What Is a Money Order? What is a Money Order? and where you can purchase one Advertiser disclosure: You’re our top priority. Each every single time. We believe that everyone should be able to make sound financial decisions with confidence. Although our site does not feature every business or financial product available in the marketplace, we’re proud that the guidance we offer as well as the advice we provide and the tools we create are impartial, independent simple, and free. How do we earn money? Our partners compensate us. This may influence which products we review and write about (and where those products appear on our website) however it does not affect our recommendations or advice, which are grounded in thousands of hours of research. Our partners cannot be paid to ensure positive ratings of their goods or services. . What is a money order? What is a Money Order operates and where to Buy One A money order is a dependable payment that which you can buy from places like Walmart or the post office and even your bank. Written by Margarette Burnette Senior Writer Savings accounts as well as money market accounts bank accounts Margarette Burnette has been a savings expert who has been writing about bank accounts since prior to the Great Recession. Her work has been featured in major newspapers. Before being a member of NerdWallet, Margarette was a freelance journalist with bylines in magazines like Good Housekeeping, and Parenting. She is located near Atlanta, Georgia. Nov 23, 2022 Edited By Yuliya Goldshteyn, Assistant Assigning Bank Yuliya Goldshteyn works as a banking editor with NerdWallet. She has previously worked as an editor as well as a researcher and writer across a range of industries from health care and market research. She received a bachelor’s level degree in the field of history from University of California, Berkeley. University of California, Berkeley and a master’s degree in social sciences from the University of Chicago. You can reach her at
. Review 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 an internationally published author and speaker. As an expert on finance psychology Kathleen was featured on TV, and her work has been published in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, “PBS NewsHour,” Money magazine, Today Money, Forbes and CNBC. Kathleen served as an adjunct faculty member of The McCallum Graduate School at Bentley University from 2009 until 2019, and is now a professor at Champlain College. At NerdWallet our content is put through rigorous . We have such confidence in our accurate and useful content that we let outside experts examine our work. Many or all of the items featured on this page are made by our partners, who pay us. This impacts the types of products we feature as well as the place and way the product appears on the page. However, it does not influence our evaluations. Our opinions are entirely our own. Here’s a list of and . Table of Contents Table of Contents Key takeaways about money orders A Money order can be a reliable substitute for cash and personal checks; it works like the check and you can cash it or deposit it into the bank account. If personal checks or cash puts the risk of being harmed or isn’t acceptable for payment, make use of a money order. You can use cash or a debit card to buy money orders at the post office, Walmart, Western Union and many other locations. How do money orders work? The money order can be described as a small piece of paper that is a secure alternative to personal checks or cash. You choose who receives the money order, and you and that person must sign it for it to be valid which reduces theft. You also prepay for the money order before you buy it. They’re available from U.S. post offices, Walmart, Western Union and other locations. There are many that have a limit of $1,000 which includes those you buy at banks. Generally, you must pay for money orders with cash or a debit card. The Nerdy Tip: A money order is a great alternative to send money if you do not have a bank account or do not want to divulge your bank information for the beneficiary. Money orders: Pros as well as cons benefits and disadvantages of using a money order. Take a look at these pros and cons before you make a decision to use one. Benefits: There is no bank account needed to send or receive a cash order. The money order is widely available. Cons When a money order is cashable (or lost) and then lost, it could be difficult, if it is not impossible to recover your money regardless of whether it was due to fraud or scam. Subject to cash advance fees and interest if purchased with a credit card. (Read about .) How can I buy a money order? Be aware of how and with whom you’ll pay: Prepare using cash or a debit card, your name, the payee and the amount you’d like to pay. Credit card payments could be possible, but typically, it will cost more. The form must be completed: In addition to the payee’s name and address, you’ll have to include your name (and possibly the address) and also sign the purchase. (For step-by-step instructions read NerdWallet’s advice on .) Be careful to ensure that all information is correct since you’ll be unable to change the information afterward. Keep the receipt in your wallet: The receipt will be an exact carbon duplicate of the money-order or a paper slip recording the information you entered in the order. You may need it to trace your money order or contact the person who received it. Follow your money order The receipt should also include an tracking number which you can utilize to confirm that the money order got to the intended recipient. If any problems arise, contact the place where you purchased the money order for help. Back to top Where can I find a money order? What does an order for money cost? You can purchase money orders at the post office, Walmart, Western Union and other places. Domestic money orders have various costs, from under a dollar up to around $5, depending on the location you purchase them. You can find a cheaper price at Walmart or an upscale supermarket or convenience store, and you’ll typically pay more at a bank. Some banks don’t offer international money orders; some postal offices will, however they cost more than money orders for domestic customers. No matter where you buy them, it’s safer to buy money orders in the person. The seller Cost Walmart Up to $1. Money transfer agents (convenience stores supermarkets, convenience stores, etc.) 