I deposited a cashier's check into my account at 8AM, the account had nearly nothing in it. If I were to use the "credit" option on my debit card at the grocery store would I overdraw my account? Do the "credit" transactions on my debit card go through immediately? If I were to write a check instead, and they didn't cash the check today, would I be safe?

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    What country are you in? Strangely enough, different countries have different banking systems, so an answer that applies to one country won't necessarily work for you.
    – Mike Scott
    Jul 13, 2015 at 15:16
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    What country are you in? Your bank should easily be able to tell you their rules for clearing checks. Have you asked them? Jul 13, 2015 at 15:16
  • I am in the United States. From what I know about Cashier's checks, though, they are basically cash(from my understanding), and would act as such. The clerk at the bank told me that it did not act differently than a check, but I was skeptical. Cash would be available immediately, from my understanding, and cashier's checks are the same as cash, so should be available immediately? If not available immediately, and available the next day, would my checks work the same way then? If I were to write a check today, it shouldn't go through til tomorrow when the cashier's is available, right? Jul 13, 2015 at 15:19
  • I have two accounts at the same bank (in USA). One has been active for 20 years, and the other is a year old. Funds are available to me 'same day' as deposit in the first account, and they generally take a week in the second. The first account has a long-term record that's trusted by the bank, so they treat it well. 'Same day' generally means "after 3 PM if deposited early, otherwise next day". Jul 13, 2015 at 21:04

2 Answers 2


The bank will know best. You could look for their documents on the website that discuss funds availability. The size of the check could also make a difference.

One way to see if you can use the money is to look online at your balance. My credit union reports two numbers for each account: Balance and available balance. The difference covers the deposits that are in limbo, and the checks/withdraws that are in in progress.

There does not seem to be a relationship between credit/debt status with the debit card and the speed of the withdrawal. I have seen it take seconds, and I have seen it take days. It depends on the vendor.

regarding the use of a check. If you were mailing the check you would probably be OK, because of the time it would take them to receive it and process it. But handing the check to the store might not be any different than using a debit card. Many stores are now scanning the check into the system, then handing you back the paper check. that can be deducted within minutes of handing them the check.

While it seems that the cashiers check is as good as cash, there have been scams using cashiers checks. Your bank may not treat it as good until there has been time for the other bank to verify it.


Generally, checks that are deposited, are being put on-hold for a couple of days (or more, depending on the amounts) until the amount is available. But they do post on the date deposited, and usually some initial amount ($200 in my bank) is available right away. The amounts and holding periods change from bank to bank, so ask your bank. Usually, when you check balances online, it would show the amount available. If the check you wrote gets to the bank before the full amount is available it may bounce.

Cashier checks are not exactly like cash. Since there has been a lot of fraudulent activities involving cashier checks, many banks treat them as regular checks for most parts, including holding periods.

  • Thanks for the answer. The fraudulent activities remark you made makes a lot of sense to why a cashier's check can't be processed as cash. Jul 13, 2015 at 16:01
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    Note also if the cashier's check clears in, say, three days and is subsequently found to be fraudulent, you will be on the hook for it, even if you've already spent the money or sent it elsewhere. Common scams work by having you send back 90% of the cashier's check, which later turns out to be fraudulent. Jul 13, 2015 at 19:33

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