How to Fill Out a Money Order: A Perfect Guide for You! - Current School News : Current School News

How to Fill Out a Money Order: A Perfect Guide for You!

Filed in Articles by on December 7, 2021

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– How to Fill Out a Money Order –

How to fill out a money order is a very simple procedure, but it’s critical to get it right. These paper forms, when correctly filled out, allow you to securely transmit or receive payments as an alternative to cash, checks, or credit cards. “Think of a money order as a pre-paid cheque,” Western Union advises.

How to Fill Out a Money Order

What is a Money Order?

A money order is a certificate that allows the designated payee to receive cash on demand and is usually issued by a government or banking institution.

A money order works similarly to check-in in that the person who purchased it can halt payment.

Money orders are commonly used by those who do not have access to a traditional checking account, since they are easily accepted and converted to cash.

These instruments are an accepted form of payment for modest personal and corporate debts, and they may be obtained from most institutions for a minimal service fee.

American Express was the first to issue money orders in 1882, and they later became known as traveller’s checks.

When You Should Use a Money Order

A person who buys a money order will have to fill out the name of the recipient on a form and the amount that the recipient should receive. Most money orders have a maximum limit of $1,000.

Therefore, a buyer would need to purchase multiple orders if he needs more than the stipulated limit. Be sure to fill out the money order carefully; it’s a one-off purchase and you need to keep excellent records of it.

The financial institution or allowed body that issues the money order to the payer will have the payee’s name, the issuer’s name, and the amount of money that can be cashed.

This dollar value does not include the fees charged to the payee. Factor in all costs when purchasing money orders. A bank or credit union will normally charge more than a convenience store to issue money orders.

When a purchaser pays for a money order, it comes with a receipt that includes the serial number of the money order. This information should always be kept until the purchaser is certain the money order has cleared.

Without a receipt, tracing a money order can be difficult or even impossible.

Where You Can Get a Money Order

When you’re deciding where to get a money order, think about fees, service, and location. Each option will have tradeoffs; your choice will depend on which factors matter most to you.

1. Retail Stores

Grocery stores, big-box stores, pharmacies, and convenience stores often provide money orders.

While you’re out running errands, look for a MoneyGram or Western Union logo at stores such as CVS, Kmart, Safeway, Publix, Kroger, Meijer, and 7-Eleven, among others.

Your fee to purchase a money order will vary by store; at Walmart, the maximum fee is $1, but costs may vary at different locations.

Typically, you can expect to pay $1 to $2 (or even less) per money order when you buy at other retail stores that offer this service.

If convenience or cost matters most to you, it’s probably best to get a money order at a retail store.

2. Banks and Credit Unions

Money orders can also be got via your bank. Banks charge their account holders a fee for each money order, which is usually between $5 and $10.

If you have a top-tier account, they may forgo the cost. 

Buying a money order through a bank may cost a few dollars more than buying one at a store, but the difference won’t be significant if you just buy money orders once in a while.

You’ll probably want to discover an option for more frequent purchases.

Customer service is the key advantage of a bank or credit union money order; they can help you track your money order.

Although some banks only offer cashier’s checks rather than money orders, your payee may not care which one you choose. Before you buy them, check with them.

3. U.S. Postal Service

U.S. Postal Service (USPS) money orders are another good choice. These money orders have a reputation around the world for being safe.

However, getting a USPS money order can be hard—not all post offices issue money orders, so call ahead to confirm. Even if yours does, you might wait in line.

USPS money orders cost $1.45 for amounts up to $500 and $1.95 for amounts between $500.01 and $1,000.4

Also, as of Aug. 30, 2019, USPS no longer issues or accepts money orders between the U.S. and Canada.5

4. Money Stores

Money orders may be sold by businesses that deal with money, such as banks and credit unions. Agents for Western Union, payday loan stores, and other money transfer businesses are frequently placed near each other.

Some websites claim to order money orders online, but doing so can be complicated and even dangerous.

You don’t want to get scammed, overpay, or have your payee worry about whether the money order is authentic, so work with a company that both you and your payee trust.

Steps to Fill Out a Money Order

The requirements to fill out a money order vary by institution, whether it’s Western Union or the United States Postal Service. Each institution’s money order may differ slightly in appearance as well.

