There’s no reason that your checkbook needs to remain stuffed in the back of your desk drawer. You can blow off the dust and put your checks to good use even in this digitally-obsessed modern world. In fact, we’re going to share with you three times when you need to use a personal check to pay. Have your ballpoint pen ready.
1. When You’re Making a Larger Than Average Purchase
Personal checks can come in handy when you need to make a large purchase in person or by mail. Conveniently, the maximum value of the personal check you write is only limited by the size of your bank account. On the other hand, your favorite digital financial apps impose caps that may be too restrictive for your purchase.
For example, PayPal limits you to a $10,000 transaction involving your personal account. You have to have a PayPal business account to transfer up to $60,000. With Venmo, you can only transfer $5,000. Cash App has a daily limit of $2,500. Zelle allows transfers of only $1,500 to $2,500 daily based on your type of account.
2. When You Need Written Proof of Payment
As the old saying goes, trust, but verify. Sometimes there just isn’t such a thing as having too much proof.
For example, you want to feel comfortable that the intended person is going to receive a payment and not someone else. Fortunately, there are tried and proven methods using paper checks to enhance your verification process.
If you’re mailing the check, you can require that only the person you specify can sign for the envelope. The United States Postal Service will also give you an online way to track the envelope’s delivery.
So, you’ll have corroborating evidence of the date you mailed the check and the date when it was received. And importantly, you have the signature of the recipient. Your bank can also furnish you with a copy of the canceled check.
Altogether, you’ll have enough proof to show that you performed your due diligence to make sure the check landed in the right hands. If there is a dispute over receipt of the money, you’ll be able to prove that the problem is not on your end.
3. When You’re Donating or Gifting
Personal checks are personal in more than just their name. Handing a paper check to someone can help you feel like you’ve made a connection with that person, no matter how brief the encounter.
That’s one of the reasons why receiving a check in person during a ceremony can make the recipient cry. People usually know in advance that the check will be a featured part of the event, but they’re still overwhelmed once they’re holding the check.
A paper check during a ceremony also offers a good photo-op for TV news crews and newspaper photographers. Showing a screenshot of a digital transfer isn’t nearly as interesting.
But personal checks can have an even bigger impact on your family and friends. When you hand them a check, you could be giving them the key to turning their lives around.
Your check could mean that they can now afford school, start a business, or get married. It’s emotional for them to think that all their dreams are represented by that small rectangular piece of paper they’re holding in their hands. You can’t replicate that feeling with an app.