There are several different methods that you can use to complete a purchase. While cash and credit cards are the most common methods, money orders aren’t uncommon.
You won’t likely be able to pay for a tank of gas or your groceries with a money order, but there are plenty of instances where you can. So what are money orders, how do they work, and where can you get one?
Today, we’ll answer any questions you might have regarding money orders. Let’s dive in!
What Is a Money Order?
A money order is a payment method issued by the government or financial institution. The payee of the money order can turn it into their bank or financial institution and instantly receive cash. It works similarly to a check because the purchaser of the money order can stop payment.
An individual will typically pay a nominal fee for a money order. They’ll use it to pay off a personal or business debt. It assures the other party that the funds are available to complete the transaction. However, you can’t purchase money orders for more than $1,000, and completing transactions larger than this limit will require multiple money orders.
How Does a Money Order Work?
Purchasing a money order typically requires cash or a debit card. Money orders can’t be returned for insufficient funds, as you would experience when a check bounces.
The purchaser will take the money order to the payee to complete the transaction. The payee will then take it to their bank, and the funds will get transferred. It’s a simple and effective method for paying. However, technology has made it easy for individuals to complete transactions electronically.
Why Would You Use a Money Order?
Money orders are great for those who don’t have a bank or easy access to them. You don’t even have to have a bank account to purchase or use one. In addition, money orders are incredibly secure. Since it doesn’t contain any of your banking information, you won’t have to worry about what someone might do if they find it.
However, like a check, cashing it will require you to show proof of ID.
With the growing popularity of sell sites like Facebook Marketplace and Craigslist, money orders are a great way to complete large transactions. They can be a great option for sellers to avoid accepting a check that will bounce due to insufficient funds when they take it to the bank.
How Much Do Money Orders Cost?
The cost of a money order typically varies based on where you get it and the value of the money order. However, they usually cost anywhere from 35 cents to $2.00. If you need to complete a purchase for more than $1,000, you’ll need to purchase multiple money orders and incur various fees.
Where Can You Get a Money Order?
Money orders are readily available at a variety of locations. If you need to purchase a money order, there’s a good chance you can find at least one location near you. Here are a few of the best places to consider the next time you need to purchase one.
Many banks offer money orders. However, they may require you to be a member or have an account with them to purchase a money order. If you have a bank that you frequent, stop in and inquire about buying one. Fees often vary based on the bank, how much you’re purchasing, and the type of account you have with the bank.
Western Union is one of the world’s most popular money transfer services. You can send money anywhere in the world except Iran and North Korea. There are more than 500,000 agents in their retail network, and the company averages 24 transactions every second. Their services make sending money in person or through the mail simple and reliable.
Many of the more than 5,000 Walmart locations in the U.S. have Walmart Money Centers. One service these centers offer is purchasing money orders. In addition, they’ll cash any money orders purchased through the MoneyGram network.
Fees for money orders from Walmart vary based on the location, but there is a maximum fee of $1 for these transactions.
Did you know you can get a money order while picking up your Slurpee at 7-Eleven? The store uses MoneyGram or Western Union services, depending on the location. Fees for these transactions are typically between 1% to 3% of the transaction, and there’s a $500 maximum. With almost 9,000 7-Eleven locations in the U.S., there’s a good chance you can find one near you.
Send Money Safely by Using a Money Order
You can never be too careful when it comes to spending your money. However, as a seller, you also want to avoid being taken for a ride and ripped off. Money orders are a great way to complete transactions so both the buyer and seller can be as comfortable as possible.
Consider a money order if you’re looking for a safe way to complete your next transaction.
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