Friday, November 20, 2009

Keeping The Cost Of Checks In Check

I pay the majority of our bills online these days, but I have a couple of bills each month that I still pay with a paper check. I also use paper checks to pay for things such as school book club orders (i.e., Scholastic Books), PTA membership fees, our daycare provider (on the rare occasions we still need her), and the occasional thrift store purchase if the store is one that still does not take plastic.

I wrote the last check I had last week, so I decided to go online to order more. I checked several of the "well-known" check printers...the ones that have offers in the coupon sections of the Sunday newspaper, as well as another printer better known for its free business cards. In my search results, I noticed that both Wal-Mart and Sam's Club offered check printing services. I checked them out, too.

Wal-Mart's prices were good, but I was pleasantly surprised to find out that Sam's Club was the least expensive. At just 4¢ per check, including shipping, their prices were half those of the next closest non-Wal-Mart competitor. Some of the companies were 3 or 4 times more expensive.

During my order I was asked to indicate whether or not I was a Sam's Club member. I can't say whether or not I got a better price because I am a member; I tried to go back in as a non-member to find out, but wasn't able to do so. I do know that you don't have to be a member to order checks from Sam's.

I had never considered looking to Sam's or Wal-Mart for checks, but I'm glad they were in my search results. Maybe other major retailers offer check printing, too. I wonder if Costco or Target do? What about the office supply places, such as Office Max or Office Depot? Anyone know?

10 comments:

Sheila said...

I have an executive membership at Costco so I checked their prices--not bad at all. I never thought to check Costco and Sam's for checks. Thanks for the info. Any way--Costco was $10.55 for duplicate checks if you have a regular membership and $8.44 if you have an executive membership. It was $11.50 and $9.20 for single checks. Sam's had a bit better prices if you have the executive membership though. I'll need to order checks soon so I truly thank you for the information--and the savings!! One of the main reasons I read your blog is that you pass on deals when you find them. Thanks.

Annie Jones said...

Thanks for the further info, Sheila. Glad I could help you save a little money. :)

Also, I might add that the 4¢ per check cost I quoted above was for duplicate checks. I didn't check the price of single checks, but I'm guessing they'd be even a little cheaper.

Leanne said...

I never would have realised that cheques weren't just provided by the banks in the States. Can you get them from banks at all. Ours are free though trust me, we pay dearly for them if we ever bounce one:)

Annie Jones said...

Leanne: We can get checks from our banks here, but they are usually more expensive than ordering them directly from a printer. I remember when we could ONLY get them from the bank, though. And yes, overdrafts are very costly here, too.

A.Marie said...

I have a Sams Club membership, and I never thought of going through them for my checks. I get the duplicates and at 4 cents per check, that is a way better deal that what I am getting now!

SonyaAnn said...

I did not know this! Thank you. We don't have a Sam's club membership. Is it that much of a savings over Walmart? It's a 35 min. drive for us and we have a Walmart about 10 min from us. Just wondering and thank you for the info!

Annie Jones said...

A.Marie: That's exactly what I thought.

SonyaAnn: It depends on what you buy. The closest Sam's is about 8 miles for us, but even when we lived 30 or so miles from one, it still made sense for us. We assess it every year when it's time to renew just to make sure.

I may have a price comparison I did a little while back. If I can find it, I'll post about it. :)

A.Marie said...

Hi there! Just jumping over to say hello before I have to start the morning madness! :)

After typing my post and replying to your comment, I have a sudden urge for cheese! HAHA!

Wendy said...

Hi there from Australia. I've never heard of "Check printers". We hardly ever use checks in private transactions in Australia anymore, they cost too much.

Annie Jones said...

Hi Wendy! Thanks for visiting.

Yes, we have a wide variety of printers who print checks, return address labels, business cards, etc. The checks I ordered were only 4¢ each, and our bank doesn't charge a per check fee, although I think there may be some banks that do.