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Cheapest online check ordering services 2020

Cheapest online check ordering services 2020
(Image credit: Getty)

The cheapest online check ordering services provide a convenient way of keeping a more traditional payment method relevant today. While the growth of online banking might lead some to suggest the day of the check has long since passed, the latest Federal Reserve data shows some 14.5 billion checks continued to change hands last year. And whether you’re looking for personal checks or business checks, online check ordering services can ensure you’ll always have this trusted payment option to hand. 

What’s more, the cheapest online check ordering services are usually far less expensive than ordering checks from your bank. And besides cost, there are plenty more upsides to online check ordering services too. The ability to choose from numerous different check styles means you can have your favorite animal, Disney character, pattern, or almost anything, lightening your day just ever so slightly as you look to pay the latest bill; for businesses, personalized checks provide an opportunity to reinforce a brand or show your support for a given cause. 

Besides the cost and aesthetics of your checks, you’ll want to know that the online check ordering service you choose is up to the mark in terms of security and customer service. For some, making sure a check ordering service has excellent green credentials will be important too. Whatever your priorities, our selection of the cheapest online check ordering services should have a company that represents a good fit for you. And if you’re among those who believe that checks are now a thing of the past, perhaps the best online banks will prove of greater interest to you.    


1. CostCo Check Service: Cheapest online check ordering service 

CostCo: Cheapest online check ordering service overall

(Image credit: CostCo)

Costco Check Service

At Costco, online check ordering is stacked high and sold cheap

Lowest cost per single check: $0.0338 | Design options: 249 | Minimum order: 200 checks | High security check features: 29

Low price per check
Wide range of designs
Lack of customizable options
Need to buy in bulk

Costco has partnered with Harland Clarke Check Printing to provide a good choice of check options at very cheap prices... if you're happy to buy in bulk. The minimum number of checks you can order is 200, and obviously the discounts get deeper the greater the volume that you buy. However, for those with high check use, and those happy to have plenty of checks in reserve, the savings can be significant. For a fairly standard blue safety check, you're looking at a super low price per single check of $0.0338 if you're a Costco Executive Member and willing to order 1,500 checks. This makes it the cheapest online check ordering service overall. 

Obviously, choosing one of the many check designs on offer tends to see the cost rise, and there's plenty of options to catch your eye, from character checks featuring Mickey Mouse and Star Wars through to animal and good cause related checks. That said, greater choice can be found at other online check ordering services if you can't see what you're looking for. For businesses, a good range of manual, computer and high security checks are available, with the latter boasting an impressive 29 security features. All the accessories required to keep track of check spending are on offer too, including deposit tickets, binders and checkbook covers.


2. CheckAdvantage: Best online check ordering service

CheckAdvantage is best for online check ordering overall

(Image credit: CheckAdvantage)

CheckAdvantage

CheckAdvantage has bags of designs and a money back guarantee

Lowest cost per single check: $0.073 | Design options: 2,500+ | Minimum order : 150 checks | High security check features: 7, plus optional fraud and identity theft protection

2,500+ design options
Customizable business logos
Money-back guarantee
Few popular character options
No product catalog for browsing offline

CheckAdvantage likes to give its customers a choice, and with over 2,500 check design options on display, it offers one of the largest selections in the online check ordering market. Featuring unique design options created by independent licensed artists and photographers, you're likely to find something fairly different from the other check ordering sites as well. You can choose from more than 300 check covers to complement your check pattern and also select a custom font. The downside is the lack of licensed and therefore well-known superhero or cartoon characters - if you're wanting Disney or professional sports teams, you will need to look elsewhere. 

Businesses are afforded the option to add their logo to business checks (minimum price $24.95), and to take a package that includes a deposit record and an endorsement stamp. CheckAdvantage also offers payroll computer checks that are compatible with Quicken, QuickBooks, Microsoft Money, Great Plains and Peachtree accounting software, and three-on-a-page manual checks that come in top-stub or side-tear formats if you like to write your own. 

Topping everything off is a money-back guarantee if you're not pleased with the print quality or timeliness of the delivery of your checks from CheckAdvantage, and the prerequisite security features too. It may not be the cheapest online check ordering service overall, but it is certainly one of the best. 


