Wednesday, April 28, 2021 | 2 a.m.
Checks are an easy and ideal way of paying your bills; however, you may encounter some issues if you use them frequently. Most banks will provide new customers with a starter checkbook but after that you are on your own to fit the bill. You may think that reordering checks from your current bank is the most cost-effective option, but there are actually other inexpensive routes you may find best suit your budget.
There are several benefits to ordering your checks online and not from your bank. This is primarily because when you order checks online, you’re cutting out the middleman, which saves you money. However, you’ll also notice that when you order checks online, you’re offered a 100% satisfaction guarantee, which allows you to return checks that don’t meet the standards you expect. This means if they make a mistake during a printing job, they take on the liability of reprinting at no cost to you.
To assist you with the check ordering process, we’ve outlined a few of the best services for ordering checks online. We include a summary of the service and outline some pros and cons for your consideration. In addition, we answer some of your most frequently asked questions to help you get started.
Top 5 Summary
- Checks Unlimited - Best Overall Selection
- Check Gallery - Best for Environmentally Friendly Checks
- Carousel Checks - Cheap Option
- Check Advantage - Best for Customization
- Designer Checks - Best for Bright Designs
Order Checks Online - Brand and Product Reviews
- Upgrade check security with EZShield® and Securiguard®
- Enjoy special offers using coupons on their website
- Choose from special edition, classic, inspirational, and even your own photo checks
- Enjoy a 100% satisfaction guarantee on all Checks Unlimited products
Checks Unlimited provides you with a wide array of stylized checks that give you the secure, affordable, and quality product you need. You’ll find their pricing is lower than many banks and they also carry a wider variety of designs to choose from.
If you enjoy classic checks with simple colors or you’d love to write out checks on images of your favorite dog breed or iconic character, Checks Unlimited is sure to have a design you favor. All of their designs meet bank security standards and are guaranteed to be accepted by any financial institution.
If you’d like to add an additional layer of security, you can by adding Securiguard® to your checks order, as this technology uses a two-dimensional holographic foil that can’t be copied, removed, or even reproduced. Plus, if your checks are used fraudulently, you can add protection that includes up to $25k in advancement for qualified losses. Their EZShield Check Fraud Protection Program® will also assist with restoring your identity in the case of fraudulent activity.
Check out their special offers page to find deals that suit your budget. Whether it’s a free box of checks after a certain amount purchased or a percentage discount that brings down the total cost of your order, you can save big with Checks Unlimited.
- Standard security features with options to upgrade
- Duplicate checks included to help you with your record keeping
- Choose in-plant rush shipping for expedited orders
- Order verification ensures your entries match bank records
- Delivery may take up to 15 business days; best to plan ahead when ordering checks. However, their in-plant rush is always available for a small fee
Check Gallery describes themselves as “your green choice for checks.” Their aim is to provide you with earth-friendly checks that are printed on recycled paper. This recycled paper is made from 30% post-consumer fibers, which is ideal for providing clear quality on paper checks.
You have several options to choose from, including:
These checks are both refined and simple. They feature the globe printed on a check and include several security features to keep your payments looking influential and professional.
When you’re unable to volunteer on a regular basis but still want to demonstrate your commitment to a greater cause, choose from a variety of charitable checks. This way, you can showcase your preferred cause with every single check you write.
These checks keep it simple, prioritizing security with a traditional appearance. With Securiguard® checks, you get the irreproducible hologram along with chemical protection, erasure protection, and the microprint signature line.
Add EZShield Check Fraud Protection to any check order and choose additional protection in the case of fraud with their ID Restoration Pro service. Ultimately, Check Gallery’s aim is to provide you with the checks you use regularly, to provide the security and protection you need, and to do it all while preserving the environment.
- Extremely cheap simple designs
- Additional designs available at a higher cost
- Top stub checks, side tear checks, and end stub checks available
- QuickBooks checks with free company logo in a variety of colors and sizes
- The website isn’t as user friendly as some of the other options available, requiring more clicks than usual to obtain clarity on offerings
Carousel Checks has tons of savings to offer, including a set of value priced checks that start at only $6.99. If you’re leaning more toward a pragmatic approach to getting your checks, you’ll be highly attracted to the deals they offer.
