Updated July 09, 2016
Have you ever had to write yourself a check? In the age of electronic payments, it’s easy to give money to somebody else. but moving money without handing it over to somebody else is still a challenge. So, what can you do when you want to move funds from one account to another (or just get some cash out of the bank)?
You have several options available, ranging from old-fashioned to high-tech.
Write a Check
A simple way to move funds is to write yourself a check.
You can then deposit the check to another account, or just cash it. To do this, simply put your name on the line that says “Pay to the order of” (or similar); avoid making a check payable to “Cash” for security reasons. If it’;s been a while, read a refresher on how to write a check .
If you’re switching banks. that check is now ready to be deposited into your new account. You can take it to a teller, deposit at an ATM, or deposit the check with your mobile device .
If you want to cash the check, just bring identification to the teller line. Keep in mind that you might not be able to cash the check for the full amount you wrote it for – some banks limit how much is available immediately; the remainder will be available for withdrawal in several days. However, if you cash your check at the same bank you’re pulling the funds from (in other words, if you’re at the same bank that issued the checks you’re using), they should be able to provide the full amount in cash.
Easier Ways to Get Your Money
Assuming you just want some spending money – and you’re not moving the funds to a new account – you might not even need to write yourself a check. There are a few alternatives that might be easier, and which won’t require you to use up one of your checks:
- Withdraw cash with a live teller
- Pay for whatever you’re buying with a debit card (or better yet, a credit card that you pay off every month because credit cards often have better consumer protection features )
Other Ways to Move Your Money
Moving money from one bank account to another doesn’t need to be cumbersome. Writing yourself a check means you’ll have to wait for the check to get to your bank, and you’ll have to wait for the funds to clear before you can spend any money. Several electronic tools make the process easier (and faster).
The simplest method is a bank-to-bank transfer . where your money simply moves electronically from one account to another. To do this, one of your banks needs to offer a bank-to-bank transfer service (online banks typically allow you to link several accounts – which is one more reason for using an online bank account – but brick-and-mortar banks are increasingly likely to offer this feature as well).
Third-party services can do the job when your bank doesn’t provide a tool.
The drawback is that it may take some time and effort to set up accounts with those services (and any initial verification or security confirmations may take additional time). What’s more, there may be limits on how much you can move in any single transaction; small payments are easy, but larger transfers may take several steps.
For example, you might already have a PayPal account that’s linked to a checking account.
By using a different email address, you can setup an additional PayPal account that is linked to a different account. Then, you can send money to yourself and get it from one account to another. Popmoney and Google Wallet may also work.
Square Cash is another option that allows you to move funds from one debit card to another. Since your debit card is linked to your checking account, the funds will go from one checking account to the other.