How to Write Dollars and Cents on a Check

There are times when it’s the insignificant things that get to you. You might have some experience with checks, but you’ll still have to write out the total amount. It is especially challenging to write a check that includes cents, but with a little bit of practise, you will soon be able to do it without even thinking about it.

Sample Check With Dollars and Cents

For example, assume you need to write a check for eight dollars and fifteen cents (that’s $8.15). There are two steps:

  1. Write the amount using numbers 
  2. Write the amount using words 

First, write the amount in numeric form in the dollar box, located on the right side of your check next to the dollar sign (“$”). Start by writing the number of dollars (“8”) followed by a decimal point or period (“.”), and then the number of cents (“15”). Ultimately, you’ll have “8.15” in the dollar box. For more examples and practice questions, scroll down.

Next, to write out the check’s amount in words, the two steps are similar:

  1. Write out the dollar amount.
  2. Write the word “and.”
  3. Write out the number of cents.

The tricky part is putting the number of cents into fraction format. To do so, write the number of cents, then write a slash (“/”), and then write the number 100. Technically, this is the fractional amount of whole dollars.

Using our $8.15 example, write the following:

  1. “Eight dollars”
  2. “and”
  3. “15/100”

Write everything together on one line so that it reads “Eight dollars and 15/100.” For a detailed example of how to write a check, see a step-by-step tutorial that uses the same amount.

Now that you have the basic idea, let’s look at the example in more detail.

No “cents”: You might notice that the word “cents” doesn’t appear anywhere—you don’t need to use it when writing a check. It is sufficient to simply put the number of cents into the format above. If you want, you can certainly write “fifteen cents,” but it’s easier and faster to use the fraction format. Plus, your check probably has the word “Dollars” at the end of the line, so it would not make sense.

The word “and”: Include the word “and” just before you write how many cents the check is for (or just after you write out the full dollar amount). You are writing a check for dollars and cents. If you like, you can use an ampersand (“&”) or plus sign (“+”) instead. It is best not to use the word “and” elsewhere when you write out the amount. For example, the following example is incorrect, and the word “and” should be removed: “One hundred and five dollars.”

Percentages

Considering things in terms of percentages may be of assistance: The phrase “per 100” is where we get our word “per cent,” which originates from the Latin phrase “per cent.” The name “cent” comes from the fact that each individual cent represents one percent of a dollar.

One more way to look at it is to think of each cent as one one-hundredth of a dollar, which is another way to express the same idea. When you write a check, you must indicate the total dollar amount, including both whole dollars and partial dollars, also known as cents. This must be done before you can proceed with the check’s creation.

More Examples

To solidify the concept and develop the habit, try several different dollar amounts.

Example: Write ten dollars and 99 cents on a check.

  1. 10.99
  2. Ten and 99/100

Example: Write eleven dollars and five cents on a check.

  1. 11.05
  2. Eleven and 5/100

Example: Write a check for five dollars.

  1. 5.00. Note the double zero—you should always have two digits to the right of the decimal.
  2. Five and 00/100. Here, you can use one or two zeros, but two is safer.

Example: Write a seventy-five-cent check.

  1. 0.75
  2. Zero dollars and 75/100

You might have noticed that the last example was for less than one dollar. To write a check for less than a full dollar, use a zero to show that there aren’t any dollars. After that, include the number of cents just like all of the other examples. You can also write “No dollars and….” if you prefer.

The five-dollar example can also be confusing. Just write a zero (or double zero) when there isn’t any other number to use. Some people would write that amount out as “Five dollars only,” which is also fine.

How to Write Fewer Checks

Want to make your life even easier? Use fewer checks—or at least have your bank write your checks for you.

Online bill payment allows you to set up automatic payments or just pay when you feel like it. Your bank will pay electronically if possible, or print a check and mail it. This service is typically free with most checking accounts, and you can send payments to businesses and individuals.

Debit cards can be used at merchants and online retailers. Just like a check, your debit card pulls funds from your checking account. For everyday spending, it may be safer to use credit cards to reduce the chance of errors and fraud hitting your checking account.

Peer-to-peer (P2P) payment services help you send money to friends and family, often for free. Those services draw money from your checking account electronically, so you’ll automatically have a record of every transaction.

