Can I Write a Check at Walmart with No Money in My Account?

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So, you’re standing in the check-out line at Walmart and it’s your turn to check out. The cashier is scanning your groceries and as the total increases you pull out your checkbook. The only problem is you don’t have enough money in your checking account to pay for all those groceries going into those thin, gray bags. So, the question becomes, “Can I write a check at Walmart with no money in my account?” Let’s find out…

Can I Write a Check at Walmart with No Money in My Account

You better find the answer quickly before the cashier smiles and tells you your total cost.

Here is what you need to know…

No, you can’t pay with a check at Walmart if you don’t have any money in your checking account.

There is a simple reason for this and it is the e-check cashing system.

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What is the e-check Cashing System?

Walmart uses a third-party verification system that actually validates your check.

In most cases, they use either Certegy or TeleCheck.

Once you write your check and hand it to the cashier, they run your check through a scanner.

The scanner then sends your banking information to the third-party system and they will then deny your check or approve it.

The information that is sent includes your checking account number, your bank’s routing number as well as the details of the transaction.

This will determine if your check is valid, not counterfeit, that the information is correct and you actually have this checking account as well as determining whether or not you have the funds in your account to cover the check.

This makes it pretty impossible to write a check at Walmart if you don’t have any money in your account.

If the system determines you don’t have the funds, then your check will be declined.

It really works very similarly to using a debit card. 

As you most likely know, if you use a debit card and you don’t have the funds in your account then the transaction is declined at that time as well.

Your Check is Accepted But You’re Overdrawn When it Clears

Let’s say you did have sufficient funds in your account when you wrote the check, but when the check actually hits your bank account you have non-sufficient funds.

What happens then?

Then it becomes a bad check. It will bounce due to insufficient funds.

This is a bad thing.

Your bank will charge you for this bounced check.

An average charge at a bank for a bounced check due to insufficient funds with personal checks is about $35 dollars.

In addition, Walmart will also charge you $35 dollars as a returned check fee.

They will take this out of your account by bank draft or EFT.

So, you’re out an additional $70 dollars for writing one check with nonsufficient funds.

Now you really have a negative account balance, and it is going to be more difficult to get back in the black.

The even worse news is that if you have any additional checks coming in at this time or online transfers for bills that automatically hit your checking account, these could bounce as well.

That means additional $35 dollar service fees from your bank for each of these other bounced items and possible fines from the companies.

These fees can add up very quickly.

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What Happens After You Rack Up Several Bounced Checks

If you start having a transaction history that includes a good amount of bounced checks and transactions, then your bank may close your account.

That doesn’t mean you can walk away from these charges. 

You will still have to pay them.

In addition, your bank will report these charges to the three credit bureaus. 

Credit unions do the same thing.

This means your credit score will decrease.

It is truly a downward cycle.

But perhaps the worst possible outcome is that you could be arrested.

If one of the companies or persons that you wrote a bad check to decides to press charges, and it is their sole discretion to do so, you could find the police knocking at your door.

Depending on whether or not this is your first arrest and what state you live in, you might get probation or you could spend a short period of time in jail.

And no one wants that!

If you are unsure whether or not you have enough cash in your checking account to pay for your purchases, it is a good idea to pay with cash or even a credit card.

That way you don’t have to worry about any personal checks bouncing.

Can I Cash a Post Dated Check at Walmart?

A post-dated check is a check that has a future date on it instead of today’s date.

For example, you are writing a check on November 5th but you put a date on your check of November 10th.

That means the check can’t be cashed until the 10th even if you give it to someone on the 5th.

When it comes to Walmart, they do not accept post-dated checks due to the risk involved.

That risk is mostly that the check might bounce.

The assumption is that you are post-dating the check because you don’t have the funds today to cover it.

There is no guarantee that you will have the funds on a future date either, so Walmart will not accept that risk.

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Does Walmart Accept Checks as a Payment Method? 

Yes, Walmart does accept checks.

They like to provide their customers with all sorts of ways to pay.

For some, it is easier to use a check.

Can You Receive Cash Back with Checks at Walmart?

Yes, you can.

Just let the cashier know that you will be wanting cashback.

You will also need to be sure that you have enough money in your bank account to cover any cashback that you receive.

Is There a Fee for Using Check Payment Methods at Walmart?

No, there is no fee to use a check at Walmart.

The only time there would be any kind of fee is if your check were to bounce.

Then they charge a $35 dollar fee for the bad check.

Are There Limitations to Checks at Walmart? 

No, there aren’t any limitations, but if you try to use too many checks in one day, their verification system might start declining them even if you have money in your bank account.

That’s because if you are using a lot of checks on the same day, the verification system might think there is some sort of fraud going on.

One or two checks shouldn’t be an issue, but if you’re trying to use 4 or 5 in one 24 hour period then you could have an issue.

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What Types of Checks Does Walmart Cash? 

Walmart cashes almost any kind of check besides a post-dated check.

These include:

  • Tax refund
  • Cashiers’ checks
  • Government checks
  • Payroll checks
  • Insurance settlement checks
  • Retirement account disbursement checks
  • Almost all pre-printed checks

Keep in mind, cashing a check at Walmart is not the same as writing a check for your purchases.

So, when you cash a check there is a fee.

How Much Does Walmart Charge to Cash a Check? 

If you’re wondering how much does it cost to cash a check at Walmart read on…

Currently, the fees are as such:

  • $4 up to $1,000 dollars
  • $8 between $1,001 and $5,000
  • Max fee of $6 for two-party checks

Walmart has a limit of $5,000 dollars when cashing a check most of the year. From January to April, it is increased to $7,500 dollars.

Two-party checks have a limit of $200 dollars.

How Much Cash Back Can You Get at Walmart? 

You can get between $20 dollars and $100 dollars as cashback when you use a debit card at Walmart.

You can also request cashback up to three times in one day at Walmart.

When you see the cashback screen you will be able to pick any of the following amounts:

  • $20
  • $40
  • $60
  • $100

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How Late Does Walmart Cash Checks? 

While times can be different at different stores, most Walmarts will cash checks between 8 AM and 8 PM Monday through Saturday.

On Sunday’s you can cash a check between 10 AM and 6 PM.

Keep in mind that not all Walmarts have an in-store Money Center, so it is best to call first to make sure you can cash your check there.

Can I Cash My Stimulus Check at Walmart?

Yes, you can cash your stimulus check at Walmart.

Walmart will cash any printed check and a stimulus check is a printed check.

Just be sure to bring your ID with you, so you can get it cashed.

Also, keep in mind that Walmart will charge a fee to cash it.

See the fees listed above.

To Sum it All Up:

So, what you need to know is that a paper check that you hand the cashier is no different from using a debit card. It is the same as debit transactions as they will be able to determine immediately whether or not you have insufficient funds. In a way, this is a good thing. It keeps you from bouncing a check and getting yourself into all kinds of trouble.

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