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The era of writing checks for everyday purchases is closing quickly. Apple Pay, mobile wallet and the ability to pay most of your bills online eliminates many of the traditional instances that call for writing a physical check. However, there will always be situations that require official checks (also known as a cashier's check, bank check, treasurer's check or a certified check) when you need guaranteed funds.

 

What is an Official Check?  This type of check comes from the financial institution or bank’s funds and not your own personal checking account (like a personal check would). This method is often requested when making large purchases (like a down payment on a home) to ensure the amount on the check will be covered. For example, the bank will have the funds guaranteed, unlike a check from a personal account that could potentially not have the funds available to cover the amount. This type of check can also be more secure since, unlike a traditional check, your account and routing information is not listed on the check.

 

How do I request an Official Check?

  1. Log on to USAA.com and Click “Get an Official Check” (located under “MY TOOLS”)


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  2. You will then be asked to verify your account. A one time code will be sent to your phone number on file.


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  3. You will then be asked to enter in the details:


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  4. After clicking “next” you have the opportunity to review all of the details and make changes if necessary. Make sure all of the details are correct before submitting, no changes can be made after clicking “Submit”.

 

Aside from requesting an Official Check, here are the most frequently asked questions in the Member Community pertaining to official/cashier checks:

  1. What if I need a large Official Check? The maximum you can request online is $2,500. If the amount is over $2,500, you will need to submit a request. You can find the PDF here or by navigating to “My Tools” under the “Documents and Forms” section on usaa.com. Also, a search for "Official Check" on usaa.com will bring you to the correct document. The written request can be faxed (1-800-531-5717) Attn: Check or uploaded through "My Tools" then "Send Documents to USAA". You can also mail the form to: USAA Federal Savings Bank Attn: Check, 10750 McDermott Freeway, San Antonio, Texas 78288

  2. What are the holds for an Official Check? Official checks are subject to standard funds availability holds. (Depository Agreement - PDF)

  3. How long will it take to receive an Official Check? It depends on what type of mail method you request and the shipping address, but generally delivery via regular mail is 7-10 business days. Delivery time is 1 to 2 business days for Express and Expedited Mail. International mail may take longer.

  4. What if I need to cancel the Official Check? Stop payments can only be issued if the Official/Teller Check is lost or stolen. There is a 90-day waiting period from the date of issuance before a stop payment can be placed regardless of stop payment reason. If you need to request a stop payment you can download the PDF here.

  5. Can I deposit a cashiers check via mobile deposit? Yes. As long as the amount is within your daily deposit limit (to locate this log on USAA.com>Tools>Deposit at Home>Choose Account, and you will see your limit in blue).

Here in Member Community, we are consistently working on best ways to address some of the most commonly discussed topics. Hopefully, this clears up some of the questions you may have about obtaining an official check. 

 

Do you have additional questions about the process? Please do not hesitate to ask in the comments!

 

 

About the Blogger: Briana Hartzell is a Navy spouse, mother to two beautiful girls (three years and one year old), a former full time USAA employee and a graduate of Texas A&M University. Briana writes at Being Briana, a blog focused on the joys that military life and parenthood can bring.

14 Comments
AlaskaNav
Visitor

I ordered two Official Checks over a month ago (7 March) on two separate requests and neither check was received. My wife and I have spent over 5 hours on the phone with various reps trying to track them down.  It appears that there is a large hole in your training and reps were flustered trying to track down information.  I ordered the checks to be sent by regular mail, both to the same payee, but no rep could find any record that they were ever mailed. Apparently there is a way to track Fedexed checks but no way to confirm a check was actually sent through the USPS.  During the latest call, the rep found a check for one of the amounts to the intended recipient, but the associated USAA account number was someone else's account.  There was no way to confirm a check was ever created or mailed.  My accounts were debited imediately and the story I'm getting from multiple phone calls is that I'm out of luck for 90 days until I can start the procedure to stop payment on the checks.  I've been a satisfied USAA customer for many, many years, but USAA has failed hard on this one.  

 

During some of the calls, I've encountered various levels of expertise on the rep's part.  I've had to explain the difference between certified and personal checks.  I've also been told that I shouldn't worry since my account won't be debited until the checks return to the bank...which prompted, yet another, explanation to the rep on how certified checks work.  Several reps were genuiniely frustrated that they couldn't find any information on the checks and I've received multiple apologies.

 

Bottom line; I've ordered two checks on two different accounts and can't find anyone that seems to be able to find a record of them.  If I wait the 90 days to stop payment on checks, that I suspect were never sent, (and USAA can't seem to provide any proof they were) how are you going to stop payment on checks you can't seem to find? The only reliable record of the transaction so far, is the debits from my two separate accounts and the associated service charges I've paid.  Your reps have been very courteous and sincere, I suspect they are not being provided with the data or training they need to resolve the issue.

 

I understand there are many federal regulations that govern checks and I will wait the required 90 days as I'm supposed to, but I need a little love from you USAA. I'm currenly out almost $3000.00 and have seen no movement on getting any answers. The more I ask, the more I'm convinced you need to tighten up training on this issue.

 

Is there a better way to inquire about this issue?  Phone calls haven't been able to get any results, I've been told that someone would contact me, so far that hasn't happened.  I love USAA and have often recommended it to newcomers, I have been surprised how bad this has worked out, so far.  A little help....?   

USAA Service
USAA Service

AlaskaNav, we appreciate you taking the time to bring this situation to our attention. I can understand that it's frustrating to question where the checks are. I am going to engage a business specialist to review these concerns and follow-up with you. Your concerns are important to us and we appreciate the opportunity to assist. -Meredith

AlaskaNav
Visitor

Thanks, Meredith

AlaskaNav
Visitor

Any idea of how or when someone will follow up on my inquiry?  

USAA Service
USAA Service

Thank you for following-up, AlaskaNav. I confirmed your concerns have been escalated to the appropriate area for further assistance. A specialist will be following-up with you as soon as more information is available. Thank you. -Meredith

kathleenbean
Occasional Visitor

I am running into the exact same issue

USAA Service
USAA Service

Hi kathleenbean - My apologies for the delay in responding. Can you tell me a little more about the issue you're experiencing with the official checks? I'm happy to help. - Cathleen

_Bill_
New Member

It'd be helpful to know the difference between Expedited and Express mail. Is it FedEx vs. USPS?

USAA Service
USAA Service

Excellent question @_Bill_, you are correct that is the difference Express is USPS where as Expedited is FedEx. Please let us know if you have any further questions. Thank you. -Emily

ArmyKid7
New Member

+1 to this tale of woe from AlaskaNav and Kathleen. I also had the exact same issue, I ordered the check to be sent directly to the payee and they claimed they never received it. I had to open several executive resolutions and speak to several managers and directors to even find out if the check had been cashed and receive a record of that proof to give to the payee.

 

In the end, it was the payee's own faulty accounting / lack of effort, and a little bit USAAs fault, because the official check when you call on to request one does not include your name anywhere on it.

 

Online you can specify your name in an "issued by" field. Why can I not do this when I call in an amount over $2500??

 

Anyways I feel everyone else's pain and try to avoid using this USAA service when possible, and now NEVER send the check to the payee directly. I send it to myself then give the check in person.

 

Please make this service better USAA! Also please consider raising the minimum which can be requested online, doing it over the phone is really painful.