How to Cash a Check

You have the option of either cashing the check or depositing it in order to gain access to the money that is behind the check that you receive as payment when you are paid with a check. During the process of negotiating that check, you will want to limit the amount of money spent on fees and steer clear of making costly mistakes.

How to cash a check

The simplest way to cash a check is to go to a bank or credit union where you have an account. If you don’t have a bank account, there are several alternatives described below.

  1. Ask about any fees for cashing the check and less expensive options for getting your money.
  2. Endorse the back of the check by signing your name in the endorsement area.
  3. Fill out a deposit slip (if necessary) and sign the slip.
  4. Show valid identification to the teller.
  5. Get your cash and put it in a safe place before leaving the building.

Where to cash checks

The best places to cash a check are either your own bank or the bank that the check is drawn on (that is, the bank that is listed on the front of the check; this is the bank from which the money will be drawn).

If you go to the bank of the person who wrote the check, however, you may be required to pay a fee. Your bank is likely not going to assess any fees.

Full amount? Going to the bank of the person who wrote the check gives you a better chance of getting the full amount of the check immediately. Since that bank has real-time access to the checking account in question, the money can be moved around immediately.

Your bank’s policies:

It’s possible that your bank will only let you withdraw $200 in cash at a time, and the rest of the money will become available to you after a few days’ worth of waiting. There is a good chance that the bank will give you permission to withdraw additional cash right away (or spend the money using your debit card). However, until the check has actually cleared, there is a possibility that the check will bounce, in which case you will be required to replace the money.

Any bank has the right to decline to cash a check, even if the customer who wrote the check has available funds in their account. It is possible that the bank will choose not to cash checks for non-customers if they find something suspicious about the transaction or if they simply do not wish to serve non-customers.

Other locations:

Cashing checks is a service that is offered by many different types of businesses, including those that specialise in cash advances and payday loans. However, because of the high fees that they normally charge, it is best to avoid going to those locations. The costs add up over the course of time. If you open an account at a bank or credit union, you will probably have better results (or will not have to pay any fees at all). Open a bank account if you anticipate receiving more than a few checks over the course of a year. If you have a bank account, you will not only save money on fees, but you will also most likely save a significant amount of time.

Check cashing establishments typically charge higher fees than grocery stores and supermarkets do for their services. There may be a one-to-three dollar price range available (or less). Inquire about the available services at the customer service desk located near the store’s entrance.

Consider using a prepaid card account as an alternative to opening a bank account in the event that doing so is not feasible for you. If you have a certain type of prepaid card, you may be able to deposit checks using your mobile phone, thereby eliminating the need to travel to a check-cashing establishment or a bank branch. After that, you’ll be able to use the card to get cash or to make purchases (although you might have to wait for the check to clear before you can spend all of the money).

Spend some time getting familiar with all of the branches and ATMs that are available to you, including the ones that accept deposits. Members of a credit union may have access to additional options, including: Checks can be cashed at any of the thousands of branches located across the country if your credit union is a participant in a shared branching network.

Deposit or Get Cash?

It’s possible that you won’t need to cash the check. If you prefer not to take cash, you can always deposit the money instead. The money will be deposited into your account by the bank, and you will be able to use it at a later time. Get cash only if you intend to spend the money in the near future. If you keep the money in the bank, you won’t be tempted to spend more than you need to and the money will be safer.

It’s possible that depositing the check would be even more convenient. If you have a mobile device, you can perform this action from virtually any location; alternatively, you can stop by an ATM to make the deposit after the banking facility has closed.

cash cheque

Before Cashing a Check

Make sure the check is good before you try to cash it and get the money out of it. If you try to cash a check that is not valid, you could get into legal trouble, you could get ripped off, or you could end up owing the bank fees. All of these things can happen if you try to cash the check.

If someone pays you with a fake check, they may later ask you to do something (like send money to someone else or give cash back to the person who wrote the check) before the check bounces. This is a common tactic used in cons. Other potentially problematic scenarios include cashing a check for another person or signing over a check to another person so that they can cash it on your behalf.

If you have any reason to suspect that there are insufficient funds in an account, you should call the bank that issued the check before attempting to cash it.

