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Editor’s note: Here’s an updated version of this article.

You use personal checks, right?

Ever opened a new checking account or had to buy more checks, and noticed how expensive they are?

There must be a better way, right?

Having recently opened a joint checking account, my wife and I were looking to purchase some new personal checks.  We bank at a credit union, like most financially smart people, because they give us great service and don’t try to steal our money with excessive bank fees.

Even so, the credit union still wanted $26 plus shipping for a single box of 150 simple personal checks!  This isn’t as bad as one person I read about in this month’s Consumer Reports who was charged $30 for 2 boxes of checks plus $25 shipping which would be around $0.30/check!

To pick the best place to buy personal checks instead of my credit union, I did my research to share with you on Enwealthen.  Read more to see what I’ve found.

Rumble In The Jumble

Checks Unlimited

Checks Unlimited had a decent 12% rebate on Mr. Rebates (my favorite coupon and money savings site) along with various coupons such as 20% off 4 boxes of checks or 50% off all personal/bank checks.  End result for a basic check was $22.99 for a 100 box duplicate checks + $8.95 shipping (all S&H charges here are trackable for security reasons), giving a total of $31.94.  However, with 50% off, and a 12% rebate, the final out of pocket was $14.06 or $0.14 per check.

Check Gallery

Check Gallery did not inspire confidence, despite the banner proclaiming eco-friendly personal checks.  They did have the highest rebate on Mr. Rebates at 15% but no additional coupon codes or other discounts.  Assuming 100 checks per box (since there was no quantity specified).  End result was $21.95 for a box of duplicate checks + $2.95 handling + $6.50 shipping, giving a total of $31.40.  With the 15% rebate, the final cost was $26.69 or $0.26 per check.

Checks in the Mail

Most noticeable of the Checks In The Mail website is that they immediately secure your connection with SSL – overkill, perhaps, but a nice touch.  They offer a 12% rebate via Mr. Rebates with multiple coupons and discounts, such as $2 off a single box of checks, or buy one box get a second for $0.01.  End result was $20.99 for a box of 100 duplicate checks + $6.95 shipping, giving a total of $27.94.  After the $2 off and rebate, $22.83 or $0.22 per check.  However, adding a second box and taking advantage of the BOGO deal, resulted in $0.15 per check.

Walmart

Walmart offers a 3% rebate via Mr. Rebates with many coupons and discounts but none specifically for their checks.  End result for the basic check was $6.96 for a box of 150 duplicate checks +$5.50 shipping.  This gives a total of $12.46.  After the 3% rebate, the total was $12.09 or $0.08 per check.  Adding a second box for comparison to Costco increased the shipping slightly and lowered the cost to $0.07 per check.

Costco

No rebates for Costco, plus they require a minimum $55/year membership fee, plus the smallest order you can place is 2 boxes.  End result was $14.41 for 2 boxes of 175 duplicate checks each + 7.75 shipping.  Final tally was $22.16 or $0.06 per check, the lowest price found, ignoring the annual membership fee.

Best Place to Buy Personal Checks Is…

For me, the best choice was Walmart.

Despite my disapproval of Walmart’s employment practices, they do give the best deal on personal checks, plus the convenience of ordering online, the comfort of dealing with a large, relatively trusted, company, a fair sized selection of checks, and no membership fees required.  The additional 3% rebate from Mr. Rebates, is just icing on the cake.

While Costco is very slightly cheaper, the required $55/year membership plus the minimum 2 box order put them out of the running (after all, with online bill pay, how long would it take you to use 2 boxes of checks?).

Was this useful?  Subscribe to the free Enwealthen mailing list for money saving tips and other ways to grow your money.

Had a bad check buying experience?  Know a better place to buy personal checks?  Leave a comment below and tell us all about it.

 

Photo of personal check courtesy of bigburpsx3.

5 COMMENTS

  1. I see this has been posted to Reddit. Welcome, redditers!

    Someone commented there they buy personal checks at Sam's Club for $0.06 ea. However, I couldn't find any personal checks listed on Sam's Club. If someone can post a link here, I'll update the article.

  2. Hi I just placed an order to Walmart for personal checks. I gave them the routing and account numbers put it all on my credit card and hit buy. One day later I received a notice from them telling me I needed to make an appointment at my bank with someone I knew that they could talk to or send a fax of my bank statement to them so they could verify I really had an account at that bank. I just sent them an email telling them to cancel my order because I was not going to do any of those things and to put any money they took from me back where they took it from. I am waiting a reply or a refund. Not sure about your Walmart recommendation. Yolanda

    • Thanks for the heads up, Yolanda. I checked around online but couldn’t find other mentions of this problem. I looked at Walmart’s FAQ and found this. It looks like two possible reasons you might have a problem like this is if the information in your order didn’t match your information at the bank, or if the bank had changed their check verification process without notifying Walmart. I hope this helps.

      If anyone else has had similar problems with Walmart, please comment also.

      I’ve recently learned you can buy checks from Costco even if you’re not a member, so I’m planning an update to this soon.

  3. Bank at Ally. Checks are FREE.

    1% APY on savings (no balance minimum). 0.6% checking (believe there is a minimum there, maybe $15K). Left my large local credit union after testing the online bank experience for over a year. Ally has been spot on perfect.

    Great 5 year CD rates as well (if any current CD rates can be said to be great).

    • Thanks for the tip, David. I’ve looked at online banks in the past, mainly for higher interest rates, but I find the convenience of my local credit union difficult to give up. I find I’m visiting my local credit union more often than I’d like, so having access to the office is convenient.

      I know Ally has an ATM network you can use to access your accounts. What’s been your experience with their ATMs?

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