However, you’ll need the following information:

Name of payee (i.e. the person to whom the money will be paid)

Payee’s address

Payment amount

Your name and address

What the payment is for and/or the billing account number

You’ll also need payment to purchase the money order (cash, check, debit card). Some issuers limit your payment options, too.

For example, you likely won’t be able to purchase a money order with a credit card.

Once you’ve purchased your money order, fill it out carefully to make sure it will go to the right person and that he or she can cash it.

Here are the steps to follow when you fill it out:

1. Fill in the Name of the Recipient

Write the name of the recipient of the money order in the “pay to” or “pay to the order of” field. This could be a person’s name or the name of a business. Spell everything correctly, making sure your writing is legible and in ink.

It’s important to fill out this section as soon as you purchase the money order, since this will be the only person allowed to cash or deposit.

(If you lose or misplace a money order before you write in the payee’s name, anybody can write in their name and cash the money order.)

If given the option, fill out your name in the field labeled “from,” “purchaser” or “sender.”

2. Include Your Address in the Purchaser Section

Fill in your address where the money order asks for the purchaser’s address. There may be a second address field where you can fill in the person’s address or business you are paying or sending money to.

3. Write the Account or Order Number in the Memo Field

A memo line allows you to note what the money order is designated for. For example, you can specify that it is to purchase a specific item or pay off a particular debt.

If you have an account or order number from the payee, this is where to include it. This field might also be titled “payment for” or “account number.”

4. Sign Your Name in the “Purchaser’s Signature” Section

Sign the front of the money order in the portion labeled for your signature. This section may be titled “Purchaser’s signature,” “Purchaser,” “From,” “Signer” or “Drawer.”

Do not sign the back of the money order. This is where the person or business that you are paying endorses the money order before they cash it.

STEPS TO FOLLOW

How to Purchase a Money Order

Getting a Money Order:

1. Decide on the Amount of the Money Order

Many establishments will ask you to pay for the money order in cash. Sometimes, you will pay with a credit or debit card.

2. Go to Your Bank

If you have a bank account, the easiest way to get a money order is to go to the teller and ask for one.

Some banks may charge a small fee, but many offer money orders for free.

Some banks offer cashier checks, which are like money orders. Make sure the recipient will accept a cashier’s check before buying one instead of a money order.

Banks offer the benefit of keeping a record of your money order purchase, which could come in handy if the money order gets lost.

3. Try Local Businesses

Drugstores, grocery stores, and places like Walmart offer money orders for a fee. Visit a few different places and choose the one with the lowest fee.

Some establishments have a limit on the amount of the money order. If there is a cap, simply purchase over one money order until you have the total amount you need.

4. Try the Post Office

Money orders issued by the United States Postal Service are usually replaceable if they are lost, stolen or damaged. The following benefits also apply to money orders purchased from the USPS:

They can be purchased with debit cards.

They are cashable in 29 other countries.

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5. Consider Purchasing a Money Order Online

If you’d rather not purchase a money order in person, an online vendor might be a convenient choice. However, online companies usually charge steeper fees than local establishments.

The leading online money order company is Payko, which caps daily money order purchases at just $200.

6. Try a money-oriented establishment

Western Union, credit unions, and other places that handle money usually issue money orders.

How to Deliver a Money Order

How to Use the Post Office to Send a Money Order

You may need to transfer money via mail to friends, family, or in a business transaction. Sending a money order is one of the most secure ways to do this in the United States.

A money order is a specific-amount payment certificate. It can be cashed or deposited in the same way that a check can. However, it has a lot of security measures that make sending a money order through the mail a far better option.

Money orders, for example, can usually be replaced if they are lost or stolen. You can use a money order even if you don’t have a bank account.

Money orders are readily available from banks, a variety of retail outlets, and all post offices. Here’s how you can do it:

Method 1

Sending International Money Orders

1. Decide about whether or not to send a money order. Sending money orders over the mail has both advantages and disadvantages.

Extra security, no need for a bank account, the ability to complete a transaction with a single payment, and the ability to send money internationally are all advantages.

More fees, extra paperwork, the need to go to a bank or post office instead of going online, dealing with constraints on the amount of money you can send, and occasional delays in sending and receiving money are all possible issues when sending a money order.

