Ordering Checks? Options Abound…

I am nearly out of checks.  Really nearly out, as I've been nearly out for weeks.  And I need to order new checks today.  I know that there are lots of places to buy checks and I am overwhelmed by the options.  Where to start?

I began at Walmart Check Printing because I think that is where I bought my last batch.  The check prices seem pretty good, $13.97 for 300 duplicate checks, but the trackable shipping and handling was $7.70, bumping the total price up to $21.67.

I clicked on over to Navy Federal Credit Union, where the account is located.  Because it is an Active Duty Checking Account, basic (boring) checks are free.  However, you can only order 150 at a time, and trackable shipping is $9.95.  There is a bulk rate, non-trackable shipping that is free.  How do I feel about that?  Checks are the sort of thing that you probably want to keep track of, especially while they are traveling through the mail.  Hmmm….  They also have cute checks for $25.06 for 300, and shipping is $22.25!  Shazaam!

I wasn't sure where to check next, so I googled "checks."  A bunch of options popped up.  Many of them concerned me because I've read reports of people taking advantage of great "first time customer" offers only to find out that they've actually ordered from them before, sometimes even when the company had a different name, and then being charged high prices for their cheap checks.  One of the top listings was VistaPrint.  I've always had good luck with VistaPrint, so I looked to see what they were offering.  I found a cute check that I liked, for $14.23 for 300 checks. Shipping and handling is 10.26.

I quickly investigated a few other places and decided that these three were the tops for price, plus I feel comfortable sharing my personal information with these companies and I was a little skeptical of the other companies because I don't know them.  VistaPrint and Walmart are offering basically the same product and Walmart is a little bit cheaper.  The "free" Navy Federal checks end up being about the same price as the Walmart checks, when you include shipping and handling costs.  So I guess it is Walmart for me.

I've ordered from them before and I was quite happy.  I did spend a silly amount of time comparing my options, but I wanted to be able to share the results with you, so I feel like it was time well spent.  I'll let you know if there are any interesting updates to report.

About the Author

Kate Horrell
Kate Horrell is a military financial coach, mom of four teens, and Navy spouse. She has a background in taxes and mortgage banking, and a trove of experience helping other military families with their money. Follow her on twitter @realKateHorrell.
  • I wrote a check once. Ever since then I’ve only ever used my debit card. Checks are one of those things that are going the way of newspapers and VHS tapes. I can’t imagine actually PAYING for them.

  • I agree, Tyler, that they are becoming a lot less useful. When I was first married, I would write around 30 checks a month – the commissary, the exchange, rent, all utilities, car payments, etc. Now we only use them for our weekly church contributions and expenses at the kids’ school, like field trips and putting money on their lunch accounts, plus an occasional odd check for a babysitter when we don’t have the cash handy. Unfortunately, I don’t see replacing any of those expenses with a debit card (at least not in the near future.)