A mere two and a half months after moving here, I finally remembered (with Tim’s help) to order new checks. It was kind of a weird experience.
The process itself was quick. I was actually able to do it online. Best of all, Chase is honoring Washington Mutual’s promise of free checks for life. So the new ones won’t cost us a penny. Probably the only part of the move we can say that about!
That said, I got a chance to scroll through the different check designs — because I do that sort of thing — and was a little disconcerted by the choices. Some were cute. Some were cutesy. Some were just pointless. But all of them were over $15. In fact, most hovered between $20-26.
Then there were additional flourishes for $4 a box. The font could be changed to something softer and approximating calligraphy. The initial of your last name could be enlarged into a sort of monogram in front of your name. And one I hadn’t seen before: A symbol or statement on the check that denoted a hobby or activity.
I understand wanting to express yourself. But aren’t there better ways to do it than on your checks? If you took a design and a couple of the flourishes, you’re looking at over $30. For a box of checks. How often do you actually write checks? Do people actually compliment your choice in check motifs?
Of course, I know there are ways to get these things cheaper. I seem to recall that Current had advertisements for more affordable checks. And at least every other week you can generally find an ad in one of the Sunday inserts. I don’t remember how much they cost — I want to say around $12? — but I remember thinking they weren’t all that bad.
Perhaps if I were already buying through one of those ads, I would throw a few more bucks in to get some Muppet checks (Tim would be maaaad) or a nice, rounded script. Who knows? Since Chase is everywhere, I plan on taking advantage of the free checking as long as I can.
Yeah, it dooms me to boring old checks, but I can find other ways to personalize my life… Especially if it means saving $20-40 at a time.
So what about you folks: Do you pay for checks? Do you get the little flourishes?