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Banking 101: Everything You Need to Know About Money Orders


Written by Emily Long | Published on 2/10/2019

Note: This article is part of our Basic Banking series, designed to provide new savers with the key skills to save smarter.

Say you need to pay your utility bill, but the company doesn’t accept personal checks — and sending an envelope full of cash isn’t a safe option. Money orders are an alternative and secure form of payment to consider.

How money orders work

Money orders are like prepaid checks. You provide the funds upfront and fill out an order that, like a personal check, is endorsed to a specific recipient.

You don’t need a bank account to purchase a money order, which makes it a useful bill-pay method for those who don’t have checking accounts. It’s also more secure than both cash and personal checks. You can safely send one in the mail, it doesn’t contain any account information and, because it is prepaid, it won’t bounce when deposited or cashed.

You can purchase money orders from most financial institutions, but they’re also available at many convenience stores, supermarkets, money transfer and check-cashing companies, as well as the U.S. Postal Service. One option is to search for local branches of Western Union or MoneyGram, which are often found inside stores such as Walmart, CVS and 7-Eleven.

Money orders are generally sold in amounts up to $1,000, although the Postal Service limits international money orders to $700 (or $500 if purchased for El Salvador or Guyana). There is no minimum, but you’ll have to pay a fee for each order.

These fees vary depending on where you buy. For example, the Postal Services charges $1.20 for money orders up to $500, $1.65 for those between $500.01 and $1,000, and $8.55 for all international transactions. Wells Fargo charges a flat fee of $5. You may find less expensive or even fee-free money order options. Amscot, a Florida-based financial services company, offers money order purchases at no charge.

Keep in mind that these fees are for single money orders. If your transaction is larger than the maximum allowed, you may have to purchase multiple orders and pay a fee for each, which can add up quickly. If you use money orders often, save money by shopping around for the lowest fees.

Pros and cons of money orders

Money orders are straightforward, secure and accessible to anyone with cash, but they do come with fees and a low limit. Before you choose a money order as a method of payment, consider the pros and cons.

Pros Cons
Trackable and safer than cash Low maximum amounts (often around $1,000)
Don’t need a bank account Fees
Can be used internationally Can be counterfeited or altered
Funds are guaranteed Must be purchased in person
Widely available

How to get a money order

Money orders are available at banks, credit unions, post offices, check-cashing shops and local retail stores such as supermarkets, convenience stores and pharmacies. To find Western Union and MoneyGram locations in your area, type your ZIP code into their locator tools and filter for sites that sell money orders.

While it may be convenient to pick up a money order from your bank or a store you’re already visiting, keep in mind that fees vary widely, and it may cost less to purchase at another location. In most cases, you must buy money orders in person.

You can purchase money orders using cash, check, debit or credit, though not all issuers accept the latter, and some may process credit transactions as cash advances, which come with higher fees.

Besides a method of payment, you’ll need to provide the recipient’s name and, depending on the form, your name and address. If you’re using the money order to pay a bill, such as your utilities, you may also need an account number so that the recipient knows how to apply the money you send.

Money orders look similar to personal checks. To fill one out:

  • Write the recipient’s (payee) name — either an individual or business — on the “pay to the order of” line.
  • Fill out your information in the purchaser section, usually referred to as “from,” “sender,” “remitter” or “purchaser.” Some money orders require your name and address, while others may have space only for your name.
  • Sign on the signature line.
  • Use a black gel pen — ink is more difficult to erase — write legibly and ensure all information is entered correctly and the amount is what you paid for. You cannot make changes once the money order has been processed.
    • Complete the money order immediately, and don’t leave any fields blank. This leaves less room for fraudsters to alter your order.

Money orders are sometimes used in scams. While they’re more secure than cash, they can still be stolen or altered. Drop completed money orders in a secure post office box or hand-deliver to the recipient. Don’t leave them in your personal mailbox.

