Originally posted by SunErrant
Not so. A cheque is safer money it is illegal to cancel a cheque w/o valid reason (or rather if they cash the cheque after you cancel it it is illegal).
No way is it safer
There is no way for the vendor to know if you have sufficient funds to cover the charge. With credit card, the transaction is approved immediately. With cheque the vendor has to wait a week or two to clear.
There is no way for the vendor to know if the account is even open or frozen. There is no way for the vendor to know if the account will be closed or frozen in the week or two it takes for the cheque to clear. Even if the vendor knew you had sufficient funds in your account at the time of purchase, they have no idea what other purchases you have outstanding and there's no way to know if there would be sufficient funds when the cheque is processed.
Cheques, physical or online, have no identity information attached so they're much easier to use fraudulently. This is why stores want to see your id when you use them to pay with -- so that they can connect the name and address appearing on the cheque with the name and address on your id. Credit cards at least have a signature block for identification and the 3-digit code + new password system for online purchases.
Possession of a cheque does not mean you are the owner of the account. Possession of a credit card does; there is only the one. If it is reported stolen, the account is frozen.
There's nothing preventing someone from printing a fake legitimate-looking cheque and using it to make purchases. Cheques are not like cash with all its difficult-to-duplicate security features.
There are many reasons why many vendors do not accept cheque but will accept credit card
With a credit card you can cancel a payment even after it has been paid and the CC company usually just takes the money off of the company without explanation. That is not illegal either.
With cheques, it's a stop payment order. The bank will charge you $5-10 and then it's up to the vendor to chase after you. At least with the credit card company there's an arbitration process for disputes. I would guess stop payment is just as common as contested charges among legitimate account holders.