A money order is a certificate, usually issued by a government or banking institution, that allows the stated payee to receive cash on demand. Money orders function similarly to personal checks but are not attached to your bank account. They are written to a payee and prepaid so the payee can guarantee that the necessary funds are available. Money orders often have a monetary cap, such as $500 or $1,000.
Money orders allow you to securely send or receive payments, providing an alternative to cash, checks or credit cards. They are similar to checks, but because they’re prepaid, money orders can’t bounce.
What We Can By Using a Money Order
Money orders can be a helpful alternative to checks or cash for paying bills, paying off debt or making large purchases.
Personal checks sometimes take a day or two to clear, so not everyone will accept one out of fear that the check might bounce. You’ll need either a money order or a cashier’s check in those instances. Typically, money orders are for amounts less than $1,000, and cashier’s checks are recommended for anything higher.
They’re a safe paper option for those who want to avoid a payment bouncing — they can’t bounce since they are prepaid. Money orders also don’t require the purchaser to have a bank account since they can be purchased without one, such as with cash.
Additionally, money orders are an excellent alternative to electronic payments when you prefer or are required to send money through the mail. They don’t contain bank account information so it won’t end up in the wrong hands. Plus, as with a check, only the recipient can cash the money order.
NOTE:-Money orders can be a helpful way to send and receive money. They are a widely accepted payment method; they never expire, and if they are lost or stolen, they can often be replaced.
Since money orders are prepaid, unlike checks, they won’t bounce, which makes them a secure way to make purchases, pay debts or send money through the mail. You must care and be sure to fill out every field of the money order and write legibly, so it’s not returned.
Money Orders Near Me: Where Can You Get A Money Order?
Many retailers offer money orders, but most have one of two companies powering the transaction Western Union or MoneyGram. Both companies also have their retail locations, so you can go directly to them if you like or prefer.
You can request a money order in any of these locations/places to get a money order, with their Fees and Locations are given below:
1. Any Bank or Credit Union
You may pay a fee, typically around $5, but you should be able to walk into a local bank or credit union branch and request a money order. You should not need an account at the bank or credit union to do this.
2. At The Location Of Western Union Or MoneyGram
As Both Western Union and MoneyGram are financial service providers. Also, both retail locations can provide money orders and other ways to move money. You can find a location near you by using the locators at the Western Union and MoneyGram websites.
3. US Postal Service
You must go to any post office with your cash, debit card or traveller’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.
4. 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.
Limit: $500 per money order; $2,500 maximum per day
You can pay for a money order at Walmart with cash or debit. Walmart has locations throughout the U.S. There is 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.
Limit: $1,000 with a $1,000 daily maximum
Fee: Up to $1; fees vary by location
6. The 7-Eleven
Most 7-Eleven’s locations are in the U.S. Availability and their fees differ.
Fee: Varies by location, ranging from 1% to 3% of the money order value
Provider: Western Union
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 orders at participating Kroger locations, but fees will apply.
Limit: Typically $1,000, but limits may vary by location.
Fee: 84 cents to 88 cents on average, but fees vary by location.
Provider: Western Union.
When Do You Need a Money Order?
You need a money order when you want to go through the following circumstances such as;
- You need a funds-guaranteed way to pay someone.
- You owe someone a payment but don’t want to be walking around with cash
- You need or want to be able to write a check without revealing your bank account information
- A check is required to pay a bill, but you don’t have a bank account.
When should I use a money order?
Sometimes, using cash or personal checks can put you at risk, or they aren’t accepted for payment. You might use a money order to:
Ø When you need to send money securely. Unlike checks, money orders don’t include your bank account number, and they help ensure that only the recipient can use it, unlike mailing cash.
Ø When you don’t have a checking account. Since money orders require you to pay in advance, you don’t need a bank account and can still pay bills safely. Another option: You’re worried about bouncing a check. Because money orders are prepaid, they can’t be rejected for insufficient funds. Another option: A certified check or a cashier’s check, both of which guarantee payment and don’t necessarily have a $1,000 limit, unlike many money orders
Ø When you want to send money at the international level. Not all money orders work abroad, but U.S. Postal Service money orders can be sent to about 25 countries. There is an option, i.e. As, wire transfer, if you need the money there faster and are willing to pay more.