Once you’ve sent a money order, keep your receipt until you’ve confirmed that the payee has received the payment. This receipt allows you to track the status of your order, including the date of deposit. If your money order is lost or stolen, you can use the receipt to submit a claim to the issuer and receive a replacement.

For Postal Service-issued money orders, you’ll have to fill out a claims form in person and pay a $5.95 processing fee. Western Union allows you to mail, fax or email forms. It charges $15 if you have a receipt and $30 if you do not. Without a receipt, you may not receive a refund.

How to cash a money order

You can generally cash money orders in the same places you can purchase them: banks, credit unions and stores that offer check-cashing and other financial services. Some traditional financial institutions may allow you to put money orders through mobile or electronic deposit, while others will not.

When you’re ready to cash or deposit a money order, endorse the back just like you do a check. When cashing in person, you’ll need a valid form of identification, such as a driver’s license or passport. Depending on where you cash your money order, you may pay a small check-cashing fee.

Alternatives to money orders

Money orders are a fairly straightforward method of paying bills or sending money, but they’re not right for every situation. Before you settle on a money order, consider these alternatives.

Cashier’s check

Like money orders, funds sent via cashier’s check are guaranteed by the issuing financial institution. They’re often preferred, or even required, for business transactions in which cash and personal checks aren’t accepted. They differ from money orders in their higher maximums and higher fees (around $10), but they may still cost less depending on the size of your transaction.

Wire transfer

With a wire transfer, you can send a lot more money a lot more quickly than with a money order. Wire transfers can be in large amounts and often go through almost instantly because they are completed electronically. The fees are higher than both money orders and cashier’s checks — expect fees around $30 for domestic and $40 for international transfers, as well as additional charges on the recipient’s end. Wire transfers are useful for large transactions, but the fees could be prohibitive for smaller amounts.

Personal check

Personal checks are easy to use, can be filled out at home and carry no processing fees. But they require the payer to have a bank account and they’re not guaranteed, which means they can bounce if the sender has insufficient funds in that account. For this reason, some businesses may not accept them.

If you have cash flow concerns as the payer, keep in mind that you have to keep your balance high enough until the check is deposited. Personal checks are also less secure than other payment forms because bank account numbers are printed on them.

Prepaid cards

If you don’t have a bank account, a prepaid card is another way to send money. These prepaid cards are like gift cards: You can buy them at retail stores and use them anywhere debit cards are accepted. The downside of these cards is potential fees to purchase and load them. They’re also not endorsed to a specific person, so if they’re lost or stolen, anyone can spend them.

Online bill pay

Online payment platforms such as Zelle or PayPal are thought to be more secure than sending money via paper check. These services require you to have a bank account to send and receive funds. There may be daily transaction limits, but generally the fees are low or zero.

The bottom line

A money order may be a good — and secure — alternative to cash or personal check if you have bills to pay or are sending sums less than $1,000 to family, friends or businesses. Be sure to look for the lowest fees, especially if you plan to buy multiple orders.

