22 Tips for New Checking Account Owners

Here are 22 of the most helpful tips for first-time owners of checking accounts:

1.  Avoid issuing your check to CASH. Anyone can encash it.
      If lost or misplaced, any person who finds your check can encash it.

2.  When writing your payee's name and check amount, always start writing:
     immediately after PAY TO THE ORDER OF
     immediately after the peso sign
     and immediately after PESOS
     Why? So that no one will be able to insert additional numbers or words to increase your check amount.

      Another option is to put  ** immediately before and after the amount in digits and amount in words, and to write ONLY after the amount in words.

3.  Be careful about writing dates.
          There's no April 31, for example. It's past New Year's Day, and you still wrote the past year.    
          Errors like these are usually caught by the bank teller, but your payee can charge you for time wasted, or business opportunity lost due to a date error.
          Some banks also impose a service fee for a check processed with check errors.

4.  Fund every check you have issued before the check date.

     If unexpected money problems arise, call your payee and try to ask to delay cheque encashment for a few days. However, this is not always successful, so have backups.

5.  Be careful about issuing post-dated checks (PDCs). Ask yourself if you will be able to fund every check before due date.

6.  Be aware of penalties that you will pay if you cannot fund your check on time.  Penalty amounts vary among banks, but these are the common amounts:

       Penalty for a Returned or Bounced Check: 2,000 pesos
       Additional Penalty for a Returned Check:  200 pesos for each day that passes until you fund your check
       Application for Stop Payment Order:  200 pesos
       Stop Payment Order Penalty, whether funded or unfunded: 2,000 pesos
       200-Peso-Per-Day Penalty Increases if Check Amount is More than 40,000 Pesos (200 pesos for every 40,000 or a fraction of 40,000)

7.  Know that there are laws against bouncing checks.

You can be imprisoned and/or fined for issuing a returned or bounced check, if your payee sues you under the Anti-Bouncing Checks Law (BP 22 or Batas Pambansa Bilang 22) and you are found guilty.
       Another law that can be used against you is the law on Estafa or Swindling (Presidential Decree No. 818, an amendment to Article 315 of the Revised Penal Code, increasing the penalties for Estafa committed by means of bouncing checks).

8.  Know the meanings of these acronyms: DAIF and DAUD
       DAIF = Drawn Against Insufficient Funds
       DAUD = Drawn Against Uncleared Deposits
       DAIF means your account balance is not enough to pay your check payee.
       DAUD means your account balance is enough, but part or all of the amount is not yet available due to not-yet-cleared check or checks.

       Both DAIF and DAUD checks are considered Returned or Bounced Checks. You will pay the penalties.

       In case you are sued for bouncing check, DAUD puts you in a better position to defend yourself.

9.  If a check you issued is due on a Saturday, Sunday or a holiday, fund it the preceding Friday, or the day before the holiday.
This is important specially if you issued your check to a company. Many companies have their checks warehoused in their banks, and these banks usually deposit these cheques on the day immediately before the due date that falls on a Saturday, Sunday or holiday.

10.  Maintain your checking account.
      You have a Monthly Average Daily Balance (MADB) requirement, usually 5,000 or 10,000 pesos.
      If your account falls below the required MADB for 2 consecutive months, you will be charged 300 to 500 pesos every month from month to month until you restore your account to MADB level, or until your account balance becomes zero or negative, and your account is automatically closed.

11.  If you use a check to pay your credit card bill, pay at least 3 days before your credit card due date. This is to give time for clearing. Do this for all creditors that impose fees on late payments.

12.  Always fill up the balance form of your checkbook so you can monitor the money flowing in and out of your account.

13.  Avoid bringing your checkbook when going out. Keep it in a secure place in your house.
     Plan your check issuance so there will be no need to bring your checkbook when you go out.

14.  Avoid letting other people know that you have a checking account.
       Someone might borrow a check from you and make promises to fund it, but in the end, will not be able to fund your check, and it will be you who will suffer the consequences.

15.  Use a pen, preferably black or blue, that does not smudge or blot.

16.  Never sign a blank check.
       Write first the Payee, Date and Amount before signing.

17.  Be sure about your payee's name.
        If your payee is a company or institution, ask for the correct name of the company or institution.
18.  What is a Crossed Check?

        A Crossed Check has 2 diagonal lines on its top left portion.
        Some printed checks also have the words FOR PAYEE'S ACCOUNT ONLY.
        A Crossed Check cannot be encashed over the counter. It can only be deposited to the payee's account.
19.  Make sure your check has no erasure, no alteration, no countersign or no missing information.
       Banks and the Philippine Clearing House Corp. (PCHC) will no longer accept checks with errors.

20.  Your date should be complete. Write the day, month and year.
        Acceptable format examples are:
          December 18, 2015
          Dec 18, 2015
          18 Dec 2015

21.  Your signature on your check should match your signature in your bank file.

22.  Starting March 2016, the PCHC will no longer return to you the physical copy of the check that you have issued. The PCHC will launch its Check Image Clearing System.


  1. Thanks for that, it's well done. One thing is missing though. What if one wants to write a note on the check as to the purpose of the check, is there a proper format for that and location on the check?

  2. My due is always 1st of the month. This july 1st is fall on saturday. And I forgot to deposit right before july 1,I will able to deposit on july 3 which is monday. is there a penalty?

    1. there is a penalty. that happened to me.

    2. late deposit of due amount: Tama yong sabi ni eco na meron nang penalty. Kung merong cash deposit machine ang bank or open ang bank branch sa Saturday at nakapag-deposit ka first banking hour of Saturday, puede mong i-protest yong penalty, pero kung Monday ka na nagdeposit, late na yon at meron nang penalty.
      Bihirang companies lang, usually government institutions, ang hindi pa nagcha-charge ng penalty if not paid on due dates that fall on Saturdays.