- When you Pay a bill, like rent & Pay movers
- Pay someone for a piece of art or furniture without carrying cash
- To make a large purchase without putting it on a credit card
- Send money to someone in a correctional facility.
How to purchase a money order
Money orders can be purchased with cash or a debit card at banks and credit unions, check-cashing businesses, the U.S. Postal Service, many grocery stores and some big-box stores.
Avoid using a credit card to purchase a money order since your credit card company may consider the purchase a cash advance and charge steep fees. Some issuers won’t accept credit cards as payment.
There may be limits on the size of the money order you can purchase. The Postal Service, for example, allows you to buy money orders up to $1,000 if you’re sending it within the U.S. On top of the price of the money order, a $1-$10 fee typically applies.
But to purchase a money order, you must follow the essential points which are given below:
Ø Have everything you need: Be prepared with cash or a debit card, the name of the payee and the amount you want to send. Paying with a credit card might be possible, but it will usually cost extra.
Ø Fill it out: In addition to the payee’s name, you’ll need to add your name (and maybe your address) and sign the money order. Ensure everything is accurate because you won’t be able to change the information afterwards.
Ø Keep the receipt: The receipt will be a carbon copy of the money order or a paper slip recording the information entered on the money order.
Ø Track your money order: Your receipt will also have a tracking number that you can use to verify that the money order got to the intended recipient. If any problems arise, contact the place where you bought the money order to get help.
How to Fill Out a Money Order & What You Need To Fill Out a Money Order
Knowing how to correctly fill out a money order is essential, so it doesn’t get cancelled or refunded.
The requirements to fill out a money order vary by the institution they provide to money order, whether it’s Western Union or the U.S. Postal Service. Each institution’s money order may differ slightly in appearance as well. Generally, if you’re sending a money order, the required information you’ll need is:
Ø Name of the payee (the person who is being paid)
Ø Payee’s address
Ø Payment amount
Ø Your name and address
Ø What is the payment for, and what is the billing account number
You’ll also need a form of payment to purchase the money order. Some issuers limit your payment options, too. You likely won’t be able to purchase a money order with a credit card.
Steps To Fill Out a Money Order:
1. First, fill in the recipient’s name: Write the recipient’s name of the money order in the “pay to” or “pay to the order of” field. This could be a person’s name or the name of a business. Print the name clearly in ink.
It’s essential to fill out this section as soon as you purchase the money order since this will be the only person authorized to cash or deposit it. If the money order is lost or misplaced without a payee’s name written down, it could be liable to fraud, and someone else could write their name on it.
2. You must include your address in the purchaser section: Fill in your address where the money order asks for the Purchaser’s address. There may be a second address field for filling in the payee’s address.
3. Then write the account or order number in the memo field provided: A memo line allows you to note what the money order is designated for. The memo might specify that it’s a purchase for a specific item or a payment toward a debt, for example. If you have an account or order number from the payee, the memo field is also where to include that. Some money orders may say “payment for” or “account number” instead of the memo.
4. Sign your name in the Purchaser’s signature section: Sign the front of the money order where indicated. This section may be labelled Purchaser’s signature, Purchaser, From, Signer or Drawer. Please don’t sign the back of the money order, which is where the payee endorses it.
5. You must keep your receipt for future use: Be sure to keep it because it contains a tracking number, which can be used to determine whether the right person cashed the money order. If the money order is lost or stolen, the tracking number can help replace it. A processing fee may apply for replacing a money order.
The receipt can also help you cancel the money order should your plans change.
How Money Orders Work: What You Should You Must To Know
As we know, a money order is a guaranteed payment you can buy at places such as Walmart, the post office and your bank. A money order is a piece of paper that’s a safe alternative to cash or personal checks. You specify who will receive the money order, and you and that person must sign it for it to be valid, cutting down on theft.
Important Key Terms:
Ø As said, a money order is a safe alternative to cash or a personal check; it works like a check, so you can cash it or deposit it into a bank account.
Ø When cash or personal checks put you at risk or aren’t accepted for payment, you can use a money order instead.
Ø You can use cash or a debit card to buy money orders at the post office, Walmart, Western Union and your bank or credit union.
What Does A Money Order Cost At Some Of The Biggest U.S. Banks?