Before sending a money order overseas, thoroughly consider your choices.

If you need money quickly, try transferring money rather than sending a money order.

Money orders must physically traverse whatever distance is required, whereas Western Union transactions can be completed nearly instantaneously.

If you have to send more than $700 internationally, you might run into money-order limitations, meaning you would have to purchase over one money order.

2. Look up which countries accept international money orders. Not all nations do. At last count, only 29 countries accept American money orders.

Any nation is free to place specific restrictions and conditions before accepting foreign money orders.

Before proceeding any further, check with your post office about which nations will accept your money order and which might require extra paperwork on your part.

3. Visit a post office. Talk with a clerk at the service window. If you don’t know where your nearest post office is, use a post office locator online such as the one at https://tools.usps.com/go/POLocatorAction!input.action.

All full-service U.S. post offices can issue money orders.

Other places that sell money orders include credit unions, banks, and certain large retail stores.

4. Tell the postal clerk you wish to purchase an international money order. In the U.S., they may be purchased for any value up to $700.

(Certain countries — El Salvador and Guatemala, for example, will not allow money orders larger than $500.) The clerk will furnish you with the appropriate paperwork to fill out.

5. Make a payment for the money order. Cash, a debit card, or a traveler’s check are all acceptable methods of payment.

You will be charged a minor transaction fee in addition to the money order’s face value. A $4.50 fee is charged in the United States for an international money order. When you pay the cashier, this is added to your total.

A traveler’s check can only be used if the money order is for at least half the amount of the traveler’s check.

If you have a $500 traveler’s check, for example, you can use it to buy a money order for at least $250 (or multiple money orders totaling at least $250).

6. Fill out the money order form. There are a number of lines to fill out on the form, and it is essential that you do so correctly.

Be sure that you use only blue or black ink and that you print everything correctly and legibly. Most money-order forms will ask you to enter the following:

Today’s date

Your full name

Your full address

The recipient’s name

The recipient’s full address

The amount of money you are sending

A description of the purpose for the money

7. Put your money order in a stamped, addressed envelope. Complete all address information, and affix the proper postage.

The appropriate postage depends on the weight of the letter and its destination. A one-ounce international letter requires postage of about $1.15.

8. Decide which extra security features you want to purchase. When you send money orders you can choose to increase the amount of security and insurance on your envelope.

Indemnity coverage is provided free of charge, which means that you can request that a lost or stolen money order be replaced for a nominal fee.

If you’d like your money order to have more security, insurance is available, as well as other features including registered mail or restricted delivery. You can ask the postal clerk about the costs and benefits of these extra services.

9. Put your receipt in a safe place. Make sure that the postal clerk provides you with a receipt for your money order.

Place the receipt somewhere safe where you can find it later. For example, a wallet, filing cabinet, or desk drawer might be good places to store your money order receipt.

If your money order is lost or stolen, your receipt will help you get your refund quickly. There is, however, a fee of $6.10 for money-order replacements.

10. Keep an eye on your money order. Use the tracking feature of the Postal Service to estimate when your money order will arrive at its destination.

This tool will allow you to track the location of your money order at all times and will notify you when it is scheduled to arrive at its destination.

This will assist you in ensuring that the funds have been directed to the correct location and individual.

If your package goes missing, notify your post office right away. They will provide you with the necessary paperwork to begin the money order replacement procedure.

MONEY ORDER

Method 2

Sending Domestic Money Orders

1. Determine how much money you wish to send. You will not be able to send more than $1,000 in a single domestic money order.

If you need to send more than $3,000 worth of money orders in a single day, you will have to fill out an extra form and bring a photo ID that includes your home address and full name.

If your purchase will exceed $3,000, remember to bring personal identification with you to the post office.

2. Make the decision to send a money order.

There are benefits and drawbacks to mailing money orders through the mail.

Money orders provide several advantages, including increased security, the elimination of the need for a bank account, and the ability to pay in advance.

Extra fees, extra paperwork, having to visit your local post office in person instead of dealing online, having limits on the amount of money you may send, and potential delays in sending and receiving money are all potential drawbacks of sending a money order.

Before sending a money order, thoroughly consider your alternatives.

