Target will no longer accept personal checks

Originally published at:


“I felt a great disturbance in the Force, as if millions of little old ladies suddenly cried out in terror and were suddenly silenced. I fear checkout lines will suddenly move faster.”

Also, bad news for all the Dudes out there.


They have my picture posted behind the register anyway.


Last year, I found out the CA Tax Franchise board won’t accept personal checks either. Well they do but they sent a nasty letter saying that if I do it again they will fine me or stop accepting checks from me.

EDIT: for the curious. this is part of the Mandatory e-Pay program. If you owe too much or have been making estimated payments like to cover your stock sales in retirements. Then you trigger this.


Man, I haven’t even owned checks in over 8 or maybe 10 years I think… in fact the last time I ordered some and somehow screwed up the numbers on it so the couple I wrote bounced (despite the fact on one of them the bank called me about it and said they would put it through).


Due to the crushing prices on certain prescription drugs in the states many of us need to send money to fine institutions over nearby borders. For expense reasons which sail well above an old balding pate many of these purveyors don’t want credit card involvement. “Just send us a personal check!”, happily declared an otherwise very helpful fellow. …haven’t had a checking account for decades now. So, off one schleps to the bricks-n-mortar bank - now quite the distance away due to all the closures of [derisive tone]…physical sites - to get a money transfer piece of paper printed out for an additional $11 processing fee. (last time they couldn’t figure out how to put the special paper in the printer) Oh modern times! how we love thee.


I use cheques for some of my business payments - paying subcontractors and specific payments that I want to generate a paper trail for my accountant to have. Tax payments are done in person at the bank (paper trail again, governments sometimes screw up).
I use the occasional personal cheque for paying an invoice or to give money to a friend but it’s rare. I’ve never understood the USian proclivity for writing cheques for groceries etc. in the age of contactless credit cards. It’s probably because the US banking system was so far behind the rest of the world in adopting chip & PIN technology.


Recently in my neighborhood, someone deposited a hand written paper check for a CC bill into a mailbox at the post office, had the check stolen, then washed, then cashed for a larger amount to some individual.

In this same time frame, I had a printed government check mailed to me, which was stolen in transit and cached at a different bank.

The person got their funds back after talking with the involved banks, a bunch of paperwork, and filing complaints to the US Postal Inspector Service. Since the check was “to” me, I have yet to see the payment, only received letters from the government attorney saying, “yup, you didn’t cash and we still owe you money you’ll get someday.”

I still use checks though. My HVAC people charge 3% extra for CC, the local handyman wants a check to keep it legal, one tenant pays exclusively by check. They work very well until, well, they don’t.


In the last year many businesses in my area are adding a surcharge usually between 3 and 5% for credit/debit card use. Many of them are actively encouraging payment by check again. Examples: hair salons, the municipal animal shelter for adoption fees, small independent retailers, and a surprising number of independent restaurants (though they will NOT take a check, so it’s cash or get dinged by the surcharge).

I’ve started carrying a checkbook again like it’s 1997.


I can just imagine the fun involved if I show up to my shadetree mechanic with $3500 in (small, unmarked) bills to pay for repairing my transmission.


Be sure to carry it in a classic attaché case for the full effect.


I still end up having to write a couple a year for one reason or another, but mine still have an address from 2013 on them.

@Wayward Yes, seeing these all over as well. Worth noting that, in general, these fees are several percent higher than actual credit card processing fees.


Legally, merchants are not allowed to add surchages on debit transactions, only credit (Durbin amendment). However, businesses do have wide latitude to impose “convenience fees”, minimum purchases amounts and other cost pass-throughs. If you notice a merchant out of compliance, you can report them to Visa/MC and they can face significant penalties (surcharges are capped at a max of 4% of the transaction amount).


This topic was automatically closed after 5 days. New replies are no longer allowed.