What is a money order? How a Money Order Works and where you can purchase one Advertiser disclosure: You’re our top priority. Each time. We believe everyone should be able to make sound financial decisions without hesitation. Although our site does not feature every business or financial product on the market We’re pleased that the guidance we offer and the information we offer and the tools we create are independent, objective easy to use and completely free. How do we earn money? Our partners compensate us. This can influence the products we review and write about (and the way they appear on the website) However, it doesn’t affect our suggestions or recommendations that are based on many hours of study. Our partners do not promise us favorable reviews of their products or services. . What is a money order? How does a money Order Works and Where to Purchase One A money order is a guaranteed payment you can purchase at locations such as Walmart, the post office and even your bank. By Margarette Burnette, Senior Writer Savings accounts, money market accounts, banking Margarette Burnette is an expert savings expert who has written about bank accounts since before even the Great Recession. Her work has been featured in major newspapers. Prior to becoming a part of NerdWallet, Margarette was a freelance journalist with bylines in magazines such as Good Housekeeping, and Parenting. She is based in Atlanta, Georgia. Nov 23rd, 2022 Edited by Yuliya Goldshteyn, Assistant Assigning Banking Yuliya Goldshteyn works as a banking editor with NerdWallet. She has previously worked as an editor or writer, as well as research analyst in a variety of industries, from health care to market research. She earned a bachelor’s degree in history at the University of California, Berkeley as well as a master’s degree of social science from University of Chicago. You can reach her via
. The book was 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 well-known author and speaker. As an expert in financial psychology, Kathleen was featured on TV and her work has been published by The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, “PBS NewsHour,”” Money magazine, Today Money, Forbes and CNBC. Kathleen was an adjunct faculty instructor at McCallum Graduate School from 2009 to 2019. McCallum Graduate School at Bentley University from 2009 to 2019 and currently teaches in the college of Champlain College. At NerdWallet the content we publish goes through a rigorous . We are so confident about our reliable and valuable content that we allow outside experts examine our work. The majority of products we feature are provided by our partners, who pay us. This influences which products we write about as well as the place and way the product is featured on the page. However, this does not influence our evaluations. Our opinions are entirely our own. Here’s a list of and . Table of Contents Show More Table of Contents The most important takeaways about money orders A cash advance is an reliable alternative to cash or a personal check; it works like the check and you can cash it or deposit it into an account at a bank. When using personal checks or cash puts your security at risk or aren’t accepted for payment, make use of a money order. You can use cash or debit cards to purchase money order at post offices, Walmart, Western Union and other places. What is the process for money orders? A money order is a small piece of paper that is a secure alternative to cash or personal checks. You can specify who will get the money order, and you and that person must sign it in order to make it valid which reduces theft. It is also possible to prepay the money order before you buy it. They are available at U.S. post offices, Walmart, Western Union and other places. There are many that have a limit of $1,000, including those that you purchase at banks. Generallyspeaking, you need to make payment for money orders by cash or a debit card. Money orders is an excellent option to transfer money when you do not have a bank account or do not want to share your banking details to the person receiving it. Money orders: pros and Cons There’s pros and disadvantages to making use of a money order. Be aware of these advantages and disadvantages before you make a decision to use one. Benefits: There is no bank account required to make or receive a money order. Money orders are readily accessible. Cons If a money-order is cashable (or lost) or lost, it is difficult if not impossible to retrieve your money regardless of whether it was because of fraud or scam. Cash advance charges may apply and interest if bought with credit card. (Read the details about .) How do I purchase money orders? Be aware of how and with whom you’ll pay with cash or a credit card as well as names of your person who will be paying and the amount you’d like to pay. Paying with a credit card might be possible, but typically, it will cost more. Complete the form: In addition to the name of the person who is paying and address, you’ll have to include your name (and perhaps the address) and sign the money payment. (For steps-by-step instructions read NerdWallet’s advice on .) Be careful to ensure that everything is accurate since you’ll be unable to change the information afterward. Keep the receipt: The receipt is a carbon duplicate of the money-order or a paper slip recording the information entered in the order. You may need it to trace the money order or to contact the place where you got it. Track your money order: The receipt should also include an identification number you can utilize to confirm that the money order was delivered to the person you wanted it to. If you encounter any issues, contact the place that you purchased the money order for assistance. How do I find a money order? How much does an order for money cost? You can purchase money orders at the post office, Walmart, Western Union and other places. Money orders for domestic use come with a range of costs starting at less than $1 all the way to about $5 depending on the location you purchase them. You can find a cheaper price at Walmart or a convenience store or supermarket, and you’ll typically spend more at a bank. Some banks don’t provide international money orders, but certain Post offices offer them, but they’re more expensive than domestic money orders. No matter where you purchase them, it’s best to buy money orders in the store in person. Provider Cost Walmart Up to $1. Transfer agents for cash (convenience stores, supermarkets, etc.) The cost depends on the company. For example, some San Francisco-based Western Union providers charge $1. U.S. Postal Service up to $500: $1.65. $501-$1000: $2.20. Military money orders 55 cents. international (up of $700): $49.65. Credit unions and banks depend upon the institution that they work with. Often around $5. Are you looking for other options for sending fund s ? We have a list of . What is a money order cost at the biggest U.S. banks? Below is a table with the cost of money orders and the availability of some well-known banks. It is important to note that many banks only offer money orders to account holders. Click here to learn about the money order cost and availability at the most well-known banks. Bank Money