Here you have to note that many banks will only sell money orders to account holders.
|American Express® National Bank, Member FDIC||Money orders not offered.|
|Bank of America||Money orders not offered.|
|Chase||$5 for up to $1,000; free for premium accounts. Must be purchased in a branch.|
|Wells Fargo||$5 for up to $1,000. Must be purchased in a branch.|
|Walmart||Up to 88 Cents|
|Money Transfer Agents (Convenience stores, Supermarkets, Etc.)||Depends on the provider. For Exampale, San Francisco-area Western Unioun providers ofen charge around $1.|
|U.S Postal Service||Up to $500: $125 $501- $1000: $1.70|
Military Money Orders: 45 Cents
International (Up to $700): $10.25
|Bank and credit uniouns||Depends on the financial instutions often around $5.|
What Are The Pros And Cons Of A Money Order?
Pros and cons of money orders are given below:
- Traceable and safer than cash.
- Don’t need a bank account.
- Can be used internationally.
- Funds are guaranteed.
- Low maximum amounts (often around $1,000).
- Can be counterfeited or altered.
- Must be purchased in person.
Sending Money Orders
When sending money by mail, use money orders as a safe alternative to cash and personal checks. U.S. Postal Service® money orders are affordable, widely accepted, and never expire. Your money order receipt will help you track your payment and show proof of value if the money order gets lost, stolen, or damaged.
You can buy or cash postal money orders at any Post Office™ location.
Here are essential points are given below that will tell you how to send Domestic Money Orders effortlessly;
1. Decide on the money order amount. You can send up to $1,000 in a single order anywhere in the United States.
2. Go to any Post Office location.
3. Take cash, a debit card, or a traveller’s check. You cannot pay with a credit card.
4. Fill out the money order with a retail associate at the counter.
5. Pay the dollar value of the money order plus the issuing fee.
6. Keep your receipt to track the money order.
On Receiving Money Orders – How We Can Spot a Fake in Money Orders
It’s essential that before accepting a money order, we have to make sure that it’s real. There are several key points to look at to spot a counterfeit money order which are given below:
[A.] First Examine the Paper: – Real USPS money orders have specific marks and designs to prevent fraud. If you hold the money order up to the light, you should see the following;
Ø Watermarks of Ben Franklin on the left side repeat top to bottom (circle one on image).
Ø On the right of the Franklin watermark, a vertical, multicoloured thread with the letters “USPS” weaves in and out of the paper to (circle two on image).
[B.] Check the Dollar Amounts: – In you have to consider the following points, which are given below;
Ø If the dollar amount is discoloured, it may have been erased, indicating fraud (circle three on image).
Ø Make sure the dollar amount is imprinted twice (circle four on the image).
Ø See if the dollar value is too large;
1. Domestic money orders cannot be more than $1,000.
2. International money orders cannot exceed $700 ($500 for El Salvador or Guyana).
[C.] Suspect Fake or not:-Some points must be considered while doing this;
Ø If you suspect fraud, call the U.S. Postal Inspection Service at 1-877-876-2455.
Ø If you think you’ve been given a fake money order, call the Money Order Verification System at 1-866-459-7822.
How to Cash Domestic Money Orders
Domestic money orders never expire, and they do not accrue interest. Money orders are cashed for the exact amount on 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. Rural carriers may cash orders if they have enough money on hand.
Cashing a Money Order at the Post Office follows the following points;
1. Do not sign the money order.
2. Take a primary photo ID with the money order to any Post Office location.
3. Sign the money order at the counter before a retail associate.
Here you have to see additional requirements for money orders made out to organizations, more than one person, and minors.
Where Can You Cash A Money Order?
Your best way is to cash a money order at the same entity that issued it, whether that’s a bank branch, post office or other location. Check-cashing locations, convenience stores and grocery stores can be alternatives, but watch out for fees. Wherever you go, you’ll probably need to show identification.
If you don’t need the money immediately and have a bank account, consider depositing it. All Banks accept U.S. Postal Service money orders as they would regular checks at branches, ATMs or even on a banking app with a mobile check deposit function. Don’t forget to sign the back of the money order before depositing and finishing the process.
Can you cancel a money order?
You can cancel a money order that hasn’t been cashed (if it’s already been cashed). If you are unsure about your money order’s status, you can track it by calling the issuer’s customer service number or using the tracking feature on its website.
How can you cancel a money order that you have?
