Paper checks: Do I still need them?

With increasingly more convenient payment options and the growth of online shopping, paper checks have become seemingly obsolete. However, we’ve found a few reasons to not ditch your checkbook completely.

Extra Fees

Utility companies and government agencies may accept credit or debit cards, but only through third-party processors. These payment processors charge a fee each time you use a credit card to make a payment.

Gift Giving

Unlike gift cards, which may be restricted to a specific store, checks can be deposited into a bank account and spent anytime, anywhere.

Emergency Payment

Many stores rely on electronic equipment to process debit and credit card transactions. If the power or phone systems are down in your area, checks and cash may be the only way to make a purchase. Since ATMs are likely to be out of service as well, paper checks may be the only way to buy necessities during a weather emergency.

Minimum Purchases

Credit card processors and banks charge businesses a fee when customers pay with a credit card. That’s why many businesses set a minimum amount for credit card purchases to balance out their fees. By paying with a check, you don’t need to spend extra money to meet a minimum.

Traceability

When you mail a check, like in a birthday card or to pay a landlord, you can select the type of mail service along with a tracking method. That way if there is a dispute over your payment, you can easily produce information regarding your check.

While credit cards and cash may be convenient forms of payment, there are several ways checks can save you money and protect your finances. Before you completely disregard your checkbook keep in mind that this payment method still has an important role in personal finance.

At TruStone Financial, we know that checking accounts aren’t “one-size-fits-all” and that’s why we offer four different checking accounts – all with various perks including free cashier’s checks and up to two free boxes of checks. To learn more, visit TruStoneFinancial.org.

 

Editor’s note: Segments of this article were taken from moneycrashers.com.