How to Use a Money Order

Christian Worstell
In this article...
  • Learn how to use a money order for safe and secure payments, and explore other reliable money transfer alternatives in this comprehensive guide to money orders.

Money orders are an often overlooked yet secure method of sending funds, especially when personal checks or electronic transfers aren't ideal options.

In this guide, we'll explore the various aspects of money orders, from obtaining them from reliable sources to using them securely and exploring alternatives that may be better suited for certain scenarios.

Table of Contents:


Understanding Money Orders

A money order is a payment instrument that functions like a check, but it doesn’t require you to have a bank account.

Money orders can be acquired from numerous places, such as:

  • Post offices
  • Banks
  • Grocery stores

Money orders provide several perks when compared to checks:

  • They don't necessitate a bank account.

  • The funds are paid out so there is no danger of bounced payments.

  • They are safer than sending cash through postal service.

  • Because money orders are prepaid instruments, they allow for payment upfront without requiring credit card information or personal details such as your Social Security number.

A downside to money orders is that certain suppliers may charge a fee, making them more expensive than other payment methods such as checks or online transfers.

If you lose your money order before it has been cashed by the recipient, then you won't be able to get reimbursed for its value unless you purchased additional insurance when buying it from some providers (which also comes with extra fees).

Purchasing a Money Order

The cost of purchasing a money order varies depending on where you buy it. Most vendors charge a small fee for each one issued.

  • Post offices typically charge around $1 per money order up to $500 in value, though some locations may impose additional fees if the amount exceeds this limit.

  • Banks often offer lower prices but require customers to have an existing account with them before they will issue one.

  • Check-cashing businesses tend to charge higher rates than other vendors as they provide additional services such as cashing checks and providing cash advances on credit cards.

Make sure that you write legibly when filling out details like recipient name, address etc., so that it reaches its intended destination without any delays or problems along the way.

Using Money Orders Safely

Money orders are a safe and reliable way to make payments, but it’s important to take certain precautions when using them. Money orders provide an advantageous and secure payment solution for those without a bank account or credit card.

When obtaining a money order, be sure to keep the receipt in case you need proof of purchase later on. This will help protect you from any fraudulent activity associated with the transaction.

If mailing a money order, consider procuring extra coverage or tracing services to guarantee your funds can be monitored and secured during delivery.

Beware of requests for pre-payment with money orders, as these can be indicators of fraud and recovering your funds may prove difficult.

When it comes to cashier's checks and other forms of guaranteed funds, only accept them from reliable sources such as banks and financial institutions. Verify their legitimacy before proceeding.


A money order can be a dependable, safe approach to effectuate payments with no utilization of cash or checks. By understanding how money orders work, you can ensure that your transactions are safe and successful.

Christian Worstell
About the Author

Christian Worstell is a senior Medicare and health insurance writer with He is also a licensed health insurance agent. Christian is well-known in the insurance industry for the thousands of educational articles he’s written, helping Americans better understand their health insurance and Medicare coverage.

Christian’s work as a Medicare expert has appeared in several top-tier and trade news outlets including Forbes, MarketWatch, WebMD and Yahoo! Finance.

While at HelpAdvisor, Christian has written hundreds of articles that teach Medicare beneficiaries the best practices for navigating Medicare. His articles are read by thousands of older Americans each month. By better understanding their health care coverage, readers may hopefully learn how to limit their out-of-pocket Medicare spending and access quality medical care.

Christian’s passion for his role stems from his desire to make a difference in the senior community. He strongly believes that the more beneficiaries know about their Medicare coverage, the better their overall health and wellness is as a result.

A current resident of Raleigh, Christian is a graduate of Shippensburg University with a bachelor’s degree in journalism. You can find Christian’s most recent articles in our blog.

If you’re a member of the media looking to connect with Christian, please don’t hesitate to email our public relations team at

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