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Checkbook vs. Chequebook — What's the Difference?

By Fiza Rafique & Maham Liaqat — Updated on March 31, 2024
Checkbook is used in American English, referring to a book of checks for transactions. Chequebook is its British counterpart, used for the same purpose.
Checkbook vs. Chequebook — What's the Difference?

Difference Between Checkbook and Chequebook


Key Differences

A checkbook consists of pre-printed checks linked to a checking account, facilitating monetary transactions by allowing the account holder to write out payments. These checks, when filled out and given to a payee, authorize the transfer of a specified amount of money from the writer’s account to the recipient's account. On the other hand, a chequebook serves the same financial function but adheres to the British English spelling and terminology. The term "cheque" is used instead of "check," and consequently, the collection of these payment slips is known as a "chequebook" in countries that follow British English norms.
Both checkbooks and chequebooks come with a unique set of numbers for each check (or cheque), which include the check number, the account number, and the bank’s routing number. These numbers are crucial for the processing of the check/cheque and help in tracking transactions and preventing fraud. While the functionality is the same, the difference in spelling carries over to the numerical identifiers on the checks/cheques as well, with no impact on their utility.
Both forms include safety features such as watermarks and microprinting to deter forgery and fraud. However, the design and specific security features can vary by bank and country, reflecting different regulatory environments and banking practices. The principles of security apply universally, but the execution may be influenced by local banking standards and requirements.
The usage of checkbooks and chequebooks also reflects broader differences in American and British English, extending beyond banking terminology to include words like "color" vs. "colour" and "honor" vs. "honour." These variations in spelling and terminology underscore the rich linguistic diversity within the English language, influenced by history, culture, and national identity.

Comparison Chart


American English
British English


Predominantly in the USA
Common in the UK and Commonwealth


"Check" is used
"Cheque" is used

Security Features

Watermarks, microprinting, etc.
Watermarks, microprinting, etc.

Linguistic Influence

Reflects American spelling norms
Reflects British spelling norms

Compare with Definitions


A booklet containing pre-printed checks for transactions.
He recorded the amount in his checkbook after writing a check for rent.


Features unique numbering for tracking.
The new chequebook starts with cheque number 2051.


Contains checks with unique identifiers.
The checkbook had checks numbered from 101 to 150.


Incorporates safety measures against duplication.
The bank issued a chequebook with updated security features.


Used with a checking account to facilitate payments.
She keeps her checkbook balanced to avoid overdraft fees.


A book of pre-printed cheques for financial transactions.
He signed a cheque from his chequebook to settle the invoice.


Reflects American English usage.
In the U.S., people commonly refer to it as a checkbook rather than a chequebook.


Tied to a bank account allowing cheque-based payments.
Her chequebook is almost empty, needing a reorder.


Equipped with security features to prevent fraud.
Modern checkbooks have enhanced security features like microprinting.


Signifies British English spelling and terminology.
British English prefers the term chequebook over checkbook.


A book containing blank checks issued by a bank.


A book of printed cheques ready for use.


Involving the payment of money to another in exchange for influence or information
Checkbook politics.


A folder or booklet containing preprinted cheques for use by the holder of a bank account


Alternative form of chequebook


A book issued to holders of checking accounts


A book issued to holders of checking accounts

Common Curiosities

Are checkbook and chequebook functionally different?

No, they serve the same purpose; the difference lies in the regional spelling.

What is a chequebook?

A chequebook is the British English equivalent of a checkbook, containing cheques for transactional purposes.

Why do American and British English have different terms for the same item?

The differences stem from historical variations in spelling and language evolution in the USA and UK.

Can I use a checkbook in countries that use chequebooks, and vice versa?

While functionality is the same, banking regulations might require the use of local banking norms.

How do I know if my checkbook is secure?

Look for security features such as microprinting, watermarks, and security threads.

Do checkbooks and chequebooks have the same security features?

Yes, both contain security features like watermarks and microprinting, although designs may vary by country.

What should I do if I lose my checkbook or chequebook?

Report the loss immediately to your bank to prevent unauthorized use.

What is a checkbook?

A checkbook is a booklet of checks associated with a checking account, used for making payments in American English.

Can checkbooks and chequebooks be personalized?

Yes, many banks offer personalization options for checkbooks and chequebooks.

What happens if I write a check incorrectly?

An incorrectly written check may be rejected or require correction and re-issuance.

Are there charges associated with using a checkbook or chequebook?

Fees vary by bank and may include costs for checkbook issuance or specific transactions.

Is there a difference in the numbering system between checkbooks and chequebooks?

No, the numbering system serves the same purpose for tracking and record-keeping.

Why do some people prefer checkbooks over electronic payments?

Some prefer checkbooks for record-keeping, ease of use, or when electronic payment is not an option.

How are checkbooks and chequebooks replenished?

Banks provide new ones upon request, often automatically after the last check is recorded.

Are digital checkbooks and chequebooks available?

Digital alternatives exist, but they serve different functions and are subject to banking regulations.

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Author Spotlight

Written by
Fiza Rafique
Fiza Rafique is a skilled content writer at, where she meticulously refines and enhances written pieces. Drawing from her vast editorial expertise, Fiza ensures clarity, accuracy, and precision in every article. Passionate about language, she continually seeks to elevate the quality of content for readers worldwide.
Co-written by
Maham Liaqat

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