Thursday, July 22, 2010

The Logic of Using Checks to Pay Bills, Whenever You Can

Joe Weisenthal writes:

If you're spending money, checks are the only rational medium. You get the carry + the option value from chance it will never get deposited.


  1. If a merchant sells you goods and forgets to charge you or bill you, the ethical action is to notify the merchant that a mistake was made, not to take advantage of that mistake at the merchant's expense.

    A basic principle of a well functioning market is mutual good faith and honesty in trading.

  2. This makes no sense to me. First, checks cost money. Secondly, I would have to buy stamps to pay for lots of things. Thirdly, I get cash back on all my credit card purchases. A $100 light bill costs me $99 on the credit card and ~$100.65 if I use a check. Fourthly, using a credit card delays when I actually have to pay for something by as many as 45 days, that's interest on savings that I keep. Is the hope that once in a blue moon they forget to cash the check worth the cost premium? I'd rather play the lotto.

  3. I agree with Brian Shelley. Joe Wiesenthal is missing out on a lot of awesome credit card benefits. Those American Express Blue cards are AMAZING! No annual fee, the cash back card is 5% CB on many purchases, 2-3% on everything else, the Blue Travel is 2x pts useable for booking travel only and the standard Blue is just no fee, with access to AmEx Membership Rewards which is by far the best "miles" credit card reward system around.

    I don't even see old grannies in the market writing checks anymore. Checks are bogus. Not to mention, if you somehow accidentally bounce a check, it's going to cost you, esp if you bounce one off the govt.