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A money order is a prepaid paper document used to pay for bills or purchases. Since it is paid for in advance, many merchants prefer money orders over checks that are not guaranteed to clear.
Whether you are a buyer or a seller, a money order is a safe mode of payment.
How To Buy a Money Order
Fill out the Money Order Form. On the “Pay to the Order Of” line, write the name of the person or business that you are sending the money order to.
Write your complete address in the purchaser section. Indicate the amount of money order you wish to purchase and then sign on the “Purchaser’s signature” line. Keep the receipt. Do not lose your proof of payment.
Track your money order. Use the tracking number on your receipt to verify if the money has been released to your recipient.
Businesses That Offer Money Order Services
The Postal Service (USPS)
There are 30,800 USPS retail locations across the US. Just go to the USPS website to find the branch nearest to you.
Fees depend on the amount of the money order.
For money orders up to $500, you will be charged $1.25, and for money orders up to $1,000, you will be charged $1.70. For international money orders, you will be charged $8.55.
Money orders issued by the U.S. military facilities are charged with a 40-cent fee. The maximum amount allowed for a money order is $1000.
If you will send the money order across the globe, the maximum amount allowed is $700.
You can purchase money orders at USPS using cash, traveler’s checks, or debit card. You can also cash money orders at USPS.
Western Union branches are widely spread around the world so you will not have a difficult time finding one near you. Check the Western Union website to locate the nearest branch.
Western Union fees range from 50 cents to over $1.50, depending on where the branch is located. You can contact the outlet before buying a money order to inquire about the fees.
The maximum amount per money order at Western Union is $1,000. You can pay for your money order with cash, debit card, or traveler’s checks.
Some branches accept credit cards. Don’t forget to bring a valid government-issued ID.
Banks and Credit Unions
You can purchase or cash a money order in your bank or credit union. Some banks allow non-account holders to buy or cash money orders from them.
Fees and payment options vary so it is best to contact the branch before you go there. Banks charge higher fees (around $5) than other money order retailers.
If you have an account with the bank, fees can be directly debited from it. If you want to send a money order through mail, the bank can track the delivery.
In case your money order gets lost, stolen, or damaged in the process, the bank will be able to help you recover the money.
Supermarkets and Convenience Stores
Money Orders can be conveniently purchased at supermarkets and convenience stores near you.
However, money order services are not available in all branches of the following stores, so it is best to check their websites for more information.
Most of the branches of 7 Eleven sell money orders. Fees vary depending on the store’s location.
The maximum amount allowed per money order is $500. You can pay with cash or debit card.
Take note that 7 Eleven does not cash money orders.
Check the Albertsons Store Locator to find a branch that sells money orders via MoneyGram.
You will be charged $0.89 per money order purchase. The limit per money order is $500. You can pay with cash, credit card, or debit card.
Take note that Albertsons does not cash money orders.
Go to Dillon’s store locator and find the nearest branch that sells money orders via Western Union.
Fees and money order purchase limits vary depending on where the branch is located. You can pay for your purchase using your debit card or cash.
At Dillon’s, you need to show a government-issued ID when you cash money orders.
If you are based in Michigan, you can go to Family Fare to buy money orders through Western Union.
Just check Family Fare’s store locator to find the nearest branch. You will be charged $0.70 for every money order purchase.
The limit per money order transaction is $500. You can pay for your purchase with cash or debit card. If you will cash a money order, you need to present a government-issued ID
Not all branches offer money order services so it’s best to check the store’s locator and contact the branch to get information.
You will be charged $0.69 or more per transaction. The maximum amount allowed per money order is $1,000. You can pay with cash, credit card, or debit card.
Fred Meyer provides money order services through Western Union.
If you are based in Colorado and Wyoming, head to King Soopers stores to purchase or cash money orders. Check their store locator to find the nearest branch.
King Soopers’ money order services are provided through the Western Union. Fees and purchase limits vary per state. You can pay for the service with cash, debit card, or credit card.