To be fair, the designs on the value options are quite limited, including only basic colors and designs. However, if you do choose to review their other design offerings, you’ll find they have several stylistic checks, including animal and scenic prints that add a little extra flair.
Order QuickBooks checks that are guaranteed 100% compatible. Or stick to regular business checks with a manual design or a pressure seal. In addition, you can select from disbursement checks, payroll manual checks, executive deskbook checks, or keep it simple with a multi-purpose option.
You can also count on Carousel Checks to come through with checkbook covers, address labels, deposit tickets, and even self-inking stamps to get your entire bill paying kit together. Whether you’re looking for personal checks, laser checks, or business checks, you can find a great deal with cheap Carousel Checks that meet your needs.
- Since 2001, all Check Advantage orders have been 99% on time and 99.9% error-free
- They guarantee your satisfaction, on-time delivery, security, and privacy
- Every order of checks is hand-checked by expert print pros
- You can place orders 24/7, 7 days a week, and 365 days a year
- Expect orders to leave their warehouse within three business days
- They are unable to provide samples of personal checks; however, businesses may request samples of business checks by contacting customer service
With Check Advantage, you get the benefit of working directly with a checks manufacturer that’s been in business for over a decade. Eliminating the middleman puts you in a position to receive checks quickly, easily, and more affordably than the traditional route.
Their personal checks offer you over 2,500 exclusive designs to choose from, which helps you add a touch of personality to all your outgoing payments. All of the artwork on Check Advantage’s checks is completely original, produced by their own teams of photographers and graphic designers. You can choose between their top tear and side tear format checks based on your preference. Keep all your checks stored neatly inside a leather or cloth checkbook cover and order a set of matching address labels to quickly adhere to outgoing envelopes as well.
Their business checks have developed a reputation of quality, speed, and accuracy. They work hard to ensure their laser and manual check process is always on time and free of errors. Each of their checks is guaranteed to process through all banks and they each meet and exceed the security and fraud protection standards outlined by the American Banking Association.
- Vast variety of personal checks available with bright, eye-catching designs
- Purchase accessories and other products directly through Designer Checks
- Easily reorder checks with four easy steps
- Choose from several different shipping speeds and options
- When ordering business checks, you are redirected to another site which is less user friendly
When you’re looking for a wide variety of styles and designs, Designer Checks is sure to meet your preferences. They have a selection of classic checks when you want to send out payments with a sense of simple style and you can select from a variety of colors to match your unique style.
You can also add a touch of magic to your checkbook with Disney Checks that feature some of your favorite Disney heroes and villains. You can also opt for side tear checks to save time whenever writing out multiple checks.
Each of these checks meets bank standards and as a plus, you’ll find they beat most bank prices. Pad your protection by choosing EZShieldPro when ordering to ensure you have award-winning ID restoration should you encounter any issues.
Designer Checks offers free standard shipping with expedited shipping options available for a fee. Plus, your satisfaction is guaranteed on all your personal check orders. Expect to be greeted by several special offers when you land on their site, including a free 4th box offering and free labels. Keep in mind their special coupon codes may only be used once per order.
What do you need to order checks online?
There are several pieces of information you’ll need before being able to order checks online. Those include:
- Your bank name
- Your account number
- Your routing number
You can find this information on one of your old checks - they’re listed down at the bottom in a specific font, referred to as Magnetic Ink Character Recognition (MICR). It’s this particular font that not only permits machine readers to link checks back to your account, but it also ensures their authenticity.
If you don’t have a check readily available to retrieve this information, you can just hop on to your online bank account or call your bank’s customer service center to request it. Once you have retrieved the required information to begin ordering your checks, you’ll also need to input a few other details, including:
- Your full name
- Your business name (if you’re ordering business checks)
- Your contact information (these details are optional)
What different types of checks are there?