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. Foreign (up to $700): $49.65. Credit unions and banks depend upon the institution that they work with. Often around $5. If you are looking for additional options to send money ? These are the options we have . What will a money-order cost at the biggest U.S. banks? This table that outlines the price of a money order and available at a few popular banks. Note that many banks will only sell money orders to accountholders. Click here for information on the money order cost and availability at the most well-known banks. Bank Money Order Information Not offered. Members of the FDIC Not available. It is not available. Up to $1,000 for $5 Free for premium accounts. You must purchase the account at an office. $5; free for premium checking customers. $5; free for premium customers with a checking account. $5 For premium checking customers. $5; free for military members in the army. Up to $1,000 for $5. It must be bought at the branch. Return to top Why do I need to use a money order? There are occasions that using personal or cash checks could expose you to risk, or they aren’t accepted as payments. 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. Unlike checks, money orders don’t include the bank account number and they ensure that only the recipient is able to make use of it, as opposed to mailing cash. You’re concerned about the possibility of bouncing a check. Because money orders are prepaid, they cannot be rejected due to 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 the limit of $1,000 like the majority of money orders. ( And .) If you’re sending money overseas. Not all money orders work abroad, but U.S. Postal Service money orders can be sent to up to 25 countries. Another option: A wire transfer (see ), if you need the money there quicker and can be able to pay more. You can also check out our . You don’t need an account at a bank. Since money orders require you for payment in advance, this means you don’t need an account at a bank, but you can pay your bills in a safe manner. Nerdy Tip If you don’t have a bank account, another option for paying for regular purchases and other bills is to use an . Return to top Savings Cash Management CD Checking Money Market Savings accounts are a place where you can save money in a safe manner and earn interest. A savings account is a place where you can save money in a secure manner while earning interest. FDIC SoFi Savings and Checking APY 3.75% FDIC SoFi Checking and Savings with APY of 3.75 percent SoFi customers who make direct deposit are eligible to earn up to 3.75 percent annually-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 earn the 3.75 percent APY on savings, and 2.50 percent APY on checking balances. Customers who do not deposit direct deposits will earn 1.20 percent APR on all balances of savings and checking (including Vaults). Interest rates are variable and can change at any time. 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 by Goldman Sachs Online Savings Account APY 3.50 percent 3.50% APY (annual per cent yield) with a minimum balance of $0 to earn the APY stated. Accounts must have a positive balance in order to be open. APY valid as of 02/07/2023. Min. balance for APY The cash accounts provide a range of services and features similar to checking, savings or investment accounts in one product. The cash management account is typically provided by non-bank financial institutions. These cash accounts combine services and features similar to savings, checking and/or investment accounts in one package. Cash management accounts are typically offered by non-bank financial institutions. on the Wealthfront website. Wealthfront Cash account APY 4.05% min. balance for APY $1 on Betterment’s website Betterment Cash Reserve Paid Non-Client Promotion APY 4.00% Annual percent yield (variable) is at 02/06/2023. Min. balance for APY $0 CDs (certificates of deposits) are a kind of savings account with 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 comes with an unchanging rate and term which usually come with higher rates of interest than standard savings accounts. CIT Bank CD APY 4.60% Term 1.5 years Members FDIC Marcus by Goldman Sachs High-Yield CD APY 4.40 percent 4.40% APR (annual percentage yield) as of 01/25/2023 . 1 year FDIC SoFi Checking and Savings APY 2.50% FDIC SoFi Checking and Savings APY 2.50% SoFi members who have direct deposit may get up to 3.75 percent annually percentage return (APY) on savings balances (including Vaults) and 2.50% APY on checking balances. There is no minimum amount of direct deposit needed to be eligible for 3.75 percent APY for savings, and 2.50% APY for checking balances. Members without direct deposit receive 1.20 percent APR on all balances in checking and savings (including Vaults). The rates of interest are subject to fluctuation and are subject to change at any point. The rates listed 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. Utilize the Axos Visa(r) debit card for a total of 10 transactions each monthly (min 3 cents per transaction) or enroll for Account Aggregation/Personal Financial Manager (PFM) through Online Banking to earn 0.30% APR. Maintain an average daily amount of $2,500 within the Axos Managed Portfolios Invest Account for 0.20 percent annual percentage yield. Maintain an average daily balance of $2,500 with the Axos self-directed trading Investment Account to earn 0.20% APY. Make use of your Rewards Checking account for the full each month Axos customer loan payment to earn 0.15 percent annual percentage yield. Monthly fee: $0. Money market accounts have rates that are similar to savings accounts, and come with certain checking features. Market accounts pay rates similar to savings accounts, and come with certain checking features. FDIC UFB Best Money Market Member FDIC UFB Best Money Market APY 4.21 Percentage Min. balance for APY zero member FDIC Discover Bank Money Market Account APY 3.20 percent Min. amount for APY $1 Money order tracking It’s pretty easy to figure the location of a money order is provided you’ve saved the 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 found on the receipt along with the purchase price. Your bank should be able to give you the same details. If you don’t have the receipt, you’ll likely need to submit a research request to discover the serial number of your money order, and that’s expensive and lengthy. At MoneyGram for instance the fee is $40, and can take 60 days to complete. Make sure you track the money order to the actual provider that could include Western Union or MoneyGram even when you bought it from a convenience store. The money order should clearly state who the provider is. Return to top About Author: Margarette Burnette works as a savings account expert at NerdWallet. Her work has been featured by USA Today and The Associated Press. Similar to… Get the best savings account. See NerdWallet’s top picks for high-yielding online savings accounts. Explore Banking further Make smarter money decisions right to your inbox. Sign-up and we’ll send you Nerdy articles about money-related topics that matter most to you as well as other methods to help you make more from your savings.
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