Cashier’s Check

The following is a MyBankTracker basic overview on cashier’s checks including a comparison of costs at the top 10 banks updated through 2017:

Cashier’s Check Basics

A cashier’s check (also known as an official check, teller’s cheque, bank cheque, etc.) is a check that differs from regular checks because it is a more secure form of payment. With a cashier’s check, funds are guaranteed by the bank that issues the check. For this reason, cashier’s checks provide good reassurance that the check will clear when deposited since the money is already held by the bank and ready to be transferred.

Cashier’s checks are not commonly used for everyday expenses but for major transactions — such as real estate — since the recipient requires guaranteed payment. It wouldn’t make sense to buy cashier’s checks for small transactions because they will not offset the cost of getting an official check, which can be quite pricey.

Cashier's Check Fee at the Top Banks

BankCashier's Check
Bank of America$10
Wells Fargo$10
U.S. Bank$7
PNC Bank$10
Capital One$10
TD Bank$8
Citizens Bank$3
Fifth Third Bank$10.75
Regions Bank$8
Comerica Bank$10
BBVA Compass$10
BMO Harris Bank$10

Cashier’s Check Fees Compared

According to the banking analysis by, the average cost of a cashier’s check was $9.10 at the ten biggest banks in America.

Currently, the most expensive cashier’s check is $10.75.

Note that these figures represent the fee that pertains to basic checking account holders at a given bank. Some banks may waive the fees for cashier’s checks if a customer has a high-tiered checking account.

If you are not a customer of the bank where you plan to buy a cashier’s check, the bank may charge you a different price. It may be a flat rate or a percentage of the check’s total. In some cases, a bank may refuse to grant a cashier’s check to those who are not customers of the bank.

How to Get a Cashier’s Check

To purchase a cashier’s check, you will have to provide the bank with the exact name recipient’s name.

If you’re a customer of the bank you wish to get the cashier’s check from, you can purchase the check with cash or funds from your account. The amount will be debited from the account immediately to pay for the check, at which time the bank will assume full responsibility for covering the amount on the cashier’s check.

If you’re not a customer of the bank you’re purchasing a cashier’s check from, you will need to provide the full amount in cash at the time of purchase.

A cashier’s check must be cashed within 90 to 120 days of the date it is issued.

Cashier’s Check vs. Personal Check

There are significant differences between cashier’s checks and personal checks. With a personal check, the bank does not debit the amount from the customer’s account until the check is deposited or cashed. With a cashier’s check, however, the funds are debited immediately to cover the amount on the check.

Additionally, cashier’s checks will clear more quickly — the funds become available by the end of the next business day of the deposit — unlike personal checks, which can take a week or more to clear.

More information printed on the check

The physical features of cashier’s checks are a lot more complex than personal checks — which will only include your name and address. On a cashier’s check, the name of the issuing bank along with its location and issue date are listed. In addition, the name of the recipient, amount and other tracking information will be on the cashier’s check, generally signed by at least one bank representative.

Because cashier’s checks are more secure than personal checks, they will exhibit at least one security feature such as color-shifting ink, watermarks, security thread, and special bond paper.

Not the same as counter checks

Note that counter checks are not cashier’s checks, though you can get both at a bank. Counter checks are more like personal checks available to bank customers when you run out of your own. The bank will encode your banking information and tracking number at the bottom of a check.

Unlike a personal check, a counter check won’t include your name or address on it, therefore providing the least amount of security.

Cashier’s Check vs. Money Order

Money orders are essentially the same thing as cashier’s checks with some differences. Although funds for both money orders and cashier’s checks are guaranteed, a cashier’s check is issued by a bank while a money order is not. Money orders have a maximum limit while cashier’s checks don’t — allowing consumers to transfer larger amounts of funds. Usually, a money order has a limit of around $1,000.

Finally, you only can get a cashier’s check from a bank while money orders can be purchased at a variety of locations — including the grocery store, post office, etc.

Generally, a cashier’s check is the more expensive option. However, if you’re dealing with a large amount of money, a single cashier’s check could end up being cheaper than paying for multiple money orders.

Scams Involving Cashier’s Checks

Like money orders, cashier’s checks are susceptible to scams. As a recipient of a cashier’s check, you should be aware of these fraudulent practices.

One popular scam involves a sales transaction where a fake buyer pays you with a cashier’s check for more than the amount agreed. Soon after, they will ask you to deposit the check and pay them the difference in cash. Later, the fraudulent check will bounce, leaving you to lose out on that amount.

You should take appropriate steps if you suspect that a check is fake. Even if you’re not an expert at spotting a counterfeit cashier’s check, you can avoid becoming a victim of cashier’s check scams by calling or visiting the bank that issued the check to confirm its legitimacy.

Stop Payments on Cashier’s Checks

Sometimes, cashier’s checks get lost or a transaction is canceled. You’ll want to put a stop payment order on the check so that the funds don’t get up in the wrong hands — you want it back in your bank account as soon as possible. A stop payment fee does apply, but it is nothing compared to what you can lose if a cashier’s check is deposited fraudulently.