Carousel Checks offers the best value online check ordering service

(Image credit: Carousel Checks)

Carousel Checks offers a great value online check ordering service

Lowest cost per single check: $0.056 | Design options: 1,250 | Minimum order: 125 checks | High security check features: 8

Offers excellent value
1,250 design options
Can upload photos for ultimate custom check
Limited popular character designs
May be waiting a while for delivery

If you want a simple box of single checks at a low, low price, Carousel Checks is an excellent choice. One box of 125 parchment checks costs just $6.99 - it's an offer that is very hard to beat - and as you might expect, the more boxes you buy, the cheaper the price of a single check becomes. 

Carousel Checks has the second-largest design catalog in our comparison, with 1,250 options, although you won't find many popular characters from the movie or television industry. The design options are categorized by theme, including value checks, floral themes, scenic designs, and “fun and games” checks, while there's some original designs from licensed artists, and the option to upload your own photos for a truly original personal check. 

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. One last thing to bear in mind, though, especially if you're in a hurry for your checks - orders can take two to three weeks from when the order is placed, and anywhere between 12 to 121 business days from when an order is shipped. 


4. Checks In The Mail: Most trusted online check ordering service

Checks In The Mail is the most trusted online check ordering service

(Image credit: Checks In The Mail)

Checks In The Mail

Checks In The Mail has the experience and popularity required of a trusted check ordering service

Lowest cost per single check: $0.017 | Design options: 300+ | Minimum order: 25 checks | High security check features: 25

Design options include 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

Supplying over a billion checks to customers in all 50 states a year, and with almost 100 year's experience in the check industry, it is easy to see why Checks In The Mail is one of the most trusted online check ordering services. While the choice of 200 design options is a little on the low side compared with some online check ordering services, the more popular themes from movies like “Star Wars,” “Minions” and “Frozen” which can be absent elsewhere are all available here. 

The basic checks come in at a very reasonable price and you'll regularly find special offers on the website too. And in that respect, the website is also one of the best around - all of the buying options are clearly presented and easy to find, and there's live chat assistance as well. For repeat customers who've ordered checks through Checks In The Mail before and like what they received, the fast-track reordering option will prove useful too.  

Besides the more traditional checks, the company offers high-security checks for business and personal accounts, which include an impressive 25 protection features. Perhaps just one thing is missing, and that's a money-back guarantee - but given Checks In The Mail has a stellar reputation among online check ordering circles, you're unlikely to make use of it any way. 


5. Deluxe: Best online check ordering customer support

Deluxe offers the best online check ordering customer support

(Image credit: Deluxe)

Deluxe

Deluxe offers unrivaled support to its check ordering customers

Lowest cost per single check: Need to register to see prices | Design options: 90 | Minimum order: 100 checks | High security check features: Exceed CPSA standards

Excellent customer support
Offers popular character and sports designs
Money back guarantee
Wider design selection elsewhere
No price information without registering

Deluxe offers around 90 check styles, including Disney, Warner Brothers and university branded sports checks, and has high security checks for both personal and business use that exceed the CPSA standards for security. However, what makes Deluxe really stand out is the customer support that it can provide, something which is particularly important if your business depends on checks for payroll, client payments and other functions. 

If you can't find the answer you need among the excellent FAQs, Deluxe is one of the few online check ordering services with a live chat function, providing the fastest assistance on your account, and there's phone support as well. The expected turnaround time for check production and delivery is a pretty swift 10-14 days, and there's a quick reorder option too.  And should you be dissatisfied with your checks when they arrive, a money-back guarantee offers the choice of having your checks reprinted at no additional charge or a refund.

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. The one thing that Deluxe could improve is its transparency over costs - prices will only be given once you've signed up and logged into your account. 


6. Walmart Checks: Best eco-friendly checks

Walmart Checks offers eco-friendly checks

(Image credit: Walmart Checks)

Walmart Checks

Walmart Checks is the eco-friendly online check ordering service of choice

Lowest cost per single check: $0.049 | Design options: 330+ | Minimum order: 150 checks | High security check features: Backed by CheckSafe

All checks are eco-friendly
Good range of popular designs
Customization is not easy
Cheaper options elsewhere

Walmart Checks might be slightly average in most aspects of its online check ordering service, but where it does stand out is with its green credentials. All of the checks it produces are printed on recycled paper and use soy ink instead of petroleum-based inks, helping to minimize environmental impact and reducing toxic waste. Walmart also uses recycled paper to make the check boxes in which they are sent. 

