Where do you order checks from?

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walletless
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Where do you order checks from?

Post by walletless » Sat Mar 04, 2017 12:59 pm

My Credit Union has instituted a new policy to stop giving out temporary checks. So far, I just used to take a stack of 9 temporary checks which would last me several years. The only places we use Checks are in government-related areas, such as Passport renewals, Drivers License renewal, etc. I never felt the need to order one large box of checks because of this.

Now I need to get a box of checks.. preferably cheap :-) The bank charges $19.95 + $5 shipping for a box. That feels a lot for a box of papers with basic security features. Where do bogleheads order them from?

EDIT -- I found on Slickdeals:
4checks.com has 2 boxes for $5.05 + $4 shipping = $9 with coupon code DE1366
Last edited by walletless on Sat Mar 04, 2017 1:23 pm, edited 2 times in total.

Goal33
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Re: Where do you order checks from?

Post by Goal33 » Sat Mar 04, 2017 1:02 pm

Ally Bank gives me free checks. Maybe you should move over to someplace that gives free checks?
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walletless
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Re: Where do you order checks from?

Post by walletless » Sat Mar 04, 2017 1:11 pm

Goal33 wrote:Ally Bank gives me free checks. Maybe you should move over to someplace that gives free checks?

Its an option... I am generally happy with my CU, and would prefer to avoid the hassle of moving, updating my auto-pay options, etc to save few dollars per year.

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walletless
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Re: Where do you order checks from?

Post by walletless » Sat Mar 04, 2017 1:16 pm

I found on Slickdeals:
4checks.com has 2 boxes for $5.05 + $4 shipping = ~$9 with coupon code DE1366
Last edited by walletless on Sat Mar 04, 2017 1:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.

S&L1940
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Re: Where do you order checks from?

Post by S&L1940 » Sat Mar 04, 2017 1:24 pm

Costco is my choice if you can not get free checks from your bank
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Toons
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Re: Where do you order checks from?

Post by Toons » Sat Mar 04, 2017 2:47 pm

Capital One 360 gave me 50 free ones.
I have 49 left.
I should be good for another 49 years
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samsoes
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Re: Where do you order checks from?

Post by samsoes » Sat Mar 04, 2017 2:59 pm

I've used http://www.walmartchecks.com - fraction of the price charged by the bank.
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HIinvestor
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Re: Where do you order checks from?

Post by HIinvestor » Sat Mar 04, 2017 3:36 pm

Most of my institutions give me free checks. I have purchased them from the inserts in the Sunday newspaper when I can't get them free. They were generally under $10 for about 200 checks with carbonless duplicates. There a whole slew of companies and they run frequent promotions. I think the last time I paid for checks I ordered from checksinthemail.com, but that was likely many years ago. I know many folks who order checks from Costco and have been happy with them for price and quality. Like others, takes me many years to go through an order of checks.

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heartwood
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Re: Where do you order checks from?

Post by heartwood » Sat Mar 04, 2017 3:49 pm

Costco https://www.costcochecks.com/p/blue-safety-checks/88345

not sure about shipping

We write 5 checks a month mostly to a home cleaner and a trainer. They'd prefer cash but will accept a check. So the Costco quantity should last about 5 years.

We try to charge everything. If we have to write a check, we mostly use the billpay function at Vanguard or very rarely at BOA. BOA charges for checks (maybe not for small numbers?). Vanguard supplies free checks as part of our Flagship level Advantage account.

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AllieTB1323
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Re: Where do you order checks from?

Post by AllieTB1323 » Sat Mar 04, 2017 3:59 pm

heartwood wrote:Costco https://www.costcochecks.com/p/blue-safety-checks/88345

not sure about shipping

We write 5 checks a month mostly to a home cleaner and a trainer. They'd prefer cash but will accept a check. So the Costco quantity should last about 5 years.

We try to charge everything. If we have to write a check, we mostly use the billpay function at Vanguard or very rarely at BOA. BOA charges for checks (maybe not for small numbers?). Vanguard supplies free checks as part of our Flagship level Advantage account.


+1, We discovered Costco when we needed business checks and felt the bank was too expensive. About three years ago we also purchased our personal checks from Costco. The price was more than competitive. Costco included shipping in the their price and the turnaround was reasonable.

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dm200
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Re: Where do you order checks from?

Post by dm200 » Sat Mar 04, 2017 4:10 pm

Vistaprint

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Sandtrap
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Re: Where do you order checks from?

Post by Sandtrap » Sat Mar 04, 2017 4:11 pm

Checks Unlimited. Coupon deals and specials.

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BL
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Re: Where do you order checks from?

