9 Best Places to Get Money Orders Near Me
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Money orders are one of the best ways to pay individuals or providers for a service. Though thought of as ancient, they’re still a legit form of payment. I solely used money orders to pay off my $25,000+ in credit card debt. The organization that consolidated my debt only accepted money orders as payment. In the beginning, I asked myself ‘what are the best places to get money orders near me?’ and discovered there are multiple options to buy money orders.
Think of money order as a check, but better. You pay money to a financial institution or business, and they provide you a money order for a specific amount that you can give to a person or business as a form of payment.
Money orders are similar to personal checks. When you buy one from an institution, you fill it out like you do a check. You write in the name of the recipient or business, as well as your name. The institution also gives you a receipt with a tracking number that you want to keep.
If you’ve been wondering ‘where can I get a money order near me?’, this post answers that question and provides other important details relating to this form of payment.
Where Can I Get A Money Order Near Me?
If you do an internet search for ‘where to get money orders near me’, you will receive dozens of options. Many of those locations are good, but there are some you want to avoid, such as those from check cashing services – which we’ll cover later in the post.
There are typically three types of money orders you want to purchase. Those are:
- Western Union
- U.S. Postal Service
Most locations sell money orders from the first two providers, and the latter is only available at your local post office.
How Much Do Money Orders Cost?
The fees to buy a money order varies between retailers. Some retailers charge as little as $.50 per money order while others charge several dollars or more. In some instances, the retailer may charge a percentage of the amount you purchase.
Money orders are typically capped at $1,000. If you need a money order for more than that, you will need to purchase multiple money orders. Be aware that each carries a fee to purchase.
Best Places to Buy A Money Order
If you’re asking yourself ‘where is the best place to get a money order near me,’ you have several options. Below are the best places to buy money orders, along with cost and caps.
1. Your Bank
The first place to consider buying money orders is from your local bank. Most banks offer a variety of services, including money orders.
If you’re asking yourself ‘where can I get free money orders near me?’, check with your bank. Your bank may sell money orders at no charge to account holders. If this is the case at your bank, this is your best option.
In my case, my bank charged more than other options, so I bought mine elsewhere. If you don’t have a bank account, a bank may still be an option, though be prepared to pay higher fees.
*Related: Need to go to the bank, but not certain if it’s open? Read our guide on are banks closed today to learn if it’s open for business*
Each bank has its own limits and possible fees on money orders. Ask your local bank what they offer and charge to buy a money order.
2. Grocery Stores
Grocery stores are an excellent option for cheap money orders. My local grocery store was where I bought most money orders as they only cost $.50 and had a cap of $1,000 per money order.
If you need to purchase a money order and don’t have a bank account, a grocery store may be the best option. Below are several stores that sell money orders, and what to expect for cost:
- Kroger– Western Union, $1,000 limit, $.70 per money order
- Meijer– Western Union, $1,000 limit, $.65 per money order
- Publix– Western Union, $500 limit, $.85 per money order
- Vons– MoneyGram, $500 limit, $.89 per money order
Your local grocery store may vary on what they offer or charge. Visit the customer service area of the store to ask what they sell and charge for money orders.
With over 5,000 retail locations in the U.S., according to their website, it’s likely you live near a Walmart. Similar to a grocery store, Walmart is a great option to purchase cheap money orders, in addition to other banking services.
If you live near a Walmart, here’s what you need to know to get a money order:
- Service used – MoneyGram
- Fee – up to $.88 per money order
- Limit – $1,000 per money order
If you want to cash a money order, Walmart provides this service but only for ones they issue. You will pay a fee to do this, and the fee varies based on location. However, if you’re looking for places to get quarters Walmart is a good choice.
4. U.S. Postal Service
Banks and grocery stores aren’t the only places to buy a money order. If you’re asking yourself ‘where can I buy a money order near me?’, look no further than your local post office.
The post office issues their own money orders; they’re not from MoneyGram or Western Union. Like the other vendors, postal money orders cap at $1,000. They also cash any money order they issue for free, though they will not cash those from other vendors.
The fee to buy a postal money order depends on the amount you spend. Those fees are:
- $.01 – $500 money order: $1.25
- $500.01 – $1,000 money order: $1.70
- Postal military money order: $.45
If you need to mail your money order, your local post office is a great option to do everything at once.
Believe it or not, you can buy cheap money orders at CVS. The pharmacy store giant specializes in over-the-counter and prescription medication, but another service they offer is money orders.
Here’s what to expect when purchasing a money order at CVS:
- Service used – MoneyGram
- Fee – up to $.99 per money order
- Limit – $500 per money order
CVS has over 9,900 retail branches across the country, according to the website.
Click here to find a location by your home or office.
If you live near a 7-Eleven, you can buy a money order at your local store. The chain has locations in over 30 states, including Washington D.C., according to their website, and sell money orders as a part of the 7-Eleven Financial Services offering.
