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Writing a check out to “Cash” simply means that anyone can cash the check. There are both benefits and risks to writing a personal check out to cash, and in this article, we’ll discuss how to write a check for cash, the benefits and risks, and the alternatives to doing so.
Let’s jump right in.
Table of Contents
What is a Check Payable to Cash?
A check payable to cash means that anyone can cash it. Checks payable to cash are typically used as one way to withdraw money from your account or transfer money to another account.
Similar to cash, a check payable to cash can be used as a way to make purchases even if you don’t have the cash on you, although the check can bounce if you don’t have sufficient funds in your bank account.
Checks payable to cash are transferrable from one person to another. That means anyone can cash your check if they get a hold of it.
How to Write a Check Payable to Cash
Here’s how you can write a check payable to cash:
- The first step is to write the word Cash on the blank line next to “Pay to the order of” at the top of the check.
- Next, write the current date on the line marked “Date” at the top right corner of the check. You can enter the full date or abbreviate it in MM/DD/YY format.
- Fill out the Amount box where you see the dollar sign ($) under the date with how much you want the check to be for. For example, if you wanted the check to be for $100, you would write the digits 100.00 in the Amount box. You can omit the dollar sign since it’s already on the check.
- Write the words for the check amount. In the previous example, you would write “One Hundred and 00/100” for the dollar amount.
- On the “Memo line,” write any details about the check that is required. As an example, if you’re paying $100 for August’s electric bill, you might write “August Electric Bill.”
- The final step is to sign your name on the line marked “Signature” at the bottom of the check.
How to Cash a Check Payable to Cash
To cash a check payable to cash, your best bet is to go to the bank that issued the check. Other banks might cash it though they also may refuse to cash it as well as a way to prevent fraud.
If the amount of the check is over a certain amount of money, you may need to get the money in more than one transaction. It’s also possible that the bank will place a hold on the check.
To avoid these issues, it’s better to have anyone writing you a check to write your name or your company name on the check instead of writing the check out to cash.
How to Deposit a Check Payable to Cash
You can deposit a check made out to cash like you would with any other check. Head to your bank or credit union, endorse the check, and deposit it via a bank teller.
If you have an online account, you may be able to do the same thing directly from your bank’s app via a mobile deposit instead of having to go into a branch.
You may have to wait for your funds to be available, however. This is because banks may place a hold on the check to prevent fraud, so it could take a few days for you to be able to use the money from the check.
How to Endorse a Check Made Out to Cash
To endorse a check made out to cash, sign your name on the back of the check and add your account number below it.
From there, you can deposit the check like you would any other check at your financial institution.
What Should You Do If You Lose Your Check?
If you lose a check that you wrote out to cash, the first thing you should do is inform your bank or credit union so that you can place a stop payment on the check. Remember, with a check written out to cash, anyone can cash it, so your check may be cashed by the wrong hands if you don’t stop payment on it.
In the case that you’re not able to put a stop payment order on the check before someone cashes it, you should report the check lost to your bank so that they can investigate. There is a possibility that you won’t get your money back, so be careful with any check that’s written out to cash.
How To Void A Check Payable to Cash
It’s fairly simple to void a check payable to cash. The easiest way you can do this is by writing VOID in big letters across the front of the check in pen.
If the check is already signed, cross out the signature as well. You can also cross out the word “Cash” on the “Pay to the order of” line to make it more clear that the check is to be voided.
Benefits of Writing a Check Payable to Cash
- You know the amount owed, but not who to write the check to. In this case, you can write a check out to cash with a given amount and then send it to whoever you’re paying for something.
- You’re paying yourself or transferring money to another account. It may make more sense to use an ATM card or debit card to pay for things and to transfer money between accounts electronically, but a check written out to cash is an option.
Risks of Writing a Check Payable to Cash
It’s generally not a good idea to write a check payable to cash. Here are some risks that you should take into consideration:
- The check can be stolen and cashed. If you’re writing a check made out to cash, it’s not as secure of an option as when you write a check payable to a person or business. If you don’t stop payment on the check and someone cashes it, they could take your money for themselves.
- Other banks may not accept the check. Since this check is made out to cash, you may have to go to the bank that issued the check in order for it to be cashed. If the amount of the check is over a certain amount of money, you may need to get the money in more than one transaction as well.
- It’s harder to keep records when a check is made out to cash. It’s much better to write the person or business’s name when using a check. With checks made out to cash, it’s harder to keep track of how much you’ve paid them and how much is still owed.
Alternatives to Writing a Check Payable to Cash
It’s often better to seek alternatives instead of writing out a check to cash. Here are some other options:
- Get an ATM or debit card to use for payments and fund transfers. Using a check written out to cash is essentially the same thing as withdrawing money from your account, so you may just want to withdraw money from an ATM if you need it.
- Transfer money from one account to another electronically. Many banks make it easy to transfer money between accounts online, so consider doing that instead.
- Get a check made out to a person or business instead of writing it out for cash. This is how most checks are written, and the individual or business you’re paying will likely be more comfortable accepting this check than one made out to cash.
- Use a service like PayPal for online payments. Services like PayPal are easy, quick, and convenient for making payments online without having to mail out checks or use cash. For transferring money between accounts, a service like PayPal can be used as well.
- Use online bill pay directly from your bank to pay for everyday bills.
FAQs About Checks
Below are some common questions people have about checks, along with answers. ##Where can I get cheap checks online?
You can purchase cheap checks online at Checks.com. This site offers free shipping, fraud protection, and over 40 designs to choose from.
Checks can be ordered for as little as $4.95 per box.
What is a Blank Check?
A blank check is a signed check with no name written on the “Pay To The Order Of” line.
Writing a blank check is not a good idea because anyone can write a name on the check and then cash it. So it’s better to write a name or Cash on a check before you sign it.
What Are the Numbers on the Bottom of a Check?
The numbers at the bottom of your check are your bank’s routing number, your account number, and the check number. Your bank uses these numbers so that it knows how to process your check.
Does it Hurt to Leave a Check in the Sun?
Leaving your check outside on the dashboard of your car or lying around in direct sunlight could damage certain parts of your checks. For example, the ink and paper could fade, which would make it more difficult for people to read the information your check.
What is the Number in the Top Right Corner of the Check?
In the upper right corner of your check is the check number. The check number is for your bank’s records. Check numbers are usually 3 or 4 digits long.
What Should I Do with my Checks After I Have Used Them?
Once you’ve deposited a check, be careful not to leave it around as it could get lost or stolen. Typically, 5 days after your check clears, you should destroy it.
Can I Write a Check in Pencil?
It’s a bad idea to write a check with a pencil. Checks should always be written with permanent ink. Pencils can be erased and altered, which can lead to fraud.
Wrapping It Up
In general, writing a check for cash is not the best option. Consider using debit cards, online services, and checks written with the recipient’s name on them instead, as these methods are more secure.
Do you write checks out for cash? And for what reasons?