Money orders are reliable and secure payment methods, especially when dealing with cash. But in what situations are money orders most useful? They come in handy when you need to send postal transfers, deposit rental security, or complete the purchase of a used car. Money orders are even a good option for sending money overseas.
What is a Money Order in the United States?
Money orders or postal transfers are convenient in various scenarios. Think of them as guaranteed cash payments that can be sent or received from anywhere in the world. As a result, you can enjoy their benefits in any of the following situations:
- When you don’t have a bank account.
- When you’re concerned about bounced checks.
- If you need to send a payment through the mail.
- When the other party doesn’t accept checks or transfers as a form of payment.
- When you don’t have an available check or a checking account and need to make a payment.
- If you need to send money to a family member, friend, or seller on the other side of the world.
- When you need to finalize a cash transaction, such as purchasing a used car or providing a rental security deposit.
- When you’re about to make a significant purchase and don’t want to carry cash for security reasons.
Things to Consider:
When you send a money order, whether at a bank, store, or post office, make sure to keep the transaction receipt. This will help you track the postal transfer. If you lose or have your money order stolen, having the receipt will assist you in making a claim. And remember: after sending the money order, notify the recipient that you have already sent the money. Ask them to inform you when they receive and cash it.
Also Read: How to Fill Out a Money Order for the IRS?
One advantage of money orders is that they generally have small fees. However, these fees can differ from one place to another. In reality, the fees you will have to pay will depend on the amount of money you send, the location from where you make the postal transfer, and the type of delivery: domestic or international.
Where Can I Cash a Money Order?
If you have a money order that needs to be cashed, there are many places where you can do it. The number of available locations depends on where you are. If you’re in a big city, you’ll find more options compared to being in a more remote area. Here are some places where you can cash a money order:
1. Western Union or Money Gram
Being well-known entities, these options are quite accessible, and you can find them in multiple locations.
2. Local Banks
Your local bank will always be a good option to receive payment as it is highly secure, especially if you visit the bank branch where you have your account or one near your home.
3. Retail Stores
Several commercial establishments offer this payment option. However, a disadvantage to consider is that the fees may be slightly higher. It is advisable to research the prices beforehand before deciding on one.
Being one of the largest chains in the United States with numerous locations, Walmart is a place where you can cash a money order. Keep in mind the fees; you can review them here.
Steps to Cash a Money Order
Don’t know how to cash a money order? Don’t worry! We have compiled a series of steps that will allow you to successfully redeem your postal transfer. This way, you can deposit the money into your bank account or use the funds for whatever you need. As a piece of advice, we recommend taking the necessary precautions so that you don’t have to carry a large sum of cash.
Take the money order to the cashing location. You can bring the money order to a bank, credit union, supermarket, or any convenience store to receive cash. Remember that there are many more places than just these that offer this service.
Endorse the money order. Do not sign the back of the money order until you are at the cashier. When you are facing the representative at the agency, sign the money order to endorse the cashing.
Verify your identity. You will have to show identification to the cashier to prove that you are authorized to cash it. In this case, you can choose between your passport, driver’s license, or a military card – all of these options are valid.
Pay any associated fees. Remember that you may have to pay a fee to cash the money order. Fortunately, these fees are usually quite affordable. The fees will be automatically deducted from the amount of money you are cashing.
Receive the cash. Keep your money in a secure place before leaving the counter. If you choose to cash your money order at the bank, we recommend depositing the cash into your bank account. This way, you won’t have any security issues.
Money orders are an easy and secure way to send cash, especially if you don’t have a checking account or expect to receive a payment by mail. Additionally, money orders come with an advantage: you have a wide variety of places to cash the money. Furthermore, the fees associated with the process are quite affordable compared to other payment methods.