How to Fill out a Money Order, Step by Step

money orders are about arsenic dim-witted to fill out as a personal check. Different outlets use different formats, but they all need the same basic data. Most money orders are from one of three brand names : Western Union, MoneyGram, or the U.S. Postal Service .

here ’ s a bit-by-bit lead on when to use a money order, where you can get one, and how to fill it out correctly .

Key Takeaways

  • Money orders are easy to buy and cash, and about as simple to fill out as writing a check.
  • Fees vary widely, so check in advance. Avoid using a credit card.
  • Once you fill in the recipient’s name, the money order is safe from misuse.
  • If you’re paying a bill, include an account or invoice number to ensure the payment is credited correctly.
  • It can take up to 30 days or more for a refund if you cancel your money order.
  • Money orders are helpful for people without checking accounts.

When You Should Use a money decree

When you need to pay person or person needs to pay you, but cash, a personal control, or a smartphone app are n’t well options for whatever argue, a money order might be the solution .

A money order is a part of wallpaper, but it is more secure than cash because it names a specific recipient, who will have to endorse it and show recognition to cash it. Money orders are beneficial for people who do n’t have a check account or do not want to accept personal checks. even if you use checks, you might not want to plowshare the personal information printed on them—such as your address and account number—with specific recipients. money orders are widely accepted because they are prepaid, eliminating the risk of bouncing .

Certified and cashier ‘s checks issued by fiscal institutions offer even more security than money orders. however, they carry a lot higher fees and require visiting a bank during deposit hours, and a money order is an easier and less expensive choice .

Where You Can Get a Money order

so far, on-line money orders are rare and costly. therefore buying a money order typically requires you to visit a location that sells them and leave with a wallpaper money order in hand .

fortunately, thousands of U.S. locations sell money orders, many with evening and weekend hours. You can buy one at any Walmart, CVS, or 7-Eleven, ampere well as at any of the 31,300 U.S. Postal Service ( USPS ) retail offices. Banks, credit unions, grocery store store chains, and check-cashing stores sell money orders, excessively .

The limit on money orders is $ 1,000, but you can order more than one at a time .

What They Cost

about all money decree purchases involve a tip, so it ’ second wise to shop around. Walmart charges $ 1.00 at most locations, and the USPS charges $ 1.30 to $ 1.75 depending on the sum. International prices are significantly higher. For model, the USPS charges at least $ 10.55 plus a fee .

Prices at banks, credit unions, and other sellers can be significantly higher. On the early bridge player, some banks offer them free to particular categories of customers .

Credit tease companies broadly charge goodly fees on money order purchases because they treat them like cash advances. You besides could be piling up matter to charges, sol avoid this choice if potential .

What information You Need to Fill Out a money order

beginning, you ‘ll need to know the claim dollar total you want. This will be machine-printed directly on the money order, and you wo n’t be able to alter it late. You besides need to know the proper name of the person or ship’s company you ‘ll make out the money order to. Be precise, or the recipient may have trouble cashing it .

If you ‘re paying a business, add the report or invoice number to ensure the payment is appropriately credited to you. You can fill this information out former, but a space money ordering ( arsenic farseeing as the cash amount is on it ) is adenine effective as cash if it ‘s lost or stolen .

besides, bring a debit wag or cash to pay for your money order, unless you ‘re at your depository financial institution and can withdraw it from your account .

If you forget to fill out the name of the recipient role on your money ordering and then lose it, anyone can cash it, it is basically found money.

How to Fill out a money regulate

The U.S. Postal Service carries its brand and format of money orders, as do some banks and credit unions. other sellers generally offer one of two brands : MoneyGram is sold at all Walmart and CVS stores, while westerly Union is sold at 7-Eleven, some grocery chains, and check-cashing stores. Whichever type you get, the seller will imprint the date and the total and then give you the incomplete money order to finalize by hand .

There are just three pieces of data you ‘ll be asked to provide to complete any money order : the recipient ‘s proper name, your address, and your name or key signature. Money orders ask for your address so that the recipient can contact you if a trouble occurs. If you ‘re not comfortable sharing this information, there ‘s nothing to stop you from leaving this sphere blank or entering your electronic mail address or cell call number rather.