*Related: Looking for the best place to get rid of your coins? Read our guide on the best places that offer free coin counting near me and avoid the Coinstar fee.*
When obtaining a money order from 7-Eleven, here’s what you’ll get:
- Service used – MoneyGram and Western Union, depends on the location
- Fee – $1 – $5, depends on the location
- Limit – $1,000 per money order
Keep in mind they only sell money orders; you can’t cash one at any location.
Click here to locate a store near you.
7. Online Companies
Do you need to send an international money order? You can do that now by buying a money order online.
Fees and limits vary based on where you live and where you’re sending the money, but if you need to send money abroad, this may be an option.
Although they’re closing stores, there are still around 700 Kmart locations around the county. Not all Kmart locations sell money orders, so it’s important to contact your local store before visiting.
Here’s what you need to know about a Kmart money order:
- Service used – Western Union
- Fee – $.69 per money order
- Limit – $500 per money order
Click here to locate a store near you.
9. Check Cashing Company
If you do an internet search using the phrase ‘places that do money orders near me’, you will come across one popular option – check cashing stores. They should be your last option to purchase a money order as fees are typically very high.
Below are several of the larger national check cashing companies:
- ACE Cash Express
- Advance America
- Check ‘n Go
- Payday Express
- Speedy Cash
You likely have other, independent check cashing companies in your city. They may charge lower fees, but research what they are prior to buying. If they charge more than several dollars or a percentage of the total, you want to look elsewhere.
How Do I Pay for a Money Order?
I tried using a personal check to buy my first money order. I was surprised to learn you can only use cash or a debit card to purchase money orders.
*Related: New to writing checks? Check out our guide on how to fill out a check for step-by-step directions.*
It may be possible to use a credit card, but most credit card companies view money orders as a cash advance and carry additional fees.
You can ask the merchant if they accept credit cards to buy money orders, but is often not allowed. Don’t forget your government-issued photo ID when buying a money order. The institution needs it to verify your identity.
How Can I Tell That A Money Order is Legit?
Money orders are a guaranteed form of payment, but they’re also susceptible to fraud. Scammers like to create fake money orders as a form of counterfeit payment.
Keep the following in mind when looking at a money order:
- It should not be over $1,000
- The amount area should not be altered
- It must have a watermark
Don’t accept a money order if you suspect it’s not legit. You can contact the issuer to verify it’s good to accept. If it’s not, request cash instead.
What if I Lose A Money Order?
The last thing you want to do is lose a money order. This happened to me once when paying off debt and I was frantic to locate it.
Remember the receipt with tracking number I mentioned in the beginning? That tracking number is what institutions use to track money orders. So, if you lose a money order, go to the institution where you purchased it and give them the tracking number.
Assuming it has not been cashed, they can issue you a new one. There may be a small charge for this, but it’s better than losing all of your money.
Money Orders vs. Cashier’s Check
When you do an internet search for ‘who sells money orders near me?’ you may see a popular alternative – cashier’s checks. Cashier’s checks and money orders share a few minor similarities.
The main similarity is they’re guaranteed by a third party. However, a money order is guaranteed by your money via a third party. A cashier’s check is guaranteed by a bank and provides added legitimacy.
Below are a few pros and cons of both money orders vs. cashier’s checks.
Money Order Pros:
- Added security vs. using cash
- Low cost
Money Order Cons:
- Limited value available per each money order
- Potential for fraud
- Sometimes viewed as not legit
Cashier’s Check Pros:
- More secure than money orders
- Good for large purchases
- Viewed as more legit than money orders
Cashier’s Check Cons:
- Not as convenient as money orders
- Higher cost, often up to $10
- Risk of loss if you lose the cashier’s check
Both financial instruments are legit and serve a purpose. If you don’t have a bank account, need to make a recurring payment, or need a small amount, a money order is your best choice.
If you have a bank account and are making a large, one-time purchase, a cashier’s check is your best option.
Where Can I Cash A Money Order?
Cashing a money order is relatively simple. While not every place that sells money orders will cash them, many will. Below is what you need to do to cash a money order:
- Provide a government-issued photo ID
- Sign the back of the money order
- Request to cash it
It’s best to verify a retailer cashes money orders before visiting their store. You may want to ask what they charge as well to minimize costs. In my experience, most locations cash ones they issue.
Banks and grocery stores are also good options to cash money orders.
Best Places to Get Money Orders Near Me: Bottom Line
If you’re asking yourself ‘where can I buy a money order near me?’, there are plenty of cheap options. Buying one is simple and should not cost more than $1 or $2.
If you don’t have a bank account or need an easy way to have a trackable payment, money orders are a good tool to use.
Where do you go to buy cheap money orders? What experience have you had in purchasing money orders?
John is the founder of Frugal Rules, a dad, husband and veteran of the financial services industry whose writing has been featured in Forbes, CNBC, Yahoo Finance and more.
Passionate about helping people learn from his mistakes, John shares financial tools and tips to help you enjoy the freedom that comes from living frugally. One of his favorite tools is Personal Capital , which he used to plan for retirement and keep track of his finances in less than 15 minutes each month.
Another one of John's passions is helping people save $80 per month by axing their expensive cable subscriptions and replacing them with more affordable ones, like Hulu with Live TV.
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