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Best Online Check Ordering Services of 2019

Best Place to Order Checks Online 2019 - Check Printing Companies, Rated

We’ve been researching and reviewing online financial services for years, and we recently evaluated online check ordering services. Based on what found during our research, CheckAdvantage is the best service for most consumers. Its checks come in 2,500 styles, have excellent security features and can be customized, whether they are for personal use or business. CheckAdvantage also has fine customer service, and its site make it easy to order checks. Further, the company hand-checks your order before it ships. 

Best Overall

CheckAdvantage

CheckAdvantage

2,500 design options
CPSA-compliant
Money-back guarantee
Very few popular character options
No product catalog for browsing offline
Expensive

CheckAdvantage has unique design options created by independent licensed artists. You can choose from more than 300 check covers to complement your check pattern. You can also select a custom font.

This online check ordering service does not offer many well-known characters, so you may want to consider a different product if you want an image of a popular superhero or cartoon character on your checks.

CheckAdvantage allows small-business owners to add their logo to their business checks. This company also offers payroll computer checks that are compatible with Quicken, QuickBooks, Microsoft Money, Great Plains and Peachtree accounting software. You can purchase business checks in a package that includes a deposit record and an endorsement stamp. If you prefer to hand-write checks instead of using accounting software, CheckAdvantage has three-on-a-page manual checks that come in top-stub or side-tear formats.

If you aren’t pleased with the print quality or timeliness of shipping from CheckAdvantage, they offer a money-back guarantee. Each order is hand-checked to make sure your bank and personal information is correct.

Read the full review

Best Value

Carousel Checks

Inexpensive
1,250 design options
High-security personal and business checks
Check register and deposit tickets not included
No live chat support
Limited popular character designs

If you want a simple box of single checks for the best price, Carousel Checks is your best bet. Each box contains 125 checks and costs less than $6. The design options and security features are limited, but this company has some of the most competitive prices for every category of design and security. This is one of the few services in our comparison that doesn’t include check registers and deposit tickets with every check order.

Carousel Checks has the second-largest design catalog in our comparison, with 1,250 options. There aren’t many popular characters from the movie or television industry, but the design options are categorized by theme, including value checks, floral themes, scenic designs, and “fun and games” checks.

Carousel also has a good selection of business checks. You can choose from a catalog of laser checks for use with accounting software like Quicken or QuickBooks, or manual checks with various stub options. They also have a good selection of accessories, so you can add a custom checkbook cover.

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Best Customization

Checks In The Mail

Checks In The Mail

More than 300 design options, including popular characters from Marvel, Disney and Star Wars
State-of-the-art security features
Easy reorder process
No money-back guarantee
Popular themes are expensive
There is a fee to add your company logo

Checks In The Mail offers more than 300 design options, including popular themes from movies like “Star Wars,” “Minions” and “Frozen.”

The company also has high-security checks for business and personal accounts. Reordering is simplified with a Quick Reorder tab at the top of the company’s website.

This company rewards bulk buyers with a discount and includes deposit slips and a transaction register with every box of checks. All personal and business checks from Checks In The Mail meet the Check Payment Systems Association’s (CPSA) safety guidelines. That means they use special paper, inks and design elements that are difficult to reproduce, even with modern printing capabilities. You can tell if your checks meet CPSA safety guidelines because there will be a padlock icon on each check.

One important feature missing from this online check ordering service is a money-back guarantee. You will want to make sure that your information is correct before finalizing your order.

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Best Customer Support

Deluxe

Deluxe

Excellent customer support
Check designs are limited

As a check ordering service, Deluxe is an above-average option with about 80 check styles, customization options and the CPSA standards for security. The customer support features make Deluxe stand out, which is especially helpful when your business depends on checks for payroll, client payments and other functions. It's one of the few services with a live chat function, allowing you to receive quick help on your account. The company also provides a money-back guarantee, a quick reorder process and an extensive FAQs page.

In addition to excellent customer support, Deluxe offers checks compatible with QuickBooks, Peachtree, Quicken and other check software. This streamlines the accounting process. These checks are designed for paying large quantities of bills quickly and printing out payroll checks. Customization options are also available, allowing you to add your company logo for a professional touch.

