there's no fee as long as I tick "Checking" not "Credit Card". Gas prices being what they are, I don't even go to Wally World any more because it's at the other end of town and I can buy cheaper groceries and anything else I need much closer to home or online.

That said, great hub if one has sworn off banks.

Dorsi profile image

Dorsi 5 years ago from The San Francisco Bay Area Author

@Jama) Sounds like you have a great handle on your finances. I think credit cards leave much to be desired and I am staying as far away as I can from the traditional credit cards. Thanks for reading and commenting!

moneysafe 5 years ago

I agree with Ben!

cassandra 5 years ago

I just received a retirement refund check for over$4,000 will Wal-Mart charge me more than $3.00

Dorsi profile image

Dorsi 5 years ago from The San Francisco Bay Area Author

@cassandar) I am not sure what their limit is. I would call your local Walmart Money Center and ask.

cu guy 5 years ago

So, instead of paying a bank service fee, you are paying WalMart, which is invloved in the same unethical behavior as the wall street banks you complain about! You seem to be choosing the "lesser of two evils," when maybe what you should do is choose the alternative that is not evil... a credit union! I have been with my credit union for 15 years, and they have been nothing but supportive. I have never paid a service fee, in fact, they pay me interest on my savings and checking acounts! The rates are higher than banks. I have a credit card at 5.75%, on which I have never paid interest, because I pay it off every month.

These days, credit unions are available to almost everyone... They are a great alternative to banks, and much cheaper than paying WalMart to cash a check!

Dorsi profile image

Dorsi 5 years ago from The San Francisco Bay Area Author

@cu) I agree with you. Credit unions are great. I just opened up an account with my credit union and yes it has been really good service. I'll need to write a hub about that - they are a good alternative. Thanks for reading and the great comment.

CeeJa 5 years ago

Sunds like a lot of you have problems managing money. Not the banks fault. I make 40k a year and I have not had a bank fee that was not my fault. Overdraft fees are not the banks fault. Free checking requires DirectDepost OR keyword OR at least 5 debt transactions a month. That's gas

Dorsi profile image

Dorsi 5 years ago from The San Francisco Bay Area Author

Cee) Some people can manage money much better than others. Some people even have that "gift". The banks have made billions off of people in service charges alone. Why do you think they are being sued now? I have at times been charged $36.00 because my account was overdrawn by a $1.00 - then another $36.00 the next day when they tried to run the charge again. No thanks. I'm done with banks. Glad you have a good handle on your finances though and thanks for reading.

Suri 5 years ago

Thanks for posting this! Everyone has different situations as to why they use walmart, credit unions, or banks. Personally for me there were two factors. 1. An insane angry ex husband constantly trying to find my accounts to drain them. and 2. The over draft fee. I personally didn't appreciate the revenge my ex decided on when we shared accounts and I proposed a divorce. He over drew my business account and personal accounts and even emptied the savings so badly that no bank would even touch me. Poor choice since it didn't hurt just me but our children. 4 years later I'm still paying back what I owe but thankfully this year it will be paid off but the damage will be on my credit report for 5 years after I was told. Maybe even longer who knows. I dumped the business and simply work. I direct deposited to my walmart card since its free and don't deal with many fees at all and use my paypal account for online business if I wish to sell things. I pay all my bills online so I just use my card. It suits me well enough till I can reopen an account years later. The card works for this situation...It may not work for everyone but it annoys me reading some comments that make it sound like some are "irresponsible". If you overdraft to much this card is a great RE-TRAINER to teach financing. For others who can't even get a account (like myself)its a good card and your not carrying all you cash out in the open. Who wants to cash a 800.00+ check in a cashing center..and feels safe walking out that door? Not me. Also if you wish to teach teens money, who in their right mind hands a teen a credit card? This card works great for teaching responsibility without panicking. Personally I believe it takes a smart responsible person to realize their faults and try to make a change. I applaud you on finding a solution to your financial issues.

Dorsi profile image

Dorsi 5 years ago from The San Francisco Bay Area Author

@Suri) Thank you so much for sharing your story. And YES, being responsible means doing what works best for us as individuals. People that judge make me ticked off - but there will always be those that "judge" others..and the way they do things. Glad you found a way that works for you and your family Suri.

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