Personal Checks FAQ

As the editor of, I get asked questions related to buying and using checks all the time. Instead of continuing to answer them one at a time, I thought I would compile a list of the most common questions and answers all in one place.

Do I have to buy checks from my bank?

No, you do not have to buy checks from your bank. You may buy checks from your bank, competing banks, or through printing services. Purchasing checks through your bank may be more expensive than other options.  It’s perfectly OK to search the web for checks that are probably much cheaper (and cooler).

Do banks give free checks?

Select banks do offer free checks. You can ask your financial institution for free checks. Banks that routinely charge for checks will occasionally give them out for free to loyal customers. Bank tellers may offer you one sheet of checks over the counter, free of charge. It’s not guaranteed, but always ask.

What banks offer free checks?

Most banks still charge their customers for checks. And the cost can be as much as $35 for a book of checks. However, there are some banks that offer free checks:

  • Schwab Bank
  • Ally Bank
  • Discover Bank
  • Capitol One
  • USAA

Many credit unions offer free personal checks for their customers, including Navy Federal.

How much do checks cost?

With online and mobile payment options increasing, the use of paper checks is falling. But checks are still used by consumers to pay bills, make donations, and even buy groceries. But with a box of checks from the bank costing $35 or more, people are starting to look for alternatives.  Of course check prices vary. Expect to pay between two and twenty-eight cents per check. Traditional banks tend to cost more than online printing services and stores like Walmart, Sam’s Club, and Costco.

Is it safe to buy checks online?

It is safe to buy checks online from reputable printing services and institutions.

Can I print my own checks?

It is possible to print your own checks at home. To do this, you will need the following:

  • Software to properly format the checks
  • Check stock paper
  • Magnetic ink
  • MICR font
  • Printer

How do I print checks from my printer?

First, format the check on your computer. The format is very particular. You can do it by hand with the right technical and design skill set, but it’s recommended to purchase and use formatting software specifically for checks. Next, enter your personal information into the formatted check. You will need to include the routing and account number in MICR font. Finally, confirm the information is valid and print the checks on specific check stock paper with magnetic ink.

Can I print checks online?

It is possible to print checks online with an online check printing software. Services like Checkeeper, Quickbooks, and Xero allow you to print checks from home with check stock paper and magnetic ink.

Where can I find the cheapest checks?

Sam’s Club and Costco offer low-cost checks, at two to three cents per check.

Where’s the best places to buy personal checks from online?

The best places to buy personal checks from online include Carousel Checks, Checks In The Mail, Walmart, Bradford Exchange, and Costco.

Author : Jason

Jason stopped buying checks from his bank long ago when he realized that there's nothing special about bank checks - except the high cost! He's been publishing check promo codes on to help everyone save on the cost of checks since 2012.

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