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What is a Money Order? How does a money order work and Where to Buy One Advertiser disclosure We make you our top priority. Every time. We believe everyone should be able make financial decisions with confidence. While our website doesn’t feature every company or financial product available in the marketplace however, we’re confident that the advice we provide as well as the advice we provide as well as the tools we design are independent, objective easy to use and completely free. So how do we make money? Our partners pay us. This could influence which products we write about (and the way they appear on the site) However, it doesn’t affect our recommendations or advice that are based on hundreds of hours of research. Our partners are not able to pay us to guarantee favorable review of their services or products. . What is a Money Order? What is a Money Order operates and where to Get One is a dependable payment that which you can buy from places like Walmart, the post office and your bank. Written by Margarette Burnette Senior Writer Savings accounts as well as money market accounts bank accounts Margarette Burnette is an expert financial expert who has been writing about bank accounts since before even the Great Recession. Her work has been featured in major newspapers. Prior to joining NerdWallet, Margarette was a freelance journalist with bylines in magazines like Good Housekeeping, and Parenting. She lives close to Atlanta, Georgia. Nov 23, 2022 Edited by Yuliya Goldshteyn Assistant Bank Yuliya Goldshteyn works as a banking editor for NerdWallet. She has previously worked as an editor, writer and research analyst in industries ranging from health care and market research. She graduated with a bachelor’s degree in history from Berkeley at the University of California, Berkeley as well as a master’s degree in sociology from the University of Chicago. She can be reached at

. Reviewed by Kathleen Burns Kingsbury Wealth psychology expert and coach Kathleen Burns Kingsbury, founder of KBK Wealth Connection and host of the Breaking Money Silence podcast, is a widely published author and speaker. As an expert on the psychology of money, Kathleen is a regular on the television and her work has been highlighted in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, “PBS NewsHour,” Money magazine, Today Money, Forbes and CNBC. Kathleen was an adjunct faculty member of The McCallum Graduate School at Bentley University from 2009 until 2019 and currently teaches for Champlain College. At NerdWallet the content we publish goes through an extensive . We have such confidence in our accurate and useful content that we have external experts review our work. The majority of items featured on this page are made by our partners who compensate us. This influences which products we feature as well as the place and way the product is featured on a page. However, this does not affect our opinions. Our opinions are our own. Below is a list and . Table of Contents Show More Table of Contents Important takeaways about money orders A cash advance is an reliable substitute for cash and a personal check and functions as an actual check, which means you can cash it or deposit it into a bank account. If cash or personal checks puts you at risk, or they aren’t accepted as payment, you could make use of a money order. You can use cash or a debit card to buy cash at the postoffice, Walmart, Western Union and many other locations. How do money orders work? Money orders are a piece of paper that’s a safe alternative to personal checks or cash. You specify who will receive the money order, and both you and that person need to sign it in order in order to make it valid, which cuts down on theft. You can also prepay for a money order when you purchase it. You can purchase them from U.S. post offices, Walmart, Western Union and other locations. A lot of them have a limit of $1000 which includes those you buy at banks. Generally, you must pay for money orders using cash or a debit card. Money orders is an excellent option to transfer money when you don’t have a banking account or do not want to share your banking information to the person receiving it. Money orders: Advantages as well as cons benefits and disadvantages of using a money transfer. Take a look at these pros and cons before you use one. Pros: No bank account is required to make or receive a cash order. The money order is widely accessible. Cons If a money-order is cashable (or lost) or lost, it is difficult if not impossible to get your money back regardless of whether it was caused by a scam or fraud. Subject to cash advance fees and interest if purchased with a credit card. (Read the details about .) How do I purchase money orders? Know how and who you’ll pay using cash or a debit card, the name of the payee and the amount you wish to send. Credit card payments might be possible, but generally, it’s more expensive. The form must be completed