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Your Take: Ever Buy Checks Online?

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My initial supply of personal checks, a checkbook worth, is coming to an end soon and I’ll be needing a fresh new supply. I don’t use checks very often anymore, I think they are antiquated and very insecure, but every few months I have to deal with a company that requires personal checks. It usually comes down to the company not wanting to deal with the headaches of credit cards and me not wanting to deal with the headaches of their 0% same-as-cash-but-not-quite financing offer! Anyway, the end result is that I write them a personal check and my initial stock is dwindling rapidly.

I looked into reordering checks directly from Bank of America, who gets them through Clarke American, now named Harland Clarke; but they want $20 for 50 checks! That’s outrageous! (and doesn’t include shipping) To prove how both absurd and true it is, here’s the screenshot from the order page (to be honest, if I were you, I wouldn’t believe me unless I saw this screenshot):

OK, order checks from the bank is out. It looks like I’ll have to order checks online. I looked at a couple places but it appears that Costco will probably be my best bet. Costco sells checks for pretty reasonable prices, though that option is only available for Costco members. You can get two boxes of standard single checks (400) for $10.59, $8.47 if you’re an executive member. Four boxes doubles the price, so there’s no discount for quantity. Shipping is a reasonable $4.95. That’s 400 checks for less than 4 cents a check – a song compared to the 40 cents BoA wanted!

Have you ever ordered checks online? If so, what has your experience been and who have you used?

{ 72 comments, please add your thoughts now! }

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72 Responses to “Your Take: Ever Buy Checks Online?”

  1. rexmus1 says:

    I just got 4 boxes of custom checks (Wonder Woman! Didn’t get a golden lasso, though…)for $24.45 from Direct Checks Unlimited. Had no probs, they did a great job…but mailman decided for some strange reason to leave on my porch, not even between the screen and regular door (even though I have a MAIL SLOT in my door!) So yeah, safety is a bit of an issue…

    • Jim says:

      The “leaving it on the porch” security issue is something I hadn’t thought about. I’m fortunate in that we have mail boxes where the postwoman can lock the box and stick the key inside our mailbox (which itself has a key), so that’s not a concern for me but I think I’m in a unique situation.

  2. Jace says:

    Jim, I’m surprised how many people seem to think you need magnetic ink and security fibers to make a check “legal”.

    You can write a check on a napkin, or a watermelon, or a cow and it’s legal. It’s up to the individual bank as to whether they’ll accept it but it’s federally legal tender as long as it has the date, account number, routing number, amount and signature.

    I move almost every year which makes ordering checks a nightmare. I print my own checks at home with my laser printer. Saves money and hassle and if a check that doesn’t look like my custom checks is cashed, I will know in a second that it wasn’t written by me.

  3. Yana says:

    About the leaving it on the porch thing – I highly recommend never giving out your physical address, and renting a box at the UPS Store. I also have a PO Box with the postal service, which should be enough except that some places demand a physical address and UPS does not deliver packages to PO Boxes.

    The only problem I’ve run into is that some banks (most) demand your physical address, which I feel is none of their business in spite of the Patriot Act or anything else. The problem with this is that even if you give them a different mailing address, they will invariably send something important like a credit card to your physical address. After you’ve told them not to. This is a severe security risk. I put in a forwarding address change EVERY YEAR from my home to the UPS Store, to try to keep myself safe from mail/identity theft.

    Only my credit union did not demand my home address, and therefore they do not put me at risk.

  4. fathersez says:

    Over here in Malaysia only the bank branch where you have your account can issue you cheques. Yes you can order them online but only from them.

    Its strange to learn that you can buy a bank’s cheques from 3rd parties. Do the cheques come with your account numbers printed on them? The image seems to indicate so.

  5. Proud Pappa 2B says:

    How do you expect for BoA to pay for their new acquired assets(if that’s what you want to call them).

  6. Juan says:

    Schwab’s High Interest Checking Account sends me checks for free.

  7. tugger mama says:

    I also looked at BOA’s check reorder and was astounded! I wound up ordering twice the number of checks for half the price from Vista Print(two boxes, $10- I think). They were having a 50% off special and shipping charges were either reduced or already reasonable. The order and delivery process was easy, timely, and efficient. Take that BOA!!!

  8. eric says:

    If anyone was curious, I just checked and Bank of America is still charging that ridiculous price. Hello Wal-Mart! :)

  9. Howard says:

    Outrageous? How about an outright scam? I reordered 250 personal laser checks through my bank and was charged $141 for them!!! No special handling, no rush order – just a regular slow delivery. That is nearly $.60 per check. Harland Clarke must be out of their mind. Never, repeat, never would I order anything from them! Be warned.

  10. marsha says:

    I just ordered checks online through my bank, then got a notification of the order being placed, by Harland Clarke. One of the fields I entered (*required)when placing the order, was my email address (but one I never use.) Now I am being bombarded with spam. I just called Harland Clarke and they deny selling my email address. Has anyone else had this happen???

  11. Judith says:

    I just ordered checks, one stamp and some deposit books through my bank, who orders them through Harland. I was told they would total about $70. Surprise, surprise….my account was charged $145.
    Have you ever looked for prices for Harland’s products? They make it almost impossible.
    When I finally tracked it down, the 70.00 became $107 somehow, and the shipping was $35.00. I can ship a lot of stuff for that much money! All told, the stuff couldn’t weigh more than a pound and a half.
    I wish I had a bigger soapbox so I could tell people to pay close attention! SCAM is right!

  12. Anonymous says:

    WAL*MART requires my phone number, I am sorry but that is a deal breaker, I decide who and who doesn’t have my phone number, and WAL*MART certainly isn’t one of them.

  13. Tom says:

    I just ordered 150 duplicate checks from VistaPrint for $7.48. I ordered them with my Christmas cards, so I got free priority shipping (
    order received within 7 days of date placed), even though the checks ship separately. They were sent via UPS with a tracking number. Here’s the best part: When I checked the tracking, UPS told me the checks were shipped from…Harland Clarke!!!

  14. Athena says:

    The Harland Clarke sight is disgustingly slow. The site took 45 MINUTES to process my order for ONE check book. $31.00. That is INSANELY overpriced. I will never order checks from them again.

  15. Ryan says:

    Lol, I got 40 checks from USAA off of Harland Clarke for free.

  16. Steve says:

    I used Costco once and then found they all use the same Harland Clarke service.. just charge different prices. I use “Checks In The Mail” which is Harland Clarke’s alternate site. Checks seem to be a little more than Costco but then type in the discount code “BESTOFFER”. My 100 checks went from $20.99 down to $5.00 with free shipping!

  17. Lark says:

    I haven’t purchased any checks from my bank, I have used several of the checks online website. I have always been satisfied with them. I rarely write checks, but sometimes it’s a have too situation so I highly recommend using them.


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