If speed is a concern, instead of mailing a money order, consider wiring the funds. A Western Union transfer can be completed very instantaneously, however a money order must go to its recipient physically.

3. Visit your local post office. Wait in line to visit with a clerk. If you do not know where your nearest post office is, use a post office locator feature online such as this one: https://tools.usps.com/go/POLocatorAction!input.action. online. Most official post offices will be able to issue a money order directly to you.

If you are in a remote location, you may be able to receive a money order form from your rural carrier. This might be more convenient than traveling to a post office.

Discuss this option with your postal carrier in advance so that they can provide you with the proper forms.

Other places to purchase money orders include credit unions, banks, military facilities, and certain large stores.

4. Tell the postal clerk that you wish to purchase a domestic money order. Individual money orders are available for values up to $1,000.

You cannot exceed $3,000 of money-order purchases in a single day unless you fill out extra forms and show a photo ID. Your postal clerk will be able to provide you with the proper paperwork.

5. Purchase the money order. There will be a small fee for domestic money orders usually between $1.00 and $2.00. Pay the fee, plus the amount of the money order. You may pay with a debit card, cash, or traveler’s check.

Note that traveler’s checks can be used only if the purchase amount is more than half of the traveler’s check amount. For example, if you have a traveler’s check for $500, you can use it to purchase money orders that are $250 or more.

Members of the military who purchase military money orders have a slightly lower fee of 40 cents per money order.

6. Fill out the money-order form. There are a number of lines to fill out on the form, and it is essential that you do so correctly. Be sure you use blue or black ink and that you print everything correctly and legibly.

Most money-order forms will ask you to enter:

Today’s date

Your full name

Your full address

The recipient’s name

The recipient’s full address

The amount of money you are sending

A memo explaining the purpose of the money

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7. Put your money order in a stamped, addressed envelope. Complete all address information and affix the appropriate postage.

The postage depends on the weight of your letter. If the envelope weighs no more than an ounce, it will require a single first-class stamp.

8. Decide which extra security features you want to purchase. When you send money orders, you can choose to increase the amount of security and insurance on your package.

Indemnity coverage is provided free of charge, which means that you can request that a lost or stolen money order be replaced for a nominal fee.

If you’d like your money order to have more security, insurance is available, as well as other features like registered mail or restricted delivery. You can ask your postal clerk about the costs and benefits of these extra services.

9. Put your receipt in a safe place. Make sure that the clerk provides you with a receipt for your money order. Put the receipt in a safe place you’ll remember.

A wallet, filing cabinet, or desk drawer might be good places to store the receipt.

If your money order is lost or stolen, your receipt will help you get a refund more quickly. There is, however, a fee of $6.10 for a money order replacement.

10. Observe the status of your money order. Use the tracking feature of the Postal Service to estimate when the money order will arrive at its destination.

This function allows you to keep track of where your money order is and when it is expected to arrive. This will assist you in ensuring that the funds have been directed to the correct location and individual.

Benefits of Money Orders

Benefits of Money Orders

If your package goes missing, notify your post office right away. They will be able to provide you with the necessary paperwork to start the money-order replacement process.Benefits of Money OrdersMoney order program began during the Civil War as a way for soldiers to send home money without the fear of cash being stolen in the mail.

With modern checks, debit cards and electronic payment methods consuming the vast majority of transactions, many forget the benefits of money orders, especially among the less fortunate.

While they cost money, they do still serve a purpose.

1. Security

Modern postal money orders are designed to prevent fraud with a Ben Franklin watermark and a security thread much like money utilizes to strongly deter counterfeiting.

Penalties of up to 10 years in jail and a $25,000 fine can be incurred for making or using counterfeit postal money orders. These features should make you comfortable using and accepting them for payment.

2. Safe to Mail

Mailing money orders is safe. Save your receipt, and if the money order does not make it to the desired location, call the phone number on the receipt to report its loss.

Return to the location that you purchased to arrange a replacement. There will be a small convenience fee for this, much like a stop payment fee for a check.

International money orders are also available to a limited number of countries.

3. Easy Access

Simply endorse the money order at your bank to deposit or cash it. Most retailers will also accept money orders for payment, and many will cash money orders for free or for a small convenience fee.