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Best Eco-Friendly Checks

Walmart Checks

Walmart Checks

Eco-friendly checks
Customization is not easy

Walmart might be the biggest name in the check ordering service industry, but compared to other check ordering services, Walmart is mostly average. It doesn't have the massive library of styles. It costs about $7.50 per box, which is average. What sets Walmart apart is the eco-friendly checks. Printed on recycled paper, these checks use soy ink instead of petroleum-based inks, minimizing the environmental impact and reducing toxic waste. In addition to printing eco-friendly checks, the company uses recycled paper to make the check boxes. If you're concerned about the environment, Walmart's check ordering service is your best option.

While Walmart meets the same CPSA security features as other check ordering services, these are the same standards used by banks. The size of Walmart is an added security feature worth considering. If the security features fail, you know Walmart has the funds to back up the funds. The same can't be said by many check ordering services.

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Best for Business Security

Checks Unlimited

Checks Unlimited

Offers exceptional security options for business owners
Fewer personal check designs than many other companies

Checks Unlimited sells business checks that have 15 security measures to guard against fraud.

Further, its checks meet the standards set by the Check Payment Systems Association (CPSA), a non-profit agency that promotes security standards for checks – and more.

These are Securiguard business checks, so they are protected against erasures. They also have a microprint signature line and holograms. In addition, the checks are printed on paper that has chemicals that bond laser toner to the paper fibers, which shows if any tampering has occurred. The checks also have a watermark and a high resolution border that is tough to replicate.

Checks Unlimited carries the smallest selection of personal check designs of the companies we reviewed, although you can order customized personal checks.

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Best for Animated Artwork

The Styles Check Company

The Styles Check Company

You can buy checks with entertaining licensed images.
You’re directed to another company to buy business checks.

If you love Lucy or Looney Tunes, you can flaunt your fandom while paying bills with help from The Styles Check Company.

It carries checks with a fun assortment of licensed images, ranging from 1940s pinups to beloved cartoon characters. In addition, The Styles Check Company sells accessories like purse organizers, credit card holders, RFID-blocking wallets, address labels and other items.

The company also sells novelty checks adorned with muscle cars, pets, hot air balloons, snowmobiles and more. Further, you can order personalized checks with your own photos and logos, and you can choose the fonts. However, in case you prefer something more subdued, The Styles Check Company sells traditional-looking checks. You can also opt to add EZShield, which helps guard against fraud and protects your identity, and you can choose Securiguard checks, which have seven security features.

The Styles Check Company is a member of the CPSA, an organization that determines check-printing standards for the industry. You can’t buy business checks directly from this company; instead, you’re directed to another store.

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ProductPriceOverall RatingCustomization OptionsCheck Styles & Add-OnsSecurityHelp & SupportBox of Single ChecksDesign SelectionPopular ThemesPersonalizationStock LogosCustom Checkbook CoversBusiness Checks AvailableVirtual ChecksSingle Wallet ChecksDuplicate CopyTop StubSide-Tear ChecksDeposit TicketsCheck RegisterInk StampsSecurity MeasuresMicroprint Safety PaperChemical ProtectionBack Security ScreenCPSA MemberMoney-Back GuaranteeQuick ReorderEmail & Phone SupportFAQsLive ChatProduct Catalog
CheckAdvantageView Deal5/51010108.1$7.502,500Animated, Nature, Sports, FloralPhotos, Monogram & FontsLaser, High Security, Manual100%-
Checks In The MailView Deal5/59.410108.1$6.99300Animated, Nature, Sports, FloralPhotos, Monogram & FontsLaser, High Security, Manual100%-
Carousel ChecksView Deal4.5/59.510106.3$5.491,250Animated, Nature, Sports, FloralPhotos, Monogram & Fonts-Laser, High Security, Manual100%--
DeluxeView Deal4.5/58.1109.48.1Not Specified80Limited Animated, Nature, Sports, FloralPhotos, Monogram & FontsLaser, High Security, Manual90%-
Walmart ChecksView Deal4.5/58.19.4106.3$7.46136Animated, Nature, Sports, FloralPhotos & FontsLaser, High Security, Manual-100%--
Checks UnlimitedView Deal4/55.610108.1$18.9970Limited Animated, Nature, Sports, FloralPhotos, Monogram & FontsLaser, High Security, Manual100%-
The Styles Check CompanyView Deal4/58.16.3108.1$18.99200Animated, Nature, Sports, FloralPhotos, Monogram & FontsNone-100%-
4checks.comView Deal4/59.46.3105$19.95800Animated, Nature, Sports, FloralPhotos, Monogram & FontsNone-100%---
OrderMyChecks.comView Deal4/56.98.1106.3Not Specified90Limited Animated, Nature, Sports, FloralPhotos, Monogram & Fonts-Laser, Manual-100%--
VistaprintView Deal3.5/558.18.88.1$14.00100Nature, FloralMonogram & Fonts-Laser, Manual-80%--