    3. Ask ko lng po yung about penalty, every 1st of the month po ako nag dedeposit para sa unit rental ko , pero this time male late ako ng 7 days or 1 week , ano pong magiging penalty ko at ano po ang magiging problema ko? Pls help kasi this is the first time na malelate ako mag deposit after almost 3 years already , thnx po , sana may mag reply

  3. If hindi ko po gamitin yung PDC ko or hindi ako makapagdeposit ng matagal na panahon like months, babawasan po ba ng Bank yung remaining balance ko.?

  4. nagissue ako ng postdated check July 15. Short ako ng 500 pesos. Pede ba ako magdeposit ng 500 pagkabukas na pagkabukas ng banko para hindi magbounced un checke??

  5. No.19 i issue a check with erasure. Can the payee can fill charges against me.

  6. Nag issue ako ng cheque knowing sufficient yung funds ko so na clear nung inisyuhan ko na company no return or bounced cheque. Pero na g penalty sa akin ng 27,000 ang banko. Tama po ba yung ginawa nila

    1. Hi Mdm Chen: Tawagan mo yong bank mo at tanungin mo bakit meron kang charge na 27k. Ang laki namang charge yan. Tanungin mo kung paano nila na-total at naging 27k ang charge mo. Kung sufficient ang funds mo, dapat wala kang charge. Pero kahit sufficient, pero late nabuo ang funds mo, meaning naging sufficient lang siya in the afternoon or evening of check date (at na-present ang cheque in the morning or early afternoon), kahit nag-clear ang cheque, meron pa ring penalty.

    2. This comment has been removed by the author.

  7. Hi can I ask may cheke ako na issue pra s renta sna ng haus kng saan sna kme magmove in kaso umatras km ulet ppwd k b ipacancel yn pdc check k s bnk s Nov 5,17 p nmn ang date ppwd b erequest s bnk k icancel yn cheke n inissue k s Tao bka kc ipasok nya yn s Nov 5. Pls help me

  8. Hi. Allowed po ba na maglagay ng two payees name? Using the word “or” or “and”? Thanks.

  9. ok lang kaya na computer printed ung pag fill out ng check?

  10. pano kapag nakapagissue ako ng cheque pero naputol na ung visit sa clinic because of personal conflict. pwede ko pa bang maicancel ung cheque? baka kasi gamitin. please help.

    1. Cancel check: Dapat bawiin mo yong check kasi puede nilang ideposit yon. Puede ring mag-issue ng Stop Payment sa branch mo, pero magkakaroon ka ng charge na 1k to 2k. The best is you get back your check.

  11. Meron pa palang Stop Payment fee na 200 pesos. Baka higher fees pa ang other banks

    1. dapat po anim na cheke ang isosoli nila. may isa pa pong natira sa kanila. bale lima nalang ang nasa akin. di nila binigay ung isa ang claim nila may 40k rule sila na dapat mayroon sila mula sa dental treatment ko. ni hindi naman nila sinabi sakin prior treatment. sinabi lang nila nung nagsesettle na nung may pinapapirmahan na na release,waiver,quitclaim nung bawian na ng medical records ko. parang nagipit po ako e. hindi enough ung service rendered nila.

    2. Check for Dental treatment: Idedeposit nila yong naiwang check kung kasama yon sa payment mo na nakalagay sa release/quit claim mo. Meron bang treatment na nangyari? At yong check na yon ang sinabi nila na pambayad mo? Kung ganon, maaaring idedeposit nila yon. 40k ba yong amount ng naiwang check? Yon ba yong worth ng treatment na nagawa sa yo? Kung 40k, puedeng Stop Payment mo na lang, kahit merong Stop Payment order charge. Pero basahin mo muna kung ano ang nasa quit claim mo, para tingnan mo kung ano ang magiging liability mo kung hindi mo bayaran yong 40k.

    3. actually 5 k lang po ung check na di nila binalik. di na kasi nila nirefund ung nabayaran ko na na 35 k. e sa totoo lang wala pa naman po sa 35k ung rendered service nila pero di nila binalik ung dapat sa akin 2 months lang po ako dun sa kanjla. sa halip nagpapirma sila quitclaim para makuha ko na ung medical records ko kahit bayad ko na un una palang.
      at wala na akong babawiin sa kanilang refund.

    4. Good to know na 5k. I hope hindi na nila ideposit. Ikaw na lang magdecide kung Stop Payment Order mo, or hope na lang they won't deposit, or fund your account to at least 5k and just consider na lang na learning experience. 5 years ago din, nagkamali kami ng daughter ko in choosing the dentist that did her brace. We spent a lot, but we still had to go to another dentist, and my daughter had to wear braces for another 2 years. Thanks for sharing your experience.

  12. kamusta po? ask lang po ano ang dapat gawin namin dahil may pending payment kami sa rental namin at issue po ay PDC then dated ng 30th every month. Mayroon na po ba kami penalty kaagad this coming 31st? thanks po

    1. Hi Jennifer, okay naman, thank you. I hope you're okay too. Kung idedeposit agad ng property owner yong PDC on Jan 30, at walang pondo, yes, magkakaroon ka na ng penalty, lalo na kung pareho kayo ng bank. Try your best to deposit the amount early on Jan 30. Puede ring tawagan o kausapin mo yong property owner, requesting them to delay nang konti yong pagdeposit the check, maybe Jan 31 or Feb 1.