Post by BL » Sat Mar 04, 2017 4:20 pm

If you really want to spend the time looking for the best deal, fine. It is fun to get a good deal. However it may not be worth your time to save 1-2 $/yr . Our bank gives senior group free checks and a few bennies.

danaht
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Re: Where do you order checks from?

Post by danaht » Sat Mar 04, 2017 5:14 pm

Usually Costco. But may start ordering from Walmart if I decide to not renew my Costco membership this year.

tim1999
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Re: Where do you order checks from?

Post by tim1999 » Sat Mar 04, 2017 5:24 pm

Walmart

student
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Re: Where do you order checks from?

Post by student » Sat Mar 04, 2017 5:37 pm

I still have checks that I ordered from my credit union. These days, I mostly use Discover Bank and they give free checks.

likegarden
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Re: Where do you order checks from?

Post by likegarden » Sat Mar 04, 2017 5:42 pm

Walmart for years now. They are accurate and good quality for $20 or so. It is only printed paper.
My bank sold checks at much too high a price, and their print could often not be read by my then grocer's check reader.

otinkyad
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Re: Where do you order checks from?

Post by otinkyad » Sat Mar 04, 2017 6:21 pm

I wouldn't spent any time looking for deals, or finding more strangers to give out my name, address, phone, and bank account info to.

I got a box of free checks from BofA recently, my third in 18 years, and I realized that given the changes in financial technology and my check writing habits of late, it's probably my last box of checks.

22twain
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Re: Where do you order checks from?

Post by 22twain » Sun Mar 05, 2017 1:01 am

My bank merged with another bank six years ago. I'm still using a box of checks with the old name on them. No problems (yet). Apparently the routing number is still valid. At my current rate of check-writing, they'll run out about six years from now.

TigerNest
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Re: Where do you order checks from?

Post by TigerNest » Sun Mar 05, 2017 1:07 am

Learn something new every day. I didn't realize you could get checks from anywhere other than your financial institution. :)

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wander
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Re: Where do you order checks from?

Post by wander » Sun Mar 05, 2017 5:11 am

Many years ago, I used a company advertised on Penny Saver. They printed 200 of good quality checks for a few dollars. Now, I get free checks from banks.

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randomizer
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Re: Where do you order checks from?

Post by randomizer » Sun Mar 05, 2017 5:14 am

I find it scandalous that these things aren't free, or available for a reasonable price, from the banks. I was shocked and saddened when I first opened an account at a bank where they weren't free. And now I'm surprised again at this thread to learn that you can get them from third parties.

mouses
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Re: Where do you order checks from?

Post by mouses » Sun Mar 05, 2017 5:18 am

I've bought them from current checks http://www.currentcatalog.com/ for years. I write a couple of checks a month to businesses not set up for credit cards or electronic transfer, like the lawn cutting service.

I like the current ones because I like to choose the background and I can get matching address labels.

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MossySF
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Re: Where do you order checks from?

Post by MossySF » Sun Mar 05, 2017 5:22 am

You can print your own checks if you have a MICR toner cartridge. My company used to do this in the old days before outsourced bill paying services.

Ron
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Re: Where do you order checks from?

Post by Ron » Sun Mar 05, 2017 8:40 am


Woodshark
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Re: Where do you order checks from?

Post by Woodshark » Sun Mar 05, 2017 8:44 am

samsoes wrote:I've used http://www.walmartchecks.com - fraction of the price charged by the bank.


Same here. Prompt and cheap compared to the others.

b4real
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Re: Where do you order checks from?

Post by b4real » Sun Mar 05, 2017 8:57 am

Free from USAA and free from Vanguard Advantage but we use very few checks as most are done with billpay. Also, everything possible is on auto-pilot either with billpay or the credit card.

Frisco Kid
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Re: Where do you order checks from?

Post by Frisco Kid » Sun Mar 05, 2017 9:10 am

Costco, not free but a very good value......................

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dm200
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Re: Where do you order checks from?

Post by dm200 » Sun Mar 05, 2017 11:34 am

MossySF wrote:You can print your own checks if you have a MICR toner cartridge. My company used to do this in the old days before outsourced bill paying services.


[Not 100% sure] but withh changes in technology and imaging of checks, I do not believe the special MICR toner cartridges are necessary any more.

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dm200
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Re: Where do you order checks from?

Post by dm200 » Sun Mar 05, 2017 11:37 am

randomizer wrote:I find it scandalous that these things aren't free, or available for a reasonable price, from the banks. I was shocked and saddened when I first opened an account at a bank where they weren't free. And now I'm surprised again at this thread to learn that you can get them from third parties.


My opinions:

1. I do not think checks should be "free"

2. I do agree that, especially for credit unions, low cost checks (basic and plain ones) should be a low cost choice. Ordering checks through the bank or credit union is a significant profit amount.

