What is a money order? What is a Money Order? and Where to Buy One Advertiser disclosure You’re our first priority. Each every time. We believe that every person should be able to make sound financial decisions with confidence. Although our site does not include every company or financial product on the market however, we’re confident of the advice we provide and the information we offer and the tools we create are independent, objective, straightforward — and free. So how do we make money? Our partners compensate us. This can influence the products we write about (and where those products appear on the site), but it does not affect our suggestions or recommendations that are based on thousands of hours of research. Our partners do not be paid to ensure positive ratings of their goods or services. . What is a money order? How a Money Order works and where to Buy One Money Order is a guaranteed payment which you can buy from places like Walmart or the post office as well as your bank. By Margarette Burnette, Senior Writer Savings accounts, money market accounts, banks Margarette Burnette is a specialist in saving and has been writing about bank accounts since before when she was writing about the Great Recession. Her writing has been featured in major newspapers. Before being a member of NerdWallet, Margarette was a freelance journalist who had bylines in magazines like Good Housekeeping, and Parenting. She is based in Atlanta, Georgia. Nov 23, 2022 Edited by Yuliya Goldshteyn Assistant Assigning Editor Yuliya Goldshteyn works as a banking editor at NerdWallet. She was previously an editor, writer and research analyst across a range of industries from healthcare and market research. She earned a bachelor’s degree in the field of history from University of California, Berkeley. University of California, Berkeley and a master’s in social sciences from the University of Chicago. You can reach her via
. 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 a widely published author and speaker. As an expert on finance psychology Kathleen was featured on TV 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 served as an adjunct faculty instructor at The McCallum Graduate School at Bentley University from 2009 to 2019 and currently teaches at Champlain College. At NerdWallet the content we publish goes through an extensive . We are so confident in our accurate and useful content that we allow outside experts examine our work. The majority of items featured on this page are made by our partners who compensate us. This impacts the types of products we write about and the location and manner in which the product is featured on the page. But, it doesn’t affect our opinions. Our opinions are entirely our own. Below is a list and . Table of Contents. Show More Table of Contents The most important lessons about money orders Money order can be a reliable alternative to cash or a personal check and functions as an actual check, which means you can cash it or deposit it into a bank account. If personal checks or cash can put your security at risk or aren’t accepted for payment, you can use a money order instead. It is possible to use cash or a debit card to buy cash at the postoffice, Walmart, Western Union and other places. How do money order transactions work? The money order can be described as 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 who will receive it must sign the order for it to be valid which reduces theft. You also prepay for money orders when you buy it. They’re available at U.S. post offices, Walmart, Western Union and other places. A lot of them have a limit of $1000 and include those that you purchase at banks. Generally, you must pay for money orders using cash or a debit card. Money orders is a great option for sending money if you do not have a bank account or do not want to share your banking details with the recipient. Money orders: pros and Cons There’s pros and disadvantages of making use of a money order. Take a look at these advantages and disadvantages before you decide to use one. Pros: No bank account is needed to send or receive a money order. Money orders are widely available. Cons: Once a money order is cashed (or lost) or lost, it is difficult if not impossible to get your money back even if it’s due to fraud or a scam. The cash advance fee is subject to change and interest if bought with credit card. (Read the details about .) How do I purchase an order for money? Be aware of how and with whom you’ll pay: Prepare with cash or a credit card and the name of the person paying and the amount you’d like to send. The option of paying with a credit card might be possible, but generally, it’s more expensive. Complete the form in addition to the name of the person who is paying it is necessary to add your name (and perhaps the address) and also sign the payment. (For detailed instructions on how to do this follow NerdWallet’s tutorial on .) Be sure to verify that all information is correct since you’ll not be able to edit the data afterward. Keep the receipt: The receipt will be an exact duplicate of the money-order or a slip of paper that records the information entered on the money order. You might need it to track your money order , or even to call the place where you got it. Follow your money order Your receipt will also have an identification number you can utilize to confirm that the money transfer was made to the intended recipient. If you encounter any issues, contact the place where you purchased the money order to get assistance. Return to top Where can I get a money order? What does a money order cost? You can get an order for money at a post office, Walmart, Western Union and many other locations. Domestic money orders have a range of costs that range from less than a dollar up to $5 depending on where you buy them. It’s cheaper at Walmart or an upscale supermarket or convenience store however, you’ll usually pay more at a bank. Some banks don’t provide international money orders, but some Post offices offer them, however they are more expensive than domestic money orders. No matter where you purchase them, it’s better to purchase money orders in person. Provider Cost Walmart Up to $1. Agents for money transfer (convenience stores supermarkets, convenience stores, etc.) The cost depends on the provider. 