Why Trust Us

We have been researching and reviewing a variety of financial and accounting services for more than 10 years. To evaluate online check ordering services, we looked at several companies’ websites and went through the process of ordering checks as a regular customer would do. We also closely examined each site’s prices and return policy.

In addition, we looked at how many types of checks each company sells, the variety of designs available, and the ways you can customize or personalize your checks. As we researched, we considered the services’ security and fraud protection efforts to be particularly important. Also, many customers find it useful when a service’s checks work with financial management software, so we checked for that. Finally, we asked the companies’ customer service reps questions and gauged how fast and thorough their responses were.

How We Evaluated

We rated online check ordering services based on the four most important features: check styles and extras, customization options, security, and customer service. Since security is so important, we made sure each company we feature has security measures in place. We found that most take similar steps to keep your information secure and that they follow CPSA recommendations. Companies with fast, high-quality customer service received high marks, as did those that sell a variety of checks and offer many customization options.

In addition, we compared how much each service charges for one standard and basic box of single wallet checks. However, we did not factor price into our final recommendations, since cost varies substantially based on how you customize your checks – if you opt for unusual fonts, novelty images and other personal, fun features, your checks will likely cost more than standard checks.

How Much Do Check Ordering Services Cost? 

A single box of 100 to 150 checks costs between $5.50 and $20, depending on the service and the amount of customization you've ordered. By comparison, ordering checks from your bank or credit union typically costs between $13 and $35. It's worth taking time to compare costs, as you could save a significant amount with a check ordering service. If you're using the service to create payroll checks or integrate with your accounting software, the services require a quote specialized to your business's needs.

Personal Check, Money Order or Cashier’s Check: What Kind of Payment Is Best?

Writing a check is great, perfectly valid way to pay a bill. However, if you encounter a situation where you don’t want to use a personal check – or if you end up needing to pay a business that doesn’t accept them – you can opt to use a money order or cashier’s check instead.

What’s the difference?

Personal checks draw on your bank or credit union account. Since they have your account information on them, checks typically have safety features approved by the Check Payment Systems Association (CPSA) – for example, special paper, printing techniques, inks and design features intended to thwart thieves. In addition, your account is insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), which protects consumers and ensures trust in the banking system.

You can purchase a money order from many places, including grocery stores, pharmacies, convenience stores and banks. You pay cash plus a fee for the money order itself, then pay with it like you would a check. One drawback is a money order can typically only be for a maximum of between $700 and $1,000.

You can only get a cashier’s check from a bank or credit union. And, according to an article by Justin Pritchard on The Balance, if you don’t have an account, it could be difficult or take a while to get one.

There are good reasons for sometimes using a cashier’s check or money order rather than a personal check. For one thing, money orders and cashier’s checks don’t have your bank account number on them. Also, there are times when a creditor would prefer one of these types of payment because there is less risk of funds not being available when they cash them.

In an article on GOBankingRates, Ruth Sarreal outlines the benefits of each payment method. It’s good to use a money order when you need to pay for something by mail and feel uneasy about sending a personal check, you want to make a payment but are concerned about insufficient funds in your checking account, or you’re paying someone you don’t know and feel safer not giving them a personal check.

