The Time It Takes for a Check to Clear at Top 10 Banks

Theresa Kim

By , Staff Writer
Posted on Wed Nov 27, 2013, Last Updated on Mon Jan 26, 2015

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When will my check clear? This is something many banking customers wonder about after making a deposit, as it’ll give them a good idea of when their money will become available for withdrawals and transactions. Find out how long it takes for a check to clear at the top 10 banks in America.

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Ways to know when your deposited check will clear

In most cases, you will receive a deposit slip with the date and time of when the check will be cleared and the hold time on the check, if any, when you make a check deposit at an ATM or the bank. Note that this time will be different for all depositors, and depends on various factors.

The actual time of how long it will take for the check to clear will not deviate too much from the expected time presented on the deposit slip. You can expect the funds to be available as indicated on the slip, however, there are instances when it may be delayed. Several factors may delay your bank from receiving the funds.

Holds on checks

A “hold time” refers to how long the check will be placed on hold, and banks use many factors to determine this, including your account history and account balances, which can change over time. The dollar amount and type of check being deposited also matter.

In the case that the check cannot be cleared, a hold will be placed on the check, at which time it will be resubmitted for approval. This will prolong the process. Other reasons for delay may be a frozen, blocked, or closed account and insufficient funds. Unfortunately, it will be unclear to the customer why the funds have been put on hold until the check is actually submitted.

However, if nothing looks out of the ordinary, your bank should receive the funds from the paying institution within five business days — at which time the check will clear.

Fund availability vs. time it takes for a check to clear

Although many banking customers confuse the terms “fund availability” with the “time it takes for a check to clear,” it’s important to note that they are two separate things. Even though the deposited amount may be partially or fully available to you, it may not actually be yours until the check completely clears at the bank, as your bank may not have received the funds for it yet.

The fund availability policy that your bank means that you do not have to wait for checks to fully clear before getting access to the deposited amount.

Most banks will generally provide the depositor with at least $200 for immediate availability after the check deposit is made. However, in some cases, the bank may place a hold on the deposited check in order to collect funds from the paying bank.

When will your check clear?

Due to the factors mentioned above, it’s difficult for your bank to tell you exactly how long it’ll takes for a check to clear.

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There are two main players involved in this multi step process — and the paying institution weighs heavily on determining just how long you’ll have to wait. For this reason, even the approximate time as to when it will take to clear a check cannot be determined until the check is submitted for payment of funds.

If it’s been a few days and you’re curious to see if your check has cleared, you can check your online statement or call your bank.

When checking your funds online, you will probably see two different figures listed for your “account balance” and “available balance.” The available balance indicates the amount you have to use at your disposal and the account balance shows the total amount you have in your account — including money that has yet to clear.

What about cashier’s checks?

The rules are different when it comes to cashier’s checks. It is more secure than a personal check, as the funds are held by the bank. Therefore, the verification process of the paying institution is curtailed significantly, making it possible for most banks to have the funds available to you by the next business day, in most cases.

This is unless the bank suspects the cashier’s check to be fraudulent — at which time, they may take up to several weeks to verify the check.

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  • Z_Lauren_Z

    Um, Capital One 360 doesn’t clear checks for FIVE business days.

  • ladycruiseagent

    A check drawn on my BOA account and deposited into my Regions account before 4pm will clear my BOA account the same day. But the reverse (Regions deposited into BOA) takes an additional day to clear. Go figure.

  • Dave Keeling

    I opened an account at BB&T and wrote a $50,000 check drawn on Fifth Third bank from the sale of my house. The money was taken out of my Fifth Third account the same day but it took 11 working days to be credited in my BBT account. I was not a happy person. Totally uncalled for in this day of wire transferring money. And….it was a certified check.

    • Guest

      You’re right. In today’s day and age if wire transferring money you should have been smart enough to wire the money to your account so that it would be available that same day rather than writing a check and expecting your bank to take a $50,000 risk by giving you immediate access to the funds. That’s standard Regulation CC holds that every bank in the country does…

    • Richard

      Next time raise some eyebrows and though it will take some time (probably still much less than 11 days) ask for the cash in 1s and 5s and explain why you had to do it that way. At least you would have some other unhappy campers :) Misery loves company but might cause them to wake up and re-evaluate their policies.

      • Jerkcules

        Most banks do not have $50K in 1’s and 5’s on hand. And doing this would only inconvenience tellers who have little say in the policy. Its similar to constantly changing your order at McDonald’s because youre not happy that the price of the burger went up.

        Not only that but the bank’s hold policies are presented to you when you open an account. Every accountholder agrees to this when you sign the papers.

        Now let’s take the flip side. Imagine the bank instantly gave you $50000 without verifying the funds. Now let’s say the check bounces and youve already spent some or all of the money. You still have to pay it back. Would you be happy suddenly being up to $50k in the red? This is why banks hold checks until the funds can verified.

