How and Where to Get a Money Order

Where-to-Get-a-Money-Order

If you search for “Where to Get a Money Order” on the internet, you may likely come across several financial institutional, online banking platforms, and maybe a few payment gateways but which of them really offer Money orders?

Of course, everyone wants an easy way out of everything. An easy life, an easier way of making payments, and running your businesses with no hassle. Imagine not having to carry cash at all.

If you need to pay a bill or an individual but don’t want to carry cash or use a bank check or credit card, a money order is your best bet. This paper document instructs a bank to pay a specific amount of money. Cool right?

Have you been wondering what a money order is? Do you want to get a money order but you have no idea where or how?

Before the end of this article, you would not only have full knowledge about what a money order is, you would also learn how and where to get a money order.

What is a Money Order?

A money order is a paper document, similar to a check, used as payment. You buy a money order by giving cash or other guaranteed funds to a cashier, plus a fee for the service.

They print out the order, fill out some information, and send or give it to whomever you’re doing business with.

It is a method of paying for something with cash using a check from a third party. You pay for the money order, and the third party issues you a check that you can give or send to someone.

This person deposits the money order in their bank account or exchanges it for cash at a business or post office.

Why do you need a money order?

At this point, you may be thinking- “but of course, there are many other alternatives to this”. There are alternatives. But the few reasons you should consider using money order are-

  • It’s a safer alternative to cash: A money order can be made payable to a specific person or organization, which reduces the risk of theft. If a money order is lost or stolen, you can cancel it and get a replacement. If you lose cash, it’s gone for good, and mailing cash is too risky.
  • No bank account is needed. If you don’t have a bank account or don’t want to use one, money orders are useful for making payments. You don’t need a bank account to get a money order.
  • They offer anonymity. When you write a personal check, that check contains sensitive information. If you don’t know or trust the person you’re paying, money order only gives someone your name and money.
  • A seller might require one. Some sellers demand that you pay with a money order if they prefer not to take the chance of accepting a personal check.
  • They are convenient for sending money overseas. If you need to send funds abroad, money orders are a safe and inexpensive way to do so. The recipient can easily convert a money order to local currency, and USPS money orders are well-regarded in numerous countries worldwide.
  • For buyers, money orders are a safe way to make a payment. You can mail a document that you can track and that can be cashed only by the intended recipient. Compared to checks, money orders help you keep certain information private, such as your bank account number. They’re also useful for transactions that don’t permit payment via check.
  • Some issuers allow you to pay for a money order with a credit card but may characterize the transaction as a cash advance and charge you cash-advance fees and high interest.

Where can you get a money order?

Banks or Credit Union.

They may require you to pay a fee but you should be able to walk into a local bank or credit union branch and request a money order. You should not need to have an account at the bank or credit union to do this.

Western Union or MoneyGram Locations.

Both Western Union and MoneyGram are financial service providers. Both have retail locations and can provide you with money orders as well as other ways to move money. You can find a location near you by using the locators at the Western Union and MoneyGram websites.

US Postal Service

Head to any post office with your cash, debit card, or traveler’s check. You will not be able to pay for a money order by charging it to a credit card. You’ll pay a processing fee of $1.45 for amounts ranging from 1 cent to $500 and $1.95 for amounts ranging from $500.01 to $1,000.

7-Eleven

The majority of 7-Eleven’s locations are in the U.S. Availability and fees differ between locations. Their fees vary by location, ranging from 1% to 3% of the money order value

CVS Pharmacy

CVS owns and operates thousands of drugstores across the U.S. Cash is the only form of payment accepted for a money order at CVS, and you must have a valid ID with you.

Kmart

Although Kmart has been closing stores over the past year, it does still own and operate some brick-and-mortar stores. If there’s a Kmart location near you, call first to see if the store will issue a money order. You can pay for a money order via cash or debit card, with no additional fee for debit card use.

Kroger

With nearly 3,000 supermarkets spread across the U.S., Kroger is accessible for many — but not every Kroger store will issue money orders. For those that do, fees and limits vary by location. You can also cash money orders at participating Kroger locations, but fees will apply.

Meijer

A local option in certain states like Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio, and Wisconsin. Meijer will provide, but not cash, money orders. You can pay for a money order via a debit card with no additional fee.

Publix

Publix operates approximately 1,300 locations across seven states: Alabama, Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Virginia. It sells, but will not cash, money orders at all of its stores except for its GreenWise Market locations.

Walmart

Walmart has locations throughout the U.S. You can pay for a money order at Walmart with cash or debit. There’s a maximum fee of $1, with no additional fee for payment by debit card.

