Learn how and where to get a money order. Money orders and money order charges explained.
A money order is an alternative to check, allowing the person named on it to receive an amount of cash, stated on the issued money order. To get a money order you don’t have to own your own checking account, making it easier than writing a check. This is also a more secure alternative than just paying by cash. Moreover, money orders are very easy and inexpensive to get.
Where to get a money order?
There are a lot of places where you can get money orders: bank, post office, different stores, check-cashing shops, Western Union, and even in Wal-Mart. If one of those places have issued you a money order, chances are they will also be able to cash it. The most guaranteed places to get a money order will be the U.S. Postal Service and your local bank.
Money order fees
Money orders aren’t expensive, however, the fees actually depend on where you get them. Money orders from banks, for example, will be the most expensive, as they have fees for almost every operation. The U.S. Post Office will only charge you $1.25 for money orders up to $500, and $1.70 up to $1,000. Your local convenience store or Walmart will issue you a money order for only $0.88 fee, however these orders can be pretty limited. Western Union money order fee is not an exact number, but you may pay about $1 for money orders up to $1,000
Money orders disadvantages
Fees add up
Although money orders don’t cost you a lot, if you use them on a regular basis their fees might add up. So sometimes a better and less expensive option will be to get a checking account.
Money orders are convenient but aren’t always secure. They are even prohibited sometimes because of high risks. Some scammers try to put their own names over the actual recipient's name and then try to cash the received money order. Other thieves pay someone via a money order for more than the requested amount and then try to make them pay back the difference.
Less convenient than checks
Money orders are widely available, you don’t have to meet any criteria to get a money order. However, you have to get up and go somewhere instead of just opening your checkbook.
Money Order Alternatives
You don’t have to be fixated to use money orders to transfer cash. There are other options which can be more useful for you. Some of these financial tools can help you save up time and money, some will add an extra level of security but might cost you more. So if you are doubting using the money order, here are some alternatives to be considered:
Prepaid Debit Cards
Overall, money orders can be a great option for cash transactions when you don’t want to use checks. They have their niche, they are not expensive and can really come in hand. However, you have to keep in mind that money orders can have their downsides and you shouldn’t be using them all the time. There are a lot of different alternatives for them which can be less expensive but more efficient.