If you want to send someone cash, it might be best to get a money order near you.
Welcome to the phroogal 5, a series of the five best places to get a money order. We learned how important it is to help you narrow down your choices.
- Local bank and credit union
- Local Supermarket
The criteria for inclusion in the best list:
- Reputation and security of provider
- Money order near you locations
- Money order fees
What is a money order?
A money order is a paper document and is used instead of writing checks or using cash. The money orders pay for purchases, bills, and sending cash in the mail. Money orders are available and accepted in many places as cash.
Why use money orders?
Now that you know what money orders are, here are reasons why you would use them:
Safer than checks or cards. You can send payments to people and companies without sharing your personal information through a check, debit card, or bank transfer. And there is tracking available to ensure it’s arrived and cashed.
Just like cash. Unlike a personal check, money orders are a better alternative to cash and ideal for larger purchases and cash-only transactions. Money orders are treated like cash because money is prepaid. The risk of insufficient funds or bounced checks is unlikely.
Okay, where can you find them?
Where to get a money order near you?
It’s pretty convenient to get money orders in many places. However, be cautious of websites claiming online money orders. You can only get money orders in person. Otherwise, it’s an online money transfer.
The most popular money orders are associated with Western Union and MoneyGram. But you have other options as well.
When dealing with cash, you must trust and know the company selling them. Just stick with local and well-known establishments that have multiple locations nationwide.
Before you head over to the nearest drug stores or retail stores, know where actually to go and what you need.
- You can get money orders at many grocery stores like Safeway, Publix, Kroger and Fred Meyer. Or convenience stores like 7-11.
- Different money order providers have different rules such as max per money order or money order limits and acceptable forms of payment.
Now, here are the five best places to get a money order near you:
CVS is a convenient location to get money orders near you, with over 9,900 locations nationwide. With CVS, they provide money orders through MoneyGram and charge $1.25 per money order.
Location: 9,900+ nationwide CVS stores
Maximum amount: $500 per money order
Fee: $1.25 per money order
Through CVS, you can buy a money order for up to $500. If you need more than the max amount, you’ll need to purchase additional money orders and pay the fee.
If no convenient location is near you, then an alternative to CVS money orders is Rite Aid.
Walmart sells MoneyGram money orders in their MoneyCenter locations within Supercenter and Neighborhood Market stores. You can find the place nearest you by visiting walmart.com.
Location: 100s of stores worldwide
Maximum amount: $1000
Fee: Max $1 per money order
With Walmart money orders, you can pay with cash or debit card. If you need to cash a MoneyGram money order, you can do so at Walmart and pay the check-cashing fee.
US Postal Service Office
The United States Postal Service sells money orders at over 30,000 post office retail locations nationwide. Getting your money order through the USPS may be the best way, so head on over to your USPS office.
Location: 30,000+ USPS nationwide
Maximum Amount: $1,000
For USPS money orders, you can use cash, debit card, or traveler’s checks. The USPS does not issue MoneyGram or WesternUnion money orders but uses its brand. Call ahead to ask if your post office gives money orders and be prepared to have the cash amount plus the fee. They may also accept debit cards.
Local banks and credit unions
Many banks and credit unions offer money orders. You’ll need the exact cash amount and the applicable fee to purchase them. Some financial institutions may require you to be a current customer to buy a money order.
Locations: Call your financial institution
Maximum Amount: Varies
Call ahead for details and requirements to get a money order from a bank or credit union near you. They may require cash upfront for the plus fee or withdraw the total amount needed from your checking account. Some may even allow you to make a credit card cash advance with additional fees.
Supermarket and Grocery Stores
Another place to get a money order near you is a supermarket that offers Western Union money orders. Depending on your location, you can make money order purchases through Safeway, Publix, Fred Meyer, Krogers, and more.
Locations: Visit your local supermarket customer service
Maximum Amount: Varies
How to Complete a Money Order
Now that you’ve decided where and are comfortable with the fees, it’s time to get your money order. You must have the exact cash amount needed for the purchase. In some places, you can use a debit card instead of cash.
- Have the payee information: you’ll need to name the payee and the amount to send. Sometimes this is printed on the slip itself but can be written by you.
- Fill out the form: you may be asked to fill out a short form that may require your address and signature.
- Hold onto the receipt: keep the carbon copy for your records.
- Tracking: a tracking number is printed on the copy and you can use it to verify it was received.
Keep your original money order stub. If issues arise, you want to contact the place where you got it for assistance.
Use an Alternative
Money orders may be what you need, but you do have other options. It’s worth considering an alternative that may be a better form of payment.
Use your checking account. If you don’t have a checking account, consider opening an account with your local bank or credit union.
Have you been denied a checking account because of ChexSystems? Many neobanks like Chime or Aspiration are an excellent option for a checking account for those who may get rejected by a traditional financial institution. These companies also offer debit cards, thus making it more convenient to pay bills or make online purchases.
View all your checking account options in the marketplace.
Money Order FAQs
Frequently asked questions about money orders.
Does Walgreens sell money orders?
No, Walgreens does not offer money order purchases. Instead, Walgreens provides Western Union money transfers.
How much do money orders cost?
Money order fees range from $1 and up to $5. It depends on where you get a money order near you. The best places are the USPS or Walmart because of accessibility. The fees may be higher using your bank or credit union since you have an alternative available such as writing a check or requesting a cashier’s check.
What do I need to consider when buying a money order?
It’s essential to use a reputable retailer and assess a retail location’s money order costs, processing fees, and accessibility.
What happens if I lost my money order?
If you have your original money order stub, you can verify if it has been cashed and may be able to recover it. In some cases, if you can confirm it has been lost or stolen, you may get a replacement money order from the issuer.
Can I get international money orders?
Keep in mind not all money order providers sell international money orders. Some post office locations do. The USPS is your best bet for military money orders unless you have access to an APO/FPO/DPO location.
Where can I get a Western Union money order?
Western Union partners with thousands of retail locations. For money order purchases, visit your local retailers on the list.
What’s the difference between Western Union and MoneyGram?
Western Union is larger than MoneyGram and has a globally recognized brand. With Western Union, you can do several money transfers using cash, debit, or credit card. Both Western Union and MoneyGram offer a variety of money transfer services. Check the fees as they vary greatly. Visit Moneygram.
What is the maximum money I can send in a money order?
The maximum money depends on the money order providers. Many require you to buy multiple money orders if you’ve reached the max amount per order.