How Much Does a Money Order Cost?

Jan 17, 2024 By Triston Martin

What Is a Money Order?

A money order can be described as a check on paper that's not tied to a checking account. The money order is purchased by cash in advance at your bank or through a service such as Western Union, MoneyGram, or the U.S. Postal Service (USPS). Since the money is prepaid so a money order won't "bounce" like a check, as long as the money purchase is authentic and the money is guaranteed. By 2021, we could prefer to make secure digital payments using an app such as Venmo or PayPal. However, money orders are an acceptable payment method and are a popular choice for people who prefer keeping things in an old-fashioned way.

Money Order Maximums

Be aware that the price is based on the amount of money paid, and most orders come with a maximum amount. For instance, a cash order issuer might only accept money orders up to $1,000. If you're required to make a payment of $2,000 for a purchase, you'll need to purchase the two orders plus the two fees. If you're looking for large purchases, think about cashier's checks. Credit unions and banks offer cashier's checks (identical to cash advances in the sense of security) for larger sums. They generally are priced between $1 and 10; however, they can also be provided gratis, depending on your financial institution and service level. A cashier's check may cost higher than just one order but is less expensive than multiple money orders.

Availability and Pricing

Prices for money orders differ between stores and from town to town. A few stores in your neighborhood do not even offer money orders at all, but they offer cheap funds orders across other areas. Check availability and costs before when you purchase the money. Contact ahead of time and inquire whether money orders are accessible anytime or if you have to go to a customer service desk that has limited operating hours. It is also necessary to inquire about the maximum amount to the issue.

It's worth shopping for a bargain, but you're on the right track if you can find a money order for lower than one dollar. It is important to note that several convenience stores, food stores, and check cashing establishments outsource their money orders, which means you're receiving the same amount of money (at the same cost) from multiple places. Make sure to check with your credit union or bank. Money orders can be more expensive; however, you won't be sure until you inquire.

Costs to Cash a Money Order

Free Deposits

It is almost always possible to deposit a check and a money order for no cost at your institution, such as a credit union or bank, so make this if you don't require money immediately. Then, you'll be able to spend the money once they are cleared in your account the same way as with other funds in your checking account, using a credit card or debit, bill payment online, or cash withdrawal at ATMs at the time of your choice.

Getting Cash

However, if you want to pay a money order in cash, it could cost you. Your bank may perform the transaction for no charge; however, you may be limited to the first $200 in your money (you'd then need to wait several more days according to your bank's fund availability policy, though you could receive more money with a USPS money order). Making the money order cashable with an issuer of money orders is also possible. USPS money orders can be available for cashing at postal offices. However, they may not have the cash you require. Other issuers could cost $3 to $20 or more. Additionally, check-cashing businesses typically accept money orders in cash at a small cost.

What to Do If You Lose a Money Order

If a money order gets lost or stolen, you must contact the issuer as fast as possible and describe the circumstances. The issuer could be capable of replacing or refunding the money order that was lost. If the money order isn't paid in full, the issuer may be capable of canceling it. Make sure to give the money order details, such as its tracking number, date of purchase and amount, and the receipt, if you can. It could take as long as 30-days for an issuer to verify the loss of your money order or theft. Based on the issuer, you could have to pay an amount. For instance, Western Union charges $15 to refund a money order and three dollars for cash orders with less than $20 when the receipt is present. $30 for refunds without receipt. Postal Service charges a flat cost of $6.95.

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