While doing this, you have to follow the steps to cancel a money order;
Step 1: You must contact the issuer, who will ask you to start the cancellation process by completing a request form. If it was a Postal Service money order, visit a post office to fill out the form.
Step 2: Provide all the related details on the request form, such as the money order’s purchase date, location and amount, and tracking number. You’ll find this information on the money order receipt, which the buyer gets at the time of purchase. If you don’t have the receipt, fill in as much information as possible.
You might also be asked the name of the person or company you were paying for and a brief description of how the money order was lost.
Step 3: Attach a copy of the receipt if you have one.
Step 4: Submit the cancellation request form and pay a fee. Depending on the provider, you don’t have to return the form to the exact location or even in person. Some issuers, including Western Union, let you email, fax or mail the request.
What Fees You Pay For Cancel a Money Order
Some of the larger money-order issuers charge for the cancellation of a money order;
Ø MoneyGram: $18 (available at Walmart).
Ø U.S. Postal Service: $6.25.
Ø Western Union: $15 if you have your receipt; otherwise, $30 if you don’t.
Once the issuer accepts payment, it will verify your information and research whether the money order was cashed. If all goes well, the issuer will cancel the old money order and send a new one. The process varies by issuer, but it often takes about 20 to 30 days if you provide a receipt. If not, it can take around eight weeks.
What if the money order was cashed?
If the money order has already been cashed, you probably won’t get your cash back or a replacement money order. But you might still be able to collect.
The provider might give you a photocopy of the cashed money order. If you think it was cashed fraudulently, alert your local law enforcement. The copy could help authorities catch the criminal and ensure the money is returned to you.
To protect yourself against fraud, you have to write a name in the “payee” field as soon as you buy the money order and give one only to people or businesses you trust.
How to Check the Status of a Money Order
You can check the status of the money order you’ve purchased from the U.S. Postal Service.
Make sure you have the following information for the postal money order you want to check:
Ø Serial number
Ø Post Office number
Ø Dollar amount
Replacing Lost, Stolen, or Damaged Money Orders
[A] In case of Lost or Stolen Money Orders:-If you no longer have the money order, or you made a mistake on it, you may be able to cancel it and get a replacement or refund — as long as the money order hasn’t been cashed.
If you have it, you’ll need to bring your receipt and the money order to the place where it was purchased. The issuer will probably have you fill out some paperwork using information from your receipt, and you’ll likely pay a fee. For example, Western Union charges $15 to replace a money order. And it can take a month or longer for the issuer to process your claim.
If the money order was cashed, you might still be able to get your money back, but you’ll have to involve the police.
NOTE:-You cannot stop payment on postal money orders, but a lost or stolen money order can be replaced;
Ø Money order loss or theft may take up to 30 days to confirm.
Ø Investigating a money order’s lost or stolen status may take up to 60 days.
Ø There is a $13.90 processing fee to replace a lost or stolen money order.
[B.] In case of Damaged Money Orders: In this case, you can replace money orders that are defective or damaged. Take the damaged money order and your receipt to your local Post Office location to get a replacement.
To cancel a money order, contact the issuer, provide details, attach a copy of the receipt, submit the cancellation form and pay a fee.
How You Can Request a Refund for Money Order
While doing this, you have kept following the given points in your mind;
1. Take your money order receipt to any Post Office location.
2. Talk to a retail associate at the counter to start a Money Order Inquiry.
3. After starting the inquiry, you can check the status of your money order and inquiry progress by visiting the Money Orders Application.
4. When your money order is confirmed lost or stolen, we’ll issue you a replacement money order.
Can you buy a money order with a credit card?
Some outlets allow you to buy a money order with a credit card, but others don’t, including Walmart and the U.S. Postal Service. In those cases, you’ll have to use a debit card or cash to buy a money order.
Even if the provider you choose does let you pay with a credit card, it’ll be much cheaper not to. That’s because credit card issuers typically treat money orders as cash advances, charging a fee based on the amount of the transfer is often 3% to 5% and assessing interest immediately. That interest rate might be greater than the rate you’ll pay on a regular purchase.
Considering Money Orders between the USPS & Japan Post
As of March 2020, the Postal Service™ no longer sells international postal money orders destined for Japan or cashes international postal money orders issued by Japan Post. If you have not yet cashed a Japan Post-issued money order, please return it to the sender.
