|Cheap checks, cool checks
They're not as hip as plastic, and they're slower
than sending online bill payments. But sometimes, you just might
use them anyway.
Ye old paper checks.
The results of a survey released by the Federal Reserve
Board suggest that checks are slowly losing the payment-method popularity
contest, as the volume of check payments has steadily declined
The question becomes: Why pay a lot for checks you
Banks don't print their own checks; they get them
from a national printer. That means consumers can potentially save
by buying directly from a check printer. As long as the printer
abides by check-standardization
guidelines set by the American National Standards Institute,
such as the padlock icon and security screen, checks you purchase
should be legally sound. If you've never heard of the printer, research
its track record with the Better
Check with your bank, then compare online
While your bank might charge steep prices for checks -- as much
as $24 to $40 for a box of 150 duplicates, not all printers will.
If you want to shop around for better prices -- and sometimes, more
attractive checks -- flock to the Web. Find a plethora of check
printers by conducting a simple Internet search for personal checks.
Note: Some sites offer discounts for first-time buyers and/or returning
customers, so check for additional price cuts before checking out.
The bottom line: Checks don't have to be boring to
be safe to use. Maybe you want biblical quotes printed on your checks.
Maybe you want everyone to know how much you like the photo artwork
of Anne Geddes. Maybe you want a picture of your beloved Rover on
your checks. Whatever your personality or interests, you can find
checks on the Web that put the "person" in personal checks.
Here are a few sites to get you started:
|Cheap checks, cool checks
Gallery -- These checks are environmentally friendly -- printed
on 24-pound recycled magnetic ink character recognition, or MICR,
bond paper in soy-based ink. You can select from attractive backgrounds
featuring roses, puppies, wildlife, changes of season, foliage
and even scriptural quotes.
Show your love for your favorite organization and
spread awareness by purchasing checks that feature the name of
your beloved charity.
Price: $14 for 150 singles;
$18 for 150 duplicates.
-- This site houses an assortment of checks for those who love
animals, scenic views, photo art, impressionist paintings, patriotic
images, cartoons and simple, but colorful, designs.
Escape to a tropical island, the glory of the Eiffel
Tower or the Rocky Mountains every time you make a paper payment
by selecting one of the Vista checks.
Price: $8 for 200 singles,
$11 for 150 duplicates.