in addition to the payee’s name, you’ll need to add your name (and possibly the address) and sign the money payment. (For steps-by-step instructions read NerdWallet’s advice on .) Make sure the accuracy of your information since you’ll not be able to change the information afterward. Keep the receipt: The receipt will be a carbon duplicate of the money-order or a paper slip that contains the information you entered on the money order. You may need it to track your money order , or even to call the location where you received it. Follow your money order Your receipt will also have an tracking number which you can use to verify that the money order got to the person you wanted it to. If there are any issues then contact the store that you purchased the money order to get help. Return to top Where can I find a money order? What is the cost of an order for money cost? You can get a money order at Post Offices, Walmart, Western Union and many other locations. Domestic money orders have an array of prices that range from less than a dollar up to $5 dependent on the place you purchase them. You can find a cheaper price at Walmart or a convenience store or supermarket but you’ll pay more at a bank. Some banks don’t offer international money orders; some post offices do, however they are more expensive than the money orders issued for purchases in the United States. No matter where you purchase them, it’s better to buy money orders in the person. Provider Cost Walmart Up to $1. Transfer agents for cash (convenience stores, supermarkets, etc.) Depends on the company. For example, some San Francisco-area Western Union providers charge $1. U.S. Postal Service up 500$: $1.65. $501-$1000: $2.20. Money orders for military 55 cents. international (up to $700): $49.65. Banks and credit unions Depends upon the institution that they work with. Often around $5. Are you looking for other ways to transfer funds ? These are the options we have . What is a money order cost at the biggest U.S. banks? Here is an infographic with the price of a money order and availability at some popular banks. Be aware that some banks only offer money orders to account holders. + Click here to find out the money order cost and availability at some popular banks. Bank Money Order Information Not offered. Members of the FDIC Not offered. Not offered. $5 for up to $1,000 Free for premium accounts. You must purchase the account at a branch. $5; no cost for premium customers of checking. $5; free for premium checking customers. $5 For premium customers with a checking account. $5; no cost for members of the military. $5 for up to $1,000. The money order must be made at an office. Back to top When do I need to use money orders? There are times when using cash or personal checks could be risky, or they aren’t accepted for payment. Here are four instances why you should consider using money order as the ideal payment method: You need to send money securely. In contrast to checks, money order don’t include your bank account number, and they help make sure that only the recipient is able to use them, not unlike the process of sending cash. Are you worried about the possibility of bounced checks. Because they have been pre-paid, they won’t be rejected because of insufficient funds. Another option: A certified check or cashier’s cheque, both of which are guaranteed to be paid and don’t have to be accompanied by a $1,000 limit, unlike most money orders. ( and .) If you’re sending money overseas. Some money orders don’t work overseas, but U.S. Postal Service money orders can be delivered to around 25 countries. Another option: A wire transfer (see ) for a wire transfer if you need the money there quicker and can be able to pay more. You can also check out our . There is no need for a checking account. Because money orders require you make a payment prior to the date of purchase, you don’t require an account with a bank and are able to pay for bills without risk. The best advice for you if you don’t have a checking account, another option for paying for regular purchases and bills is to use a . Return to top Savings Cash Management CD Checking Money Market A savings account is the perfect place to save money in a safe manner while earning interest. Savings accounts are a place where you can store money securely while earning interest. FDIC SoFi Savings and Checking APY 3.75% FDIC SoFi Checking and Savings APY 3.75% SoFi members with direct deposit are eligible to receive up 3.75 per cent per year in annual percentage return (APY) in savings account balances (including Vaults) and 2.50% APY on checking balances. No minimum direct deposit amount that is required to be eligible for 3.75% APY for savings, and 2.50% APY for checking balances. Customers who do not deposit direct deposits will get 1.20% APY on all account balances of savings and checking (including vaults). Rates of interest are subject to change and subject to change at any point. These rates are current as of 