11 Best Places to Get Money Orders Near Me (With Prices Too)

March 28, 2019 by Kyle
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Dating back to the Civil War, money orders are a fast and secure way to pay an individual or business. They’re a piece of paper similar to a check, but unlike a personal check, they’re considered guaranteed money.

Maybe you don’t have a checking account, or perhaps you’re buying a used vehicle from a private party, whatever the case, you stand a great chance of needing to buy a money order from time to time.

It’s with this in mind that I researched the 11 best places to buy a money order near you, as well as the costs associated with each. I also breakdown what to do if you lose a money order and how to spot a fake one from a mile away.  

11 Best Places to Get Money Orders Near Me (With Prices Too)

Why Would You Need a Money Order?

A money order is a great way to pay someone or have someone pay you.

Here are the BIGGEST benefits.

– Guaranteed Funds – A money order is issued with NO bank information on it and is backed by a 3rd party issuer like Western Union or MoneyGram.

To get a money order issued, you have to use cash or have the money taken directly out of your bank account making the funds “guaranteed”.

This makes for a great way to collect payment on a used vehicle for example. The buyer doesn’t have to withdraw a large amount of cash, and the seller can avoid collecting payment via a personal check.

– Very Convenient – Anyone can get a money order; no bank account required. Plus, the number of establishments that will issue a money order has also grown substantially, more on that later.

– Money Orders are Traceable – When you buy a money order you’re given a receipt with all the pertinent information on it to trace it (if needed). If a money order is lost or stolen, it can be easily cancelled and replaced (unlike cash).

What Does a Money Order Cost?

It completely depends on the store or business you buy the money order from. Fees currently range from $0.70 all the way up to $1.60.

Important note: The largest money order you can purchase is $1,000. If you need more than that you’ll have to buy multiple money orders or use a cashier’s check.

The 11 Best Places to Buy a Money Order

1. Walmart

Walmart money orders are pretty cheap and convenient since you’ll probably be shopping their anyways.

Cost: $0.88 (up from $0.70)
Company Used: MoneyGram
Maximum Amount Allowed per Money Order: $1,000
Payment Allowed: Cash, debit card, Walmart money card.

The $0.88 fee is the max fee and pricing varies by Walmart location. Only money orders that were created at Walmart can be cashed at Walmart.

2. Publix

When it comes to grocery stores, Publix is one of the cheaper places to get a money order. Here are the details.

Cost: $0.89
Company Used: Western Union
Maximum Amount Allowed per Money Order: $500
Payment Allowed: Cash, debit card.

It should also be noted that while Publix sells money orders, they do not cash them.

3. CVS Drugstore

CVS recently joined the ranks of drugstores offering money orders.

Cost: $0.99
Company Used: Money Gram
Maximum Amount Allowed per Money Order: $500
Payment Allowed: Cash, debit card.

Just walk up to any open checkout register at CVS and you can buy a money order. Be sure to bring a photo I.D. to make it happen.

4. 7-Eleven

Did you know you can grab a Slurpee and a money order on the same visit to 7-Eleven? Here’s the scoop.

Cost: $0.75
Company Used: Money Gram
Maximum Amount Allowed per Money Order: $500
Payment Allowed: Cash, debit card.

Since 7-Eleven locations are open 24 hours a day, they make for a great place to score that 2 a.m. money order you might need someday.

5. Kroger

Here’s what you need to know about getting a money order at Kroger.

Cost: $0.70
Company Used: Western Union
Maximum Amount Allowed per Money Order: $1,000
Payment Allowed: Cash, debit card.

Similar to Publix, Kroger is a great place to buy your groceries and money order all in the same trip.

6. K-Mart

As long as Kmart stays in business they’ll offer money orders.

Cost: $0.70
Company Used: Western Union
Maximum Amount Allowed per Money Order: $500
Payment Allowed: Cash only.

At $0.70 each, Kmart money orders are some of the cheapest around. But keep in mind that you CAN’T use your debit card to score one – cash only.

7. Meijer

Meijer has one of the cheaper money order services around.

Cost: $0.65
Company Used: Western Union
Maximum Amount Allowed per Money Order: $500 and $3,000 per customer, per day.
Payment Allowed: Cash, debit card.

8. Walgreens

Did you know that your local Walgreens offers money orders too? Here’s the skinny…

Cost: $0.65 – $1.00
Company Used: Western Union
Maximum Amount Allowed per Money Order: $500
Payment Allowed: Cash, debit card.

Update: Unfortunately Walgreens doesn’t offer money orders anymore. They now offer Western Union Money Transfers instead.

A WU money transfer allows you to use your debit card ($15 fee), credit card ($15 fee), or bank account ($0.99 fee) to send money to anyone at any time.

