How Do You Get Cheap Checks?

Although checks aren’t used as often as they once were, they are still considered legal tender and can be very useful in some situations. It’s always a good idea to have a checkbook on hand because you never know when you’ll need it.

“Though paper checks are becoming less common, they’re still often necessary for paying the rent, for your kids’ activities or even for a box of Girl Scout cookies,” a NerdWallet article says, pointing out that just a few years ago, Americans were writing 18 billion checks every year.

Checks aren’t obsolete today. Some establishments don’t take credit cards because of the fees they have to pay if they do. In some cases, you may not have an option to pay by card, but you don’t want to pay cash. For example, if your landlord only accepts cash or check for your rent payment, you want a paper trail that proves that you made your payment so he/she can’t pull one over on you.

But many people are choosing not to order checks anymore. Even businesses are relying less on checks, even though that used to be the most common way to make payroll. One reason is the cost. A box of personal checks can cost as much as $50 if you get it through your bank.

Business checks are even more expensive because of the software and special paper you’ll need to print a business check. Where do you go if you want to buy cheap checks?

Don’t order through your bank

According to Bankrate, the best deals for a box of checks lies with companies outside of your bank. You can can save $20 to $40 on your purchase and get more checks for your buck. This significantly softens the blow when it comes time to reorder checks.

However, you want to be careful when ordering checks through an institution other than the bank. Buy checks only from companies that the Check Payment Systems Association has vetted to make sure you’re not handing your personal account information to a random company.

“The padlock icon is a way of letting people who are handling checks know that the checks that are in their possession have at least a minimum number of security features that would protect against alteration of a check and duplication of a check,” Steven Antolick, CPSA executive director told Bankrate.

Double-check the security features as well. Business checks are susceptible to fraud if they aren’t printed with certain features, and you want to make sure the company you use to print your affordable checks does its due diligence.

When ordering online

If you’re not ordering checks through your bank, you’ll probably purchase them online. Pull out an old check to get the information you need to have checks printed and mailed to you.

“You can find the routing and account number at the bottom of any check,” Eric Rosenberg of The Balance explains. “Those weird coded numbers are in a format called MICR, which uses metallic ink so computers could read and verify the numbers and authenticity of the check. After all, checks shouldn’t be so easy to make that they also become easy to counterfeit and copy.”

Again, double-check the security features to make sure that you’re not sacrificing your personal information to an online scammer. It’s always best to go with a trusted company with great reviews when ordering cheap checks online.

As you can see, you have better options than sticking with the checks your bank offers you. Next time you’re ready to order checks for your business or personal use, consider other options to save yourself time and money.

Adam Torkildson