Comments
Money orders
Money orders   |     |   Comment #1
What does this post have to do with a bank account? It doesn’t belong on this website.
Basic Banking is Good
Basic Banking is Good   |     |   Comment #8
You guys must be bored to death! Mean spirited bitter old men. You come on here every week and badmouth these basic banking posts. Get a life! These are good teaching tools for young people just learning the financial ropes. Don't like it? Just skip over the articles, or to another website.
deplorable 1
deplorable 1   |     |   Comment #20
This isn't basic banking though. This is what people who don't have access to a bank are forced to do in order to survive. Why would you want to pay bills in this way? I'm not old or angry just trying to teach people a better way. Money orders are charging you a fee for something that you can do for free.
anonymous
anonymous   |     |   Comment #27
There have been a few situations in my life where a money order was the only accepted payment option. Even though most of us don't have to use them frequently, it's good to have a refresher on the topic when the situation arises that you need a money order.
deplorable 1
deplorable 1   |     |   Comment #36
I never had a bill where the only acceptable form of payment was a money order. If they don't take cash, credit or a check/cashiers check I wouldn't pay them. Sounds fishy. My guess would be a shady landlord or business trying to skirt the tax man.
Anon
Anon   |     |   Comment #85
There are a few instances where only a money order is accepted. The one I can think of off the top of my head is the fee for a marriage license, which is paid to the county clerk. No checks, no cash accepted.
meme
meme   |     |   Comment #155
Some people don't have checking accounts and can only pay using cash. The convenience of money orders is great.
Srt
Srt   |     |   Comment #148
My landlord doesnt want a personal check because the bank holds funds for 7 days until it clears my bank. My landlord also doesnt want a money order because the bank also waits 7 days...which I dont understand that because a money order is like cash because you have to purchase it with cash. So, I have to purchase a certified check for rent and then send it 2 day delivery which costs that much more.
111
111   |     |   Comment #25
There may be a little boredom, no doubt exacerbated by the recent dearth of good CD and liquid rate offers to go for.

I blame the banks.
deplorable 1
deplorable 1   |     |   Comment #35
Ok I admit it things are a bit slow on the interest rate front right now.
Shelia
Shelia   |     |   Comment #178
You can deposit money orders into a bank account. It belongs here.
nao597
nao597   |     |   Comment #2
Here we go again.. It really is sad what the education system has done to these people to make them think they’re writing a good article.
Do Gooder
Do Gooder   |     |   Comment #3
Give it up. Instead of complaining about teachers, go volunteer and help someone learn to read gooder.
Jean
Jean   |     |   Comment #9
It clearly says: "Note: This article is part of our Basic Banking series, designed to provide new savers with the key skills to save smarter." Have a heart! Allow the young people to learn. All the grumpy complainers please go someplace else.
deplorable 1
deplorable 1   |     |   Comment #24
No we are trying to TEACH young people the life skills they will need to survive in the real world. We have already succeeded and would like to pass this knowledge on to others. There is a old saying that applies here: "You can lead a horse to water but you can't make them drink".
David K
David K   |     |   Comment #60
Deplorable, everyone has their own definition of success.

The anger, the lack of substance, the lack of purpose people display on this site, to normal people, is the opposite of success.
JahDaughta
JahDaughta   |     |   Comment #167
more meditation less 3d frustration...
RJM
RJM   |     |   Comment #4
I needed a money order 5+ years ago. Called my local credit union and they were not free. I ended up stopping at a check cashing place because the sign said "free money orders". And when I got in there, I realized they also offered free cold drinks. It was a hot day so that was a nice tough.

Normally, I don't go to those places because because most of them are not in great areas and I try to stay out off those areas to the extent possible.
RJM
RJM   |     |   Comment #5
"nice touch", not tough.
deplorable 1
deplorable 1   |     |   Comment #21
They actually gave you a money order for free? Must have been some kind of fluke or one time deal.
RJM
RJM   |     |   Comment #55
Big Sign, Free Money Orders right below their name.

https://www.google.com/maps/uv?hl=en&pb=!1s0x88890e3420b32243%3A0xea851f99e772d5de!2m22!2m2!1i80!2i80!3m1!2i20!16m16!1b1!2m2!1m1!1e1!2m2!1m1!1e3!2m2!1m1!1e5!2m2!1m1!1e4!2m2!1m1!1e6!3m1!7e115!4shttps%3A%2F%2Flh5.googleusercontent.com%2Fp%2FAF1QipM4ZT2YIKV25S29GVTtHs0S8vavp6QbfWqWNDcu%3Dw213-h160-k-no!5seasy%20money%20parkway%20east%20birmingham%20-%20Google%20Search!15sCAQ&imagekey=!1e10!2sAF1QipM4ZT2YIKV25S29GVTtHs0S8vavp6QbfWqWNDcu&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwi6hbDd1bPgAhUQi6wKHS_FDVsQoiowCnoECAYQBg
deplorable 1
deplorable 1   |     |   Comment #70
@RJM: Good find but isn't it still a hassle compared to other methods of payment? I see old folks at the grocery store paying utility bills and I can't help thinking why go through all that?
RJM
RJM   |     |   Comment #73
I went there ONCE when I needed a money order and happened to be in the area. No other form of payment would work. That was the only money order I have needed in 20+ years.

