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Duplicate Checks - The Basics

Pros and Cons of Duplicate Checks

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Duplicate checks are checkbooks that keep a record of every check you write. With duplicate checks, you can see who you paid, how much, and when. They may be handy if you do not want to record transactions in a check register, or if you just like having the ability to look at previous payments.

How Duplicates Work

Each check in your checkbook is followed by a thin sheet of paper (with the same check number). As you write a check, the pressure from your pen creates a copy of everything you write on the duplicate page. Then, you just tear out the check - leaving the duplicate sheet - so your copy remains in your checkbook.

Duplicate checks are sometimes called carbon copy checks.

Good or Bad Idea?

Some people love the idea of having these records. Looking back through your duplicates allows you to see how you’ve spent over time. While you can get copies of checks from your bank, sometimes it’s best to have everything at your fingertips.

Online bank services may allow you to view an image of processed checks, but some banks only show recent checks. If you want to look into the past, you’ll have to request copies another way. Those requests can take time, and you may have to pay.

On the other hand, duplicate checks cost a little more. If you can get everything you need online, there’s no need to pay the extra cost. Also, keeping duplicates around can be a security or privacy risk. They may have all your bank account information printed on them, and they leave a detailed picture of your spending for anybody nosy enough to care.

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