Find a branch near you at Kroger’s store locator. You can easily get a money order up to $1,000 with fees that vary per location.
You can also cash money orders for $3 per transaction. You can pay with cash or debit card.
Go to Meijer’s website to find which of the 100 branches is nearest to you. You can buy a Western Union money order for $0.65 and add $15 for tracking service.
The money order limit per transaction is $500 and per day is $3,000. You can pay with cash or debit card. Take note that you cannot cash money orders in Meijer.
To find a nearby Publix branch, go here. You will be charged $0.89 per Western Union money order transaction at Publix.
The maximum limit per money order is $500 and you can pay with cash or debit card. Publix does not cash money orders.
Check the Smith’s Store locator to find a nearby branch. Fees vary depending on the store’s location.
Go to their website and use the tool to compute the cost of purchasing a money order in your state.
You need to bring your Social Security or Taxpayer Identification Number and a valid ID. The limit per money order is $1,000 but exceptions may apply.
Use Walmart’s Store Locator to find the branch nearest you. The maximum fee per transaction is $0.88 – Fees vary depending on the store’s location.
Walmart’s money orders are coursed through MoneyGram. The limit per transaction is $1,000. You can pay with cash or a debit card.
Walmart also cashes money orders. You will be charged $3 if you will cash a money order worth $1,000 or less and $6 for money orders worth more than $1,000.
Go to the CVS website to locate the branch nearest to you. At CVS, money order services are coursed through MoneyGram.
You will be charged $0.99 per money order. The limit is $500 per transaction.
If you wish to buy more, you will be required to show a valid government-issued ID.
At CVS, you can only buy a money order with cash.
Rite Aid Pharmacy
Rite Aid has 2,500 branches in the U.S. Just go to their website to locate the nearest branch. Rite Aid sells money orders through Western Union.
You will be charged $0.89 per money order. The maximum amount allowed per transaction is $500 and per day is $2,999. Take note that Rite Aid does not cash money orders
Check Cashing Companies
You will find many check cashing companies across the US that sell money orders.
To find a branch near you, just go to the company website. Take note that these companies charge higher fees for selling and cashing money orders.
ACE Cash Express
There are more than 900 branches of ACE Cash Express in the US. You will be charged $0.89 or higher per transaction (fees vary per state).
The limit per money order is $1,000. ACE only accepts cash for payments. MoneyGram is the service provider of ACE Cash Express.
There are more than 2,000 outlets of Advance America in the US. You will be charged $1.49 or higher depending on your location. The money order limit varies per state.
You can pay with cash or check. The service provider for the company is MoneyGram.
You can find Moneytree branches in California, Canada, Colorado, Nevada, Idaho, and Washington. Fees vary per state and the limit per money order is $1,000.
Only cash payments are accepted at Moneytree. Western Union is the company’s service provider.
PLS 24/7. Money orders are free at PLS and available 24/7. You only need to pay a $0.25 service fee for PLS to complete the payee field.
There is no limit to the number of money orders you can purchase per day. PLS money order service is powered by Western Union.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Where can I cash a money order?
It is best to cash the money order at the same store or institution where it was sent from. For example, cash it at the Post office if the sender bought it from there. You can also deposit the money order to your bank account if it is a USPS money order.
Is there an expiration date for money orders?
None. But in some states, if you do not cash a money order within one to three years from the date of purchase, a service fee will be deducted from the total amount.
Some banks do not cash money orders after six months.
If you receive a money order as payment, it is best to cash it as soon as possible.
What should I do if I lose my money order?
You can request for cancellation or refund if the money order has not been cashed yet. Track the status of the money order and if it hasn’t been cashed yet, you can cancel it.
Go to the issuer and fill out a form for cancellation or refund request, attach your receipt, and pay a fee (MoneyGram-$18, USPS – $5.95, Western Union – $15 with a receipt and $30 without receipt).