If you are searching for how to cash a money order near you, then this post has you covered.
In this post, I will show you some of the best places to cash a money order near you at cheap prices – even if you are new to how money orders work.
Now, if you need money today, then don’t forget to check out this post also.
First, let’s get it straight:
What is a Money Order, and how does it work?
A money order is a prepaid payment type that is issued in the form of a paper document.
As you may guess from that initial definition, a money order requires the sender to make the initial payment and the receiver to cash the payment out as real cash.
If you have ideas of how checks work, then you can get this perfectly.
Money orders do the same thing that cheques do – but differently, in that money orders are paid in advance.
Where can I cash a money order near me?
Here are some of the cheapest and best places to cash a money order.
1. Cash order at the bank
Money orders are considered a more trusted payment method than checks since they are paid in advance.
To that effect, it is pretty easier to convert your money orders to cash with many banks.
You can get your money directly in the form of cash or deposit it to your bank account with the bank.
2. Cash your money order at money order issuers
Banks are undoubtedly the first option to come to mind if you need to cash money.
But that is if you have a bank account or you live close to a bank branch.
If you don’t have a bank account, or you live far from a bank, then money order issuers are simply the next best deal.
Keep in mind that money orders do have service fees, unlike banks.
You can, however, reduce the fees by checking the issuer on your money order and cashing directly from their nearest locations.
To cash a money order from issuers, you have to visit their office close to you with the right details about yourself (More on that later).
Three money order issuers where you can cash your money:
- United states Postoffice
WesternUnion is a pretty old and trusted money transfer company that has been in operation since 1891.
You can sell or buy money orders with WesternUnion at their nearest location.
To find a Western Union location close to you, go to their locations page right here and enter your Zip code.
However, do keep in mind that not Westernunion locations would be willing to buy your money orders.
In that case, you may have to find the next nearest location or try a bank.
Going to your nearby post office is a fairly easy way to cash a money order considering that you will likely have one close to your area.
Bear in mind, however, that a post office will charge you service fees.
USPS will typically charge $1.25 if the amount is $500 or less and $1.75 on money orders between $500.01 and $1000.
MoneyGram is another widely known money transfer company where you can cash a money order.
They also have service fees but it shouldn’t be an issue if the money order is issued by them as the fees would be comparatively minimal compared to cashing third party-issued.
MoneyGram has locations spread across different cities, so you shouldn’t have trouble finding a nearby location to cash your money.
To find a MoneyGram location near you, go to their Find location page, and enter your zip code.
However, please note that not all MoneyGram locations allow you to cash a money order.
Walmart stores are also great places to cash a money order.
Like MoneyGram, Walmart stores also have service fees. So they are alternatives if you have difficult access to banks.
Remember to also compare their service fees to your local post office’s and MoneyGram locations’.
3. Deposit it into your bank account
Another way to cash your money order directly is to deposit it into your bank account.
Ideally, that means you don’t need the money urgently, and you are ready to save it to your bank account.
The advantage here is that you will be saving money on charging fees as banks won’t charge you money, unlike money issuers.
The only con, as you may guess, is that you can’t do that if you don’t have a bank account.
For other ways to make quick cash, see my post on 43 smartphone apps that pay you.
4. How to cash a money order: Here are 5 steps to cash money orders
1. Be aware of charging fees
The cheapest way to cash a money order is with banks or credit unions since they typically have no charging fees.
However, only if you live far from the bank, or you don’t have an account then can you consider money order issuers do come as alternatives.
Bear in mind that Money order issuers charge transaction fees.
The fees are mostly charged as a small percentage of the amount you want to cash.
These fees seem insignificant, but they can add up pretty well if you cash money quite frequently.
Ideally, you should be aware of charging fees for different locations in your area and compare them to maximize costs.
That being said, remember that cashing directly from the issuers’ locations is cheaper than using a third party.
2. Verify that it’s real
When you receive a money order, there are a couple of things that can help you know if the money order is real.
- Check for watermark: Verify that the issuer’s watermark is visible on the money order.
- Check the printed amount: If the amount printed on the money order has been erased, discolored, or mutilated, it’s a red sign.
- Additionally, ensure that the dollar amounts appear twice on the paper.
- Verify the limits: US limits are $1000 for domestic money orders and $700 for international money orders.
Ensure it is still valid and cash as soon as you can
Yes, even money orders do have expiry dates. Most issued money orders would last about one year to expire.
That means you are only qualified to cash it within that period.
With that being said, you want to check the money order you have been issued and be sure it is still valid before you go ahead to cash it.
Additionally, try to cash as soon as you get it. Delaying it means losing the money if perchance you fail to cash within its validity period.
3. Go with your government ID cards
You will be required to provide proof of identity at the bank or money issuer location before you are allowed.
So remember to go along with a government-issued ID. And that includes any of the following:
- National ID card
- International passport
- Driver’s license
As expected, the name and the address on your money order should match the name on your photo ID, so be sure that the sender gets the details exactly right.
3. Endorse your money order
Banks and money issuers require you to endorse your money orders first.
To do that, you have to append your signature to the back the same way you do with cheques.
Having said that, you should wait till you get to the bank counter or money issuer before you sign.
4. Be aware of cash safety
Don’t forget to count the money as soon as you receive it and ensure that it’s complete – it seems obvious anyway.
Keep in mind that carrying cash is riskier than depositing directly into your bank account, especially for a large amount of money.
Ideally, you should be sure that you keep the money perfectly tucked in your purse or handbag before leaving the bank and avoid the prying eyes.
Lastly, don’t also forget to get your receipt.