More checks? Getting more from your bank or credit union is convenient, but it’s not your only option. You can order personal checks wherever you are.
Some banks charge $ 20 or more per box unless you are a premium account holder. You could save over 50% by buying from a printer or national chain.
While paper checks are becoming less common, they are still often needed to pay rent, for your kids’ activities, or even for a box of Girl Scout cookies. Not all merchants accept credit cards or electronic payments. Americans were still writing some 18 billion checks a year in 2012, according to the Federal Reserve.
Here is a list of what some major banks, check printers, and big box stores charge for ordering personal checks. Prices shown are for basic checking account customers.
Personal Check Order Options
Many consumers reorder checks from their bank simply because they trust the institution. And it’s convenient: you won’t have to enter your checking account number or search for your bank’s routing number.
If you have a premium checking account – the type that usually requires a minimum balance or regular direct deposits – you can get free or cheap top-up checks from your bank. Customers with basic checking accounts might pay a higher price.
Online Printer Checks
Are Online Printer Checks As Good? They have to be if they are to be universally accepted, according to the Check Payment Systems Association, an industry group for check printers. “All reputable check printing companies produce checks in accordance with industry standards to ensure checks will be accepted by banks and merchants,” says Steven Antolick, CPHA Executive Director.
The association recommends that check printers incorporate security features designed to thwart counterfeiters, such as micro-printed letters and nearly invisible security screens. “Many check printers in the United States have been certified by the CPSA to use the padlock icon – the little padlock symbol you see on many checks – and that means the company has incorporated it into the minus a minimum number of safety functions. to protect against alteration and duplication of the check, ”explains Antolick.
Before ordering checks from an unknown company, look for the CPHA padlock icon on their website. Also verify that the printer is accredited by the Better Business Bureau.
Big box store checks
You can also get inexpensive personal checks at the same big box stores where you get paper towels by case. Costco, Sam’s Club, and Wal-Mart offer inexpensive check printing. The checks are produced by Harland Clarke, who is CPSA certified, whether the checks are sold under the Harland Clarke name or the store’s name, Antolick says. Just like with paper towels, you might end up ordering a large quantity to get the discount.
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How To Get Cheap Personal Checks
To spend the least on top-up checks, follow these strategies.
Ask your bank for the free checks available. Check with your financial institution first – you might get freebies, especially if your account has preferred status. If you only need a check or two in a hurry, ask a check teller at the counter. Banks can provide a few of these emergency checks for free, although some, like Chase, now charge $ 2 for a sheet of three.
Check online for discounts. Why pay retail? If you search for a “promo code for ordering checks” on Google, you can find discount codes for ordering checks on savings websites, such as Coupons.com and RetailMeNot.com.
Choose plain models. To pay the cheapest by check, choose value models such as Safety Blue. Ignore upgrades like duplicate checks or custom photo designs.
Buy en masse. If you order multiple boxes, you will likely get a volume discount.
Ignore add-ons. When ordering checks, you will be asked to enter information such as your bank routing number, checking account number, and other details. As you approach verification, you may be offered additional modules. Items like fraud protection, expedited printing, and trackable shipping will increase your final bill. For the best value for money, refuse all of these extras.
The bottom line
When you run out of checks, it’s often more convenient to order them from your bank, and if you’re a premium customer, you might even get them for free. Alternatively, ordering refill checks from a printer other than your bank can be a money-saving option for consumers; Just make sure you stick with reputable companies. Don’t spend more than you need for the little pieces of paper that allow you to spend your own money.