Are you getting checks for the first time? Have you forgotten how to order more? Do you know all the different ways you can deposit a check into your bank account?
Whether you want to order, deposit, cash, or void a personal check, this guide has got you covered. If you’re also interested in learning exactly how to fill out a check, check out our other guide too. For now, read on to learn the different ways to order personal checks.
How to Order Checks
When you first set up a bank account or run out of checks in your checkbook, you’ll need to order new checks. As for how to order checks, you can do so through your bank or a credible third party.
If you go with a third party, then you’ll need to make sure that you’re using a reputable store that will protect your sensitive personal information. Below, you’ll find some suggestions for where to order checks, plus everything you need to know about how to order checks. Read on for all the steps you need to take.
1. How to Order Checks From Your Bank
You can easily order checks from any bank with which you have a checking account. You can order checks online, in person, or over the phone.
If you’re doing check ordering in person, then you’ll need to have your account number and your ID. If you don’t know your account number, then the teller can probably look it up with your debit card and ID. You’ll also need your account number if ordering over the phone, plus some other personal information, like your name, date of birth, and in some cases, your social security number.
If you want to order checks online, you simply sign into your account by entering your username and password. Find the page where you can order more checks, often under a tab labeled, “Account Services.”
Then you’ll choose the number of checks that you want. You can go with plain checks or opt for decorative ones that are a little more expensive. Plain checks cost around $9.99 for a book of 30. Your bank will likely take the charge directly from your account rather than asking for alternative payment information.
Checks will be shipped to you within seven to ten days. You can also pay an extra fee to get them shipped overnight.
If you’re looking for more check customization options or lower prices, then you might want to do your in-person or online check ordering through an authorized third party.
2. Order From a Third Party
Some stores and online vendors sell checks and offer a great variety of customization options. If you want, you can upload a photo of your family, dog, or giant sea bass that you caught last winter on your vacation to California to make your own personalized checks.
Some third party vendors include Costco, Sam’s Club, Walmart, Checks.com, and Checks in the Mail. You’ll submit your checking account number and routing number.
You’ll also need to submit the number of your last check, because your next set of checks will begin with the following number. If your last check was #100, then your next book of checks will start with #101. Some states also ask for the date that you opened your checking account.
If you’re using a site other than the ones recommended above to order checks online, then you should look for a small padlock icon on its website and printed on its sample checks. This padlock shows that the check (and company itself) have been vetted by the Check Payment Systems Association (CPSA). Without this security, don’t go giving away your account and routing number!
Now you know how to order checks, but what do you do if you’re the recipient? How do you cash a check or deposit it into your bank account? Read on for the different ways you can cash or deposit a check.
How to Cash or Deposit a Check
If you’re the recipient of a check, you can deposit the funds into your bank account or exchange the check for cash. Either way, you’ll need to take one essential step: signing the back of the check.
On the back of the check is a line above which appear the words, “Endorse here.” Your endorsement is your signature. You’ll also see text below the lines reminding you not to write anything below the lines.
1. How to Deposit a Check at Your Bank
You can deposit a check directly into your bank account at any of your bank’s ATMs or with a bank teller. You usually can’t use another bank’s ATM, unless it has some sort of special partnership with your bank.
If you go to a teller, be prepared with your checking account number and ID. At the ATM, you’ll insert or swipe your ATM card, enter your pin, and go to the “Deposit Check” option. You may need to type in the amount of money you’re going to deposit, though some banks just scan the check and ask you to confirm the amount.
Unless your bank uses envelopes, you can insert the check directly into the deposit slot. If you have more than one check, you should be able to insert the checks together. Some banks allow you to deposit up to 30 at a time.
Once you confirm the amount and finish up your transaction, you’re all set. The check amount should show up in your account within two days.
With the rise of mobile banking, you don’t necessarily have to go to the bank to deposit a check. Many banks have their own apps that allow you to do mobile check deposit through your phone.
2. How to Do Mobile Check Deposit
Many mobile banking apps let you deposit a check online through your phone. You’ll need to endorse the check and then take a clear picture of both the front and back of the check. Some banks also want you to write “for [your bank name’s] deposit only” on the back next to your signature. Once you’ve uploaded the pictures, the app will tell you if your deposit was successful.
3. How to Cash a Check
If you’d prefer, instead of depositing the check directly into your bank account, you can exchange it for cash. If you have a checking account, then you can cash a check with the teller at your bank for no fee. Some banks prefer you to endorse the check in front of them for security purposes. You’ll sign the check, hand it over along with your information or debit card, and the teller will give you back the amount in cash.
If you don’t have any checking account, you can still cash a check, but you’ll have to pay a fee. A bank will charge between $4 and $10, and a store with check-cashing services, like Walmart or some grocery stores, will charge somewhere between $3 and $6.
The final thing you need to know about checks, apart from filling them out, ordering more, and depositing them, is how to void a check. Read on for advice on how to void a check and when you need to do this.
How to Void a Check
Voiding a check simply means that you make it unusable. Learning how to void a check is surprisingly easy. All you need to do is write “void” in big letters across the front of the check. Try to cover about half to three-quarters of the check with the word void, so there’s no way anyone could miss it.
Why would you want to void a check? One reason would be if you started to fill it out and made an error. The error is too glaring to fix, so you want to call this one a wash and try again with a new check. For security purposes, you should void the check.
Another common circumstance for check voiding is when you set up direct deposit with a new employer. To set up direct deposit, companies often ask you to give them a voided check. Again, all you have to do to provide a cancelled check for direct deposit is write the word “void” in big letters across the front.
So there you have it, everything you need to know about ordering, depositing, cashing, and voiding personal checks. In closing, let’s go over the key takeaways you should remember before you’re up and running with your checkbook.
Using Personal Checks: Key Takeaways
While many of us use checks less and less, opting instead for online bill pay and money-transferring apps, we may still be faced with several occasions that call for a check. We might use checks to pay rent, send or receive a gift, or provide an employer with a voided check for direct deposit. To prepare for those times when you need to use a check, find out if you have enough or need to order more.
If you receive a check, you can easily deposit it by signing the back and submitting it to your account via your bank’s ATM or mobile app. If you’re the one filling out a check but need to cancel it, then you can easily do so by writing “void” in big letters across the front, thereby rendering it unusable.
While checks may seem mysterious to those who have made the switch to online banking, you can now see that they’re pretty straightforward. By adding these skills to your banking arsenal, you can feel confident in any situation that calls for money transfer via a personal check.