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I need money order

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A money order is a secure payment method for sending a prepaid amount. You may need to use a money order for a rental security deposit, a used car purchase, or for sending money internationally or through the mail. Because money orders are guaranteed, a recipient may prefer this type of payment method to a check. Fortunately, money orders are a convenient and affordable way to send guaranteed money to any recipient of your choosing. Follow the steps below to cash a money order successfully.

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How to Fill Out a Money Order - Step by Step

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Money orders are available from post offices, retail stores, and financial institutions such as banks and credit unions. In most cities and towns, you should have multiple sources available nearby. When you're deciding where to get a money order, think about fees, service, and location.

Each option will have tradeoffs; your choice will depend on which factors matter most to you. Grocery stores, big-box stores, pharmacies, and convenience stores often provide money orders. Your fee to purchase a money order will vary by store; at Walmart, it's just 88 cents.

If convenience or cost matters most to you, it's probably best to get a money order at a retail store. Your bank is also an excellent option for money orders. Buying a money order at a bank may cost a few dollars more than buying at the store, but if you only buy money orders occasionally, the difference won't amount to much. For more frequent purchases, you'll probably want to find an alternative.

The main benefit of a bank or credit union money order is customer service—they can make tracking the money order easier for you. Be sure to check with them before you buy them.

These money orders have a reputation around the world for being safe. However, getting a USPS money order can be hard—not all post offices issue money orders, so call ahead to confirm. Even if yours does, you might find yourself waiting in line. Also, as of Aug. Establishments that deal with money besides banks and credit unions might also sell money orders. Western Union agents, payday loan shops, and other money transfer services are often conveniently located, too.

Some websites promise that you can get money orders online, but it can be difficult and even risky to do so. The price of a money order varies from location to location. Retail stores tend to cost less, and banks typically charge more. Keep in mind that issue limits might mean you have to buy multiple money orders, paying the fee for each one. To purchase a money order, you typically need to pay with cash or a debit card. As a result, they only issue money orders after you pay with guaranteed funds.

Some issuers claim that you can use a credit card to buy a money order, but probably you're just getting a cash advance from your card.

Cash advances are typically an expensive way to borrow because they come with hefty fees, and credit cards companies charge high interest rates on those balances. The process of filling out the form is similar to writing a check. There may be better tools than a money order for making payments in your situation.

Money orders often do what you need, but they cost money to buy, and it can be a hassle to purchase them in person. If a seller or recipient requires you to use a money order, you don't have any choice. But if you have the option to pay another way, it's worth considering. If you're using money orders as a substitute for a personal checking account, you may have better alternatives available. Evaluate whether it's worth opening a checking account.

Many banks and credit unions offer free checking, so you won't necessarily have to pay fees. If using a bank isn't an option for you or if you prefer not to work with banks , prepaid cards offer some of the same features as checking accounts—without the need to pay bank fees or get approved. In particular, you can use these accounts to pay bills, which might mean you need fewer money orders in the future. Some even offer check writing or cash back. No matter where you purchase a money order, keep your receipt in a safe place until you're certain that you won't need a refund.

If the money order goes missing or your plans change, you'll likely need that receipt to have the money order canceled. Wells Fargo. Western Union. The Balance uses cookies to provide you with a great user experience.

By using The Balance, you accept our. Banking Basics. Full Bio Follow Twitter. He covers banking and loans and has nearly two decades of experience writing about personal finance.

Read The Balance's editorial policies. Reviewed by. Full Bio. Eric Estevez is financial professional for a large multinational corporation. His experience is relevant to both business and personal finance topics. Article Reviewed on April 16, Before you buy, make sure you know who you'll be paying and how much money you'll need.

Article Table of Contents Skip to section Expand. Places to Buy a Money Order. Prices and Fees. The Purchase Process. Consider Alternatives. Keep Your Receipt. Article Sources. Continue Reading.

How to cash a money order quickly and securely

Money orders are available from post offices, retail stores, and financial institutions such as banks and credit unions. In most cities and towns, you should have multiple sources available nearby. When you're deciding where to get a money order, think about fees, service, and location. Each option will have tradeoffs; your choice will depend on which factors matter most to you.

Money orders may not be the most innovative or technologically advanced payment method, but they can come in very handy in many situations. What is a money order, and when should you use one? What is a money order?