The free money orders is probably meant for their payday, installment loan or title loan customers but the sign did not say that.
RJM
RJM   |     |   Comment #71
The google reviews of that place has a lot of people complaining about how long it took. Maybe I went in at a slow afternoon time but there was one person ahead of me, I waited about 45 seconds for him and then maybe 2 minutes for my money order.

Easy Money 9420 Parkway E, Birmingham, AL 35215

They appear to have 14 locations in my Metro Area. 4-5 are in areas that are ok. The rest are not so ok. Certainly would not go at night.
Never send MO
Never send MO   |     |   Comment #6
Companies that do not accept personal checks or credit cards, they do something illegal under the table. How about asking for their bank account or PAY PAL or e-mail or anything that says "we are legit business", then send the money the safe way.
How can you prove that they received the MO without sure confirmation? Many of those companies cash the MO through third party name and you never see the service or merchandise sent to you.
dpacctsfan
dpacctsfan   |     |   Comment #7
I am thinking of using money orders with my name as Anonymous Donation to avoid receiving endless “bills” soliciting more donations. I don’t itemize deductions. Would this work ok?
DCGuy
DCGuy   |     |   Comment #50
There is an area to provide the buyer of the money order to write down their name and address. I don't think that has to be filled out, but it would help if the money order got lost or misplaced by the party cashing it.
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW   |     |   Comment #11
HERE'S WHAT YOU REALLY NEED TO KNOW:
Avoid MoneyGram or WesternUnion if you can. Both have small amounts ($500 max -- the article is WRONG when it says $1000 max, it's $500 max now for a MoneyOrder with MoneyGram, sigh) and their fees aren't cheap (differeing, but set by the places where you get them).

INSTEAD, trying seeing if your CREDIT UNION offers either Money Orders -- or a "BANK CHECK" for free. For most purposes, a BANK CHECK is the same as a MONEY ORDER. Most of the credit unionsI deal with offer at least 1 per day free (some 2 per day).

If you are unbanked, or bank only at a Bank instead of a Credit Union (in which case opening up a credit union account is a more important thing to get fixed than this), and for some reason you MUST have a MoneyOrder, places like WalMart and your local Supermarkets are often the cheapest place to get them (cheaper than, say, going to the 7-11 for the same thing). There are also Postal Money Orders from your local post office, though they are not really cost effective.

Open an account at a credit union where they will offer at least 1 free bank check a day (NavyFed I believe it's 2 free per day. Most of the other CUs I belong to are 1 free a day).
DCGuy
DCGuy   |     |   Comment #49
According to the USPS site, postal money orders cost either $1.25 or $1.70 depending on the amount of the money order. Some banks charge more than that for a money order. Of course, if you can get one for free, that would be better.
SvyT
SvyT   |     |   Comment #53
Walmart sells money orders in an amounts of $1k with, in most places, a .88 cent fee.
Jean
Jean   |     |   Comment #16
Very good article by Emily. I copy all the Basic Banking posts and share them with young family members.

Maybe Deposit Accounts should consider eliminating the comments section after all the articles. It seems to bring out all the bored trolls. Thank you DA for a very informative (and free) website.
complain?
complain?   |     |   Comment #18
Then how would you post your complaints as in your comments #14 and #16?
deplorable 1
deplorable 1   |     |   Comment #22
The best part of DA is the comments section! If you read the comments you may actually learn something. I personally am on here trying to help young people make better choices. Not because I'm bored but because I actually would like to put my knowledge to good use.
Luvcd
Luvcd   |     |   Comment #23
Kudos to Deplore...whose comments are a big plus
dollarsncents
dollarsncents   |     |   Comment #39
No, the best part of DA is Ken posting the best interest rates at various banks and credit unions all across the country. That is the main reason this site DepositAccounts.com exists.

