What is a Money Order?

Howdy Wall St. Willy! Sometime ago I heard about a Money Order, but what is money order anyway?

A money order is a payment ordered for a specific amount of money. Funds are prepaid to the issuer by the person buying the money order.

Well, why do I need a money order?

A seller may insist on a money order. Because the funds are prepaid to the issuer, it is a more trusted method of payment than a personal check.

They are also difficult to counterfeit as they have security features like watermark, ultraviolet features etc.

Bottomline: it is a safe way of transferring money that can be used even if the sender or the recipient don’t have a bank account.

Where can I buy a money order?

You can buy a money order primarily at the post office. But you can also buy them at some other companies like Western Union, MoneyGram, Walmart etc. Some banks and credit unions also offer money orders.

What do I need to get a money order?

You need the name of the recipient, the amount and cash or debit card.

Well, how do I get a money order?

It’s simple. You pay the amount to the issuer along with any fees and they issue the money order for that amount. You write the name of the recipient on the money order before handing it over to the recipient.

There is also a receipt portion of the money order that you retain for your records.

How do I pay for a money order?

You usually pay cash or pay using a debit card.

What is the fee, if there is one, for getting a money order?

It depends on where you buy it. But the fee could range from 70 cents to $5. The fee could be a fixed amount or it could depend on the amount of the money order.

Well, is there a minimum or maximum amount for the money order?

There is usually no minimum. But the maximum is $1,000 for domestic US payments.

If I receive a payment through money order, how do I get the money?

You can deposit the money order in your bank account just like a check but you can also cash it at the entity that issues it like a post office or Western Union.

Thank you very much for telling me about a money order, Wall St. Willy.

You are welcome, Sooper Cooper. Remember, Finance is Your Friend!

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