You can also cash MoneyGram money orders if they were purchased at Walmart. It has a limit of $1,000 with a $1,000 daily maximum

Check cashing, money transfer, and payday loan stores

How a to use a money order?

If you use your bank, you can transfer funds from your checking or savings account. At a retailer, you typically pay for a money order with cash or a debit card. Convenience and cost may dictate where you buy. Prices are typically lowest at the Post Office, supermarkets, and convenience stores—around $1 per money order. Banks and credit unions may charge $5 to $10.2

If you receive a money order, you can cash it or deposit it just like a check. Similar to a check, you sign the back of the money order.

It’s best to cash money orders at the same company or entity they were bought from, such as Western Union, a MoneyGram desk, or the bank or credit union that issued it.

If you don’t need cash right now, it’s wise to deposit the funds to a bank account as soon as possible. It’s easy to misplace, lose, or forget it for a while.

What you need to fill out a money order

Each issuer has slightly different requirements for filling out a money order. However, the procedure is similar to writing a check. You would need to know the payee’s name, the payment amount, the payee’s address, and any other relevant details, such as an account number.

You would also be required to bring a valid form of payment to buy the money order—cash, traveler’s checks, and debit cards are all generally accepted by most issuers. When you purchase a money order, you will provide the amount to the issuer. The paper document you receive will include that amount, so you won’t need to fill it in.

To correctly fill out a money order, you will need to provide the requested information

  • Name: Write the full name of the person or business you are paying with the money order. This field might be labeled “Pay to the order of,” “Pay to,” or “Payee.” Avoid leaving this field blank or making the money order payable to cash, or else anyone can cash it, and you risk losing the funds if the money order gets lost or stolen.
  • Address: Some money orders contain a field for you to provide your current mailing address in case the recipient needs to contact you about the payment. However, if you’re worried about your privacy, you might be able to omit this information.
  • Additional details: You may need to include additional information on the money order so that the payment is handled correctly. This may include your account number, transaction or order details, or any other notes that will help the recipient recognize the reason for the payment. This field may be labeled “Re:” or “Memo.” If there’s no field for additional information, write it on the front of the document.
  • Signature: Some money orders require a signature. Look for a field marked “Signature,” “Purchaser,” or “Drawer” on the front of the document. Do not sign the back of the document because this is where the recipient signs to endorse the money order.
  • After filling out your money order, keep any receipts, carbon copies, and other documents you receive upon purchase in case there’s a problem with your payment. You may need these documents to cancel the money order, and they can be helpful when tracking or confirming a payment.

FAQ on Where to Get a Money Order

How much does a money order cost?

Domestic money orders have a range of costs, from under a dollar up to around $5, depending on where you buy them. You’ll get a better deal at Walmart or a money transfer agent, and you’ll typically pay more at a bank.

Difference between a money order and cashier checks

Cashier’s checks are similar to money orders. They’re also paper documents issued to a specific payee and guaranteed by the issuer. However, only banks and credit unions issue cashier’s checks.

How long does it take for a money order to clear?

A money order would need to be deposited before 10:00 PM local time with a teller at a branch or at an ATM to count for that business day. The funds would be available for next business day withdrawals, and to paychecks and purchases that post to your account the next night.

Which is a safer cashier's check or money order?

Cashier’s checks are generally considered more secure than money orders. Although there are check scams involving fake cashier’s checks and money orders, a cashier’s check has more security features than a typical money order.

Are money orders safe?

Are money orders safe? Money orders are generally a safe alternative to cash or checks since only the payee will be able to cash or deposit it for the amount printed on the document. As long as you keep your receipt, you’ll be able to track your payment and recover any funds if it’s lost, stolen, or damaged.

Can a money order be rejected?

Because money orders are prepaid, they can’t be rejected for insufficient funds and aren’t subject to the fees that come with bouncing a check. Some businesses or people may accept money orders but not personal checks because they don’t want to bother with the risk of a bad check.

Do money orders expire?

Domestic money orders never expire and they do not accrue interest. Money orders are cashed for the exact amount on the order. You can cash a USPS money order at a Post Office for free. You can also cash them at most banks and some stores.

How do you cancel a money order?

If you lose a money order, you can cancel it with the issuing service provider. Contact them with information about your money order and follow their procedures for cancelation. You’ll usually need to fill out a cancelation form and pay a fee, and you can request a replacement money order or a cash refund.

Conclusion

Some financial institutions like insurance companies and brokerage firms don’t accept money orders because they can be used in money laundering operations.

Mobile banking is very popular and convenient currently, but banks might not allow you to use your mobile device to deposit money orders, even though they accept written checks. Money orders are convenient, but be careful with them.

References

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