Money orders are another way to use MOVO to pay for goods and services.
Here are some of the top places to get a money order, beginning with the least expensive.
- Wal-Mart: The big-box store offers inexpensive money orders: 70 cents for up to $1,000.
- Banks and credit unions: Financial institutions sell money orders for around $5 each, with values typically up to $1,000. They often waive fees for customers with premium accounts.
- Money transfer agents: You can buy money orders from companies such as Western Union and MoneyGram at convenience stores, drugstores, supermarkets; such as, 7-Eleven, Krogers, Publix, CVS, Meijer, Vons and Kmart. Western Union money orders, as an example, generally cost from 99 cents to $1.50; charges vary by location and typically run 1-3% of the amount of the money order. The maximum value is usually $1,000.
- U.S. Postal Service: Money orders at your local post office are $1.20 for orders up to $500; $1.60 for amounts over $500 up to $1,000. There’s one exception: military money orders, issued by postal military facilities, are 40 cents. An international money order with a value of up to $700 costs $8.25.
You can typically pay for a money order with cash or a debit card, but there may be other options depending on the place.
When should I use a money order?
There are times when using cash or personal checks can put you at risk, or they aren’t accepted for payment. Here are five examples where money orders are the best payment method:
- You don’t have a checking account and need to pay bills. Since money orders require you to pay in advance, the money isn’t tied to any bank account and can be easily sent to other people. If you want to store your money and pay for more than just bills, a better solution is a prepaid debit card.
- You’re worried about bouncing a check. Because money orders are prepaid, they can’t be rejected for insufficient funds and aren’t subject to the fees that come with bouncing a check.
- You’re mailing money. A money order helps ensure that only the recipient can use it.
- You need to send a payment more securely. Unlike checks, money orders don’t include your bank account number.
- You’re sending money internationally. Not all money orders work abroad, but U.S. Postal Service money orders can be sent to 28 countries.