If you are unsure about the legitimacy of a check, you should either take it to the bank where the check was written, or you should deposit the check and wait a few weeks for it to clear before you spend the money.

How to Endorse Checks

Plus, When and How to Sign

In order for you to be able to cash or deposit a check that has been written out to you by another party, you will typically be required to endorse the check. Signing your name on the back of a check and providing any additional information that may be needed to process the check quickly and accurately is required to endorse the check. In most cases, a signature is the only thing that is required, but taking extra precautions can give you more control over how banks handle your payment and protect you from fraudulent activity.

How to Endorse

Matching Names

In order for the check to be properly endorsed, the payee’s name that appears on the front of the check must match the signature that appears on the back of the check. Sign the document using the misspelt or incorrect version of your name, then sign it again using the correct version of your name. If your name was misspelt or written incorrectly, you must do this.

Where to Endorse

On the back of most checks is a space measuring 1.5 inches by 1.5 inches for you to write in. This area, which is referred to as the endorsement area, is denoted by lines and instructions that say “Do not write, stamp, or sign below this line.” (For an illustration of the back of the check, see the image that was provided earlier.) Make every effort to maintain the entirety of your signature and any other instructions for the bank in that area.

Blank Endorsement

Simply signing the check without including any restrictions is the quickest and most convenient method of endorsement; however, it is also the most risky. Sign your name in the space designated for endorsements in order to use the method that is known as a blank endorsement. (For an explanation, see the example’s “Blank endorsement.”) However, you should only do this if you intend to immediately cash the check or deposit it after you have signed it. For instance, if you are in the lobby of a bank or if you are making a remote deposit at home, it may be appropriate to use a blank endorsement.

Mailing, Depositing at ATM, and More

Use a different strategy if you intend to carry the check around with you for a while, mail it to your bank, or deposit it using an automated teller machine. Either do not sign the check until you are ready to deposit it, or add a restriction to the endorsement. Neither option should be used. Blank endorsements are dangerous because it is possible for another person to steal the check that has been endorsed and then either cash it or deposit it into a different account.

Restrictive Endorsement—Get Money Into Your Account

It is possible to increase the likelihood that a check will be deposited into a specific bank account by using a restrictive endorsement. (For further clarification, refer to the “Restrictive endorsement” in the example.) Include your account number with your endorsement and provide instructions stating that the money can only be deposited into your account in order to use this method.

To accomplish this, as part of your endorsement, you should write “For deposit only to account #####” (where ##### is your account number). It will be more difficult for thieves to get their hands on your money if the check is lost or stolen because they will need to make changes to the endorsement. Instead of including your account number on the check, you could write “For deposit only to account of payee,” which would make it more difficult for thieves to get their hands on your money if they used your identity. If you specify an account number, you may or may not be required to sign the document additionally, depending on the circumstances.

Sign It Over to Somebody Else

You could try to sign a check over to another person, effectively paying that person with the check that you received from the first person. However, that is not the best way to compensate someone in any way. Write “Pay to the order of…” below your signature on the check, and then write the name of the new payee in the space provided.

Be aware that some financial institutions do not permit this type of endorsement because the method can sometimes be used fraudulently and for the purpose of theft. Before you make an attempt, you should make sure that you have contacted all of the banks that are involved, including the bank of the checkwriter as well as the bank where the check will ultimately be deposited.

No Endorsement

It is not always necessary to put your signature on checks. There are some banks that will accept checks that do not have a signature, account number, or anything else written on the back of the check. Skipping the endorsement is one way to maintain the confidentiality of your information. After a check has been paid, the check’s author is typically able to view an image of the processed check online. This includes the endorsement area. Because there is no endorsement, nobody will be able to see either your signature or your account number unless the processing is done by your bank and they manually add it.

You still have the option to write “for deposit only” in the area designated for endorsement, which provides an additional layer of protection. Although this does not constitute an endorsement per se, the vast majority of financial institutions, including banks and credit unions, would be hesitant to cash that check for anyone.

Who Signs to Endorse?

There are some situations in which it is unclear who should sign the check. One more time, the check needs to be signed by the person who is receiving it. The front of the check bears the signature of the person who initially wrote the check. (For an example of the front and back of a check, see there.)

