How Bad Are Check-Cashing Fees Really?

Here’s the fees a MoneyGram check-cashing place near me will charge you to cash your checks:

$25 – $1
$50 – $1
$75 – $1.31
$200 – $3.50
$500 – $8.75
$1000 – $17.50
$2000 – $35

That’s about a 1-4% fee. I’ve been against check-cashing places because I hate the idea of paying someone for my own money, but then I got to thinking: how much do you pay in a month in ATM fees? It’s $1.75-$3.50 a pop, plus a ~$2 fee if you’re not going to your own bank’s ATM. Especially if you’re the kind of person who makes multiple small withdrawals, that can really add up. Let’s not forget overdraft fees, low balance fees, fees for them letting you spend more than you have, and the crappy interest offered by most retail banks. So this is not to say that check cashing places are great, but that if you don’t play the game right, a bank can be just as bad.

(Photo: zeebahtronic)