Money orders are a reliable way to make payments using secure and guaranteed funds. They are commonly used for bill payments such as rent or sending money to acquaintances. Financial service stores, banks, credit unions, grocery stores, and post offices are some of the places where you can purchase money orders. Nonetheless, keep in mind that they are typically only available for purchases under $1,000.
Your bank or credit union
To obtain a money order, you can visit your local bank or credit union, where you have an account. Generally, most financial institutions sell money orders for a small fee. However, if you have a good relationship with the bank, you may be able to request the fee to be waived.
When you get a money order from your bank, the bank will take the money directly from your account. This saves you from having to bring a large amount of cash to another place to buy the money order.
You can buy money orders at retail stores, many of which specialize in financial services such as money orders and check cashing. One such company that is known for selling money orders and providing financial services is Western Union.
You can also purchase money orders at grocery stores. However, you’ll need to go to the customer service section to buy them. According to Anthony Kirlew, a financial coach at Fiscally Sound, grocery stores are among the best places to obtain money orders.
Kirlew recommends paying in cash for the transaction at the window to save time and ensure security. It is worth noting that most or all of the options require cash payment, and they all offer reasonable pricing.
You can also purchase money orders at big box stores like Walmart. You may need to go to the customer service desk to make your purchase.
The United States Postal Service used to provide financial services to Americans through the U.S. Postal Savings System from 1911 to 1967, which held almost $3.4 billion in deposits at its highest point.
USPS money orders are known for their affordability and reliability. It is important to note that not all post offices sell money orders anymore, so it is advisable to check with your local post office beforehand. Additionally, lines at post offices can be long, so anticipate a wait when purchasing a money order.
How much does it cost to buy a money order?
The cost of a money order depends on the place of purchase and the value of the money order. In general, higher amounts will result in higher fees.
The USPS charges different fees for money orders based on the amount. For money orders between $0.01 and $500, the fee is $1.75. For money orders between $500.01 and $1,000, the fee is $2.40.
At Walmart, the maximum fee for a money order is $1. Meanwhile, at Wells Fargo, you can purchase a money order for any amount up to $1,000, but the fee is $5. However, if you have certain accounts, the bank may waive the fee.
Why use a money order?
Using a money order can be a good idea for multiple reasons.
- Money orders are guaranteed. A money order is more reliable than a personal check because an authentic one will not bounce, unlike a check which could bounce.
- Keeps your financial information private. Using a money order is a great way to maintain the privacy of your financial information when sending money to someone you know. This way, you don’t have to share your bank account or routing numbers with them. According to financial blogger Anika Jindal, money orders offer a secure way to send money across the country without sharing your banking information. Money orders are issued to a specific person, reducing the risk of unauthorized cashing.
- No bank account required. You can use a money order to send money to someone even if you don’t have a bank account.