There are several types of checks available. We’ve listed a few of the most common below:
Personal checks are the most widely used types of checks. These are the checks you use for transactions connected to your personal checking account. Or, if you share a joint bank account with your spouse, you are both able to write checks against the account. You fill these out by hand, including the date, total amount, what the funds are for, and finish it off with a hand signature.
Business checks serve essentially the same function as personal checks; however, these are linked back to a business checking account instead of a personal checking account. These types of checks are generally equipped with additional security features, like watermarks, to better protect against any type of fraudulent activity.
With a cashier’s check, you are basically certifying funds upfront. You can obtain a cashier’s check from your bank or from a credit union. You pay upfront with either cash or with funds debited directly from your account and you also pay any associated fees upon printing. Since these types of checks are prepaid, the person or organization who receives it has a guarantee that the check cannot be rejected due to insufficient funds.
If you go to your bank to obtain a cashier’s check, the funds are deducted from your account and temporarily placed in an escrow account held by your bank. Later, when the cashier’s check is cashed, those funds are automatically issued directly to the person or organization they’re meant for.
Money orders, like cashier’s checks, carry with them a guarantee of payment. Money orders are often used when making large purchases or putting forth a security deposit for important agreements, as seen when renting an apartment. Because these funds are secured, they carry more weight than a personal check, which may bounce down the line due to insufficient funds.
Money orders can be obtained easily from multiple locations, including your local postal office, your preferred check provider, and of course your bank. The fee for this type of check is generally lower than that of a cashier’s check and must also be paid upfront with either cash or a debit card.
Certified checks work similarly to cashier’s checks; however, when these funds are finally debited, they are withdrawn directly from your account versus your bank’s temporary escrow hold account. These can cost up to $15 to be issued and they are equipped with your personal checking and routing number. The certification confirms you have sufficient funds in your bank account for the transaction to go through.
What do you need on your checks?
Whichever service you decide on for checks, you should be aware of the information required on checks for proper bank processing. Below are the pieces of information all your checks should have in order to be valid:
These are nine digits usually found in the bottom-left corner of your printed checks. They work as a bank identifier. When your check is cashed, that number is used to trace back to your bank, where the funds are kept.
Similar to your routing number, your account number identifies which personal or business account the money is being withdrawn from.
This number can usually be found in the top-right corner and identifies the unique check number. These numbers usually include one to three digits.
Usually included in the top-left corner, the checks should identify you. This includes your name and address, and sometimes a phone number if you prefer to include it.
Just below your personal information, you should see your bank information clearly displayed.
Be sure to double check the routing number and bank account number are written in the font described above, MICR, as this magnetic ink is required for proper processing at financial institutions. If you obtain checks that are printed without this feature, it is possible your bank will issue fees when your payee attempts to cash the check.
How do you write a check?
Once you have your checks, there are several pieces of information you’ll need to complete to make it valid. The steps are simple, just don’t forget to include any information, as this will delay funds getting to where they need to go.
The best way to write a check is to start from the top right and end at the bottom right. There are a total of six available fields, with only one of these fields being voluntary. They are:
This field is self-explanatory; simply include today’s date. Some people postdate their checks, but the payee is under no obligation to adhere to your request for postponement.
This is the payee, so simply write out the full name of the person the check is for or include the full name of the organization you’re paying. Most companies have specific requirements for the name written in this field so be sure to double check any paperwork to prevent any delays when submitting payments to organizations.
Under the date on the far right of the check, you can enter the dollar amount being paid following the dollar ($) symbol. Be sure to keep your writing well within the lines of the box to avoid any issues. Also, always include two decimals. For example, if you’re writing out a check for twenty dollars, write it out as $20.00 (but avoid duplicating the dollar symbol, as it’s already printed on the check).
This field allows you to clarify the numbers you wrote inside the box, as sometimes legibility becomes an issue. Ultimately, what you write on this line is considered the official payment amount. To protect your check from modifications after being written, write these words in all capital letters, as these are harder to change once written.
