Are Those Personal Checks Obsolete?


With the ability to make payments online and the trend to use either credit or debit cards at the store, the idea of using a personal check for any payment seems like it should fall into the obsolete category. While it might seem that personal checks are not necessary any longer, the fact is that sometimes it is still a necessary part of personal finances.

Paying for Rent

While online payments are available for many bills like utilities or credit cards, in some situations it is still necessary to use a personal check for payments. This is particularly true when it comes to paying rent to a small rental property. The move into using credit, debit or direct payments online is starting to impact larger rental properties, but it has not yet become the staple method of payment for smaller properties.

Many rental properties still require a personal check as the only means of payment. Depending on the company, the check is used as an easily traced payment or because the landlord does not yet have the technological processing requirements to take direct payments or debit card payments.

Until all rental properties are able to use online payment or direct deposit methods, it is not possible for checks to become obsolete. The renters in rural areas or in smaller buildings will still need to use that old-fashioned checkbook to make their monthly payments.

Buying a Car

In some situations, it is still necessary to use a personal check to purchase a new or used vehicle. While this is not always the case, some dealerships require that paper check rather than a direct deposit or a debit card payment.

Buying a car is another variable area that does not allow checks to become obsolete, but which sometimes has situations where the check is not needed. The dealership often dictates when a check is used or when other methods of payment are available. In some cases, a personal check is needed for the initial expense while other methods of payment are allowed for loans.

Sending Checks for Presents

During a birthday, holiday or for other special events, a personal check is a great way to provide cash to friends and family members when finding a gift is simply not possible. While it is possible to give gift cards, a check is often used due to the durability. Anyone is able to cash a check and then use the money for their personal interest. Gift cards sometimes have limitations and the reloadable cards that are not specific to any store might have added charges.

Paying Without Added Fees

Personal checks still play a role in making normal bill payments because some vendors will add to the cost of the purchase or payment when other methods are used. A personal check does not result in added fees or charges for making a payment. Some online payments and debit card payments are issued added fees and charges that can add up quickly when several companies are charging extra.

Companies consider online bill-pay options and debit card payments a privilege rather than a requirement. As a result, some companies will charge a few dollars extra each time a payment is made through that method. Consumers always need to pay attention to the fine print to avoid adding a few dollars to their bills by paying online. A check does not come with this added fee, which ultimately saves cash each month.

Those personal checks might seem like a thing of the past, but they are not yet obsolete in the United States. Until all vendors accept other forms of payment and the added fees are removed, checks will remain an important method of payment.

This post was written by

jason – who has written posts on Budget Clowns.
Father of three and married to a lovely women. Always looking for ways to save money, and invest it properly for my children's future.

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