ACE Check Cashing (ACE Cash Express)
ACE Check Cashing (formally known as ACE Cash Express or ACE) is one of the largest check cashing companies operating in the United States. The company also has one of the oldest operations having been operating since 1968. Over the years ACE Check Cashing has expanded its service offerings from just check cashing to include a number of other services including Payday Loans and Prepaid Cards. In fact, a more accurate description of the business today is as a nontraditional financial services provider. The company now has over 850 locations in 22 states across the United States.
What Services Does ACE Check Cashing Provide?
- Check Cashing***
- Payday Loans***
- Installment Loans***
- Title Loans***
- Cash Advance – these are short-term loans typically provided for consumers that need access to funds in between paychecks. Despite the name it is not to be confused with a credit card cash advance. These loans are very similar to payday loans as their repayment periods are lined up with the timing of your next paycheck.
- Bill Payment – you can pay your bills in-store or online with ACE Check Cashing
- Prepaid Cards – ACE Check Cashing offers the ACE Elite Visa Prepaid Debit card.
- Flare Account
- Tax Services
- Money Transfers
- Money Orders
- ATM Services
The services with an asterisk are discussed in more detail below. Please note that services provided varies by state so once you visit the company’s website, select your state (or the state where you plan to visit a store) to view an accurate listing of the services offered.
Overview of ACE Check Cashing Services
The company has been operating in the check cashing business for over 50 years. Similar to other check cashing companies, ACE Check Cashing allows you to cash your check and get instant access to funds. You don’t have to wait multiple business days as you would with a typical bank. The company also operates for longer hours than typical banks and does not require its customers to have bank accounts in order to cash a check.
Process For Cashing a Check with ACE Check Cashing
The company requires that you bring your check and a valid government-issued ID to an ACE Check Cashing location in order to get it cashed. Once you are physically at the location the process is straightforward. An associate will scan your check to begin the approval process. While ACE Check Cashing isn’t specific on the rest of the approval process, most likely they are checking the validity of the check. They do not require a credit check to cash a check. Customers can walk out with their cash in hand. ACE Check Cashing will cash the following types of checks for its customers:
- Payroll checks
- Personal checks
- Business checks
- Income tax refund checks
- Government checks
- Insurance settlement checks
- Money orders
While ACE Check Cashing does not list its check cashing rates online, this is a regulated industry and many states have limits on what check cashing companies can charge consumers. In the state of California the maximum rate companies can charge for cashing government and payroll checks is 3% of the value of the check. However in California the maximum rate for cashing personal checks is 12% of the value of the check. So in you are in the state of California, to cash a check with a value of $100 you could end up paying $12 if it is a personal check or $3 if it is a payroll or government check. As a point of comparison, Bank of America, the market share leader in California, charges its customers $8.00 for checks with a value of $50.00 or more.
Overview of ACE Check Cashing Payday Loan Services
ACE Check Cashing provides payday loans that depending on what state you are in can range from $100 to $1,500. In California the loan amounts range from $100 to $255 while in Louisiana they range from $100 to $300. In contrast, in Idaho they range from $100 to $1,000 and in Texas they range from $100 to $1,500. These amounts are for customers seeking a payday loan online. In some states (California, Idaho, Kansas, Louisiana, Minnesota, and Texas) you can apply online but other states you must apply in person at one of ACE Check Cashing stores. In store loan amounts by state are as follows:
- California: $100-$255
- Florida: $100-$500
- Indiana: $50-$660
- Kansas: $100-$500
- Louisiana: $100-$300
- Minnesota: $100-$500
- Missouri: $100-$500
- Oregon: $100-$300
- South Carolina: $100-$550
- Tennessee: $100-$425
Typical Payday Loan Requirements
The requirements to apply for a payday loan differ slightly depending on whether you are applying online or in person. Generally speaking, the requirements for either process are:
- You have to be at least 18 years or older.
- Be ready to present a valid, government-issued photo ID.
- Have a valid and active email address.
- Have proof of steady and recurring income from employment, disability, retirement, self-employment, etc.
- Provide proof of a bank account that has been opened for at least one month.