However, expect to wait up to 90 days until the funds are returned to your account while the bank investigates and processed the stop payment. This is why some people prefer to use other payment methods, including money orders and personal checks, which tend to require less time — around 30 days — to complete a stop payment order.

Other Ways to Make Payments

While cashier’s checks are viable for making large payments, remember that you also have alternative payment methods at your disposal — with features that you may prefer over those found with cashier’s checks:

  • Online payment platforms/services. Some people may find comfort in an electronic trail to follow the movement of their funds. Online payment platforms, such as PayPal and Venmo, allow you to trace your money when you pay someone. Usually, these payment services don’t charge hefty fees (or any fees at all) when you are making payments from a bank account to another bank account.
  • Wire transfers. A wire transfer is an expensive, but very quick, method of transferring money or making a payment to someone else. Typically, a wire transfer will move the money within 24 hours — usually much faster. This payment method benefits the recipient significantly because the money arrives quickly. Before you perform a wire transfer for large sum of money, it is important to verify the legitimacy of the transaction. Like with cashier’s checks, once that money is gone, it is very hard to get back if a dispute comes along.

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Ask a Question

  • Theresa Kim

    When was the last time you were asked to make a payment with a cashier’s check instead of a personal check? Do you think it was necessary?

    • Sophie Dunn

      Used a cashier’s check to buy a used a car. The dealership preferred this method rather than a personal check.

      • Theresa Kim

        Thank you for sharing!

        Did they require you to use a cashier’s check rather than a personal check?

        I would hate it if everyone I wrote a check for required started requesting a cashier’s check instead — those fees pile up!

        • Danielle

          Most larger purchases, like a car, require it. They wouldn’t want a bounced check on an item potentially worth thousands of dollars.

    • TJ

      When buying properties at foreclosure auctions for example, the clerk of court always requires that the funds be paid with cashiers check or some other form of guaranteed funds. Definitely necessary when dealing with large transaction amounts..

      • Theresa Kim

        Thank you for sharing your example!

        Although the fee for the cashier’s check will be minuscule relative to the actual purchase amount, I’m going to bet that most banking customers would like to avoid this fee.

        Do you know of any ways of getting cheap/free cashier’s checks?

        • Bob

          At many credit unions there is no fee, or less than half of the fee of a bank.

          • Theresa Kim

            Definitely Bob! Credit unions offer many services for free to their members. Do you “bank” with credit union instead of a bank? If so, what would you say is the biggest perk? Thanks for sharing!

            • LouAnnWatson

              you worry about paying ten bucks for guaranteed funds, but bet you let the bank use your deposit funds while they pay you a pittance in interest

        • Retired_USAF_Major

          One way is to join the military and bank with Chase. There are then no fees.

          • Simon Zhen

            Joining the military is a bit of an exaggerated effort to avoid cashier’s check fees…

            But, in all seriousness, I think Chase’s Military Banking perks are hard to beat. After all, it’s a premium-tiered checking account with no monthly fees!

        • kodas97

          Nobody is mentioning that some banks do not charge fee for cashiers check if your account meets certain requirement. Citizens Financial Group, Inc (British-owned American bank headquartered in Providence, Rhode Island, which operates in the states of Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and Vermont) never charges me for cashiers checks. They are just free for platinum account (former Circle Gold). I believe other banks have similar options.

  • Ti Xin

    I get really ticked off at cashier’s check fee! As a loyal customer for 25+ years with three accounts, credit card, loans, etc. and my bank still insists on the $10 fee once in a blue moon when I needed a cashier’s check. I would switch bank if I can find a local bank without this fee.

  • seth

    Woodforest Bank cashiers checks are 5 for members

    • mack

      Yes you are right it is

  • Stanford

    Does the irs for federal government get involved if the cashier checks is over 10,000 cash

    • Simon Zhen

      Generally, a cashier’s check of $10,000 or more isn’t scrutinized by the IRS if it isn’t part of a retail transactions (i.e., part of running a business). It isn’t the same as depositing $10,000 in cash.

      However, know that the bank that deposits or issues such large cashier’s checks may flag these transactions if it suspects questionable activity.

  • gangatharan

    dear i receved cashiers chec from buyer case ban how i can find fac or genuine

    • You can contact the buyer’s bank to confirm whether or not the cashier’s check is legitimate. Do not use the contact information printed on the check. Look up the bank’s contact information or walk into a branch yourself to verify the check.

  • Ron

    What is the typical cost of a money order?…:-)

    • It depends on where you purchase the money order.

      At the USPS, a money order doesn’t cost more than $2.
      At your typical bank, a money order costs $5.
      At other places (e.g., Western Union or Walmart), a money order usually costs less than $2.

      Note that money order fees may vary based on the amount of the money order purchased.