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Where Can I Get a Money Order?

Learn Where to Get Money Orders and How to Choose

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Woman writing check at bank counter, rear view
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Need a money order but not sure where to get one? In most places, you have plenty of choices. You can get money orders at post offices, retail stores, and financial institutions. Find out where you can get money orders and how to choose.

A good first choice for money orders is your bank or credit union. If you’re an account holder, fees should be reasonable. In addition, these institutions tend to make it easy to track money orders after they’re issued -- you’re already familiar with customer service there. Some banks offer cashier’s checks instead of money orders, but your payee may not care which one you use.

The US Postal Service is another great place to get money orders. Your payee will probably feel comfortable getting a USPS money order because the post office is a trusted issuer. Call ahead to make sure your local post office issues money orders -- not all of them do, so you may have to make a trip to another post office location to get a money order.

If convenience is most important, you can get a money order at a number of retail stores. Grocery stores, Wal-Marts, and convenience stores often offer money orders for customers. Next time you go out for groceries you can get your money order at the same time.

Establishments that deal with money (besides banks and credit unions) also offer money orders. Western Union agents, payday loan shops, and other money transfer services may meet your needs. Sometimes you can even get money orders online, although it is difficult and risky. It’s important to work with a name you and your payee trust -- you don’t want to get scammed, pay too much, or have your payee worry about whether or not the money order is legitimate.

Alternative Payment Methods?

Is there a better way to make payments? Money orders might do the trick, but they cost money and it can be a hassle to buy them. If a money order is required, you don't have options -- but if you're using a money order simply because you don't have a checking account, you might want to look into alternatives.

The first step is to evaluate whether or not it's worth opening a checking account. Banks and credit unions still offer free checking, so you don't necessarily have to pay fees. If using a bank isn't an option for you (or you prefer not to work with banks), prepaid card accounts offer some of the same features as checking accounts -- without the need to pay bank fees or get approved. In particular, you can pay bills from those accounts, which might mean you'll need fewer money orders in the future.

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