Q&A: Why Are Checks So Expensive from Banks?

Why Are Checks So ExpensiveQ: I’m almost out of checks and need to order more — why are checks so expensive from banks and are there any other places to get them cheaper? I only write one or two checks a month and it kills me to have to spend $20 or more on a new box.

A: Essentially, it’s expensive to buy checks from banks because it’s expensive for banks to provide them to you. Banks don’t produce checks out of thin air — they have to pay to have them printed and shipped, which means they need to mark up the price for customers so they don’t lose money.

Where to Order Check Books for Less

Luckily, your bank isn’t the only source of checks. In fact, there are quite a few options for ordering checks at a fraction of the price your bank would charge, especially online. A couple of the best options for getting cheap bank checks are:

  • Walmart: This retailer offers personal checks with a wide variety of custom designs starting at about $6.
  • Vista Print: Ordering online from Vista Print allows you to get 25 checks for just $2.49. They’re customizable as well.

There are numerous other options online as well, however. Additionally, some financial institutions will provide free bank checks as long as you maintain a minimum balance in your account, or meet some other similar requirement. It doesn’t hurt to ask your bank if they offer any opportunities to earn free checks.

Photo: heidielliot