9. Rite-Aid

You can also get a money order at your local Rite-Aid drugstore.

Cost: $0.99
Company Used: Western Union
Maximum Amount Allowed per Money Order: $500
Payment Allowed: Cash, debit card.

It’s worth noting that Rite-Aid will NOT cash money orders at this time.

10. Local Banks

You can also go to your bank and ask for a money order.

While the fees may be higher, it will be much easier to have the money taken directly out of your bank account and turned into a money order.

Bank of America: $5 fee, $1,000 limit.
Wells Fargo: $5 fee, $1,000 limit.
US Bank: $5 fee, $1,000 limit.
Chase: $5 fee, $1,000 limit.
Regions Bank: $1 fee, $1,000 limit.

11. Post Office (USPS)

The United States Post Office is a tried-and-true way to get a money order created.

Cost: $1.25 for money orders $500 or under, $1.70 for $500.01 to $1,000.
Company Used: USPS
Maximum Amount Allowed per Money Order: $1,000
Payment Allowed: Cash, debit card, or traveler’s check.

USPS also lets you create international money orders with a $700 limit on each.

You can also cash in your next money order at the post office, which was something I was not aware of.

How Do I Spot a Fake Money Order?

Keep in mind that a thief can buy a money order for $1, then try to tamper with it to make the amount larger.

Or they can create a completely fake money order and try to pass if off as real.

When it comes to spotting a fake money order, there are 2 important things to be aware of.

1. Check the Dollar Amount – Does the dollar amount on the money order appear to be fuzzy or discolored? If it does, then there’s a good chance someone tried to erase the number and replace it with a larger number.

Also, if the amount is over $1,000 it’s probably a fake. This is because domestic money orders have a maximum value of $1,000 and international money orders have a maximum value of $700.

2. Examine the Paper – Hold the money order to a light (or at an angle) and check for a watermark.

If you don’t see a watermark you know it’s a fake.

USPS money orders have a watermark of Ben Franklin on the left side.

MoneyGram has a “logo” watermark on it as well as a heat-sensitive stop-sign that changes color when you put your finger over it.

Western Union also uses a watermark along with ink that will run when the money order is altered.

If you suspect a fake, you should call the company that issued it before trying to cash it.

– Western Union: 1-800-325-6000

– Money Gram: 1-800-666-3947

– USPS Verification System: 1-866-459-7822

What Should I Do If I Lost a Money Order?

There are 2 scenarios at play here…you either lost the money order before giving it to the recipient, or you lost it after it was given to you as a form of payment.

Let’s break down both scenarios…

1. You Lost a Money Order Before Giving it to Recipient

If the money order has yet to be cashed, you’re going to want to cancel it ASAP.

First call the issuer and explain the situation to them. This is where the importance of KEEPING YOUR RECEIPT comes into play.

Your receipt will have all the pertinent info needed to cancel the money order or to see if it’s been cashed.

You’ll typically be asked to fill out a cancellation request form, be sure to attached a copy of your receipt to it.

The issuer will give you instructions on how to return the form and you’ll be hit with a cancellation fee. Cancellation fees vary from $6 all the way up to $18 or more.

You’ll be given the option of getting a refund for the amount or having another money order issued.

Be warned that it can take 1-2 months for your cancellation request to be processed.

If you don’t have your receipt, it could cost you upwards of $30 to try and get your money order cancelled.

If the issuer comes back and tells you that the money order was cashed, you’ll have to take the evidence to the local authorities so they can investigate further.

2. You Lost a Money Order Given To You as Payment

Contact the person who gave you the money order and get a copy of the receipt if you can.

Next, call the issuer and they’ll help you through the process of regaining your cash.

The takeaway here is to cash or deposit your money order as soon as possible.

Where Should I Cash My Money Order?

When cashing a money order you’ll have to show a valid I.D., endorse it with your signature, and possibly pay a small fee before you get your cash.

When it comes to cashing or depositing it, here are the best places to make it happen.

  1. Bank or Credit Union – Take the money order to a bank or credit union that you already have an account with. You can either take the cash or deposit the money immediately into your account.
  2. Post Office – If you have a USPS money order you can take it to your local post office and have it cashed.
  3. Grocery Stores – Some grocery stores can it. Call ahead or visit the customer service desk to find out.
  4. Retail Stores – Many retail stores will cash a money order, but only if it was created at their store. For example, Walmart will only cash money orders that originated from a Walmart location.
  5. Check Cashing Business – Most will be able to cash your money order for you.

Ask the Reader: Where do you usually buy money orders? Do you prefer a specific business because of the location or because they have small fees?


By Kyle James

Photo credit to Marcin Wichary.

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