Sometimes, people just don’t trust you to have enough money in your checking account to honor any plain, written check. That’s why banks provide cashier’s checks, or official checks, which ensure that enough funds are available.
When a bank customer buys a cashier’s check, the payable amount is transferred to the bank, which assumes responsibility of paying for the check. The check recipient can be confident that a check will clear because that money is already held by the bank and ready to be transferred.
Cashier’s checks are not used frequently, but they are common for major transactions where one party doesn’t have complete trust in the other — such as in real estate and investing. Additionally, cashier’s checks settle more quickly, unlike the personal checks that can take a week or more to clear.
At the top 10 U.S. banks, the average cost of a cashier’s check is $9.10. See how much cashier’s checks cost at each of these banks:
|Bank of America||$10|
Money orders make for a viable alternative to cashier’s checks. They tend to cost less, but money orders usually have a maximum limit. Cashier’s checks allow consumers to transfer larger amounts of funds.
Beware of scams
Although cashier’s checks are supposed to be trustworthy financial instruments, there are plenty of fraudulent cashier’s checks that are used to scam unsuspecting consumers.
Typically, in a sales transaction, a fake buyer will send a cashier’s check to pay for goods. Once the seller mails the goods, the cashier’s check is found to be fraudulent.
To avoid become a victim of cashier’s-check scams, it is best to call the bank on which the check is written and confirm the legitimacy of the cashier’s check.