Your bank is not the best place to order checks. Many people are surprised at the high cost of reordering through their bank. Fortunately, you can buy inexpensive checks online.
Cheap checks aren’t always of lesser quality. In fact, you’ll often find more options. But there are some important features to look for when you order checks online.
How to order checks online
Before you can order checks online, you’ll need some key information.
- Personal contact information: This includes your name and address.
- Your checking account number: You’ll find the bank account number at the bottom of your existing checks or on your bank statement. Checks use a series of 3 numbers at the bottom. Your account number will be the 2nd number from the left.
- Your bank routing number: The company you order checks from will also need your bank routing number. The routing number serves as an address so the banking system knows which bank will pay the check. Look for the 9-digit number on the bottom left of your checks.
- Bank contact info: You’ll also need your bank contact info. If the company you’re ordering from suggests an address for your bank, verify the address against your existing checks.
- Check number: To keep your finances organized, you’ll want to order checks beginning with a check number you haven’t used yet. For example, if you’re on check number 190 in your checkbook, consider starting the new set with check number 200.
Features to look for when ordering checks
When you’re ready to order checks online, look for these features.
The Check Payment Systems Association (CPSA) focuses on check security. The padlock icon found on checks has become synonymous with the organization and indicates built-in anti-fraud measures.
The CPSA maintains a list of authorized users of the padlock icon. However, not all low-cost check providers appear on the list. Some may also use a corporate name that differs from the DBA name you see on their website.
In other cases, the checks are produced by a 3rd party which has CPSA certification. For example, Costco isn’t CPSA-certified, but their checks made by Harland Clarke can carry the padlock icon.
Whenever choosing a business, it’s a good idea to check their Better Business Bureau (BBB) rating and reviews. Some businesses opt to become “accredited” by the BBB, but many do not, including some big companies.
However, you can find BBB ratings for nearly every company on the BBB site. Although often thought to be so, The BBB isn’t a government organization. Still, the site provides useful insight for consumers when choosing a provider.
Many check providers offer EZShield check fraud protection as an (optional) add-on with your check order. EZShield, a 3rd-party provider, can advance funds in 72 hours in the event of suspected check fraud.
This buffer gives your bank time to investigate and provides you with up to $25,000 if you’re a victim.
You’ll also want to look for checks that offer the MP icon, which stands for micro printing. This security feature refers to small print on the check that often can’t be read by the human eye.
This feature makes counterfeiting checks nearly impossible, especially without specialized printing equipment. You’ll also find micro printing on currency. Five dollar bills as well as higher denominations feature micro printing.
Best places to order checks online
If you search for checks in your favorite search engine, the results can be overwhelming. We’ve sorted through the options and collected the info you’ll need. Here are some of the top picks if you need to order cheap checks online.
- Security features: Checks Unlimited offers EZShield for fraud protection. Select check styles also feature Securiguard advanced security. Enhanced features include special paper and microprinting, as well as treatments that can’t be copied on scanners.
- Featured product: One of the best-selling products at Checks Unlimited, Blue Classic Checks, include many of the company’s security features. A 4-box order gives you 400 checks for $52.92. This saves you 30% when compared to the single box price.
- Most popular check designs: Blue Classic Checks remain the most popular, but other popular designs include National Parks Checks and Harley-Davidson Checks.
- Reviews: Checks Unlimited boasts an A+ rating with the BBB. While individual user reviews are mixed, a high BBB rating speaks to a willingness to resolve issues.
- Security features: Deluxe Checks uses several security features on all checks. These include micro printing and special paper as well as heat-reactive ink. Combined, these features and more help prevent copying or tampering.
- Featured product: As one of the most popular products, consider the Personal High Security checks from Deluxe Checks. A number of enhanced features make these checks more secure than economy checks you might find elsewhere. You’ll pay $117 for 400 checks, which is higher than some other providers for the same quantity.
- Most popular check designs: Choose from a wide range of designs. You’ll find nature scenes and sports themes, as well as classic characters and charitable themes.
- Reviews: Deluxe earns a B- with the BBB. User reviews on trustpilot score an overall average of 3.5 stars.
Checks In The Mail
- Security features: Checks In The Mail promises checks just as secure as those from your bank. Features such as the CPSA padlock icon and micro printing help ensure security. You can also expect special paper designed to prevent chemical tampering.
- Featured product: While you can buy in quantities as low as 25 checks, you’ll find the best value when buying 200 checks. Several products, including blue safety checks, are available for $35.50 for 200 checks.
- Most popular check designs: You’ll have plenty of variety at Checks In The Mail, with ASPCA Checks and Antique Checks among their featured products. New designs include characters from the movie Frozen and the always-fun Minions.