Checks Payable to Multiple People

How should you endorse a check that is payable to both you and another person if the check is made out to both of you? Should each and every one of you sign it, or can just one of you do it? It is contingent on how the check is written: Everyone is required to sign the document if the word “and” appears between two names.

Checks to Your Business

Endorsing is performed in a slightly different manner for business owners who accept customer checks. Since the check is written out to the company and not to you, the individual who owns the company, you will need to sign it on behalf of the company as it is payable to the company. To be able to deal with company funds, anyone else who endorses these checks needs to have the appropriate permissions.

FBO Checks

A check that is written out to one party for the benefit of another must have the first payee’s endorsement in order to be cashed. For the purpose of a rollover transaction, for instance, the check could be made payable to the custodian of a retirement account. The custodian will be the one to handle the check, and in most cases, you will not be required to endorse it.

Why Do You Need to Endorse Checks?

Checks are a form of payment that are written out to the recipient directly. You are the only person who has the legal right to withdraw money from the account of the person who wrote the check. You can however cash that check (or deposit money that you can later spend from your checking account) by handing it over to your bank and letting them handle it on your behalf. This is the easiest way to cash a check.

You give the bank permission to collect payment if you endorse a check and sign it. The bank will then have the authority to act on your behalf and negotiate the check if you give them permission to do so.

To reiterate, it is possible to deposit a check without endorsing the document first. If the check is sufficiently small, you deposit it into an account that matches the name of the payee, and it does not come from an insurance company or another organisation that requires endorsement, then this may be an option for you. Financial institutions like banks and credit unions routinely accept checks that are not endorsed and operate under the assumption that this will not cause any issues.

Having said that, if it is absolutely necessary for you to get paid quickly, it is in your best interest to properly and completely endorse checks. Even if your financial institution will let you deposit a check, it is possible that the check will be returned to you after a few weeks, at which point the financial institution will remove the funds from your account until the situation is resolved.

Wait as long as possible before signing a check, and this is true regardless of the method that you use to endorsing checks. It is highly recommended that you sign the document either while you are physically present at the bank or while you are in the process of making a mobile deposit. If you endorse checks and then lose them, it will be much simpler for another person to cash the check or attempt to deposit it in their account if they try to do either of those things.

How Mobile Deposit Endorsements Differ

If you deposit checks using your mobile device, the app provided by your bank will have instructions for you to follow. It is possible that the bank will request that you indicate on your endorsement that you are making a mobile deposit. You might get away with ignoring those instructions in certain circumstances; however, it is in your best interest to comply with the request if the deposit is significant.

Now that you understand what it means to endorse something, you should concentrate on finding the most efficient way to deposit checks. You can usually avoid waiting in line at the teller counter by using an ATM or one of the many mobile devices. If you are paid electronically, you might also be able to do away with paper checks entirely.

FAQs About Checks

In Banking, What Exactly Is A Cross-Check?

A check is considered to be crossed if it contains two lines that are parallel to one another and run either across the entire check or through the top left corner of the check. The presence of this double line notation indicates that the check can only be deposited into a bank account in a straightforward manner.

What Are Some Synonyms For The Term “Cross-Check”?

Auditing, corroborate, verify, compare, double-check, substantiate, collate, ascertain.

Who Is Able To Endorse A Check?

The person who is drawing the check has the option of crossing it either generally or specially. If the check is open, the holder has the option of writing a general or special notation on the back of the check. The holder of the check has the ability to cross it again after it has been crossed generally.

What Does It Mean To Request A Double Check?

When you are confident that you have understood something but would still like to verify it for yourself, you should use question tags. In order to check, you should use the inverse form of the helping verb that was used in the first sentence at the end of the sentence.

What Are The Steps I Need To Take In Order To Deposit A Cross Check Into My Bank Account?

When you go to the bank with a check that has been crossed out, the process to cash it is very similar to the process that is used to cash a regular check. In the presence of a teller, sign the back of the crossed check, and then hand it over to her. The check will then be processed. You will also be required to demonstrate that you are who you claim to be by presenting a government-issued identification card.

