Friday, October 14, 2016

How To Make Payments With A Money Order?

Have to make a payment with a money order? Rest assured -- the process is easy. If you don’t know how to use a money order you’ll be an expert in just a few minutes.

Where to Go

First, you need to decide where to get your money order. Your bank or credit union is a good place to start. Ask if they offer money orders and what the fees are. Note that money orders may come in increments smaller than you need (for example, $1,000 maximum per money order), so you may have to purchase multiple money orders.

If your bank doesn’t do money orders, they probably do cashier’s checks -- and whoever you’re paying may not care which you use.

Money Order Basics

Money Orders vs Cashier’s Checks
You can also get money orders at US Postal Service branches, convenience stores, grocery stores, and money transfer outlets.

Pay, Pay, Pay

To get a money order, you’ll have to pay with cash or something like it. Cash is almost always accepted, but you may be able to use debit cards, travelers checks, and occasionally even credit cards. If using a credit card, there is a strong possibility that the transaction will be processed as a "cash advance," which means you'll pay fees and a higher interest rate for that money.

Fill it Out

When you get a money order you’ll have to fill it out. Provide information about the person or organization you wish to pay. Write their name on the line that says something like "Pay to the order of." The process is similar to writing a check.

How to Write a Check

Be sure to use pen and write in ALL CAPS so it’s difficult to alter your writing. Sign the money order if there’s a place for your signature, and fill out any other details. Sometimes there’s room for your address, your payee’s address, and more. Keep your receipt and any documents you get with the money order -- you may need them later.

Whatever you do, don’t leave payee information blank. If the money order is not payable to anybody, in particular, it’s as good as cash. If it’s lost or stolen, anybody can use the money order.

Finally, be sure to keep a copy of your receipt. This document contains important information you'll need if the money order gets lost or stolen, or if you simply change your mind and you want to cancel the money order. If you don't have that receipt, it may be impossible to do anything after you send the money order.

Away it Goes

Send the money order just like you’d send a check. Depending where you get the money order, you may be able to track the money order’s progress. This helps you verify if and when the payment arrived, and who deposited or cashed the item. Especially when something is lost or stolen, this information is helpful for getting your money back. Ask your money order issuer (your bank or the convenience store that sold the money order) what your options are and if there’s any cost.

Consider Alternatives

Money orders can be useful, and sometimes they're the only option (if you're required to use one). But they do have drawbacks. In most cases it's better to make regular payments by check - you'll often save time and money if you can find a free checking account.

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