- Reviews: Checks In The Mail earns a strong A+ rating from the BBB. An excellent 4.5-star rating on Trustpilot signals strong customer satisfaction.
- Security features: You won’t have to sacrifice security when buying through Bradford Exchange. The company boasts a wide range of security features that include micro printing and chemical protection to resist tampering. Bradford Exchange also includes a padlock icon to signify its security enhancements. Optionally, you can also buy EZShield check protection.
- Featured product: Bradford Exchange’s A Walk on the Beach line is among their most popular designs. Choose from 4 different beach-themed designs. A 4-box order of single checks (480 total) costs $79.80. However, the cost per check is the same even when buying a single box.
- Most popular check designs: Religious themes and nature themes are customer favorites. But you’ll also find Disney characters, Snoopy and the Peanuts gang, and even the Grateful Dead.
- Reviews: Bradford Exchange’s A+ rating with the BBB speaks to the company’s commitment to customer service. With a solid 4-star rating on Trustpilot, be assured that you can buy from Bradford Exchange with confidence.
- Security features: Built-in security features can vary for business checks compared to personal checks. However, you can expect a large array of security features across the entire lineup at Check Advantage. The MP logo represents micro printing, which Check Advantage uses on all checks. You’ll also get the padlock icon, and special paper that uses hidden fibers to prevent copying.
- Featured product: With Blue Safety Checks from Check Advantage, you can buy 4 boxes of checks for only $44.05. As a bonus, the company packs 150 single checks into a box compared to 100 checks with many other providers.
- Most popular check designs: Basic checks, such as Blue Safety Checks or Parchment Checks, are most popular with Check Advantage customers. However, you can also choose animal themes, mermaids, or patriotic themes.
- Reviews: With an A+ rating from the BBB, it’s tough to go wrong with Check Advantage. The company is not yet rated on Trustpilot.
- Security features: Check Gallery offers Securiguard Checks, which refers to a suite of security enhancements. Microprint, a padlock icon, and even holographic foil all help make your checks more secure. Check Gallery also offers fraud protection and identity restoration.
- Featured product: You’ll find plenty of affordable choices at Check Gallery. For example, the company’s stylish Plaid Checks, available in 4 colors, come in at $52.92 for 400 checks. A limited-time coupon code posted on the site reduces the price to just $34.18.
- Most popular check designs: If Plaid Checks aren’t your thing, you’ll find plenty of selection at Check Gallery. Choose from animal themes, beautiful scenery, or holiday themes. Custom photo checks are also available.
- Reviews: Check Gallery’s A+ BBB rating indicates a commitment to resolving issues. While individual reviews are mixed, an A+ rating shows that Check Gallery tries to fix problems when they arise.
- Security features: Like several other providers, Designer Checks offers EZShield check protection as an add-on with your check order. Select styles also offer Securiguard features, such as microprint and special paper as well as holographic foil to prevent copying. A padlock icon warns would-be fraudsters.
- Featured product: Choose from a wide gallery of low-cost checks. For example, with Designer Checks’ Disney Vintage Mickey Checks, you can get 400 checks for $63.96. However, a special offer coupon code gives you the 4th box free, dropping the cost to just $44.97.
- Most popular check designs: As you’d expect with a name like Designer Checks, the company offers a beautiful selection. Choose from sports themes, such as MLB, Disney or Warner Bros., customized photo checks, and more.
- Reviews: Designer Checks isn’t yet rated by the BBB or Trustpilot. However, Bizrate users give the company an overall satisfaction rating of 9.2 out of 10.
- Security features: Although Carousel Checks advertises savings of up to 80%, they don’t cut corners on security. Checks feature a padlock icon, signifying compliance with guidelines from the Financial Stationers Association. You’ll also get microprint to prevent copying.
- Featured product: Carousel’s Parchment Checks come in at just $27.96 for 4 boxes. Even better, each box contains 125 checks compared to 100 checks per box from some other providers. Duplicate checks are available at $39.96 for the same quantity of 500 checks.
- Most popular check designs: While Carousel offers cheap checks, you aren’t limited to no-frills designs. Popular options include beachfront themes, animal themes, or even artwork, such as Van Gogh paintings.
- Reviews: With an A+ rating from the BBB, Carousel clearly focuses on resolving issues. Carousel has been a BBB member since 2010. The company’s Trustpilot rating of 4.5 stars handily beats many of their competitors.
Extra Value Checks
- Security features: Checks from Extra Value Checks include microprint as well as the padlock icon certification from CPSA. EZshield check protection is also available as an add-on to your order.
- Featured product: Tried and true, Blue Safety Checks are among the company’s lowest cost offerings. You’ll pay just $35.96 for 4 boxes of top-tear single checks. With 125 checks per box, you’ll get 500 checks in total. Duplicates of Blue Safety Checks are also priced well, adding only $12 to an order of 500 checks.