When it came to better financial choices, I learned at a very young age long before the "internet" ever existed.  
111
111   |     |   Comment #41
Well, I think BOTH parts are helpful. The comments are useful, to see what others have experienced. But, the DA postings are essential.

I've seen situations where Ken Tumin (or his staff) has posted rate changes for a particular financial institution, I've then contacted that FI only to be told that "that rate hasn't changed", then a day or two later found that the rate or offer in question actually DID change, on the exact date this website said it did! So yes - the accuracy and timelines of rate data on this website is one of its biggest benefits.
deplorable 1
deplorable 1   |     |   Comment #42
Good point. Ok the comment section is the second best part of DA then.
deplorable 1
deplorable 1   |     |   Comment #19
I put money orders in the same category as ATM fees. Why on earth would you want or choose to pay a fee to spend your own money or pay a bill? My advice would be to find another way to do it for free. I pay all my bills with a rewards credit card for example. I earn 3% cash back on my utility bills using the Huntington voice card. There are so many better ways to pay bills for free:
1. Rewards credit cards
2. Checking account
3. Savings account with bill pay
4. Automatic debit from checking or savings
5. cash
6. free cashiers checks offered by most banks
No offense intended but this should be filed in the what to avoid category.
Dan Coates
Dan Coates   |     |   Comment #28
How do I get a Huntington voice card?
deplorable 1
deplorable 1   |     |   Comment #29
You need to be a customer of Huntington bank which will require you to have a checking, savings or CD with them. I only learned of this card while doing their $200 checking bonus. This bonus is still going on see here:
https://www.huntington.com/checking-account-promotions-bonuses-offers
Don't worry after you open the card you don't need to keep a account with them you can still have the card.
Dan Coates
Dan Coates   |     |   Comment #30
What utilities bills qualify for the 3% rebate?
deplorable 1
deplorable 1   |     |   Comment #31
I pay my Gas, Electric, Water, Internet, Magicjack(VOIP) and Cell phone bills. All earn 3% set to auto pay. This way I just have to pay one bill a month and all the utilities are paid. Super easy.
741963
741963   |     |   Comment #32
I never thought to try to pay bills with my credit card. Does anyone know if Discover Rewards credit card will grant you your bonus points for doing this?...……..Great Idea!
deplorable 1
deplorable 1   |     |   Comment #33
Sure Discover will work but you will only get 1% cash back unless they are doing utilities for the 5% quarterly bonus categories.
Just a tip when setting this up you will need to remember to update your credit card expiration date with all of your utility companies BEFORE your credit card expires. Nobody tells you this but they don't do it automatically when a new card is issued.
deplorable 1
deplorable 1   |     |   Comment #34
I forgot to mention some utility companies will only let you use a Mastercard or a Visa. So it all depends on your specific utility companies. The Huntington voice card is a Mastercard so is usually accepted nearly everywhere.
741963
741963   |     |   Comment #37
Thanks for the info, I am going to try this. It would be great to get the points and only have to pay the one (Discover) bill a month through the bill pay!
deplorable 1
deplorable 1   |     |   Comment #38
No problem glad to see someone get it. Just to clarify I set this up by going directly to each individual companies website(e.g. DTE energy) and setting up auto-pay using your credit card as the default payment method. This way the bills just automatically go to one card each month.
Bowman
Bowman   |     |   Comment #40
My gas, electric and water companies charge an additional fee to pay by credit card.
deplorable 1
deplorable 1   |     |   Comment #43
That stinks only my water bill charges a fee to use a credit card but I make the fee back in rewards. It may still be worth it if the fee is 3% or less using the voice card just for the convenience of only paying one bill. I'm surprised any gas and electric companies charge a fee. Cell phone and internet should be free for sure.
111
111   |     |   Comment #44
Yes, some utility companies do that. Depending on the surcharge they (or the 3rd-party that they use) charges, it may or may not put the kibosh on using a rewards or cashback card to pay. You need to do the math for your particular situation. In my case, for example, I have rental property where I pay the electric bill and that utility uses a 3rd-party, "SpeedPay", to process my credit card payment. Since SpeedPay only charges me a flat $1.50 per transaction, it makes sense to use them each month because my cashback card pays me back more than that.

