Short Answer: While the option to shop online and pay with your checking account numbers is becoming less common, it’s still possible through Amazon, Google Express, and Microsoft Store. PayPal also allows you to use your checking account to pay at a variety of stores. Additionally, you can use a checking account to buy gift cards from Amazon, CardCash, and your bank. Below, we have more details on how to make purchases online using your checking account numbers.
Where to Find Your Checking Account Numbers
Before you can shop with your checking account numbers, you will need to find them. While a physical check is a good first place to look for your routing and account numbers, there are other places to find this information as well. You’ll need both the routing number, which identifies your bank, and the account number, which identifies your account.
If you’re nervous about the risk of entering your checking account numbers online, our article explains what someone can do with your checking account number.
It should be noted that, for security reasons, most banks will not give you your checking account numbers via phone or email. Also, the numbers on your deposit slips are not your checking account numbers; they are for internal processing. Below we list your best options for accessing your checking account numbers.
- On a check: If you do have a check handy, look at the three groups of numbers on the bottom left-hand corner. The group of numbers on the far left is your routing number. The next group of numbers is your checking account number. The far-right group of numbers is the check number.
- Monthly statement: Your checking account numbers will likely be printed at the top of your monthly statements, whether you receive statements via mail or online.
- Online: If you are enrolled in online banking, you can usually find your routing and account numbers with your other account info. It’s often at the top of your account page. If not, you can get it by viewing an e-statement; just select any month.
- At your local branch: If none of the options above work for you, you may have to go into your bank to ask for assistance. Just make sure to bring an ID.
Note: If you found your account number quickly but still need the routing number, simply Google the routing number for your bank (you may need the zip code and/or address).
Online Retail Stores That Accept Checking Account Numbers as Payment
With the rise of digital payment methods, there are few online stores that will accept checking account numbers as payment. However, the places that do accept checking accounts often sell from a variety of retailers and third-party sellers. Below we list the sites that accept checking accounts as payment, as well as how to pay with your checking account at each.
Paying with your checking account number is simple on Amazon. You can add a checking account during the Shipment and Payment stage of the checkout process. You’ll need to type in your routing and account numbers as well as the bank account holder’s name, address, and driver’s license number. The account must be a personal checking account (i.e., not a business account or savings account) and located at a branch in the U.S.
Google’s delivery service is called Google Express. You can use Google Express to order from dozens of stores. Delivery is available throughout the continental United States. When you order, you’ll choose a delivery day, and Google or the store you are buying from will arrange the shipping. You can pay by check on Google Express by going to your Google Wallet and linking a checking account. To link your checking account, you’ll enter your name, routing number, and account number as they appear on your check.
Microsoft Store — which sells productivity software, computers, tablets, gaming devices, and more — accepts checking accounts as payment. To shop using your checking account, log in to your Microsoft account, and select “Payment options” under the “Payment & billing” tab. Then, click the “Add a payment option” button and choose “Bank account.” You’ll need to enter your name, account number, routing number, and address.
See more about Microsoft Store’s payment methods at Microsoft’s support site.
Shopping With a Checking Account Using PayPal
If you want to shop online without using a debit or credit card, PayPal is the most widely-accepted alternative. You can sign up on the PayPal registration page. PayPal is free to join, and it takes only a few minutes to fill out the basic information needed to create an account. Once you join, you can select “Shop With PayPal.” At the bottom of that page, there is a link that says “Link a Bank Account.” Click on this to fill out your checking account information, and let PayPal verify your account to finish the process.
If you already have a PayPal account but haven’t linked a bank account, just go to “My Wallet.” There will be an option to add a bank account on the left-hand side of the page.
Our article has the list of stores that accept PayPal.
Where to Buy Gift Cards With a Checking Account
Since there are not many stores that accept checking account numbers as payment, another alternative is online gift cards. You can use your checking account numbers to purchase gift cards for third-party retailers from the websites below. Then, you can use the gift card to make purchases online, generally at any website that takes prepaid/bank credit cards or, if the gift card is store-specific, on that store’s website.
As discussed above, you can pay with your checking account on Amazon by adding your checking account information at checkout. Amazon sells a variety of gift cards, including Visa gift cards, which you can use anywhere Visa is accepted, as well as many third-party gift cards. Visa gift cards come with a small service fee, but many store gift cards don’t have an extra fee and only cost their face value plus shipping, if applicable.
You can purchase a variety of gift cards for a discounted price at CardCash.com. First, create an account on the CardCash website, then access your account settings by clicking the button at the top right-hand corner. Scroll down to “My Bank Accounts” and select “Add Account” on the next page. Then, all you have to do is type in your routing and account numbers. You have the option to buy an online gift card, which is delivered via email, or a physical gift card, which will be shipped to you via USPS for free. Online gift cards are usually delivered to your email within 24 hours of purchase.
Your Bank of Choice
You can purchase Visa gift cards from many banks. Check the website or call customer service of the bank where you maintain your checking account to see how and where you can buy gift cards from them. Most banks will charge around $4 to your account. Your card will be given to you upon purchase if you buy it at the bank. If your bank has an option to purchase gift cards on their website, be aware of whether you’re purchasing an online gift card or physical gift card.
While it can be a bit tough to find somewhere to shop online with just your checking account, it is possible with Amazon, Google Express, and Microsoft Store. Alternatively, you can set up a PayPal account to use your checking account indirectly at many more online stores, or buy a gift card for the store where you want to shop from Amazon, CardCash, or your bank.
If you’re still looking for more options, see our related article about stores that accept eChecks or personal checks online. You may also want to see where to get same-day check printing.