01/04/2023. Additional information can be found at Min. balance for APY: $0 Member FDIC Marcus Goldman Sachs Online Savings Bank APY 3.50% 3.50% APY (annual percentage yield) with $0 minimum balance to earn the APY stated. Accounts must have a healthy balance to continue to operate. APY valid as of 02/07/2023. Min. balance for APY Cash accounts are $0 and provide a range of services and features similar to checking, savings and/or investment accounts in one product. These accounts for managing cash are typically provided by non-bank financial institutions. They combine the services and features similar to savings, checking and investment accounts into one product. These accounts for managing cash are typically offered by non-bank financial establishments. on Wealthfront’s website Wealthfront Cash Accounts APY 4.05% Min. Balance to APY $1 on the Betterment website. Betterment Cash Reserve, Paid non-client promotions APY 4.00 Percent Annual percent rate (variable) is as of 02/06/2023. Min. balance for APY CDs is $0 (certificates of deposit) are a kind of savings account that has a fixed rate and term typically, they have higher rates of interest than regular savings accounts. CDs (certificates of deposit) are a type of savings account that has fixed rates and terms, and usually have higher interest rates than traditional savings accounts. CIT Bank CD APY 4.60% 1.5 years Term 1.5 years FDIC Marcus by Goldman Sachs High-Yield CD APY 4.6 FDIC Marcus by Goldman Sachs High-Yield CD APY 4.40% 4.40% annual percentage yield (annual percentage yield) at 01/25/2023. 1 year FDIC SoFi Checking and Savings APY 2.50% FDIC SoFi Checking and Savings APY 2.50% SoFi members with direct deposit can receive up 3.75 per cent per year in annual percentage yield (APY) in savings account balances (including vaults) and 2.50 percent APY on their checking balances. The minimum direct deposit amount needed to be eligible for 3.75 percent APY for savings and 2.50 percent APY on checking balances. Direct deposit members will earn 1.20 percent interest on balances in checking and savings (including Vaults). Rates of interest are subject to change and can change at any time. These rates are current as of 01/04/2023. Additional information can be found at Monthly fee $0 Upgrade Rewards Checking APY N/A Monthly fee $0 Deposits are FDIC Insured Current Account APY N/A Monthly fee $0 Deposits are FDIC Insured Chime Checking Account APY N/A Monthly fee $0 Member FDIC Axos Bank(r) Rewards Checking APY 1.25% Receive monthly direct deposits totaling $1,500 or more to earn 0.40% APY. Utilize the Axos Visa(r) Credit Card to make a maximum of 10 transactions per calendar month (min three dollars per purchase) or enroll for Account Aggregation/Personal Financial Manager (PFM) in Online Banking to earn 0.30 percent APR. Keep an average daily amount of $2,500 in An Axos managed Portfolios Investment Account in order to receive 0.20% APR. Maintain an average daily amount of $2,500 within an Axos Self-Directed Trading Investment Account in order to receive 0.20% APY. Utilize the Rewards checking account for your full monthly Axos customer loan payment and earn 0.15% APR. Monthly fee: $0. Money market accounts pay rates similar to savings accounts, and come with certain checking features. Market accounts earn rates similar to savings accounts and include certain checking features. Member FDIC UFB’s best Money Market Rate APY 4.21 Percentage Min. balance for APY $0 member FDIC Discover Bank Money Market Account APY 3.20 Percentage Min. amount for APY $1 tracking of money orders It’s pretty easy to figure the location of a money order is — as long as you’ve kept your receipt. The process is different by issuer. The U.S. Postal Service and MoneyGram allow you to track your online purchases using information such as the serial number found on your receipt as well as the purchase amount. The bank you use should be able give you the same details. If you don’t have the receipt, you’ll likely be required to file a request to find your money order’s serial number, and that’s expensive and time-consuming. For MoneyGram, for example, it costs $40 and can take 60 days to complete. Just be sure to track the money order to the company that actually provides it which could be Western Union or MoneyGram even when you bought it from an convenience store. The money order should clearly indicate who the provider is. Then, back to the top about The author Margarette Burnette is a savings account expert at NerdWallet. The work she has done for NerdWallet was highlighted on USA Today and The Associated Press. Similar to… Find an improved savings account. Check out NerdWallet’s top picks for high yield online savings accounts. Explore Banking further Make smarter money decisions – straight to your inbox Sign up and we’ll send you Nerdy articles on the topics in finance that matter most to you and other strategies to help you get more from your savings.

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