The company provides same-day cash pick-ups for those applying in-store and notes that applying for a payday loan with ACE Check Cashing will not affect your credit score. Similar to check cashing services, payday loans are regulated with many states having maximum amounts that companies can charge consumers for these short-term loans. In the state of California for example, currently regulations limit the amount of fees that can be charged on $300 (the maximum loan amount allowable in the state) to $45. While this represents 15% of the maximum loan amount, because of the nature of the loan (the duration is tied to a person’s pay check timing) the implied annual interest rate is very high.
Overview of ACE Check Cashing Installment Loans
ACE Cash Express provides installment loans that are just like a payday loan. The main difference is that instead of paying it all back on your next pay check you make payments over time. In many ways an installment loan has similar deferral features as buy now pay later options. Instead of receiving goods as you do when you buy now and pay later, with an installment loan you receive cash. Installment loans are not available at all locations, so check the company’s website for the relevant location. There is also variation in the amounts of installment loans that the company will provide to its customers. The chart below summarizes current ranges:
Typically ACE Check Cashing provides installment loans between $100 and $2,000.
Overview of ACE Check Cashing Title Loans
ACE Check Cashing offers title loans where you can use your vehicle as collateral for your loan. Title loans must be applied for in-person and are only available in the following states as of this writing: Arizona, Louisiana, Oregon, some Tennessee locations, and most parts of Texas. There are exceptions within Texas as title loans are not provided in the cities of Austin, Dallas and Fort Worth. As long as you make your payments on the loan then you get to continue driving your vehicle while gaining access to cash upfront. However, in most states your car needs to be paid off for you to qualify for a title loan from ACE Check Cashing.
What is Needed to Apply for a Title Loan?
- Phone Number
- Clear title to your vehicle in your name
- Valid government-issued photo ID
- Proof of steady and recurring income from employment, disability, retirement, self-employment, etc.
What is an ACE Elite Visa Prepaid Debit Card?
ACE Check Cashing now provides the ACE Elite Card, which is a Prepaid Visa debit card that comes with a host of features. ACE Check Cashing currently provides the card to consumers under three service options:
- Pay-As-You-Go Plan: this is the default plan and has no monthly fee. You can get paid up to 2 days faster when you set up qualifying direct deposits (such as payroll or government benefits). However you will get charged $1.50 each time you make a purchase with the card.
- Monthly Plan: the ACE Elite Visa Prepaid Debit Card monthly plan has the same features as the pay-as-you-go-plan but costs $9.95 per month. You do not have to pay a fee for purchases made with the card.
- Reduced Monthly Plan: this plan costs $5.00 per month and also does not have a fee for purchases made with the card.
In addition to the monthly fees and cost per transaction, the ACE Elite Visa Prepaid Debit Card has the following fees for cardholders:
- Card Purchase Fee – this is a $4.95 fee and only applies if you get the initial card at a retail location. It is a third party fee.
- ATM Withdrawal Fee – this is a $2.50 fee for domestic withdrawals.
- Cash Reload at Netspend Location – up to $3.95.
- Mobile Check Deposit – greater of 2% of total check amount and $5 (for government and payroll checks) and greater of 5% of total check amount and $5 for all other checks.
Since it is a prepaid card, there is no risk of overdraft or NSF fees. Once you are out of money the card won’t work until you reload it. You also have the ability to use your debit card to withdraw up to $100 per day at ACE Check Cashing locations.
Should You Use ACE Check Cashing Services?
Ultimately this is a question that is very situation-dependent. In general, cashing a check or accessing payday loans are expensive ways of access funds and really should only be used as a last resort. Specifically for ACE Check Cashing, the feedback from customers on their services that we were able to find were mixed with both positive and negative commentary. ACE Check Cashing has a 1.4 out of 5 rating with 341 reviews on Consumer Affairs. They also have a 1.3 out of 5 rating from 52 customer reviews on the Better Business Bureau (BBB). While the company has an A+ Rating with the BBB, it is also not BBB accredited. The low ratings at both Consumer Affairs and the BBB is definitely notable, and should be a consideration for anyone considering using the company’s services.