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 up to $750): $49.65. Credit unions and banks rely upon the institution that they work with. Often around $5. >> Looking for more options to send money ? We have a list of . What does a money order cost at some of the biggest U.S. banks? Here is an infographic 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 accountholders. Click here to learn about the cost of a money order and availability at the most well-known banks. Bank Money Order Details Not available. , Member FDIC Not available. Not offered. Five dollars for up to $1,000 Free for premium accounts. It must be purchased at a branch. $5; no cost for premium checking customers. $5 Free for premium customers with a checking account. $5; free for premium customers who use their checking accounts. $5; no cost for members in the army. Up to $1,000 for $5. It must be bought at the branch. Back to top When should I use money orders? There are occasions when cash or personal checks could expose you to risk, or they aren’t accepted for payments. Here are four instances of why cash orders can be the ideal method of payment: You must to transfer money in a secure manner. Unlike checks, money orders don’t contain the bank account number and they help ensure that only the person who is receiving it is able to use them, not unlike the process of sending cash. Are you worried about the possibility of bounced checks. Since they can be prepaid and are therefore able to pay, they won’t be rejected for insufficient funds. Another option is a certified check or cashier’s check, both of which ensure payment and don’t have to be accompanied by a $1,000 limit, unlike many money orders. ( and .) It’s sending money abroad. Some money orders don’t work abroad, but U.S. Postal Service money orders can be delivered to around 25 countries. Another option: A wire transfer (see ) If you need money faster and are willing to pay more. You can also check out our . You don’t need a checking account. Because the money orders you need make a payment prior to the date of purchase, you don’t need an account with a bank and can pay your bills in a safe manner. A helpful tip for those who don’t have a checking account, another option for paying for regular purchases and other bills is to use a . Back to top Savings Cash Management CD Checking Money Market A savings account is an account where you can store money securely while earning interest. A savings account is an account where you can save money in a secure manner while earning interest. Members FDIC SoFi Savings and Checking with APY of 3.75% SoFi members who have direct deposit 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 amount of direct deposit required to qualify for the 3.75 percent APY for savings, and 2.50 percent APY on checking balances. Members without direct deposit will receive 1.20 percent interest on balances of savings and checking (including Vaults). Interest rates are variable and may change at any time. The rates listed 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 Goldman Sachs Online Savings account with APY 3.50 35% 3.50% APY (annual per cent yield) with a minimum balance of $0 to earn the stated APY. 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 and/or investment accounts into one. These accounts for managing cash are generally provided by non-bank financial establishments. These accounts offer features and services that are similar to savings, checking or investment accounts into one account. The cash management account is generally provided by non-bank financial institutions. On the website of Wealthfront, you can find Wealthfront Cash Account APY 4.05% min. amount of APY $1 on Betterment’s site Betterment Cash Reserve – Paid non-client promotions APY 4.00 Percent Annual percent return (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 an unchanging rate and term generally, they come with higher interest rates than standard savings accounts. CDs (certificates of deposit) are a kind of savings account with a fixed rate and term typically, and have higher rates of interest 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 per cent yield) at 01/25/2023. 1 year FDIC SoFi Checking and Savings APY 2.50% FDIC SoFi Savings and Checking APY 2.50% SoFi members with direct deposit can earn up to 3.75 per cent annual percentage yield (APY) for savings accounts (including vaults) and 2.50% APY on checking balances. No minimum direct deposit amount needed to be eligible for 3.75% APY for savings, and 2.50 percent APY on checking balances. Direct deposit members are eligible to receive 1.20 percent APR on all balances, including savings and checking (including Vaults). Interest rates are variable and could 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. Make use of your Axos Visa(r) debit card for a total of 10 transactions per monthly (min $3 per transaction) or sign up for Account Aggregation/Personal Finance Manager (PFM) in Online Banking to earn 0.30 percent APY. Maintain an average daily balance of $2,500 within an Axos Managed Portfolios Invest Account to earn 0.20 percent APY. Maintain a daily average amount of $2,500 within the Axos self-directed trading Invest Account in order to receive 0.20% annual percentage yield. Make use of the Rewards checking account to pay the full monthly Axos customer loan payment to earn 0.15 percent APY. Monthly fee $0 Market accounts earn rates similar to savings accounts and include some checking features. Market accounts pay rates comparable to savings accounts and include certain features for checking. FDIC UFB Best Money Market Member FDIC UFB’s Best Money Market APR 4.21 Percentage Min. balance for APY zero member FDIC Discover Bank Money Market Account APY 3.20 Percentage Min. amount for APY $1 Money order tracking It’s pretty easy to figure out where your money order is — provided you’ve saved your receipt. The process is different by issuer. The U.S. Postal Service and MoneyGram allow you to track online with details such as the serial number that appears on your receipt as well as the purchase price. Banks should be in a position give you the exact details. Without a receipt, you’ll probably be required to file a request to locate the serial number on your money order which is costly and lengthy. For MoneyGram, for example it’s $40 and could take up to 60 days to complete. Just be sure to track the money order through the provider that you actually use that could have been Western Union or MoneyGram even when you bought it from an convenience store. The money order should clearly indicate who the provider is. Back to top About The author Margarette Burnette works as a savings account expert at NerdWallet. She has had her work featured by USA Today and The Associated Press. In a similar vein… Get a better savings account See NerdWallet’s recommendations for the top high-yielding savings accounts online. Explore Banking further Make smarter money decisions – straight to your inbox. Sign up and we’ll send you Nerdy posts about money-related topics which matter to you the most along with other ways to get more value from your money.
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