Cashing American Checks & Money Orders in Australia

I have recently started receiving checks & Money orders from members of my own websites & forums in the way of donations & commission or bonus checks. Some are only between $10 to $25 US. I recently approached two of my banks about depositing into my accounts and WesPac said that it would cost me $10 for the fee and then I asked at another branch & was told $50 each. So that would mean if I deposit a $10 US check I would owe them. Commonwealth said it would be $8 each, not much left from a $10 US check.

What are other options? wesPac said I can open a US account with them but it would cost $50 a month. Someone told me I could send them to PayPal but I’m unsure about this? I can’t send them back to the people and ask them to send AU $ as the bank suggested for various reasons. I do mainly have people paying me through PayPal but some people don’t want to use them. Any ideas appreciated thanks.


I’m pretty sure you can mail them to paypal to be deposited in your paypal account.

If you use Westpac the fee is around $7.50 and they’ll cash 5 cheques at once for that. This is only new, so ask them about it. It was previously $10 each as you mentioned. Also, the bank will have to send the cheques off for collection, which means the deposit takes 6-8 weeks to clear in your account. However if you build a relationship with your bank after a few months (if you ask nicely) they will end up cashing them for you on the spot. It’s all about what you can negotiate with your bank. Get to know the people at your local bank is my advice.

Yeah - with stgeorges/banksa there is a $10 fee, and it takes 20 working days to clear. :slight_smile: That is for each cheque btw.

However if you build a relationship with your bank after a few months …

Haha, considering that banks discourage your from going in personally (by charging higher fees for over the counter transactions rather than phone or net transactions), it’s pretty rare that anyone can build any kind of relationship with the staff at a bank here in oz.

too true lol. I got charged like $19 just to get a photocopy of some contracts (3 pages). :expressionless:

This sounds a lot better, my local bank teller told me 10 each last week, maybe it’s change since them? They have to be under $200 US otherwsie it’s $50 fee as they have to send them in. Yesterday I went into a central sydney braqnch & the person told me it was $50 each, I said this is conflicting to what I was told at my local branch but she insisted the other teller got it wrong, I personaly think this one is cluesless & she wasn’t even a teller but looked more like a supervisor - maybe she still hasn’t learnt english properly yet?

I’m not fussed about waiting but your advice hgas been a great help.

I have a StGeorge account too and was going to try them but it looks like the same with them.

This might be the best option, some are written out to my name & some are written out to my business, my PayPal account is a verified Biz account. Some of these are money orders and I will find out from PayPal about all this.

I also have a New Zealand account so that could be another option as well but I guess there fees are similar there too?

HSBC Bank might be an option.

Bendigo Bank charges $8.00 to bank a foreign cheque. I am not sure if you can bank multiple cheques for that price, or if that is each.

Also note, it usually takes 30 days to clear.

The Commonwealth bank charges me $10 per cheque and it takes a month to clear.

St George charge me A$16 for up to 3 cheques - they take an age to clear though - maybe 60 days from memory (I just forget about them nowadays).

I’m sure someone told me of a cheaper alternative (once I’d got myself an account) - Off the top of my head I think it was Bendigo at A$7 for up to 5 cheques.

The main thing I found out was that it is an absolute must to make friends with the people in whichever bank you choose and use this bank always - this goes a long way :slight_smile:

Bendigo Bank have been great to me, the staff are always friendly and the fees are low, if any at all. My business account doesn’t have a monthly fee, unlike all other banks.

I recommend aussies looking to change banks to give Bendigo a chance … they may be new but they sure are good, so far.

If you’re concerned about waiting for your cheque’s to clear and you don’t have a relationship with your local bank, what you can do is talk to them about putting a security deposit aside so they will cash your cheques straight away. For example if you know you always have $10,000 in your bank account it can’t hurt to put $2,500 aside as security against you cashing cheques on the spot. You then get access to your cash straight away. Cash flow is king!

Hey! Great suggestion! I will be looking in to this tomorrow for sure!

Thanks Mark :slight_smile:

That’s a pretty good idea actually - may have to enquire about it myself! :slight_smile:

'Cause Gavin has $10k laying around. :wink:

:stuck_out_tongue: I doubt I’d need a $10,000 security deposit.