In terms of the check service itself, Walmart is certainly worth a look. There's over 330 check designs on offer, including a great range of Disney and movie-related checks, and the option to create your own checks using photos or stick figures that you can create yourself online. Walmart is not the cheapest online check ordering service - basic single checks start off at $7.46 for a box of 150, and even when you up your order to make use of bulk discounts, the price can bettered elsewhere.  

Business checks are available too, as are high security checks with the backing of CheckSafe, which protects any checks in your order from being used fraudulently. Walmart's certified check fraud specialists will also work with your financial institution and the merchants involved to resolve any issues should they arise. 


7. Checks Unlimited: Best for online check ordering security

Checks Unlimited

(Image credit: Checks Unlimited)

Checks Unlimited

Checks Unlimited has all the check ordering security options you should need

Lowest cost per single check: $0.132 | Design options: 217 | Minimum order: 100 checks | High security check features: 7 advanced features, plus fraud protection program

Exceptional for security and identity protection
Good choice of designs
Photo checks available
Far cheaper services elsewhere

Checks Unlimited is a great online check ordering service if security is at the top of your list of priorities. Its dedicated security center explains all the protections on offer in huge detail, including advanced features such as chemical protective paper, microprint signature lines, two dimensional holographic foil, and security screens. 

Going even further, Checks Unlimited offers the excellent EZShield Check Fraud Protection Program, which delivers an advances of up to $25,000, generally much faster than a bank, in the event of forged signatures, forged endorsements and altered checks. Identity Restoration Pro also helps to protect your information and provides professional assistance to restore your identity if it is stolen. There's a video guide to explain everything, and identity crime education materials to further inform too. 

While security is very much its focus, Checks Unlimited still offers more than 200 check designs, including the ever popular Disney and Warner Brother themes, and customizable photo checks too. In terms of price, however, it is definitely not the cheapest online check ordering service overall, with a one box of 100 single checks costing $18.99 - even with discounts for buying bulk, lower price options are certain to be found elsewhere. 


What are the benefits of checks?

Some people may think checks are an outdated form of payment, but they're still useful for many reasons. Firstly, checks are great way to 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. So if your landlord, for instance, claims you haven't paid the rent when you actually have, the bank will have hard evidence that you have. Checks can also be useful if you're running low on cash but have something to pay - as the person you make the check out will need to cash it at their bank, the money transfer isn't instant (although mobile apps that allow check deposits are speeding this up!). Then there may be a further delay for the check to clear and the money to go through, giving you a little extra time to move funds around and ensure your money is where it needs to go.

How secure are checks ordered online? 

While intuition might suggest it is less safe to order checks from anywhere other than your bank, remember that your bank will probably use a third party to print your checks anyway. Nevertheless, when using an online check ordering service, security should always be one of the most important factors to consider.

Most services devote sections of their website to security, outlining the steps they take to keep you and your checks secure. An easy way to make sure an online check ordering service follows best security practice is to check for membership of the Check Payment Systems Association (CPSA). A non-profit organization, the CPSA works to ensure the integrity of the paper-based payment system, with companies having to meet strict guidelines in terms of check paper, ink and design to become a member. If a service is upholding CPSA guidelines, there will be a padlock icon next to the “amount” box on its checks.  

What makes a good online check ordering service?

Customization
If you order checks online, these services will usually provide better quality checks and a greater selection of designs than your local bank. For instance, some online check ordering services allow you to add your company’s logo to business checks or will provide a selection of stock logos you can use. The vast majority of online check ordering companies also carry novelty designs, with images from movies and TV, nature, sports and hobbies.

Check options & extras
The best online check ordering services offer checks in various formats that can help you monitor your personal and business expenses, and see where your money goes. So if you're happy to pay slightly more, you'll be supplied with checks with duplicates for you to keep, and 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 track spending, or carry check templates that work with accounting software such as Quicken or QuickBooks.

Customer service
While it should be possible to complete your entire check order quickly and efficiently online, you may still occasionally need to make use of customer support.  Almost all online check ordering services have a toll-free phone number to ring and an email address for you to contact, while the best services will have live chat support to answer your questions in double quick time. Should you end up unhappy with the service you receive, most online check ordering companies offer a money-back guarantee too, in case there are problems with printing or shipping your checks. That said, it remains your responsibility to carefully proofread the check details you submit, so perhaps run it by someone else for extra safety before completing your order.