On the other hand the utility company for my own house does NOT do this "surcharge" thing, therefore this is the place where the monthly "rewards checking" charges, etc., are placed.

Admittedly there are fewer and fewer "rewards checking" accounts still worth the effort, but there are still some.
111
111   |     |   Comment #45
I'm going to have to look into the Huntington card that D1 and others mention. Sounds very useful - I don't have that one so far. I know they offer cards to residents of IN, and probably MI - gotta check on IL.
deplorable 1
deplorable 1   |     |   Comment #46
@111: Yeah the Secretary of State charges a fee to pay by credit card but it is only $1.50 or so, totally worth it not having to walk in there. If you can't get the voice card BoA has a similar rewards card that lets you choose your 3% rewards category each month. No utilities category though.
See if any of these work for you:
https://www.cardrates.com/advice/best-credit-card-for-paying-bills-and-utilities/
111
111   |     |   Comment #48
Thanks. By the way, on the Huntington card - which I think is a MasterCard - why is it called the Huntington "VOICE" card, by the way? Why the "Voice" thing?
deplorable 1
deplorable 1   |     |   Comment #52
I think because people were asked to choose what 3% categories they wanted. They got to "voice" their opinions.
deplorable 1
deplorable 1   |     |   Comment #51
Hey 111: It looks like this card will get 5% cash back on utilities! Check it out:
https://cashplus.usbank.com/merchants/index?return=site%2Fhow_it_works
No annual fee as well.
111
111   |     |   Comment #113
I may investigate that. Currently I get 5% cashback on Internet & cellphone (via Chase Ink Visa), but only 2.5% back on "traditional" utilities (electric, gas, water). Also, as I recall the US Bank card 5% Cash+ categories are fungible, and can be changed monthly or quarterly, as needed.
deplorable 1
deplorable 1   |     |   Comment #121
I might apply for that card because you can choose 2 of those 5% categories. It looks like a $150 bonus is also available here:
https://www.creditcards.com/credit-cards/us-bank-cash-visa-signature-card/
There is a $200 bonus floating around the web but it appears to be targeted.
also there is a new 5% category coming "TV, Internet & Streaming Services will replace Car Rentals as a 5% Cash+ Category on 4/1."
51hh
51hh   |     |   Comment #64
There are credit cards that offer 3% cash reward for all purchases, although they are for the promotional period of one year. One can apply repeatedly via family members to last several years.
deplorable 1
deplorable 1   |     |   Comment #68
Those are pretty good deals although I think I average 3% on overall spending by using the 5% categories on various cards, 3% categories on various cards and the Citibank double cash for the rest. Someone on here was using those 3% cards to purchase CD's bringing the APY to well over 5%................very smart.
111
111   |     |   Comment #110
51hh, #64 - I'm aware of the Alliant CU cashback VISA, that fits the criteria you mentioned. Are there also others that you've heard of? Thanks.
TJ
TJ   |     |   Comment #26
Hey Guy's !!!! Behave Yourselves
MoneyOrderMan
MoneyOrderMan   |     |   Comment #47
I pay my set monthly bills (i.e. rent, car insurance, and cable) with money orders each month. Yes, it's and extra step and about $5 in fees, but it lets me know exactly how much I have in my checking account at all times (my landlord sometimes takes weeks to cash a rent check), and nobody needs to know how much money goes in and out of my checking account each month.
RJM
RJM   |     |   Comment #56
Sounds like you are spending $60 a year and a good bit of time because of an irrational paranoia.