Order Information Not offered. The bank is a member of FDIC Not available. The offer is not offered. Five dollars for up to $1,000 and free to premium account holders. You must purchase the account at an office. $5; $5 for premium customers who use a checking account. $5 Free for premium customers with a checking account. $5 Free for premium customers who use their checking accounts. $5; free for members of the military. Up to $1,000 for $5. The money order must be made at the branch. Return to top Why should I use a money order? There are times that using personal or cash checks could expose you to risk, or they aren’t accepted for payment. Here are four examples of why cash orders can be the ideal option for payment: You have to make sure that you send money safely. In contrast to checks, money order don’t contain your bank account number, and help to make sure that only the recipient is able to make use of it, as opposed to the process of sending cash. You’re concerned about bouncing a check. Since money orders are prepaid, they won’t be rejected for insufficient funds. Another option: A certified check or a cashier’s check, both of which are guaranteed to be paid but don’t need to have a $1,000 limit, unlike many money orders. ( as well .) It’s sending money abroad. Not all money orders work overseas, but U.S. Postal Service money orders can be delivered to around 25 countries. Another option: A wire transfer (see ), if you require the funds faster and are willing to spend more. Check out our . There is no need for an account at a bank. Since the money orders you need make a payment prior to the date of purchase, you don’t require a bank account and you are able to pay for bills without risk. Nerdy Tip If you do not have a checking account, another option for paying for your regular purchases and other bills is to use the . Back to the top Savings Cash Management CD Checking Money Market Savings accounts are a place where you can store money securely and earn interest. A savings account is a place where you can save money in a secure manner while earning interest. Member FDIC SoFi Checking and Savings with APY of 3.75 Percent SoFi Members who have direct deposit can earn up to 3.75 per cent annually-percentage yield (APY) for savings accounts (including Vaults) and 2.50 percent APY on checking balances. The minimum amount of direct deposit required to qualify for the 3.75 percent APY for savings, and 2.50% APY for checking balances. Direct deposit members will receive 1.20 percent APR on all balances, including savings and checking (including Vaults). Rates of interest are subject to change and can change at any point. These rates are current as of 01/04/2023. Additional information can be found at http://www.sofi.com/legal/banking-rate-sheet Min. balance for APY: $0 Member FDIC Marcus Online Savings by Goldman Sachs Account APR 3.50 35% 3.50% APR (annual per cent yield) with $0 minimum balance to earn the APY stated. Accounts must be in positive balance to remain open. APY is valid until 02/07/2023. Min. balance for APY The cash accounts provide a range of services and features similar to savings, checking and/or investment accounts in one product. The cash management account is generally provided by non-bank financial establishments. They combine the features and services similar to checking, savings or investment accounts into one package. The cash management account is generally offered by non-bank financial establishments. on the Wealthfront website. Wealthfront Cash Accounts APY 4.05% Min. amount of APY $1 on Betterment’s website Betterment Cash Reserve – Paid non-client promotions APY 4.00 Percent Annual percent rate (variable) is at 02/06/2023. Min. balance for APY CDs is $0 (certificates of deposits) are a type of savings account with fixed rates and terms generally, they come with higher interest rates than regular savings accounts. CDs (certificates of deposit) are a kind of savings account that comes with an unchanging rate and term, and usually have higher interest rates than traditional savings accounts. CIT Bank CD APY 4.60% 1.5% Term 1.5 Years Members FDIC Marcus by Goldman Sachs High-Yield CD APY 4.40 percent 4.40% APR (annual per cent yield) as of 01/25/2023 Term 1 year Member FDIC SoFi Savings and Checking APY 2.50% SoFi members who have direct deposit are eligible to get up to 3.75 per cent annually percentage return (APY) in savings account balances (including vaults) and 2.50% APY on checking balances. There is no minimum amount of direct deposit that is required to earn the 3.75 percent APY on savings and 2.50% APY for checking balances. Members without direct deposit receive 1.20% APR on all balances in checking and savings (including Vaults). Interest rates are variable and can change at any point. These rates are current as of 01/04/2023. Additional information can be found at http://www.sofi.com/legal/banking-rate-sheet 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. Make use of Your Axos Visa(r) Debit Card to make a maximum of 10 transactions each month (min $3 per transaction) or sign up for Account Aggregation/Personal Finance Manager (PFM) through Online Banking to earn 0.30 percent APY. Keep an average daily amount of $2,500 within An Axos managed Portfolios Investment Account to earn 0.20% annual percentage yield. Maintain an average daily amount of $2,500 with An Axos Self Directed Trading Invest Account for 0.20 percent APR. Utilize your Rewards Checking account to pay your entire each month Axos consumer loan payment and earn 0.15 percent annual percentage yield. Monthly fee: $0. Money market accounts have rates similar to savings accounts and include certain checking features. Market accounts earn rates that are similar to savings accounts and have certain features for checking. FDIC UFB Best Money Market Member FDIC UFB’s Best Money Market APR 4.21 Percentage Min. balance for APY $1 member FDIC Discover Bank Money Market Account APY 3.20 percent Min. balance for APY $1 Tracking money order It’s pretty easy to figure the location of a money order is so long as you’ve kept your receipt. However, the procedure varies according to the issuer. The U.S. Postal Service and MoneyGram allow you to track your online purchases using details like the serial number that appears on your receipt as well as the purchase price. Your bank should be able to give you the same information. Without the receipt, you’ll have to file a research request to locate your money order’s serial number, and that’s expensive and lengthy. For MoneyGram, for example the fee is $40, and takes up to 60 days to process. Make sure you track the money order to the provider that you actually use — it might be Western Union or MoneyGram even in the event that you purchased it from the convenience store. The money order should clearly show or state who the provider is. Back to top About The author Margarette Burnette works as a savings account expert at NerdWallet. The work she has done for NerdWallet was featured in USA Today and The Associated Press. Similar to… Find an improved savings account. Check out NerdWallet’s recommendations for the top high-yielding online savings accounts. 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