Content Summary

  • The tricky part is putting the number of cents into fraction format.
  • You are writing a check for dollars and cents.
  • It is best not to use the word “and” elsewhere when you write out the amount.
  • To write a check for less than a full dollar, use a zero to show that there aren’t any dollars.
  • After that, include the number of cents just like all of the other examples.
  • Online bill payment allows you to set up automatic payments or just pay when you feel like it.
  • Just like a check, your debit card pulls funds from your checking account.
  • The simplest way to cash a check is to go to a bank or credit union where you have an account.
  • Going to the bank of the person who wrote the check gives you a better chance of getting the full amount of the check immediately.
  • Any bank has the right to decline to cash a check, even if the customer who wrote the check has available funds in their account.
  • Open a bank account if you anticipate receiving more than a few checks over the course of a year.
  • Consider using a prepaid card account as an alternative to opening a bank account in the event that doing so is not feasible for you.
  • If you have a certain type of prepaid card, you may be able to deposit checks using your mobile phone, thereby eliminating the need to travel to a check-cashing establishment or a bank branch.
  • It’s possible that you won’t need to cash the check.
  • If you prefer not to take cash, you can always deposit the money instead.
  • Get cash only if you intend to spend the money in the near future.
  • Make sure the check is good before you try to cash it and get the money out of it.
  • If someone pays you with a fake check, they may later ask you to do something (like send money to someone else or give cash back to the person who wrote the check) before the check bounces.
  • If you are unsure about the legitimacy of a check, you should either take it to the bank where the check was written, or you should deposit the check and wait a few weeks for it to clear before you spend the money.
  • Signing your name on the back of a check and providing any additional information that may be needed to process the check quickly and accurately is required to endorse the check.
  • In order for the check to be properly endorsed, the payee’s name that appears on the front of the check must match the signature that appears on the back of the check.
  • Sign your name in the space designated for endorsements in order to use the method that is known as a blank endorsement. 
  • Either do not sign the check until you are ready to deposit it, or add a restriction to the endorsement.
  • Include your account number with your endorsement and provide instructions stating that the money can only be deposited into your account in order to use this method.
  • You could try to sign a check over to another person, effectively paying that person with the check that you received from the first person.
  • Write “Pay to the order of…” below your signature on the check, and then write the name of the new payee in the space provided.
  • It is not always necessary to put your signature on checks.
  • There are some banks that will accept checks that do not have a signature, account number, or anything else written on the back of the check.
  • Skipping the endorsement is one way to maintain the confidentiality of your information.
  • There are some situations in which it is unclear who should sign the check.
  • One more time, the check needs to be signed by the person who is receiving it.
  • The front of the check bears the signature of the person who initially wrote the check. (
  • Endorsing is performed in a slightly different manner for business owners who accept customer checks.
  • Since the check is written out to the company and not to you, the individual who owns the company, you will need to sign it on behalf of the company as it is payable to the company.
  • You can however cash that check (or deposit money that you can later spend from your checking account) by handing it over to your bank and letting them handle it on your behalf.
  • This is the easiest way to cash a check.
  • You give the bank permission to collect payment if you endorse a check and sign it.
  • To reiterate, it is possible to deposit a check without endorsing the document first.
  • Wait as long as possible before signing a check, and this is true regardless of the method that you use to endorsing checks.
  • It is highly recommended that you sign the document either while you are physically present at the bank or while you are in the process of making a mobile deposit.
  • If you deposit checks using your mobile device, the app provided by your bank will have instructions for you to follow.
  • It is possible that the bank will request that you indicate on your endorsement that you are making a mobile deposit.
  • Now that you understand what it means to endorse something, you should concentrate on finding the most efficient way to deposit checks.
  • A check is considered to be crossed if it contains two lines that are parallel to one another and run either across the entire check or through the top left corner of the check.
  • The presence of this double line notation indicates that the check can only be deposited into a bank account in a straightforward manner.
  • If the check is open, the holder has the option of writing a general or special notation on the back of the check.
  • The holder of the check has the ability to cross it again after it has been crossed generally.
  • In the presence of a teller, sign the back of the crossed check, and then hand it over to her.
  • The check will then be processed.
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