Western Union is a financial services company that allows you to send money to people and to buy money orders at various affiliated businesses. You can't directly have Western Union cash checks for you, but some of the Western Union locations that offer the company's services also offer check cashing. If you're asking, "Where can I cash a money order?" keep in mind that not all Western Union locations can do that, either. You can also often cash either a check or money order at a bank, check cashing store, grocery store or through a smartphone app.
Some, but not all, stores that can process Western Union transactions for you can also cash checks. Western Union itself doesn't provide check cashing.
What Is Western Union?
Western Union is a company that helps people to send money. You can send money to someone else's bank account or enable them to pick up cash at a Western Union location. Senders can send the money through Western Union's website, through a Western Union smartphone app for iOS or Android or by visiting a Western Union location. There's a fee to send money that depends on how much you're sending, how you're sending it and where it's going.
You can send money within your country or across international borders with Western Union. Keep in mind that there are often currency exchange fees if you send money internationally.
Western Union and Money Orders
Western Union also allows you to buy money orders. These effectively function like prepaid checks. You provide cash to Western Union in exchange for a money order that you can send to someone who can cash it or deposit it into a bank account.
There's a fee for buying a money order from Western Union and most other places that offer them. Some banks also offer money orders, as does the United States Postal Service. If you need a money order, shop around for a place that offers them for a good fee and offers them in the denomination you need. Some vendors might limit how much money you can put onto one money order.
Cashing a Check
If you have a bank account, you can usually deposit a check into your account by visiting a branch or even an ATM. Many banks now have smartphone apps that can let you deposit a check by taking a picture of it.
If you don't have a bank account or don't want to deposit the check into your account, you can cash it instead. Sometimes the bank that issued the check will cash it for you, even for free, letting you have the money when you stop by the bank.
You can also visit a check cashing store to cash a check. These include dedicated financial service outlets and many grocery and discount stores. Some of these stores also offer the ability to send money with Western Union or other competing firms such as MoneyGram, but Western Union itself isn't involved in cashing checks.
Find a Store
You can search on mapping and directory websites and apps for a store near you that lets you cash checks. Since these stores usually charge fees, you may want to call in advance and see how much it will cost to cash your check.
If there is anything unusual about your check or your situation, such as if you have limited identification or the check is a third-party check that has been signed over to you, you may also want to call to verify the store can handle your situation before you drop by.
Many businesses, including banks, that cash checks can also cash money orders for you. Not all Western Union locations can cash money orders, including Western Union money orders.