Differences between single and duplicate checks

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  • There are four major differences between single and duplicate checks, including record keeping, number of checks, cost, and dispute.
  • The main difference between single and duplicate checks is that duplicate checks have a thin paper behind each check that automatically creates a copy for every written check.

After you open a checking account, you have the option to choose from a broad range of checks such as the design, color, and font. You also have the opportunity to choose between single and duplicate checks, both of which achieve the same task – written payment order from your checking account.

Checks are financial instruments that can be used to make the issuance of monetary payments more efficient and secure. Checks serve as an alternative to cash and credit cards when paying for goods or services. With the rise of electronic transactions, paper checks have been increasingly replaced by electronic forms of payment, such as credit and debit cards. However, checks are still useful in managing personal and household finances.

Single vs. duplicate checks

There are some differences between single and duplicate checks you may need to know before deciding which is the right one for you – but first, what are single and duplicate checks?

Single checks are a type of checks that come in single pages, without any duplicate. Transactions made with single checks cannot be completed in situations where the check is misplaced or torn.

Duplicate checks are a special type of checks that comes with a plain piece of paper underneath it that serves as a carbon copy of each check you write.

Additionally, a single checkbook is going to be a lot lighter than a duplicate checkbook, since it only consists of one set of checks per page; a duplicate book is not the least bit lighter because there are two sets of checks per page.

There are four main differences between single and duplicate checks, which are:

Record Keeping

Duplicate checks allow you to have a hard copy of every check you write. Duplicate checks make it easy to track your written checks, allowing you to know how much money remains in your checking account. Duplicate checks automatically create, transmit, and keep an exact copy of every check you write by number, amount, and payee. They can be carbon copies or carbonless copies, depending on which company produces them.

Single checks can’t create carbon copies of any check you write, as the checkbook consists only of checks. The user will need to write down the check amount and payee in a checkbook register for record-keeping.

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Number of checks

Checks are generally sold by the box, and the number of checks in the box will vary depending on the company that prints them. However, the number of duplicate checks in a box is typically fewer than single checks. The reason is that duplicate checkbooks always come with a thin piece of paper behind each check that serves as a “duplicate,” making it thicker and bulky than single checkbooks, which are always lighter and can fit more into the box.


Duplicate checks are more expensive than single checks. Even though it comes with fewer checks per box compare to single checks, you also pay more money for that box. Duplicate checks are typically 30 to 50 percent more expensive than single checks.


Duplicate checks are generally considered to be much safer compared to single checks. In the case of dispute or misplacement of a written check, it’s impossible to produce a physical copy of the written check in a court of law if needed.

Should I get single or duplicate checks?

A duplicate check makes it easy to see your check transaction history, such as how much you sent or spent to who and when you wrote the check. Your entire check is copied for reference whenever needed. A single check, however, does not have this feature.

Is it safe to buy checks online?

Ordering your checks online is safe as long as you take the initial step to stay secure. It’s worth taking into account that even banks order checks online. There are online check printers like Checks Unlimited, which are safe and secure.

How much does a box of checks cost?

The cost of a box of checks will vary depending on the company printing the check. You can order checks from your bank or online from check printers such as Checks Unlimited, where the number of checks in a box is 100 and cost $0.179 per check.

Can you buy checks at Walmart?

You can buy checks at Walmart. Walmart Checks offers a variety of checks, including single and duplicate checks. Walmart checks can cost anywhere between $8 to $50 per order per box – depending on the type, style, and check amount.

We hope you find this article helpful and now better understand the difference between single and duplicate checks. If you would like to ask a question or make any suggestions, please write them in the comment section below and let us know! Thanks.

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