The employees of online banks & credit unions have far more to do than worry about how much money goes in an out of your checking account.

I have never given it a second thought.
MoneyOrderMan
MoneyOrderMan   |     |   Comment #80
RJM, I'm not talking about banks or credit unions worrying about it. All I'll say is that if you work a job where a portion of your income is in cash (waiter/waitress/bartender/server etc..), paying some bills with a money order makes more sense sometimes.
RJM
RJM   |     |   Comment #91
Around here, very few people earning tip income worry about CD rates.

I used to manage an eatery when I was very young and I told them they should be keeping a daily log that corresponds to what they report at work.

When doing that, I've never known a waitress to get in trouble with the IRS.

I heard about one who was near full time, kept no records and the IRS basically determined she earned X amount and said she owed taxes on it. Because she could not prove otherwise, she had to pay it.

You must have tip income at a whole other level.

I've never known the IRS to audit 3rd party bank account records.
I mean, I know they could...in theory. Just not aware of it happening.
deplorable 1
deplorable 1   |     |   Comment #67
I know what you mean about people taking a long time to cash a check. I have had folks wait 6 months to cash them! I don't like writing checks unless I have to for that exact reason. I balance my accounts online and don't use the check register anymore but just put a side note that a check for $xxx.xx is hanging out there so I don't forget.
dollarsncents
dollarsncents   |     |   Comment #57
I didn't think anybody used money orders these days. Between checking accounts and all the various electronic payment methods available today, I thought money orders were a thing of the past.
51hh
51hh   |     |   Comment #62
There are a lot of "smart people" buying (many) Money Orders on a daily basis, but not for apparent usage as stated here.  The huge risk is that, if one deposit too many of those into one's checking account, it will incur unintended attention from the feds for obvious reasons.


There are significant benefits to use cash reward credit cards coupled with buying money order. The process is hidden for the general public; I will stop at that:-)
deplorable 1
deplorable 1   |     |   Comment #66
So you are saying that "purchasing" a money order would count as a purchase on a credit card? Even if you used a 2% rewards card wouldn't the fee just eat up the rewards? I guess if you were looking to do manufactured spend that may work. Buying a CD would probably work better though unless I'm missing something.
51hh
51hh   |     |   Comment #74
No, not directly. One needs to buy gift cards using a 5% credit card (2% or even 3% CCs are not worth the effort, considering the 1% GC fee), then use the gift card to buy MO.

I probably already spoke too much here. :D  Yes, MS exactly.  

Very few sources for buying CD via credit card, as far as I know.
dollarsncents
dollarsncents   |     |   Comment #90
51hh, I never worry about my financial dealings attracting the attention of the Feds. I have nothing to hide. I guess I'm just not among the "many" that you know that fear the Feds for some reason or another.
51hh
51hh   |     |   Comment #131
I used to feel the same as you do; until I witnessed several real cases. They can be both nasty and persistent; even when everything is legal beyond any reasonable doubt.
741963
741963   |     |   Comment #75
#57
Debt Collection
I know someone who had a bill in debt collection and they came to an arrangement with them for a monthly payment. The collection agency constantly calls them wanting a debit/credit card number or checking acct. number so they can set up an automatic payment that way. They were advised to make the monthly payment with a money order, because if the collection agency was dishonest they might start taking the payment from one of their accounts if they had that information. Sounds strange, but maybe they do stuff like that?
Get Real
Get Real   |     |   Comment #77
#57 I'm no Dave Ramsey fan but he says to pay collection agencies with money orders and not checks. They then have your routing and account number. It might have to do with the terms in the orginal account that they can pull debts to your account. Many people don't read terms of accounts.
Smokeboat
Smokeboat   |     |   Comment #76
Funny thing, no posters on the receiving end of money orders ??? I would dare say they have no complaints. I know...it's all about the money.
Goodwin
Goodwin   |     |   Comment #86
#76, MOs are equal to cash and they use third parties to deposit them as a holding company and they do not report any of those MOs as income. Now you know why some companies insist on MOs are preferred payment. Furthermore, it will be difficult to dispute if no merchandise or service received. Forget about any refunds, they are null and void, once you send the money, it is up to the other side to honer the deal, you are irrelevant.
deplorable 1
deplorable 1   |     |   Comment #132
Yep "they do not report any of those MOs as income".....................just as I suspected shady companies requiring payment by MO to avoid the tax man.
Trax
Trax   |     |   Comment #87
76 comments about money orders?? Must be a slow day on interest rate news
Billy
Billy   |     |   Comment #130
3 things to say about money orders:

