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Where to Get a Money Order Near You: 7 Best Places

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There may be instances where money orders are required over cash payments. In that case, you’ll need to figure out where to get money orders.

You’re in luck because there are many places to get money orders. These include the following:

  1. Post Offices
  2. Banks and Credit Unions
  3. Convenience Stores
  4. Walmart
  5. Check-Cashing Stores
  6. Western Union
  7. MoneyGram

What is a Money Order?

A money order is a secure payment method similar to a check, in which the payment is pre-funded. This means that money orders require upfront payment, which guarantees the receiver that the funds are available, unlike a check, which can bounce if the issuer’s account lacks sufficient funds. Money orders are issued by various entities, making them a widely accessible and reliable form of payment.

What Are Money Orders Used For?

Instead of writing a check, you can get a money order. Money orders are commonly used when cash, checks, or electronic payments are not practical or possible. Here are some typical uses:

  1. Sending Money by Mail: Money orders are safer than sending cash through the mail because they can be tracked and canceled if lost or stolen.
  2. Paying Bills: They can be used to pay bills or rent, especially when checks are not accepted, or the payer does not have a checking account.
  3. Making Purchases: For individuals without access to traditional banking services, money orders allow them to make purchases or pay bills easily.
  4. Sending Funds Internationally: Many money orders, particularly postal ones, can be sent internationally, offering a secure way to send funds overseas.

What’s in a Money Order?

A money order typically includes the following information:

  • Amount: The exact amount to be paid, pre-printed or stamped when the money order is issued.
  • Issuer’s name and address: Details of the issuing institution or agency.
  • Payee’s name: The name of the individual or entity receiving the money order.
  • Purchaser’s address: Usually the address of the person who bought the money order.
  • Serial number, Barcode, or other tracking number: This helps in tracking the money order and verifying its authenticity.

Where to Get Money Orders

You have options, including the following:

1. Post Offices

Purchasing a money order at your local post office combines convenience with accessibility. With over 30,000 post office locations nationwide, finding one nearby is typically easy. The U.S. Postal Service offers money orders up to $1,000 with a modest fee structure: $2 for amounts up to $500 and $2.90 for amounts between $500 and $1,000. This makes it a reliable choice for secure payments, especially when sending money through mail.

2. Banks and Credit Unions

While your local bank or credit union might offer money orders, they typically charge higher fees compared to other outlets. Major banks like Wells Fargo and Chase might charge around $5 per money order. Despite higher costs, purchasing from a bank provides the added benefit of financial advice and personal service, which can be invaluable for broader financial planning.

3. Convenience Stores

Many might not realize that the same place where you stop for gas and snacks might also offer financial services. Chains like 7-Eleven provide money orders at approximately 13,000 locations. The maximum amount for each money order is $500, with fees varying by location, generally ranging from $1.39 to $2.99, making this a convenient option for small, secure transactions on the go.

4. Retail Stores, like Walmart

As a hub for everyday shopping, Walmart also facilitates the purchase of money orders. Each of its Supercenters and Neighborhood Markets houses a customer service desk or money services center where you can easily buy a money order while doing your regular shopping. This makes Walmart a practical stop for those looking to handle multiple errands in one trip.

5. Check-Cashing Stores

Beyond their primary service of cashing checks, these stores frequently offer additional financial services, including money orders. ACE Cash Express, for example, operates over 850 locations in 23 states, though they do not publicly disclose their fees. In Florida, Amscot is a notable option as it provides money orders free of charge, offering a cost-effective solution for residents.

6. Western Union

Western Union agents, found in approximately 45,000 locations across supermarkets, pharmacies, and check-cashing stores like Walmart, Kroger, and Safeway, offer a reliable network for purchasing money orders. Typically, you can buy money orders up to $1,000, although fees may vary by location. Western Union emphasizes customer support, with trained agents ready to assist with any questions.

7. MoneyGram

MoneyGram money orders are available at around 26,000 locations, often found in convenience and grocery stores. Lisa White, a MoneyGram executive, suggests these venues as optimal for purchasing their money orders. Fees and limits may differ by location, so it’s advisable to inquire directly with the store. MoneyGram also supports customers online with services like order replacements or obtaining proof of payment.

Steps to Get a Money Order

Follow these steps to get a money order.

Step 1: Decide Where to Purchase

Choose a location to buy a money order. Popular choices include post offices, banks, credit unions, retail stores, and check-cashing businesses.

Step 2: Bring Necessary Funds

Carry enough cash, a debit card, or any other form of payment accepted by the issuer to cover the amount of the money order and any associated fees.

Step 3: Fill Out the Money Order

Complete the money order form with precise details. This includes the payee’s name, your address, and the amount. Some issuers might also require your account number if you’re paying a bill.

Step 4: Keep the Receipt

After purchasing the money order, a detachable receipt section should be provided. Keep this receipt as it contains important tracking information and proof of purchase.

Money orders are a dependable and straightforward method for making secure payments, especially where other forms of payment are unavailable or untrusted.

Where are the most convenient places to get a money order near you?

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