Convenience Checks – Facts, FAQs & Cashing

In this article, we focus entirely on convenience checks. This is a detailed guide on everything that pertains to convenience check cashing, writing, and application.

What is a Convenience Check?

A convenience check is a blank check issued by lenders to facilitate the borrower’s access to credit lines and may be used for cash advances, purchasing goods or services, or balance transfers.

The terms and conditions governing the use of convenience checks may vary from one lender to another and are obviously stricter than those for the bank checks.

Therefore, one must consider the terms and conditions applicable in their case, including the fees or charges associated with using certain convenience checks before embracing them.

How do Convenience Checks Work?

Convenience (credit card) checks work by facilitating the borrower’s access to a line of credit which they can use to facilitate balance transfer, to purchase services or commodities, and to obtain a cash advance.

The above operations may come with associated costs that may vary from one lender to another.

Convenience Checks for Balance Transfer

Balance Transfers provide opportunities for customers to take advantage of the lower interests of the lender or credit card issuer when the borrower (customer) uses the blank checks to clear previous outstanding debts.

This is part of the ‘convenience’ provided by the credit card and checks

it is advisable to always confirm with the lender if charges or usage fees exist that may be incurred when using convenience checks for the balancer transfers.

Convenience checks for purchases and shopping

Checks constitute payment systems or mechanisms that customers can use at retail stores, gas stations, and other checkout places where they are acceptable.

Convenience checks are therefore no different, and they can be used as ordinary checks but operate on the same principle as credit cards.

Convenience checks for Cash Advance

One can use convenience checks to access a short-term loan from the lender.

As one would expect, there are fees associated with the use of cash advances and if the interests are allowed to accumulate over time, this option may end up being very costly.

How to get Convenience Checks from Credit Card

There are three main ways through which one can access convenience checks.

First, for borrowers who have established a credit line with the lender, a convenience check may accompany the paper statements received via mail.

Second, for those who haven’t yet established a credit line with the bank or lender, the convenience checks may come as part of promotional offers, including the welcome offers.

Third, if you need a convenience check promptly and cannot wait for the regular mailing, you can visit the lender and ask them to print one for you.  This approach may attract extra processing fees.

Can I write a Convenience Check to Someone Else?

Sometimes we find ourselves in situations where we have to help friends or family members with financial problems. Checks can come in handy when one does not have access to solid cash.

Considering this, one may ask: Can one write a check to a third party?

Yes, you can write a convenience check to someone else (third party) and they can use it anywhere personal checks are accepted.

Some of the third parties you can write the convenience check to are friends, landlord, utility service providers, or even family members and friends

Where can I Cash a Credit Card Convenience Check?

In this section, we address the question: Where can I cash a balance transfer check?

As already stated earlier in this article, convenience checks tend to be accepted in most if not all of the places where personal checks are accepted.

Therefore, one can cash credit card convenience checks at select retail stores, convenience stores, and gas stations, select banks, and check cashing franchises.

Cash Convenience Checks at Retail Stores

If you have a convenience check to cash and can reach a retail store, then you should consider using this option.

Some of the retail stores that cash convenience checks include Walmart, Target, Kroger, Safeway, and K-mart.

Cash Convenience checks at Corner stores & Gas Stations

If you can conveniently access a gas station or corner store that cashes checks, this can be one of the options on the list. Many convenience stores, corner stores, or gas stations have the capacity to cash credit card checks.

An example of a convenience (corner) store and has a station that does cash convenience checks is Circle K through its chain of gas stations.

Cash Convenience checks at Check cashing franchises

You can also cash checks at check-cashing franchises. Some of the franchises you can visit include Delavan Check-Cashing, and David’s Check Cashing

Credit Card Convenience Checks – Major Issuers

There are many lenders in the US that can issue credit card convenience checks to borrowers.

Most people in the US are therefore spoilt for choice when it comes to deciding which lender or credit card issuer they should go with.

It is for this reason that we have dedicated this section to review and analyze the commonly used convenience checks in the US, as well as credit cards that offer convenience checks.

American Express Convenience checks

Does American Express offer convenience checks? Well, if you are looking for an American Express (AMEX) convenience check then you will be disappointed.

AMEX does not offer convenience checks as captured in the cardmember agreement.

Therefore, it is not possible for borrowers who have established a credit line with AMEX to get the advantages associated with a convenience (credit card) check.

If you still need a way to go around this hurdle, then I would suggest you consider the AMEX Travelers Checks, which can be purchased and used as cash for transactions.

In this case, the relevant fees applicable to cash advance would also apply.

Bank of America Convenience checks

Bank of America is one of the longest banking institutions in the US. So, does Bank of America offer convenience checks?

Yes, Bank of America offers convenience checks through the Bank Americard program.

The Bank Americard program is a credit card issuance program in which members can get convenience checks that they can use to get a cash advance or to perform balance transfers.

It is worth noting here that the BoA applies fees on the transactions performed for a cash advance or during the balance transfers

Chase Convenience checks

In this section, we address the question: Does Chase offer Convenience Checks?

Yes, Chase offers convenience checks that facilitate borrowers possessing the Chase credit card.

this makes it possible for the borrowers to access cash advances at an ATM, cash advances through cashing convenience checks, and the ability to perform balance transfers.

The maximum amount of money a borrower can withdraw as cash advance using the Chase credit card convenience check is reserved at 30% of the credit limit.

For example, for clients with a credit limit of $10,000, the maximum amount of cash they can withdraw is $3000.

The main charges that one would have to face while using the Chase credit card convenience check are fees and interest.

Fees on cash advance are currently set at 5% of the cash advance. this means that  for a client taking a cash advance of say $3000, the transactional fees incurred would be $150

As with other credit card convenience checks discussed earlier on, the interest charged on credit card convenience checks such as the one offered at Chase is higher than those charged when the credit card is used directly to make purchases.

Capital One Credit Card Convenience Check

Does Capital One offer convenience checks?

Yes, Capital One offers credit card convenience checks through the credit card cash advance arrangement.

Capital One customers who have access to a credit line can opt to get a cash advance to access the funds needed to meet the immediate need including emergencies

Discover Card Convenience (Balance Transfer) Checks

This section addresses the question: Does Discover have convenience checks?

Yes, Discover Card offers convenience (balance transfer) checks for customers who have access to the credit line.

Customers can contact the issuer of the card to get information concerning the limits, fees, and interest the checks would attract whenever the customer uses the cash advance.

USAA Convenience Checks

Does USAA have convenience checks? Can I get a cash advance if I have the USAA credit card?

Yes, USAA offers convenience checks to customers who possess USAA credit cards thereby enabling them to access short-term loans that may attract slightly higher costs.

On average the USAA convenience checks are subject to a transaction fee of 3% for all balance transfers and cash advance transactions.

References

  • 1: Bankrate (2020) – What are convenience checks?
  • 2: Investopedia (2021) – Convenience Check definition
  • 3: Experian (2019) – What is a Convenience Check?

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