A cashier’s check is a good option when the total payment due is more than the cap on money orders allows or when you feel it’s important to have the greater security a cashier’s check provides. As example, Sarreal mentions a cashier’s check is a good option for making a down payment on an apartment.

Benefits

You may think checks are an outdated form of payment, but they're still useful for many reasons. Checks ensure your money is transferred to another person or company securely. A check is one of the only safe ways to send money in the mail, because only the person you've made it out to can cash it. Putting cash in the mail, particularly in cards for holidays or birthdays, is risky; it's easy to steal cash and see the bills through an envelope. In contrast, a check is one thin slip of paper that is less obvious to would-be thieves.

Another reason to use checks is they're traceable. The bank keeps a copy of every check you write, creating a record of your payment history. That way, for example, your landlord can't claim you haven't paid when you actually have. The bank will always back you up. Checks are also useful if you're running low on cash. The money transfer isn't immediate; the person you make the check out to has to cash it at their bank. Then, it usually takes at least 24 hours for the transfer to go through, giving you time to move around funds and get money where it needs to go.

Security: A Key Component of Ordering Checks Online

It might seem less safe to order checks from anywhere other than your bank, but your bank no doubt uses a third party to print your checks anyway. Still, when you opt to buy checks online, security is one of the most important factors to consider.

Of course, it’s great getting excellent bargains online as well as a host of interesting options like custom-designed checks -- but protecting your money must come first.

One way to keep the process safe is to ensure the online check company you choose is a member of the Check Payment Systems Association (CPSA). This is a non-profit organization that, among other things, works to ensure the integrity of a paper-based system. To qualify for membership, online check ordering companies must follow the organization’s safety guidelines, which include such things as using special paper, ink and designs. A check that upholds CPSA guidelines has a padlock icon next to the “amount” area on the check. You can find the CPSA’s membership list here.

What Does It Mean to Buy "Duplicates" When You Order Checks?

Although we live in an increasingly online world, some people prefer to keep physical records. Duplicate checks are a useful method of monitoring personal or business finances if keeping track of things with a check register just isn't sufficient for you. Since they are numbered, it's easy to find the duplicate for any check you write, although it might take a few minutes to thumb through the pages.

Duplicate checks are just that – exact copies of the checks you write. Each duplicate is a slip of old-fashioned carbon paper attached beneath a check, and it contains all the original check's information. When you write a check, your pen gently imprints new data (date, amount, etc.) onto the duplicate page, which stays connected to the binding when you pull out the original check. Typically, you need to tear out the original check carefully to avoid ripping the duplicate off. The duplicates then stick together in a tidy, bound packet.

It's certainly possible to see an electronic record of checks you've written, but sometimes banks keep only the latest checks on view. For example, Wells Fargo allows you to see 18 months of check images online on a personal account. To examine older checks, you'll likely need to request the information from your bank, and it could take days before they are available. In addition, banks often charge for the extra service. For example, U.S. Bank charges a fee to see checks older than 128 days.

There are drawbacks to duplicate checks. Among other things, you need a safe place to store them since they contain sensitive financial information. They also stack awkwardly, so you'll probably have to secure bunches of them with sturdy rubber bands or put them in filing folder slots. In addition, duplicate checks cost more since they involve extra paper and work to create.

Do People Still Write Checks?

Although online bill payment and modern money transfer techniques abound, many Americans still pay bills with personal checks, according to online publication CUToday.info. Most checks involve small or medium-size businesses, but individuals still write them, and it’s not just older Americans.

“While online bill pay has been taken up by four out of five households, that still leaves 20% of the population writing checks to pay bills,” explained Lou Grilli, director of payments strategy at CSCU (Card Services for Credit Unions) in the company’s The Payments Review blog.

There are a few reasons people still use paper checks: A belief that checks are a more secure way to pay, a lack of other choices (not everyone has PayPal or Venmo) and the fact that checks are generally accepted.  Also, it's just plain habit for many people. They like having a physical check register, and ultimately, a paper trail for their money, according to the publication.

