There are many places that sell money orders, but some may be better options under some circumstances. Most money orders are equal from the viewpoint of a recipient who will deposit a money order in their bank account. However, if the recipient needs to cash the money order and has no banking affiliation, little-known companies who issue money orders may be difficult to convert into cash without waiting for the bank to collect the funds.
For that reason, the following types of places that sell money orders will probably include a source that is perfect for your needs. The last thing that anyone buying a money order wants is to send one to a friend or family member and find out that they had difficulty turning it into usable money.
Convenience stores and Supermarkets~
Practically without exception, convenience stores and supermarkets sell money orders. Their prices will vary, and the service is normally good. They represent reasonably good sources through which bills may be paid. Their costs for money orders are usually competitive, and reasonable compared to Western Union. Western Union is used by those needing immediate funds transferred through “wiring funds.”
One stop check cashing businesses~
A new type of service has arisen in most communities that features check cashing, bill paying, and wiring money services. They are relatively expensive, but serve those without banking relationships. Money Grams, money orders, and wired money transfers are all likely services available for a fee.
Keep your receipt~
The need to keep the receipt for any money order cannot be understated. It is the only proof that exists that money was sent. Your money order can easily be lost, or accidentally applied to someone else’s account. Proof of payment might be needed should an error occur. Also, always remember to properly note your account number on any money order sent. The funds cannot be applied to your account if that information is lacking. This happens with surprising frequency.
Not all money orders are equal~
Some banks will delay payment until funds have cleared in the same manner that personal checks are handled if they are not familiar with the company whose money order may be presented for payment. This possibility exists because theft and fraud has resulted in bank losses in recent years. Purchasing money orders from major suppliers is desirable.
Ease of converting to cash~
Two sources of money orders are always acceptable for cash when received, United States Postal Money Orders and Western Union funds. Every local post office will convert US Postal Money Orders to cash upon presentation to the customer assistance window. Likewise, all Western Union offices will cash their money orders. Most other companies that sell money orders do not cash money orders, but suggest that they be banked at normal banking institutions. Funds may be withheld until clearance of them.
Money Order alternatives~
Money can easily be transferred via electronic funds quite easily. The use of a bank debit card, or credit card is often the cheapest way to go. In addition, it can be easily done by telephone or on the Internet. It is instant, and exceedingly convenient. A bank Cashier’s Check is also an excellent alternative to purchasing money orders. Many recipients prefer cashier’s checks because there is less potential for fraud.
As with any service, prices vary depending upon who provides the service. At the low end of the cost spectrum, the US Postal Service money orders are usually the least expensive, while Western Union is likely to be the most expensive. But, convenience may be worth spending a few dollars more. The best bet of all may be electronic transfers if you have a banking relationship. Nothing is more convenient, or any more secure by analysis.