        • Richard

          You’re actually correct in banks not having much cash. My local BAC didn’t even have $11,000. In cash I wanted to withdraw a few years ago (I moved my account shortly thereafter) to buy a used car :(. I was really surprised. The hold time though today at some banks taking up to 2 weeks is ridiculous. I also would not be cashing and spending a $50k check without either knowing the source or verifying funds. The point is though the banks are placing holds on checks for much longer than needed in today’s world.

  • Bank buster

    Yes, & Suntrust is still “2 business days” for my business account. Which translates to two business days starting the day after you deposit the check. Which is actually about 5 days total if you deposit on a Wednesday afternoon. Funds will be available the following Tuesday. Guess what? I will no longer be banking with Suntrust

    • Buddie

      Been banking at Suntrust for 25 years deposited 2 checks $16,500.00 &10,300.00 Sunday night call the teller Monday she informed me she took care of it for me received a call today that the money would not be available till 2/11/14 she said they could not cofirm that money was available from the 2 banks the different bank Chase and Bank of America Called the person that gave me the check for 16,500.00 the check cleared their bank on Monday 2/3/14 thiis would mean the bank is holding my money for 8 days ????

      • A Helping Hand

        Per Reg CC, banks have the right to hold large deposits (anything over $5k) for up to 7 business days following the deposit. So with that information in hand, the bank actually gave you pretty good treatment by making the funds available on the 6th business day (2/11) following your deposit (2/3). I know you said you deposited it on a Sunday night (assuming via mobile), but it really doesn’t matter if you did it Sunday night (2/2) or Monday (2/3) during the day before the cut off time because it’s really isn’t processed until Monday night.

      • checks available

        sup man

  • JLew

    Ally isn’t on this list… for good reason. So, FYI… Ally can hold a check deposit for up to SIX business days. Gawd forbid you should have a small NSF lasting for one day…. they are very unforgiving and have poor customer appreciation.

  • stan

    Capital one 360 takes 10 days for a check deposited in the savings. i called about this and need the cash for bills. My error of which I was not aware that savings is different from checking. Annoying hyped advertising on phone as one waits one of their “just a seconds”.

  • http://www.seriouslyspain.com/ Seriously Spain

    I found Bank of America to be the absolute worst when it came to clearing checks. Four to five days sometimes, even though they always told me it was supposed to be ‘same day’ or 24 hours at the most.

    What with this, plus ridiculous scam fees, I finally closed my Bank of America account a couple of years ago and went with a credit union instead. Haven’t had a problem since :)

    • jack beeler

      The best thing I have ever encountered when I banked with BOA I deposited a check for $8800 they gave a $100 same day ,$4900 in two business days and the rest in 7 business days go figure like the check would come back in three pieces if it wasn’t honored at the other bank

      • Cashoutking

        How old was your account?

        • jack beeler

          Not sure exactly but wasn’t new ,maybe 2 yrs

          • Guest

            That was a standard Reg CC hold time. It’s now changed to $200 same day, but still the remaining $4800 after 2 business days and the rest after 7 business days. Standard practice among every bank that places a large item hold.

          • jack beeler

            Not on any other banks ..I sell cars so all my deposits r large so if I stayed with BOAI I would’ve gone bankrupt

  • Guest

    You need to spell out the difference to people between a checks worth being made available and actually clearing the other parties bank. What you are talking about in the table above is when your bank makes the funds available to you. NOT the check clearing. I bank at Chase and most of the time funds are mine to use the next day. That does not mean those funds have been collected and that the check will not bounce when it reaches the other person’s bank in a couple days time.

  • win

    the research on this and several other articles aren’t well done. the time to clear a check varies between banks because some will make partial funds available and the rest the next business day, or same business day, or in 2-3 business days but,

    the check still can bounce because the check itself didn’t really clear. that bank is choosing to make the funds available earlier as a goodwill. when the check is processed sometimes the system will pick up something that will cause a hold, anywhere from a few days or even upwards of a business week so that the funds won’t be available until it’s actually collected from the bank it’s written on

    • phillips

      Did finish reading the article? There is a huge box in the article that lists 10 different banks and the time frame that funds are made available.

  • Alf

    This article is incorrect. Capitol One 360 takes 5-6 business days to clear a check via mobile checkmate deposit. It take the same 5-6 business day to clear a cashiers check deposited in this manner

  • http://MyBankTracker.com Gerald Morales

    Keep in mind the research conducted for this article is about 6 months old, policies change.
    As far as the actual time it takes for checks to clear as of today, I will look into it. When I did create this table I literally called banks and spoke with representatives via chat to ensure all of the clear times were correct.
    Sorry if any have changed, but I will look into the matter and make corrections.