- Most popular check designs: Parchment and safety checks are the most popular options, largely due to the lower cost. Other popular choices include American Pride, tree frogs, tropical fish, or even Formula 1 for the race fans out there.
- Reviews: Extra Value Checks shares an A+ BBB rating with Carousel Checks. While not advertised, both companies appear to have the same ownership. With over 11,000 reviews on Trustpilot, Extra Value Checks earns a 4.5 star rating.
- Security features: Vistaprint checks meet the security requirements to display the Check Payment Systems Association (CPSA) padlock icon. Enhanced features may include special paper, micro printing, and more.
- Featured product: Vistaprint’s basic Blue Security Checks are available in quantities ranging from 25 up to 600. For a 450 check order, you’ll pay only $32.29, a cost of just 7 cents per check.
- Most popular check designs: Easily one of the best-known names in custom printing, Vistaprint also offers custom checks. Start from one of dozens of templates to add your own personal touch. From basic blue to flower prints to ocean vistas, the world is your oyster with Vistaprint.
- Reviews: Vistaprint earns an A+ rating with the BBB. However, reviews on Trustpilot are mixed, with Vistaprint rated at 2.5 stars.
- Security features: CheckWorks offers several in-demand security features to protect your checks. Special paper prevents chemical alteration while micro printing helps prevent duplication. You’ll also get the padlock icon, which ensures your checks meet CPSA requirements.
- Featured product: Classic Safety Checks from CheckWorks offer a superb value priced lower than many competitors. You’ll get 4 boxes, a total of 500 checks, for just $31.96 with free shipping. Duplicate checks in this classic design run just $47.96 for 500 checks.
- Most popular check designs: Popular designs offered by CheckWorks include Antique Checks or the company’s fun-loving Be Happy designs. You can also choose from other favorites, such as cats, nature themes, or floral designs.
- Reviews: With a BBB rating of A+, there’s a lot to like about CheckWorks. Although the company has been in business since 1995, Checkworks hasn’t been reviewed on Trustpilot yet.
Checks for Less
- Security features: Microprint and heat-sensitive images are just 2 security features you’ll find on checks from Checks for Less. Special paper displays the word VOID when copied and a padlock icon deters would-be fraudsters.
- Featured product: Checks for Less serves businesses, but you’ll also find a selection of well-priced personal checks. For example, value checks such as the company’s Parchment Checks beat some prices you’ll find elsewhere. You can get 500 Parchment Checks for just $28.95.
- Most popular check designs: Checks for Less offers cheap checks, but that doesn’t mean you can’t express yourself. Animal themes range from cats to owls, while fun check designs include designs like rubber duckies, football, or hot rods.
- Reviews: Like several others in our roundup, Checks for Less earns an A+ rating with the BBB. Bizrate users also rate the company well, giving Checks for Less 9.3 out of 10 for customer satisfaction.
Common questions about ordering checks
Should you order checks through your bank?
People often order checks through their bank as a matter of convenience. However, many check printing companies offer a wider variety of checks that include the same security features as bank checks.
Typically, you’ll also save money when order checks online.
Where is it safe to order cheap checks online?
Checks Unlimited, Deluxe Checks, and Checks in the mail are well respected and provide a safe, online process.
Are High Security Checks worth it?
After debit card fraud, check fraud is still the most common type of bank fraud. High security checks like those available through Deluxe make copying or modifying a check nearly impossible.
Features like microprint and tamper-resistant paper as well as holograms help keep your checks safe.
What is the difference between single and duplicate checks?
Single checks are cheaper, but duplicate checks provide a handy record of amounts and dates. Duplicate checks use special pressure-sensitive paper that imprints on a “duplicate” beneath your real check.
Your checkbook holds an exact copy of the original check that you can keep for your records.
Where can I get counter checks?
If you run out of checks, you can get counter checks from your bank or credit union. In many cases, you can get a few counter checks for free. However, if you need a larger quantity, many banks charge for counter checks.
How can I get free checks?
Keep an eye out for promotions. Some banks or check providers offer a free box with a purchase. Offers can vary. Sometimes, you can get free checks with a new account. Counter checks are also available for free from many banks.
Which banks offer free checks?
If you need free checks, consider using an online bank. Because brick and mortar banks have higher overhead, free check offers are rare. However, several online banks, such as Ally Bank, offer free checks.
If you’re like most Americans, you probably don’t use checks as often these days. But checks are still with us and it’s important to use checks that can’t be easily copied or changed.
Check fraud can be costly and can set off an avalanche of declined payments. Treat your checking account and checks with the same care you’d give your credit or other finance matters.
Luckily, now it’s easier than ever to buy secure checks from a reputable provider.