Small Companies Still Write Checks

Although many individuals and companies have switched to electronic financial transactions, small and medium-sized businesses still use paper checks – in fact, they write eight times as many checks as their own retail customers, according to a recent study.

In a 2018 Forbes article, Rohit Arora, co-founder and CEO of Biz2Credit, said his company studied bank statements for 18,000 companies. In all, Biz2Credit looked at 2.2 million transactions that came to a total of $2.8 billion.

The study found that smaller businesses use checks as a means of handling cash flow since they offer a delay when paying vendors and workers. In addition, the number of checks written increased with the size of the business. Companies that bring in less than $250,000 in yearly revenue wrote an average of 133 checks, while companies with annual revenues of more than $5 million wrote more than 1,100 checks per year.

Do I Have to Write Checks in Sequential Order?

Technically, no. Banks aren’t concerned about such things, and there’s no rule about doing so. However, it makes sense if you want to keep your personal or business finances in good order.

“When checks are written out of sequence, keeping track of checks that have not been written and checks that are still outstanding is difficult,” says an article written by K.A. Francis in the online Houston Chronicle publication Chron. “This is a dangerous practice because if any checks have been duplicated or written fraudulently, it could take some time for the problem to present itself if checks are written out of sequence.”

Skipping around different batches of checks that have different numbers can also complicate financial record keeping, even if it’s something as simple as a checkbook register where you write in the check number, date, payee and amount. If you really, really need to examine a check – say, the IRS calls with ominous questions about whether you’ve paid taxes – it’s always helpful to have check numbers in a logical order so you can quickly find what you’re looking for.

Do Checks Have an Expiration Date?

Not exactly. The checks you buy don’t expire, as long as your checking account information remains the same. However, banks also have the right to refuse to deposit a late-dated check: “Typically an unaccepted check that’s really old is due to the fact that the bank’s account numbering or routing numbers have changed in that time,” says Nick Simpson, a representative from Consumer Bankers Association, said in a 2018 article in Bankrate.

If you’re worried about cashing an older check, know there is no law that sets a specific time. However, most banks in the United States go by the Uniform Commercial Code, which states that banks are not obligated to honor checks if they’re dated more than six months ago. Still, banks can choose to cash checks that are older. They can also impose their own fee for cashing the check.

If someone hasn’t cashed a check you wrote them months ago, it is a good idea to check in with them to make sure they plan to. That way, you are sure to have enough money in your account to cover it when they do. Also, if they have misplaced the check, you can contact your bank to stop payment on it and issue them a new one.  

A Check I Wrote Hasn’t Been Cashed Yet

This is a dilemma for check writers everywhere. When you send a check as a payment or gift, it’s frustrating when it doesn’t get cashed in a timely fashion. In a January 2019 article on The Balance, Justin Pritchard says it’s best to take action to cleared things up when this happens, especially if the check was written to pay someone you owe money to. Undeposited checks can be particularly problematic if you are a business owner.

If you wrote the check to pay money you owe a person or business, the first step is to contact the recipient to see if they received it and to ask them to deposit it. If that fails, contact them again and ask that they officially notify you if they have not been paid. If the check arrived but has not been cashed in a timely manner, you could send a new one. However, it’s best to stop payment on the first check and even get the payee to sign a document stating they will not deposit two checks, according to Pritchard.

If your check was entirely personal, perhaps a wedding gift to your niece, it’s best to get in touch with the person. In an article in Bride Magazine, Sharon Schweitzer, founder of the protocol company Access to Culture, says it’s rude to wait more than two weeks to deposit a gift check. If the check is lost, there is a delay due to a name change or there is some other reason why the check hasn’t been deposited promptly, Schweitzer recommends the recipient contact the check writer as a courtesy to thank them and let them know when it will be deposited.

Can I Order Checks Online Without an Address on Them?

Whatever your reason, you can refrain from putting your address on checks you order online. The tricky part comes when you want to write a check, since merchants may balk at accepting them without a printed address.

