Still Using Checks

I have one credit card, a “check card” issued by my credit union and a debit card issued by USAA Bank.   Since cash is king, I use cash to buy gas and groceries.  Although check usage has steadily declined with the popularity of credit and debit cards in the United States, I still use checks.

I don’t carry my checkbook with me so I don’t write checks when purchasing groceries or furniture.  Depending on the amount of the point of sale, I’ll pay with cash, by debit card or by credit card.

My utilities are paid through “bill pay” with my credit union.  My mortgages are automatically deducted from my checking account.  So. when do I use checks?

Mostly making charitable contributions – at church weekly and donations to various religious  and non-religious organizations.   Since I itemize my taxes, I need proof of my charitable contributions.   Writing checks is easy and efficient.

Also, I wish to make sure my entire contribution goes to the organization.  As was revealed during the early stage of outpouring of contributions in response to the earthquake that struck Haiti, if one makes a contribution to a charitable organization by a debit card or a credit card, the card issuer “takes its cut” first and then the charitable contribution receives the balance of the donated funds.  Yes, I understand that Master Card, Discover, American Express, Chase and Visa are supplying a “service.”  Nonetheless to me these card companies are like the mafia, since they always “takes its cut.”

I also use checks to pay for annual expenses:   AAA membership, magazine subscriptions, professional dues, pest control service. and termite policy.   And, checks are written twice yearly to ADT Security Service.

If doctors accept checks, that’ s my preferred method of payment for co-pays.  And for students graduating from high school to the loss of a loved one,  I send checks.

My use of checks have definitely declined.  But checks still serve a vital function.  I hope checks are not phased out any time soon.

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