When you write checks, you have to refill your bank account as well as your checkbook. What’s the best way to order new checks after you’ve used your bank-issued checks? This page covers the options available to you, whether you need personal checks or checks for your business.
Choices When You Order Checks
When it comes time to reorder checks, you generally have the following choices:
- Order a new set of checks online or from a catalog
- Call your bank and order check refills from them
- Print your own checks
Let’s look at each of these options and evaluate.
Order Checks From A Printer
If you’d like to save money and get more design choices, your best bet is to use a printer such as Carousel Checks. There are plenty of options online, and you may receive offers in the mail, so use a company that you trust and that offers what you need. Private printers offer plenty of graphics and colors, and you can often personalize your checks with a favorite sports theme or hobby.
If you’re really finicky about how your checks look, you may want to upload a specific photo. For a check to do it's job (to pay somebody) all you really need is a piece of paper with your account information on it, so you can get creative if you like. You can even put personalized photos on your checks if you want (see How to Get Photo Checks for details).
A risk of private printers is that you’ll give your checking account information to yet another party. Most printers are trustworthy and and they keep your data secure, but you need to make sure you're really working with a legitimate check printer. Stick with the big names to improve your chances.
Order Personal Checks From Your Bank
You can also get checks from your bank. This is probably the easiest option because you don't have to figure out where your account and routing numbers are (see: The Parts of a Check). It might also be slightly safer because your bank already has your account information, but your bank doesn't really print your checks in-house – they'll send the order to a check printer anyway.
To get new checks from your bank or credit union, just call and let them know you need more. They may have a few options for you, and you’re done.
If you don’t want to spend more than 5 minutes thinking about this, then you should simply order personal checks through your financial institution. The tradeoff is that you'll probably pay a bit more for the convenience.
Print Your Own Checks
You don’t have to order checks when you run out; you can just print them yourself if you prefer. This is the best option for control and speed – you can have your checks done today if you want – but you have to be careful. If you print checks for your business, it's sometimes better to order blank checks (or even checks that have your account information printed on them) as opposed to printing the entire check from scratch.
Our page on how to print your own checks covers the details and lists some of the challenges you might run into. You’ll need to invest a little bit of time and money, but you should reap returns over the long run. Plus, you can get really creative with your check designs.
Never Order Checks Again
Imagine if you never had to order checks again. You don’t enjoy this do you?
If you set up electronic payments with your creditors, service providers, and vendors, you probably won’t run out of checks for a very long time. See if you can establish online bill pay to make your life easier.
What about writing checks when you shop? You can spend the same money if you use a debit card, and you might even speed through the self-checkout line when you pay with plastic.
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