Can I cash a check?

Cashing a check - what should be considered and does it also work online?

Checks still exist today and are sometimes used by health insurance companies, for example, so the question arises: Cashing a check - how does it actually work? Especially when you are in a pure online bank?

The so-called paycheck In reality it has long been a thing of the past and if the word is still used, it usually only refers to the monthly salary statement. Overall, the use of checks has decreased significantly in recent years.

But there are some situations in which this procedure is still being used and you get into the situation having to cash a check. For example, Techniker Krankenkasse paid dividends to its customers in the form of checks in 2013 and 2014. Here the questions are answered, what to consider when cashing a check and what are the different systems. For example what is the Cash difference in crossed check?

Cashier's check or personal check?

Most people understand a check to be one Cashier's check. This means that you cash the check at your bank and receive the amount stated on it in cash. On the other hand, there is also the so-called Personal check.

You get that with cashing a crossed check Money not paid out in cash, instead it will be credited to the account. The topic of cashing a personal check comes up especially when dealing with insurers or competitions. For example, insurers still occasionally use crossed checks today in the settlement of claims.

Cash check at the bank

The classic way to cash a check is to take it to the bank counter. Cash check or cashier's check, both are possible here. The decisive factor here, however, is that the Cashing a crossed check only works at the bank, where you also have your current account. Checks can also be cashed at other bank branches, but fees will then apply. At Postbank, for example, 3 euros, which are then deducted from the sum paid out.

In addition, some institutes still need a Complete the check deposit form. This is freely available in most of the counter rooms in the bank branches. The information that is required here can be found at the bottom of the check that is to be cashed.

Important: Most check facility forms have a column: “Account Number or Name of Check Issuer”. The current account number is not entered here, but the number that can be found at the bottom of the check that is submitted.

Redeem check online

More and more customers today use online banking intensively or are even with a bank that operates completely online and does not have a branch network. Mobile banking in particular has increased dramatically in recent years. How does cashing the check work online?

The offers from online and direct banks are Submit check differently on the subject. For example, the DKB has a postal address to which both the check and the fully completed submission form must be sent. Checks can also be cashed by post at Comdirect. So here you have to include the postage in terms of the cost of redemption.

Important: In Germany there is a legal period of 8 days for cashing checks. The banks can still redeem them after a long time, but are not obliged to do so. So it's best to cash the check in the first 8 days, then you play it safe.

Since banks always need the original documents with signature, there have been so far no ways to cash check online. That is why there are also institutes like N26, which operate entirely online and without branches, where there has been no way of cashing a check at all. The same goes for Fidor Bank.

Tip: When you're at a bank that doesn't accept checks, the only way to really get it is to ask a friend to cash the check at their bank and then transfer the money to you.

Cash check at direct banks

While cashing a check at most branch banks is no problem at all in one walk to the counter, things can be a little more complicated with direct banks; we have compiled the procedures for the most popular direct banks.

Cashing a check at ING

In order to cash a crossed check at ING, all you have to do is enter the account number of your current account on the top right of the front of the check and then send the whole thing informally to ING headquarters in Frankfurt. The money should then normally be posted to the account within 3 to 5 working days.

More details about the ING

Redeem check at DKB

At the DKB, the process is a little bit more complicated. The check must be sent to a post office box in Berlin, but together with a so-called check deposit form, which must be filled out beforehand. However, the form is not particularly complicated, which means that the process is also carried out quickly at the DKB.

More details about the DKB

Cash check at Comdirect

The Comdirect also has an extra form for domestic and international checks. This is filled out, the check has to be signed on the back and the account number has to be noted on the check. Then the whole thing goes by post to the Comdirect.

More details about the Comdirect

The check was rejected - now what?

Theoretically, it can happen that the cashing of the check is rejected by the respective bank. For this essentially exist two sources of error: The issuer and the person who wishes to cash the check.

On the part of the publisher, the following errors in particular are decisive for the rejection of a check:

  • The title “Check” is missing on the cash or cleared check.
  • The bank to be debited was not noted.
  • The publisher's account number does not exist.
  • The amount of money is not precisely quantified.
  • The payer's signature is missing.

A mistake can also happen to the beneficiary, usually yourself, when cashing a check. The Forgetting or using the wrong form leads to the rejection of the check as well as any Spelling mistake on the form. However, this usually does not mean that the check is invalid per se. With the help of a simple correction, it can usually still be redeemed even with minor errors. Serious deficiencies, however, can mean that you have to request a new check from the publisher.

What does filing the check cost?

Since the check, regardless of whether it is a cashier's check or a crossed check, has now become a rather exotic means of payment, it is just a matter of depositing checks rarely free. Therefore, pay attention to the current conditions of your bank before cashing the check. Our free current account comparison gives you a good overview of the common providers. Most of the costs for cashing the check are eliminated Direct banks. Three of them that don't charge any check filing fees are:

At branch banks, cashing a check is considered a service, which is why fees are normally charged. These fluctuate very strongly depending on the provider and amount to amounts between 2 and 15 euros each redemption.


Though checks as a means of payment find less and less use, one should at least know how the check cashing works. Health insurance companies and insurers in particular still like to use this payment method. Fortunately, even modern direct banks without a branch network have ways of cashing a check. Only if you are at N26 or the Fidor Bank, there is no way to do this. These banks rely entirely on mobile and online banking, which means that it is not possible to hand over original documents and thus cash checks.

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Editor: Stephan Gert

Image source: Many thanks to Meditations for the picture (Meditations /

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