  • CommonSense

    Banks holding of funds for extended periods of time has become more and more widespread. Keep in mind we live in a digital world. When you deposit a check drawn from another ABA member bank, that check is entered into the system. It essentially triggers a ACH (Automated Clearing House) transaction. ACH is the common central clearing house of fund transfer processing each night. When you use your debit card. it triggers a command to debit the other account at midnight during processing and credit/funds show up in your account. Yes, the paper check will be scanned and the physical check finds it way back to your bank. Gone are the days when it took days for a check to clear because it physically had to show up at the regional Fed, entered, and then shipped off to the bank for which the funds were drawn. However, the banks are gaming the system by telling you they have put a hold on funds for 2, 3,4 or in some cases 7-10 days. This is a scam and should be a topic on 60 minutes. Just like a few weeks ago when they exposed the high speed millisecond stock trading where traders make millions each year on high speed trading. Banks digitally have that credit from the drawn bank in their system……..use the overnight credits to their benefit/use and hold you hostage on use of funds anywhere form 2-10 days. Now, if you go in after 2 two days, scream and jump up and down, they will over ride “”the standard procedure”” programmed into the computer and give you access to the funds. Why………….becuase the funds are in their system digitally, but most people never protest and the banks get away with. I have done this on a check from my brother. Large amount. He gave me a screen shot of his checking account being debited for the check. It was the day after I deposited his check. My branch manager just said the 3 day hold was procedure. When I produced the the print out showing the funds had beed debited from the bank the check was drawn on………he verifed that in fact the funds had gone into their system. He immediately removed the (standard hold time) the 3 day hold on my funds. This goes on millions and millions of times each night…………and the banks get away with it. Once you deposit a check to your account and the teller enters it into the system or if it processed after hours that night and the bank is a ABA member and part of the ACH system…………..there is NO reason to place a hold 3-10 day hold on the funds for domestic transactions

    • David Morgan

      This is very refreshing !!!

    • David Morgan

      Can you email me this peice of information at davidmorgan788@yahoo.com

      • CommonSense

        I sent you an informational link. However, as my email said that .gov website is general information for public consumption. What happens in the real consumer banking world each day is quite different. The same as the high speed digital stock trading scheme unveiled by the the Canadian man that developed trading software and exposed it on 60 minutes. Posters on this thread that work for a bank are merely stating “standard” policy. They are not making statements on the reality of the mechanics of the system, like I demonstrated to you in the email. For those that are informed, know the back systems, you can work around these un-reasonable hold periods as I demonstrated to you. However, if you make a habit of depositing checks that bounce all the time. That is another problem. I’m talking normal ops.

    • Lisa

      A check for 60k was deposited. Here it is 11 business days later. Supposed to be today to clear but I’m doubting it. What can I do to speed along?
      Do you think they put it on hold?

      • Common Sense

        If the $60K check is a domestic transaction and not a international transaction, yes it should have credited to your account by now and funds available to you. Put on hold? Check with the maker of the check and ask, 1. did the $60k debit from their account. 2. do they have a copy of the cancelled check? If the answer is yes to both, then your bank is up to something. Once an account is debited and a check has cleared it is hard to put a hold or reverse the transaction, unless, something abnormal happened at the origina bank. What is the name of your bank?

        • Lisa

          ok I will check this out. It’s Florida Community.

          • Lisa

            And yes it’s Domestic. Thank you for your help!

          • Kristin

            I am having the same prob with my bank PNC #%@kers I deposited on Saturday I was told when I called today it should be released by midnight it has already came out of my grandmother’s pension account I am livid. Spent 4 hrs on the phone with the bank today, to be told it will be completely available after midnight well guess what NOPE!!!

  • zzzzzzZ

    I deposited a check on a Thursday and its almost Tuesday and still haven’t been accredited my paycheck

  • Gloria

    okay i have PNC and somebody from TD Bank sent me a check via bill pay and on their end it said that it would be to my account by 8/5 however i don’t have any money. can somebody let me know how long the processing would take if PNC got it. and how would i really know if they got the check?

  • Clayton Boyd

    This is NOT true. I deposited a check from a law firm, out of state…. and waited two weeks. I asked the bank if it had cleared and they said the money was available, aka cleared. I withdrew the money for bills. A week later, the bank reversed the deposit and demanded I pay the money back. I asked the manager about when the check clears…..He said that it never ‘clears’, which confused me as it goes against everything we are told. I asked what I did that was incorrect, and he said I should have waited longer, but he could not give me any timeframe. All he said was that the bank is NEVER responsible for a bounced check, regardless if that bank makes the funds available or however long you wait.

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  • Bob on

    They make money off interest so holding your money for days is another way to make them rich yet they get the money right away or within a day.