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walletless
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Re: Where do you order checks from?

Post by walletless » Sun Mar 05, 2017 1:50 pm

dm200 wrote:1. I do not think checks should be "free"

I agree. My Credit Union gives free cashiers check and money order, doesnt require minimum balances or direct deposits. I prefer these services over the free checks. Until last year they would give out 9 temporary checks whenever we asked, but they stopped it recently. I am fine spending about $9 every decade. Their interest checking account gives free box of checks but require some balance and debit card transactions.
dm200 wrote:2. I do agree that, especially for credit unions, low cost checks (basic and plain ones) should be a low cost choice. Ordering checks through the bank or credit union is a significant profit amount.

I agree.. most CUs charge $30 for a box that is easily available for under $10... I'd have preferred buying directly if the costs were more reasonable. They outsource the check printing to one of the national printers anyway, which charge around $10 if you buy direct from them.

blevine
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Re: Where do you order checks from?

Post by blevine » Sun Mar 05, 2017 1:55 pm

Personally in this day and age of ID theft, I prefer if no third party has any information about me, when avoidable.
My bank already has my acct #, I prefer to buy the checks from them. When I order the checks would last for many years,
since I rarely use them, so saving $15-20 is not worth any extra work at all.

I would never use Lifelock or any third party service for credit monitoring.
Lock directly with each agency, don't mind giving them info they already have, nobody else.
I realize the bank outsources printing the checks, but hopefully they are careful with our data.

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walletless
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Re: Where do you order checks from?

Post by walletless » Sun Mar 05, 2017 2:24 pm

blevine wrote:My bank already has my acct #, I prefer to buy the checks from them. When I order the checks would last for many years,
since I rarely use them, so saving $15-20 is not worth any extra work at all.

You bank outsources the printing to one of the same national printers. IMO, it's no less safe to buy directly from a printer then from your bank.

obgraham
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Re: Where do you order checks from?

Post by obgraham » Sun Mar 05, 2017 3:25 pm

My bank already has my acct #,

Everybody you write a check to has your account number too.

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arcticpineapplecorp.
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Re: Where do you order checks from?

Post by arcticpineapplecorp. » Sun Mar 05, 2017 5:36 pm

I bank with two CUs, one gives checks for free. The other doesn't. That being said I'm surprised some of the services you mention (drivers license renewal) doesn't take credit card. My state does, renew online. Easy peasy.

That being said, have you considered or do you use bill payer through your CU? I don't (yet) but you can always pay a bill through check through bill payer at your CU. This is the case when an electronic payment can't be pushed directly from your CU to the company you're trying to pay. I helped my mom set it up (she's in her 70s) and she loves it. Pays all her bills online through bill payer and doesn't have to pay for checks. Would that work?

The only time I suppose this might not work is if you have to pay immediately and don't want to do with cash or the vendor doesn't take credit. For instance, my mom did have a handyman make a repair who insisted on being paid at time of service with either cash or check. Otherwise, perhaps bill payer would work for you.
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HIinvestor
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Re: Where do you order checks from?

Post by HIinvestor » Sun Mar 05, 2017 5:46 pm

I have free checks from my various local banks and credit unions as well as USAA and Schwab. I believe PenFed would also give me free checks if I requested them.

I've never tried printing my own checks. I don't have magnetic ink and believe that such ink would not work for the printers we own, so I will stick with free or purchased checks--cheaper than having to replace the printers.

blevine
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Re: Where do you order checks from?

Post by blevine » Sun Mar 05, 2017 5:52 pm

obgraham wrote:
My bank already has my acct #,

Everybody you write a check to has your account number too.


I hardly write checks, pay almost everything electroncially and by cc. So everybody is almost nobody.

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wander
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Re: Where do you order checks from?

Post by wander » Sun Mar 05, 2017 6:18 pm

blevine wrote:Personally in this day and age of ID theft, I prefer if no third party has any information about me, when avoidable.
My bank already has my acct #, I prefer to buy the checks from them. When I order the checks would last for many years,
since I rarely use them, so saving $15-20 is not worth any extra work at all.

I would never use Lifelock or any third party service for credit monitoring.
Lock directly with each agency, don't mind giving them info they already have, nobody else.
I realize the bank outsources printing the checks, but hopefully they are careful with our data.

The routing and checking numbers are printed on the checks. Either you get it from your banks or a third parties.

Doom&Gloom
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Re: Where do you order checks from?

Post by Doom&Gloom » Sun Mar 05, 2017 6:41 pm

BL wrote:If you really want to spend the time looking for the best deal, fine. It is fun to get a good deal. However it may not be worth your time to save 1-2 $/yr . Our bank gives senior group free checks and a few bennies.


