Where Can I Buy Cheap Personal Checks?

Cheap personal checks can be found at online retailers and national chains, and you can also check with your bank.
Chanelle Bessette
Jeanne Lee
By Jeanne Lee and  Chanelle Bessette 
Edited by Sara Clarke

Many or all of the products featured here are from our partners who compensate us. This influences which products we write about and where and how the product appears on a page. However, this does not influence our evaluations. Our opinions are our own. Here is a list of our partners and here's how we make money.

Out of checks? Getting more from your bank or credit union is convenient, but it’s not your only option. You can order personal checks from other sources.

Some banks charge $20 or more per box unless you’re a premium account holder. If that seems like a steep price, you might save more than 50% by buying from a direct-to-consumer printer or national chain instead.

Though paper checks are becoming a less common method of payment, they’re still often used for paying rent, for kids’ activities or even for a box of Girl Scout cookies. They can also be a more secure way of sending money than cash.

Here’s a list of what some check printers and big-box stores charge for ordering personal checks.

Options for ordering personal checks

Checks from your bank

Banks — especially major national banks — also typically offer checks to their customers, but you may need to reach out to the customer service team to get the prices. Some banks might give you some checks for free when you open a checking account, but if you want to order more, the new checks might be free, discounted or full-price depending on the kind of account you have. If the price seems too high, you can use one of the other options listed above.

Another option is to have your bank send checks on your behalf for bill pay, which may be available for free through your checking account.

Checks from online printers

Are checks from online printers just as good? They have to be if they want to be universally accepted, according to the Check Payment Systems Association, an industry group for check printers. “All reputable check printing companies produce checks according to industry standards to ensure that checks will be accepted by banks and merchants alike,” says Steven Antolick, executive director of the CPSA.

The association recommends that check printers incorporate security features designed to thwart counterfeiters, such as microprinted letters and nearly invisible security screens. “Many check printers in the U.S. have been certified by the CPSA for use of the padlock icon — the little lock symbol that you see on the face of many checks — and this means that the company has incorporated at least a minimum number of security features to protect against alteration and duplication of the check,” Antolick says.

Before you order checks from an unfamiliar company, look at whether it offers safety and privacy features. Examples may include the CPSA logo or accreditation from the Better Business Bureau.

Checks from big-box stores

You can also get cheap personal checks at the same big-box stores where you get paper towels by the case. Costco, Sam’s Club and Walmart offer inexpensive check printing. The checks are produced by Harland Clarke, which is CPSA-certified whether the checks are sold under the Harland Clarke name or that of the store, Antolick says. Just like with the paper towels, you might end up ordering a large quantity to get the discount.

Make the most of your cash
Track all your spending at a glance to understand your trends and spot opportunities to save money.

How to get cheap personal checks

To spend the least on refill checks, follow these five strategies.

  1. Ask your bank for any available free checks. Check with your financial institution first — you might score some for free, especially if your account has preferred status. If you need just one or two checks in a hurry, ask a teller for counter checks. Banks may supply a few of these emergency checks at no charge — though some, like Chase, now charge $3 for a sheet of three.

  2. Check online for discounts. If you search online for “promo code for ordering checks,” you may find discount codes at savings websites such as Groupon.com and RetailMeNot.com.

  3. Choose plain designs. To pay the least per check, choose value designs such as safety blue. Skip upgrades such as duplicate checks or customized photo designs.

  4. Buy in bulk. If you order several boxes, you’ll probably get a volume discount.

  5. Skip the add-ons. When ordering checks, you’ll be asked to enter information such as your bank routing number, checking account number and other details. You may be offered add-ons, such as fraud protection, expedited printing and trackable shipping, and these will increase your final bill. For the best value, decline all such extras.

The bottom line

When you run out of checks, it’s often most convenient to order them from your bank, and if you’re a premium checking customer, they may be free. Otherwise, ordering refill checks from elsewhere can be a money-saving option; just be sure to stick with reputable companies. Don’t pay more than necessary for little slips of paper that allow you to spend your own money.

Get more smart money moves – straight to your inbox
Sign up and we’ll send you Nerdy articles about the money topics that matter most to you along with other ways to help you get more from your money.