With so much of our lives happening online, it may seem foreign to conduct a transaction with an actual exchange of paper. And when it is necessary, how do you ensure your cash gets to the right place securely? Spoiler: there’s no data encryption for snail mail. That’s where the Money Order comes in!
What is a Money Order?
A Money Order is a popular alternative to using cash or check for IRL transactions. Purchasing a Money Order essentially sets aside funds for a specific purchase or payment, so you won’t have to worry about bounced checks or misplaced cash. A Money Order might be a good option for you if:
- You don’t have a bank account
- You don’t want to share your bank account info with the recipient (as with a check)
- You’re worried about bounced checks on a payment
- You want a more secure way to pay than sending cash through the mail
- You’re sending money internationally
No matter your financial situation, Money Orders can be a great way to stay on top of payments in a way that’s secure for both you and the recipient.
How does a Money Order work?
Purchasing a Money Order can be as easy as filling out a form. Be prepared to bring the amount you are needing to pay plus an issuer fee, which may be one to a few dollars depending on where you purchase your Money Order.
Already a Speedy Cash Customer? Get your Money Order in-store with no purchasing fee!
Next, you’ll need the exact name of the person or business who will be receiving your funds, usually referred to as the recipient or under a “pay to the order of” line. Then you’ll fill in your address and occasionally your full name under the purchaser section, also known as the “from,” “remitter,” or “sender” section. Make it official by signing the front of the Money Order and you’re good to go!
When purchasing a Money Order, it’s important to keep the following best practices in mind (even if they’re not required):
- Pay with cash or a debit card - using a credit card is either prohibited by some institutions or could mean steep fees from your credit card provider
- Include the account number, order number, or payment purpose in the memo field
- Write the payee’s name or business name on the Money Order right away to ensure only they can receive the funds
- Keep the receipt for tracking purposes or to cancel the order if it gets lost or stolen
Even though Money Orders are one of the more secure ways to send funds, they can still be used fraudulently. Keeping to the above best practices adds an extra layer of protection between you and scammers.
Need help dotting those I’s and crossing your T’s? Speedy Cash store representatives are happy to walk you through the process to ensure your Money Order form is complete.
If you’re the recipient of a Money Order, be sure to cash it as soon as possible if it’s from a sender you recognize. If not, check it carefully for misspellings, tampering, or other signs of fraud. And be wary of any sender that seems in a hurry for you to cash their Money Order or is asking for part of the funds back, as these may be signs of a well-known scam.
Where can I get a Money Order?
Incorporating Money Orders into your financial routine likely won’t add any stops to your errand list. You can commonly purchase a Money Order through:
- The U.S. Postal Service
- Convenience stores or supermarkets like Walmart
- Banks and credit unions
- Stores like Speedy Cash!
It can be helpful to do a little research before deciding who to purchase a Money Order through. Fees and fund limits can vary depending on where you go. Some institutions will give discounts for members or, like Speedy Cash, waive the issuer fee altogether. You’ll also want to double check if you’re sending funds internationally as some places may not offer that service or enforce additional restrictions.
Bringing order to chaos
Okay maybe making real-life payments isn’t “chaos” per se, but we understand that using Money Orders regularly might seem like next level adulting at first. Once you find a trusted institution with reasonable fees and get more familiar with the process, they can be a real game changer for keeping those occasional cash transactions secure and in order. At Speedy Cash, we believe taking care of your finances, whether in real life or online, shouldn’t give you heartburn. Personal Loans are our passion, but we can help check multiple things off your to-do list - like Check Cashing and Money Transfers in addition to Money Orders. Stop by a store to see how we might best serve you!
Strohm, Mitch (2022, April 28). How do money orders work? Retrieved from: https://www.bankrate.com/banking/how-do-money-orders-work/ ↩︎
Burnette, Margarette (2021, November 2). How to Fill Out a Money Order Step-by-Step. Retrieved from: https://www.nerdwallet.com/article/banking/how-to-fill-out-money-order ↩︎
Bennett, René (2022, June 13). How to fill out a money order. Retrieved from: https://www.bankrate.com/banking/how-to-fill-out-a-money-order/ ↩︎
Birken, Emily Guy (2022, June 22). What Is a Money Order And How Does It Work? Retrieved from: https://www.forbes.com/advisor/banking/what-is-a-money-order/ ↩︎
Burnette, Margarette (2020, October 14). How Money Orders Work: What You Should Know. Retrieved from: https://www.nerdwallet.com/article/banking/money-orders ↩︎