How to Deposit a Transit Check as Cash at a U.S. Bank

Many account holders attempt to deposit transit checks, which are checks drawn from other financial institutions, as cash. People prefer to deposit checks as cash because cash deposits normally post on the same business day, whereas transit checks are subject to hold times. The Federal Reserve's Regulation CC allows banks to place holds on deposited checks of up to nine business days in certain circumstances. Converting a transit check to cash greatly reduces the time the depositor has to wait to get access to the funds.

Look at your most recent bank statements. If you have more than one account, review your account information to determine which bank account has the largest balance and which has been open for the longest time. Banks consider average balances and length of account history when deciding whether to cash transit checks, so choose the account that best meets both requirements.

Go to the bank. Turn the transit check over and sign your name on the endorsement line. Under your name, write your account number. Hand the check with your ID to the teller and explain that you wish to cash the check. The teller will review your account and decide whether to cash the item.

In many instances, tellers do not have the authority to authorize the cashing of transit checks. If the teller cannot approve your transaction, ask to speak to a supervisor and stress the length of your account history and your average balances. Suggest that the supervisor call the drawee bank to verify funds. The supervisor will approve the withdrawal if you have a good account history. Count the cash from the check to confirm that the teller gave you the correct amount.

Complete a deposit slip. Write your name and the amount of the cashed check under "cash." Hand the deposit slip and the cash back to the teller. Take your receipt.

Tips

  • If your bank is unwilling to cash a transit check because of the length of your relationship or your average balances, you can cash the check at the drawee bank.

Warnings

  • When you cash a transit check against your account, you are effectively taking out a loan against the uncollected funds contained in the check. Your bank sends the check for collection, and it often takes a few weeks for the drawee bank to transfer funds to your bank. If the check bounces, your bank must reclaim the money you received by debiting your account. Additionally, most banks charge a return deposited item fee for any returned checks.

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