You’ll notice this line ends with the word “dollars,” so you don’t need to include that word in your own writing. Instead, following the example above, simply write “TWENTY -----------” with a line through to the already printed “dollars” words. This prevents fraudsters from adding additional words and altering the total intended amount for your check.
This is the only field you can leave blank when writing out a check. What you write in this field does not affect the processing of your check, but it can be a helpful step for you to remember the purpose of the check when it was written. This is also a good place to include information related to your payment, such as an account number.
To finalize your check, include your signature in the bottom right-hand corner. Be sure you are signing using the same name that is on record with your bank. Also, be sure you are using the same signature as your bank has on file. If you miss this step, your check is rendered invalid and may cause additional fees, depending on what your payment is meant for. For example, if you skip this step on a check meant to pay your rent, you may accrue a late fee for each day the funds are not available.
What are security features on the checks?
There are many people who have experienced the utter stress of fraud or identity theft. This is why you should always prioritize your safety when providing your information and transferring your funds to a payee.
Checks are equipped with several security features, including:
This security feature is often used in the signature line and the border lines. Your check printing company uses a particular type of font to be read clearly only under magnification. However, if your checks were to be recreated in a fraudulent manner, these micro prints would become blurred, even under magnification.
This border is a simple indication that lets both your bank and payee realize the check has been equipped with security features. Although it may identify some of the features that protect your check, it does not need to include all security features present.
Watermarks are added to protect checks through the use of opaque ink. These watermarks can’t be recreated by a scanner or copier. You can easily notice watermarks when you hold the check at a 45-degree angle. Check printing companies create a custom watermark that may include either a logo or other clear identifier to secure your checks.
This ink is ideal for easy use by recipients and bank tellers when checking the authenticity of your check. They are formulated to either disappear or fade when they’re exposed to heat (sometimes a rubbing motion is enough).
This symbol is universal within the check printing industry. Basically, it is a small icon that alerts of the security features used on your checks.
This is usually referred to as a security screen and serves as a backdrop of lightly printed words written in reverse. When a fraudster attempts to reproduce a check with this security feature, he is unable to because it is no longer visible on the reproduced copies.
This is generally applied when you request a business check that’s laser printed.
This is when the paper your checks are printed on reacts to a number of different chemicals, including acids and bleach.
For this feature, certain fibers with fluorescence are embedded and are easily seen when they are exposed to black light.
Why should you order checks online versus directly from your financial institution?
Ordering through your bank may feel like the most convenient option and surely, if you’re not concerned about paying more for the same quality you can get online, then that’s absolutely your decision. However, if you’re looking for a better deal and maybe better design options to reflect your personality or brand voice, then online ordering is an easy decision.
Keep in mind that it usually takes a couple of weeks to receive new checks, so be sure to consider your personal timeline when ordering. While most standard shipping is free, for expedited shipping you should expect to pay an additional fee.
Although checks aren’t widely used the way they used to be, they are often still a very necessary part of our personal and business lives. For these reasons, it’s important to purchase checks from reputable companies who clearly outline their security measures and who allow you the opportunity to opt for additional protection, as seen with EZShield.
Just because checks aren’t circulating the way they once did doesn’t mean there aren’t fraudsters still trying to run a scam. Don’t let yourself become the victim of fraud and always ensure your checks are strongly protected and that even when you write out the details, you sign off confident that none of the characters written can be altered.
Your best bet when ordering checks is easily Checks Unlimited, as their reputation very clearly precedes them. However, if you’re a more creative type and looking to personalize your checks with a special photo, you could certainly give Check Advantage a try.
If you’re trying to save the environment one check at a time and support causes that pull at your heart strings, Check Gallery provides you with the ability to do just that. You’ll find that Carousel Checks offers the best value so if your priority is budget and you don’t mind a simple design, that’s a great site to order your next box of checks from. Finally, if you want those uber bright designs that catch anybody’s eye, look into Designer Checks to find just what you’re looking for.