How to cash international checks

Finding a bank that cashes international checks can make international transactions a lot easier. It enables you to pay for university fees abroad, receive gifts in foreign currencies, pay for medical treatment abroad or conduct international business, to name a few. Cashing international checks can be done through cash letters, simple check collection, foreign currency demand drafts or through currency clearing systems like the U.S. Dollar Clearing System through most banks. The bank will do the check collection or check negotiations (if required) for you. All you have to do is present the check or checks.

Call or visit banks like Lloyd TSB, Barclays, Huntington Bank, United Commercial Bank and ask for the foreign currency manager or bank manager. Note that all of these banks offer international check-cashing services.

Fill out any required paperwork to open a personal account at the bank of your choice, if you don't already have an account.

Present the foreign check, demand draft or traveller's check in a foreign currency. Depending on what clearing system the bank uses, it will present the check for international clearing as cash letters or foreign demand drafts. Some banks simply contact the foreign bank for remittance or process the check through a global check-clearing network, such as the U.S. Dollar Clearing System.

Wait for the bank to go through the check-clearing process. This usually takes 2 to 4 weeks.

Check your bank account. The bank will automatically convert the international check's value to the currency equivalent in your home country.

Warning

Due to extensive processing requirements, banks usually charge for international check-cashing services. These fees can range from £5/$10 for checks under $200 to 25 pence/$0.50 per £100/$200 (min £15/$30, max £80/$160 per check).

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Things Needed

  • Bank with international check cashing services
  • Foreign checks

About the Author

Jorina Fontelera has been writing about business since 2003, covering the printing and manufacturing sectors, as well as the global accounting and financial industries. She has contributed to "USA Today," "Milwaukee Business Journal" and several trade publications, also writing about parenting, animals, food and entertainment. Fontelera holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from Marquette University.

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