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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. Michelle says:

    WALMART -
    checks from plain to cartoons & even put your own photos (kids/family/pets) on your checks, FUN!!

    Singles are around $5.96 for 150 checks & 30 deposit slips, Duplicates $6.96.
    [$2.50 shipping cost, 10-12 days]

    http://www.walmart.com/moneycenter

    **They also offer credit reports & scores.

    • Yves says:

      Anothter vote for Walmart -

      Singles are around $5.96 for 150 checks & 30 deposit slips, Duplicates $6.96.
      [$2.50 shipping cost, 10-12 days]

      http://www.walmart.com/moneycenter

      Do note that if you order from the companies which advertise in the cheap flyers in newspaper that many of them are the same company, but with different names. Therefore if you have ever purchased checks through them, they will charge you the full rate (often 3x or 4x the promo rate).

  2. Clever Dude says:

    I used ChecksInTheMail.com way back, but recently used Walmart for just plain ole’ checks. I can’t remember the price, but with the rate of checks I use (20 or less per year), I’ll have enough for a good decade or more…or until I move out of my house.

  3. Lauren says:

    Hi – I used online service and it was just fine. Style checks is a good one. There is usually a coupon for one provider or another in the Sunday newspaper. Your costco offer sounds pretty good, too.

  4. anon says:

    Thanks, this is a very timely post for me. I’m almost finished with my original box of 500 but I didn’t want to pay the BOA check fee either especially since my name and address will be changing in a few months. I’m going to try and stretch make the checks last until then and then I’ll probably go through Walmart (I had no idea they do checks).

  5. Rick Morley says:

    People still use checks? I’ve written a grand total of 7 checks in my entire life — the last of which was written over a year ago. I use my credit card or online bill pay for everything else, and for the rare company that won’t accept a credit card, I just pay cash.

  6. My Journey says:

    Bought at Designerchecks.com – The Wife and I got BOXES UPON BOXES!!!!! for like 12 bucks

  7. Shelly says:

    I ordered Costco checks for our biz account last year and it was mostly good. I’d recommend demanding that they be shipped with a demand for your signature before delivery.

    They shipped our checks allowing delivery without signature the first time. Unfortunately, this was at the start of our two week vacation. When we got home, no checks were there. Lots of phone calls to them and the bank. Costco service was very nice as was the bank, but it was worrysome and a time waster.

  8. Greg says:

    Before I got them free from my bank, I used to order them from a flier in the Sunday paper. Something like 300 for $5

  9. thomas says:

    Thankfully I only write about 5 checks a year so it’s not really a concern for me. Wamu used to have free checks but don’t know since the merger. Duplicates are always going to cost more, but BOA and other brick and mortars have to nickel and dime you somewhere. It’s bad enough they don’t offer competitive interest rates.

    • Mia Mamma says:

      Sorry to repeat myself, but they do (offer free checks) and $100 to boot if you set up a direct deposit account. See post above. Disclaimer: I don’t have an account with them but my dad does.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Been so long since I bought checks. I use so few checks that on the rare occasion I do I am still using checks that say First Union on them First Union was taken over by Wachovia. Now that Wells Fargo has taken over Wachovia I guess the First Union checks will still be good. Won’t be buying any new ones if not.

  11. lesdiggity says:

    make your own checks. frys & office supply stores sell a kit. comes with a printer [with magnetic ink] & check templates & software to design your own. they’re legal.
    google for more info. various software packages & companies.

  12. Pattie says:

    I didn’t read all responses, so if someone already pointed this out, I apologize. Believe it or not, online at WalMart.com is a great place for checks; they start at around $4/box, shipping is nominal, and they have some sound security checks (no pun intended) in place before they actually print and ship your order. I last took the free ones from WaMu, but they were ugly, so I bought (again) at the WalMart website. I’ve been purchasing from them for about 3 yrs now and have been 110% satisfied. I’ve used the ones from the flyers, and others I’ve found online, but they kill you in added fees such as the security feature, different typeface, added messages, and the dreaded “shipping fees.” Try them; you’re out $10 max if you’re not happy, and I think you will be. Love your blog, BTW, and I’m an avid reader.

    • Jim says:

      Thanks for contributing Pattie and thank you for the kind words. People have mentioned WalMart before and they look like a solid option… unless you have serious qualms about WalMart (I don’t).

  13. Jonno says:

    Personally, I would NEVER buy generic checks through a newspaper flier or even Costco. It costs much more, but given the problems of check fraud, I buy checks from SafeChecks: http://www.safechecks.com/

    They have multiple security features, confirm your account with the bank before printing & shipping… and each set of checks is unique.

    If you buy generic checks, it’s just too easy for anyone to order fraudulent checks printed by the same supplier on exactly the same paper stock as your checks.

    Some will say that the chances of being the victim of check fraud are low. Maybe. But I also wear my seatbelt and pay my insurance premiums to protect against somewhat unlikely occurrences.

    • Jim says:

      I agree with your reasoning but your bank will accept any check as long as it has the minimum security features, right? I mean a scammer can still print up checks and get away with it, regardless of how secure YOUR checks are.

  14. P.R. says:

    I use Bill Pay through my bank. They will print and send a check to anyone you want absolutely free.

  15. Yana says:

    One thing that really annoyed me at one of the places I ordered checks from online is at checkout, I had a choice between UPS delivery for a high price, or the postal service for less. The site recommended UPS and if I chose the postal service, they had me choosing “slow” service, according to them. The postal service has always given me excellent service with everything, and it is only UPS that has given me a pain at times. This was highly irritating, because obviously the seller just wanted to make more money, and chose an obnoxious way to promote expensive delivery.

  16. I’ve always been able to re-order checks through Bank of America for free. They even have carbon copy’s included. Did you ask why they were going to charge $20?

  17. Andrew Laurence says:

    You can buy VersaCheck for Windows and print your own checks. They supply the paper, and it’s not more than a few cents per check, no minimum quantity, and any time you need more, you get them instantly, as you print them yourself. I’ve been doing this for years. One caveat: If you have a solid-ink printer like I do, the output is waxy and hard to write on, so use a Sharpie or Flair pen.

  18. ringo says:

    I ordered mine through Walmart.com. They’re super cheap compared to the bank.

  19. Mike says:

    Costco Executive Club member – you can order online and they ship fast. I don’t think you can beat their prices.

  20. Cara says:

    wow! that is a crazy price. i don’t understand why it is so high. i work at a CU & we use Harland Clarke to order our member’s checks and the cheapest option is a box of 150 checks for $13. Bank of America must be really jacking up the price!

  21. I had ordered checks online or through the mail for about 10 years now. I could not stomach the fact of giving that much to a bank. I also second the walmart checks. No problems with them.

  22. Tim says:

    i don’t ever recall having to pay for checks.

  23. Eric says:

    Checks???.. what are those? I have not written a check in at least 3 years!. I have had two instances where I needed to use a check, and I just added those people to my online bill pay and let my bank mail the check for free.

  24. My account offered free checks when I opened the account. A year and a half later, I am still on that same box of checks. When it comes time to order, I will probably check out Costco.

  25. Lu says:

    Ever think about printing your own? I, like you, do not write checks very often. I ended up buying Versacheck software (which included 100 blank check) for less than $10 delivered.

    The software is very simple to use. I print 20 checks at a time to have on hand. The nice thing is that I can print small quantities and make adjustments as I need. For example, when I move, I can print checks with my new address (I remember throwing out about 500 unused checks at my last move). It’s also useful if you have more than one checking account.


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