Are you wondering where can I cash a money order? While they were once a regular type of financial transaction, money orders are less common today. However, they are still a legitimate form of payment and widely accepted.
Here’s what you need to know about how to cash a money order.
What is a Money Order?
Money order is a paper document like a check that serves as a mode of payment. Once you pay for it, the institution or agent, which is the third party, issues you the document that you can then send to someone else. That person can then deposit it into a bank account or exchange it for cash.
Money orders have been around for several decades. Despite the prevalence of online payments such as PayPal and Venmo, money orders are still used from time to time. Some people still prefer to use money orders because they are safe and not very complicated.
Where Can You Buy a Money Order?
You can buy a money order from many places, such as banks, supermarkets and credit unions, USPS offices, payday loan stores, and even some convenience stores.
Money orders typically have a maximum limit of $1000 per order. If you intend to send more than that, you will have to buy more than one money order.
How to Use a Money Order You Have Received
When you receive a money order, you will have to convert it to cash or deposit it in the same way you would do with a check.
To make it easy for you, it is best to deposit the money order with the same entity that generated it in the first place. If a bank generated it, it is best to visit a branch of the same bank near you to cash or deposit the order.
However, if the entity does not have an outlet near you, you can take it to any other establishment that accepts money orders.
Where Can I Cash a Money Order? 6 Places
Here are six places where you can cash your money order.
Most banks accept money orders, so you can send and receive orders here. If you already have a bank account, consider visiting your local branch location to cash the money order.
If you wish, they can convert it and deposit the money in your account immediately or hand over the cash to you.
2. Money Transfer agents
Money transfer agents also accept money orders. Popular agents are MoneyGram and Western Union. These agents will charge you only a small fee for the conversion.
3. Credit Unions
You can cash your money order at credit unions, too, if you have an active credit union account. Their fees are relatively modest. Credit unions may also cash money orders for non-members, although an additional fee may apply.
4. Post office
The USPS sells and also converts money orders into cash. Visit your local post office branch to learn more and for assistance.
5. Grocery stores
While not all grocery stores offer this service, some stores do. If a store accepts money orders, they will display this information at the front of the store for customers to see.
Stores that cash checks are most likely going to accept money orders as well. Check with a cashier or at the customer service counter for more details.
6. The issuer
Any entity or agent that sells money orders will generally accept them too. If the issuer of the order has an outlet near you, simply visit their place of business to cash it. Or, visit any other known seller of money orders and ask them about cashing the money order!
Money Order Redemption Process
In this section, we’ll review the redemption process to make it easy for you to cash your money order when next you receive one.
Present the Money Order: When you want to cash your money order, present it to the agent or cashier at an outlet where money order transactions are accepted.
Sign the Money Order: The agent will ask you to sign the back of the money order if you haven’t already done so. After doing that, hand over the money order to the customer service agent.
Identity Verification: At this stage, you will have to present a means of identification to prove your identity. Typically any photo identification documentation will work, like a government-issued driver’s license, passport, or a military card if you are a member of the military.
Service Fee: Once your signature and identity have been verified, you will have to pay the service fees for the transaction. In most cases, the fees will be deducted from the cash you are about to collect. This fee is usually relatively small, and comparable to other money transferring services.
After deducting the service fees, the agent will hand over the balance to you.
5 Reasons Why People Use Money Orders
Despite so many different payments and money transfer methods available today, many people still prefer to use money orders. Here are some reasons why you may want to consider using money orders instead of other money transfer methods.
1. International transfers
If you want to send money from your country to another country and the recipient has no way of cashing it at any of the banks in the country they reside, you can switch to money orders instead. MoneyGram and Western Union are two very good options.
2. Check limitations
If you want to pay for a service and checks are not accepted as a medium for payment, or you don’t even have a check to present, you can use a money order instead.
Another reason why some people prefer money orders is because they do not bounce, unlike checks. This makes it safer for both the sender and the recipient.
If you are paying for or receiving payment on a valuable item such as a vehicle or jewelry, you may prefer to use a money order.
3. Mail payment
While it is risky to send cash through the mail or a check, money orders are safer. You can use them to make a payment through the mail.
4. No checking account
There are people who just don’t have checking accounts or any bank account. For such people, a money order becomes a useful alternative to send and receive money, pay bills and to handle other financial transactions such as rent.
5. Security measures
If you plan to make a large payment for a service or an item, but you don’t want to carry physical cash, you can just buy a money order and register it in your name. Then, go to the location where you are making the payment and present the money order alongside your means of identification. This way, you eliminate the risks of getting robbed.
Most locations do place a cap on the dollar amount of money orders, so for higher-value purchases, you may need to purchase more than one money order.
Where to Cash a Money Order
A secure form of payment, money orders can be used for a variety of transactions. There are many different places to cash a money order including banks, credit unions, and more. Just make sure you request and keep the receipts so you can track the money order.
Kim Ritter is a frugal living expert, blogger and mom of two from small-town Iowa. What began as an effort to help her family save a few dollars a month has now transformed into a full-time passion to help other parents money. Visit her online at twokidsandacoupon.com and follow her on Twitter at @2kidsandacoupon for more ways your family can have fun on a budget.