One required field on any money rate is an indication of the sender. On most money orders, it ‘s your signature that ‘s requested, precisely as you sign a check. But on USPS money orders, the lacuna is lone labeled “ From. ” Whether you write or sign your name is up to you. One optional field on most money orders can be quite utilitarian. On western Union money orders, it is called “ Payment for/Acct. #. ” On USPS money orders, it ‘s labeled “ memo. ” This is where you can write in an bill number if your money order pays a beak. Or you can use the outer space for any early information, fair like you would use the memo field on a check .

USPS money orders offer extra space for the address of the recipient. On MoneyGram and Western Union orders, only your address is requested. MoneyGram money orders are confusing. The blank says “ Address, ” with no clues on whether your or the recipient role ‘s address is wanted, and it means the sender ‘s savoir-faire .

You will need to provide valid recognition to purchase or cash a money order.

How to Deliver a Money arrange

once you ‘ve filled in all the fields, be certain to detach the acknowledge. This stub provides the money rate ‘s official designation number, and you can use it to track whether the money order was cashed, and it ‘s besides a record of your payment .

now that you have a completed money order in handwriting and a receipt, you can safely hand-deliver the money order or chain mail it to your recipient. only the recipient role will be able to cash it.

Mistakes to Avoid

While a money order is apparently straightforward and square to use, there are mistakes to avoid when using a money order. The most crucial thing is to make sure you spell the recipient and payee ‘s names correctly and fill out all the parts of the order. If you forget to fill something out or misspell a name, it can void out the rate. never leave anything on the club blank, and do n’t forget to keep your reception of the transaction .

Do n’t forget to shop around for the lowest fees for a money order, either .

Advantages and Disadvantages of Money Orders

One obvious advantage of using a money order is its simplicity. You can walk into a bad box or even your local grocery and walk out with a money order, You do n’t need to have a check account to purchase a money order, either, and they are simple to fill out .

The disadvantages are minimal, but they may be enough to dissuade you from using one. First, you have to pay a fee to purchase a money decree, something you do n’t have to do when using a check. If you lose a money ordain and it is not filled out correctly, it can be easily stolen. The cap of $ 1,000 on money orders means you ca n’t use them for larger purchases or payments. You ‘ll have to purchase more than one, and with each order comes extra fees .


  • It ‘s easy to find a home to purchase a money ordering .
  • You do n’t need a checking account to purchase or cash a money order .
  • entirely the recipient can cash the money order .


  • A money order can only be used for up to $ 1,000 .
  • If you lose or need to cancel your money holy order, it can take up to 30 days or longer to be reimbursed .
  • If forget to put the recipient ‘s name on the order and lose it, anyone can cash it .

How to Cancel or Replace a Money order

If you need to cancel or replace a money order, immediately contact the entity that issued it to you, and they will ask you to fill out a cancellation request shape. Always make certain to save your reception and be prepared to show it. You will need to pay a fee for a canceled money order, a well. When you fill out a cancellation request, you may ask for a replacement money order or a cash refund .

According to Experian, it can take up to 30 days or more for a refund or replacement, so you will have to be prepared to wait. If the count is pressing, you will have to purchase another money order .

Alternatives to Money Orders

There are many alternatives to money orders. You can use apps like Venmo and PayPal to send money with one swipe, and many banks, like Chase, use Zelle to transfer money immediately from your checking explanation. You can write a personal discipline, besides, for zero fees and more security, should the check get lost or stolen .

The Bottom Line

For less than $ 1,000, money orders can be an easy way to purchase something, pay a bill, or pay back personal debt. You can buy a money holy order for a little tip at appliance stores, money rate businesses, big-box stores, and at some credit unions and banks. There are drawbacks to using money orders such as a limited amount of money on each rate, fees, and a 30 day or more waiting period for a refund on a canceled money regulate .

Whose Address Do You Put on a Money Order?

normally you need to put both your address and the recipient role ‘s address on a money order .

Do You Have to Sign a Money Order?

Yes. You do have to write out your signature on a money order .

What Happens If You Fill Out a Money Order Wrong?

unfortunately, if you make a mistake, it is hard to correct. For case, if you write out the incorrectly payee list or misspell it, you will have to ask for a refund, which could take 30 days, according to Western Union .

Can a Blank Money Order Be Cashed?

Yes. If person finds a space money order with a specify measure on it, in theory, they could fill it out and cash it. If you find a lacuna money order with no cash value listed, you can not cash it.

Can Anyone Cash a Money Order?

Anyone can cash a money order, assuming it is made out to them and they have valid identification .

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Category : Finance

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