+1

I last ordered checks about a half-dozen years ago IIRC. Most of them will probably be in my desk drawer when I die. YMMV, of course.

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StevieG72
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Re: Where do you order checks from?

Post by StevieG72 » Sun Mar 05, 2017 6:50 pm

I can't remember the last time I used a personal check.
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cfs
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Re: Where do you order checks from?

Post by cfs » Sun Mar 05, 2017 6:59 pm

I buy my checks from my credit union. And I do remember the last time I wrote a check, in December 2016, it was my quarterly gift to the IRS. Thanks for reading ~cfs~
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verbose
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Re: Where do you order checks from?

Post by verbose » Sun Mar 05, 2017 7:10 pm

I write at least 10 checks a month for various reasons. So saving money on checks is important to me and I usually buy 4 boxes of checks at a time.

Recently I shopped for checks and I was dismayed that true price-shopping is quite difficult. The "handling fee" is not disclosed until one has completely filled out the order for the checks and is about to confirm the order. The handling fee per box costs almost as much as the checks themselves. Price comparison is not possible without knowing the handling fee. I wasn't able to find checks for sale without a handling fee, nor able to find a site that disclosed the handling fee up front. Note that this is different from shipping. Some sites promised free shipping of checks, but there was still a handling fee.

Frustrated at doing an actual price comparison, I just picked one and ordered checks. I can't even remember which site I used. Walmart is low-cost, but they also have a handling fee and some sites are cheaper than Walmart. Bradford Exchange is pretty low cost, but the checks I ordered from them a few years ago were really cheap-looking. I don't require fancy checks, but these were especially flimsy with dull color printing. They worked and I used them anyway but decided not to order from them again.

hille141
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Re: Where do you order checks from?

Post by hille141 » Sun Mar 05, 2017 7:13 pm

2 boxes of duplicate checks from Costco was $15.47 including shipping. Could be cheaper elsewhere, but I'd order from Costco again. My wife is the only one who writes checks, probably about 6 a month.

fm3040
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Re: Where do you order checks from?

Post by fm3040 » Sun Mar 05, 2017 7:22 pm

Ordered from Costco last year.

Spectrum Checks (WD-529C - Duplicates - 2 boxes)
TOTAL: $15.04

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Epsilon Delta
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Re: Where do you order checks from?

Post by Epsilon Delta » Sun Mar 05, 2017 7:41 pm

verbose wrote:Recently I shopped for checks and I was dismayed that true price-shopping is quite difficult. The "handling fee" is not disclosed until one has completely filled out the order for the checks and is about to confirm the order. The handling fee per box costs almost as much as the checks themselves. Price comparison is not possible without knowing the handling fee.


Just use the ads in the Sunday paper. It's hard to hide fees on a printed order form, particularly if you pay by check. I found these to be competitive with the on-line sources and far less hassle with bait and switch.

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whodidntante
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Re: Where do you order checks from?

Post by whodidntante » Sun Mar 05, 2017 8:14 pm

I use bill pay and free checks from Fidelity.

eastwayroad
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Re: Where do you order checks from?

Post by eastwayroad » Mon Mar 06, 2017 8:39 am

As a long-time Quicken user I still order printer-compatible checks directly from Intuit.
No doubt cheaper elsewhere but I write so few checks these days it hardly matters.

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lthenderson
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Re: Where do you order checks from?

Post by lthenderson » Mon Mar 06, 2017 8:55 am

Living here in the rural nothingness, I guess I shouldn't be surprised to read so many rarely write checks. I use credit cards and direct deposits where possible but still probably write on average of two or three checks a week, mostly to private individuals who need paid on the spot. My bank does allow me to "write" checks that they mail (free of charge) to whomever has a postal address but it generally takes three or four days for that to arrive.

At least I still get free checks with my package level at my bank.

DetroitRick
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Re: Where do you order checks from?

Post by DetroitRick » Mon Mar 06, 2017 9:18 am

My 3 banks (national, regional, online), all still furnish free standard checks. I use those. Those supplies last me forever - down to writing around 2 to 4 checks monthly.

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flamesabers
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Re: Where do you order checks from?

Post by flamesabers » Mon Mar 06, 2017 10:34 am

The last time I ordered checks was about 4 years ago through my bank at no charge to me. The last time I paid for checks was from styleschecks.com. I don't remember how much I paid for this order, but I think it was for a reasonable amount. At this rate, I expect my current supply of checks to last at least for ten more years. I pay most of my bills with a credit card, but I still use checks to donate to charities or to pay the DMV (or other government departments) to avoid getting hit with a "convenience fee."

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