1. They are free at Chase if you have a Premier checking account. Not sure if they still have this type of account or not, ours came with our mortgage years ago. One of the few services I actually use at Chase.

2. Sometimes Money Orders really are the best way to pay. I occasionally buy antique currency from Lyn Knight Auctions (a large auction house with decades-old reputation). While I could pay for my purchases with a personal check, they hold those for 10 days. If I pay with a money order my purchase ships immediately. They don't accept cashier's checks or credit cards. I don't know why, but there's definitely nothing shady about the auction house. I've bought several thousands in merchandise and never had a problem.

3. Whenever I open a new business I use a money order to pay for my state paperwork. The business can't get a bank account without the state paperwork and I don't want to mix and funds from my other businesses or personal accounts. Plus, money orders get processed faster.
AnnO
AnnO   |     |   Comment #133
Re: 1. They do, though it's called Premier Plus checking now. It also qualifies for free cashier's checks.
Money Order Newbie
Money Order Newbie   |     |   Comment #134
The article states everything you needed to know about money orders. All I wanted to know is if i could put my "For Deposit Only" stamp on the back to endorse (without a signature), just like I do on checks. This did not mention anything about that. So I'm left wondering whether or not I HAVE TO sign a money order or if I can get away with just stamping it "For Deposit Only". Could anyone help answer my question?
Nothing
Nothing   |     |   Comment #135
Incomplete. It is not an endorsement....has to be signed (also) by the payee on the front. If none, then an account number and financial institution and signature must be added. There must be a signature
Hello
Hello   |     |   Comment #140
Please my friend sent me a money order check stating not used for purpose intended can I still cash the check
Hello
Hello   |     |   Comment #141
Please my friend wanted to deposit money order to my account then later didn’t go through and now it has been written at the back not used for purpose intended, please can I still cash it as a receiver. Thanks
kristy
kristy   |     |   Comment #154
im trying to find out the exact date i purchased certain money orders how do i do this
Myelopathy
Myelopathy   |     |   Comment #160
Go online as long as I have the receipt portion of the
Money order you can
Search for it
Kids
Kids   |     |   Comment #159
Walmart less than a dollar for money orders .
Mario
Mario   |     |   Comment #161
Can a money oder still be valid if address is in the wrong spot
Gls
Gls   |     |   Comment #163
If I make the payee on money order my bank and then deposit it to my account will I have problems cashing it?
Trevor
Trevor   |     |   Comment #164
I want to if there is interest on money orders over ten years old?
Frustrated
Frustrated   |     |   Comment #165
In the state of California how long do you have to wait to cash a money order after the date of purchase? I just got turned away from trying to cash one because it was purchased the day before. She said I had to wait at least 2 more days?! I've never heard of this before!!!
Dunmovin
Dunmovin   |     |   Comment #166
In any state...what is the timeframe for the issuer to stop payment?
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UGHidiot
UGHidiot   |     |   Comment #179
Received money order for rent payment. Payee and signature were blank. Can I fill in the blanks and deposit?
MAGA
MAGA   |     |   Comment #180
wHY NOt SOUNDS like a good idea

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