On July 10, 2020, Japan Post stopped cashing international postal money orders issued by the Postal Service. (Japan Post stopped selling international postal money orders destined for the U.S. on December 31, 2019.)
Security Tips Regarding Money Orders
Although your money order will have a payee making it harder for anyone else to cash it, you still need to be aware that carrying a money order around is similar to carrying cash, so you have to keep your money as secure as possible by following the critical given guidelines:
Precautions must be taken;
Ø Be mindful of your surroundings when you request a money order from your desired location; if you feel uncomfortable/suspected, ask for assistance walking to your car.
Ø Fill the money order out entirely before you leave the store. You have to write clearly, preferably in black gel ink. Do not leave any spaces blank on the money order.
Ø Keep your receipt for future use. It contains a tracking number. You may want to check if the money order will travel to the payee by mail.
Ø If you’re mailing the money order, use a discreet envelope and alert your payee once it is in the mail to try and prevent anyone from intercepting it. Consider sending it via certified mail.
Know Before You Go For Money Order
You can turn for a money order in many places, but limits and fees vary by retailer and geographic location while doing this. So first, you must research it in advance and know where you can go for a money order that meets your needs and also comfortable places for you or not in terms of safety.
If you need a money order, then you will want to be aware of the given following points;
Ø You can purchase more than one money order at a time. However, if you want to purchase a money order whose value is more than $3,000 in a single day, then here you will need to fill out a form and provide/show a government-issued photo ID.
Ø Stay alert for fraud. Scammers can pose as companies you know and trust to solicit fee payments from you. They may also send you a money order and ask for a portion of it back.
Ø For a military money order, head to an APO/FPO/DPO location.
Ø You can send a money order internationally, but focus on limits variation.
NOTE:-Here you have to remember that just because you can get a money order does not mean you will be able to cash it in that location. Make sure you plan for both sides of the transaction if needed there.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
A money order is a certificate, usually issued by a government or banking institution that allows the stated payee to receive cash on demand. A money order functions much like a check, in that the person who purchased the money order may stop payment.
A money order is a certificate, usually issued by a government or banking institution that allows the stated payee to receive cash on demand. A money order functions much like a check, in that the person who purchased the money order may stop payment.
A cashier’s check is a type of official check that banks issue and sign. Money orders are available in several places, including the U.S. Postal Service, convenience stores, drug stores, grocery stores, and check-cashing companies. It is generally easier to buy money orders, but cashier’s checks are more secure.
You can buy one at any Walmart, CVS, or 7-Eleven, as well as at any of the 31,300 U.S. Postal Service (USPS) retail offices. 1 Banks, credit unions, grocery store chains, and check-cashing stores sell money orders, too.
Most banks charge $5, $10, or 10 percent of the total amount on the money order. The local (Los Angeles) Wells Fargo, Chase, and U.S. Bank charge a flat rate of $5 and only offer domestic money orders. Money orders are waived by some banks if you have a special account.
Remember to bring the completed form to the office each time you want to make a purchase of $3,000 or more. You will still need to show your U.S. Government-issued photo ID when you buy the money orders for your purpose.
Just like personal and cashier’s checks, money orders are secure forms of payment, representing an amount of money. Unlike checks, a money order does not pull funds directly from your account.
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.
A money order is a financial instrument just like a check. You can deposit a money order made out to yourself or cash it at your bank.
Cashed checks are traceable. If you are paid with a check for a job and you cash that check, the bank will have a record of it. The person who wrote you the check will not be able to tell if you deposited or cashed your check.
You can see if a money order has been cashed by checking the USPS website. Your money order receipt contains the information you need to track it. To view the status of the money order, you will need to provide the following information: Serial number on the given portal.
Walmart has instituted limits on how much an individual can purchase with money orders. This limit is $1,000 per money order.
In some cases, a money order can post as soon as the same day it’s deposited in an account, with the funds available for next-business-day withdrawals.
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.
In conclusion, money orders are very good as cash alternatives. They protect senders by keeping their banking information private, and recipients don’t need to worry about rejected payments. If a money order is lost or stolen, as long as they still have the receipt, senders can get most of their money back.
Money orders let you send and receive large amounts of money safely without stupid bank fees. And most importantly, they help guard your personal information. Sure, money orders will include your name and address, but unlike a personal or certified check, they won’t include your bank account or routing number.
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