According to the online financial publication Sapling, “Each state has different laws governing what information a merchant can or cannot ask you to provide when making a purchase by check, so verify the laws in your home state.” However, “The customer retains many rights to privacy.”

Still, there are practical reasons why a business or agency might require your address. For example, a utility company might want to make sure your address matches the account number, according to Sapling.

What Happens If Someone Forges Some of My Checks?

As you examine your bank statement, if you notice suspicious checks have been cashed – ones you didn’t write – chances are you’re a victim of forgery. You should first contact your bank and report the problem. In general, banks are required to reimburse you for the amount stolen. Typically, the bank will also contact the police.

However, there are times when a bank might resist reimbursing you. For example, the FAQs section on the website for the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, a bureau of the U.S. Department of Treasury, states that a bank could claim it “accepted the check in good faith and exercised ordinary care and diligence” while processing the check and as such shouldn’t be liable. The bank can also assert you were negligent with your checks in some fashion, which lets it partly off the hook.

An article on Pocket Sense says that although you aren’t responsible for forged checks, you are supposed to keep an eye on your bank statements and activity. However, the article also says you shouldn’t be afraid to complain and take up this issue with a bank manager or a bank leader outside the branch. You can even file a complaint with the Federal Reserve and Office of the Comptroller of the Currency. According to Pocket Sense, “That may get you the results you want.”

Identity Theft

Unfortunately, some of the information on your personal checks can be used to steal your identity. In 2005, NBC News reported that one woman stole $10,000 simply by using checking account numbers and bank routing numbers found on checks. The increasing popularity of using plastic instead of paper to pay for things is helping eliminate this problem, but you’re still vulnerable if you use checks.

There are several ways you can protect yourself from fraud while still using checks. First of all, check your bank account at least once each month to make sure every transaction is legitimate. MarketWatch says that while most people only check their accounts for good things, like a deposited check, you should actually check it far more often to check for fraudulent charges, like an unexpected withdrawal or payment. Another way to protect yourself is to talk to your bank. Let them know you’re using checks frequently and ask if there are any alert systems in place to let you know if a particularly large or unusual purchase has been made. You should also ask your bank what kind of information you shouldn’t have printed on your checks.

For more information, check out our review of some of the best identity theft protection services.

What to Look for When Choosing an Online Check Ordering Service

Customization
One reason to order checks online is these services often have better quality checks and a greater selection of designs than local banks. For example, some online check services let you add your company’s logo to business checks or provide a selection of stock logos you can use. Some check companies also carry novelty designs with images from movies and TV, nature, sports and hobbies.

Check Styles & Extras
The best online check ordering services sell checks in a variety of styles so you can monitor your personal and business expenses and see where your money goes. For example, you can pay a bit extra to get checks with duplicates as well as registers to list the check number, payee, date and amount. Many online check ordering services sell business checks with a top or side stub to help you track spending. Further, some services carry check templates that work with accounting software like Quicken or QuickBooks.

Customer Service
The best online check ordering services have a toll-free phone number; email address and live chat support you can use to contact them with questions. Most of the services we reviewed have a money-back guarantee in case there are problems with printing or shipping your checks. However, it’s your responsibility to carefully proofread your check order – and perhaps run it by someone else for extra safety – before submitting your order.

Depositing Checks

Old-school, paper checks and technology have come together to make banking incredibly easy. If you’ve stayed away from paper checks because you don’t want to deal with going to the bank, you don’t have to! Most nationwide banks have apps you can use to scan a check and have it deposited into your account. For example, the Wells Fargo app prompts you to take a photo of the front and back of the check using the app. Once it's recognized as legitimate, you'll get confirmation the deposit has been made. There are no additional fees associated with this service and you can do it anytime, day or night. Once you've deposited the check digitally you should shred the paper original and dispose of it securely. GoBank works similarly. Once you've downloaded the app and synced your accounts you simply take a photo of the front and back of the check to have it deposited. There aren't any fees involved with this app either, and you don't have to make a trip to the bank. These easy-to-use resources make checks a viable payment method, even for those who are digitally inclined. You don’t have to give up your fun, personalized checks yet!

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