If you don't have a checking account or have ever tried to pay a bill, like rent, with a check that is returned for 'insufficient funds,' you may be required to pay in the future with a money order. A money order is a document used for payment of a bill or debt, or even a means to transfer or send money through the mail. In this way, it can be similar to a check. However, because money orders are paid for in advance, they are considered a better guarantee of payment than a check.

What Is a Money Order and How Do They Work?

Enter the money order. If writing a check is foreign enough, you may be scratching your head. What exactly is this a money order? Money orders are considered a more secure form of payment compared to personal check or cash. If you put a money order next to a personal check, they look like cousins. Similar to paper checks, money orders are issued in the form of a paper document, and they are used when you want to pay for something. When you want to purchase a money order, you need to provide money upfront. And because of that, money orders ensure the receiver that they will get their payment. One more thing to know: Instead of being backed by your personal bank account, like a check, a money order is backed up by an agency or large corporation.

How Money Orders Work: When to Use and Where to Buy

MoneyGram money orders offer the convenience of a check without the need for a checking account. Now you can check the status of your money order or request a replacement online. Go to a convenient location. Find a MoneyGram location that offers money orders by using our find a location feature.

A money order is a payment order for a pre-specified amount of money.

In some instances, money orders are even preferred to cash in hand. However, note that money orders can be cancelled by the sender, making them an appealing tool to be used in scams. The Balance has some tips on verifying your money order, starting with calling the issuer at a number you've separately confirmed is legitimate.

Money order

We've all seen commercials where a cash-strapped person in dire need of money for bills, bail or some other emergency calls a friend or family member for a quick financial infusion. Typically, a loving but exasperated parental figure drives down to the closest bank or money transfer service and arranges for a money order to be sent to their down-and-out loved one. Cue happy smiles all around as everyone -- including the bill collectors -- gets the financial assistance they're looking for. Thanks to the World Wide Web and some enterprising services, however, it's no longer necessary to leave the house when granting someone a financial windfall.

Money orders are official documents representing a specific monetary value, similarly to written checks. However, money orders are different from other forms of payment in a few different ways, which you can read about below. What's important to know up front is that money orders are prepaid, so you must be able to pay for the full amount you want to include in your money order when you go to purchase it. Money orders aren't a form of credit and don't require a credit score, and you don't even need a bank account to pay for one. This makes money orders an accessible form of payment for people in a wide variety of financial situations. In addition to paying up front, you'll need to list a payee.

How Do Money Orders Work?

Many or all of the products featured here are from our partners who compensate us. This may influence which products we write about and where and how the product appears on a page. However, this does not influence our evaluations. Our opinions are our own. You specify who will receive the money order , and both you and that person must sign it for it to be valid — which cuts down on theft.

Jul 31, - Unlike a check, you need to buy a money order — only certain places sell them — and you have to pay the amount of the money order up front.

This page includes analysis of our favorite cards from The Simple Dollar's advertisers and the marketplace. Visit our advertiser disclosure to learn more. A money order is a small piece of paper similar to a check that allows the person named to receive a specified amount of cash.

Both are guaranteed payments, but they differ in terms of where you can buy them, what they cost, and when it makes sense to use one over the other. The important difference is that a bank signs the cashier's check while the customer signs a certified one. The bank then writes out a check to the person or business you need to pay.

The biggest difference between a check a money order is that money orders are prepaid. The buyer will need to pay both for the cost of producing the money order the fee charged , as well as its issued amount. Only a few places actually produce money orders, but many more places sell them. The two most well-known companies that produce money orders are Money Gram and Western Union.

Money orders are about as simple to fill out as a personal check.

MoneyGram money orders can be purchased at many supermarkets, financial institutions, check cashers, or other independent retailers. Look for locations displaying MoneyGram money order signs. Some military bases outside of the United States sell MoneyGram money orders. Each location has their own policy for cashing money orders and may charge a fee to cash the money order. Most check cashing locations will require ID to cash the money order.

When sending money by mail, use money orders as a safe alternative to cash and personal checks. Your money order receipt will help you track your payment and show proof of value in case the money order gets lost, stolen, or damaged. Send Money Orders Internationally. Before accepting a money order, make sure it's real. There are several key things to look at to spot a counterfeit money order. 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:.

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