If it is a USPS money order, you can cash it at the post office for no fee since the fee was paid when it was purchased. If these are not options, check cashing services will cash the money order for a larger fee, often with identification required.

4. Easy to Acquire

You can purchase money orders at any post office or bank. Many grocery stores now sell them at their customer service counters.

Other money service companies such as Western Union often sell them at tourist locations and other convenient areas.

Typically small fees are charged for purchasing money orders, but the benefits generally justify this small expense.

Advantages of Money Orders

A list of money order advantages. 

➢ These are some benefits to making and receiving payments via money orders: Money orders are perhaps the most secure way to send money. More secure than cash, personal checks, and maybe even card payments.  

➢ With money orders, the payer and the payee don’t need banks or bank accounts. People without bank accounts can also use money orders to pay monthly bills.

➢ Money orders can be sent across international borders and the receiver can convert the order to cash in their local currency. Furthermore, the sender can track the order and see where exactly it’s, and if the payee has cashed it.

➢ Money orders are easy to access. No matter how small a town is, it’ll have a post office, a supermarket, or a money transfer outlet (like MoneyGram or Western Union). This makes it possible for nearly anybody to buy, send and cash a money order.

➢ Personal checks carry the sender’s name, account number, and routing number. In the past, these details have been used to counterfeit checks and compromise people’s bank accounts.

However, money orders don’t display any personal information.

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Disadvantages of Money Orders

A list of money order disadvantages

➢ As with all payment methods, there are some snags when you send and receive funds with money orders. I highlight them below:

➢ Money orders have maximum amounts and most of them are capped at $1,000 per order. If you need to send a money order of, say, $2,500, you’ll need to buy multiple orders and pay fees on all of them.

➢ It’ll cost a small fee to cash a money order (sometimes 1 to 3% of the order amount). The sender may need to factor this in when estimating how much to send.

However, if you take the money order to your bank, the funds can be deposited into your account for free.

➢ If you try to cash a money order at a financial institution other than the issuer, it may take some days to get the full amount.

➢ When money orders are mailed, they are subject to the risks that come with sending anything through the post. They may take weeks to reach their destination, be misplaced or lost completely.

However, the chances of any of these happening are quite slim. As postal services optimize their operations, many of the risks are removed.

➢ As long as the sender has the receipt, a money order can be canceled or reclaimed (in case the payee does not receive it). However, it may cost up to $20 to cancel an order.

Some issuers allow senders to cancel without receipts, but at a higher fee (Western Union charges $30).

ALL THE RIGHT BENEFITS

FAQS About Money Order

Here are answers to some frequently asked questions about money order:

QUES: How can I pay for a money order?

➢ U.S. currency and coins.
 
➢ Established Traveler’s Checks payable in US dollars if the purchase is for at least 50% of the value of the Traveler’s Checks.
 
➢ ATM / Debit Cards at locations where the customer’s Personal Identification Number (PIN) must be entered on a keypad connected to a Credit/Debit terminal.
 
➢ Checks are not accepted to purchase money orders.
 
➢ Credit cards may NOT be used to purchase money orders.

QUES: Where can a money order be cashed?

➢ Domestic Money Orders can be cashed at any Post Office location in the country and:
 
1. Branches
 
2. Stations
 
3. APOs / FPOs
 
4. Many banks
 
(Questions regarding whether a specific financial institution will cash a Postal Money Order need to be directed to the specific institution).
 
➢ International Money Orders can be cashed at Postal facilities in countries that accept them. However, there is no requirement that banks or other facilities must cash the money orders.
 
Questions regarding whether a specific financial institution will cash an International Postal Money Order need to be directed to the specific institution.

QUES: How do I verify a postal money order?

USPS Money Orders have distinguishing marks you can check to make sure that the money order is valid. By holding a money order up to a light, you should see:
 
Ben Franklin watermarks repeated on the left side (top to bottom).
 
A vertical, multicolored thread that weaves in and out of the paper to the right of the Franklin watermark.
 
In the light, the thread appears continuous with alternating horizontal dark and light bars behind it and the letters “USPS” repeating backward and forward throughout the thread.
 
Signs of a fraudulent money order include:
 
If the denomination is discolored, it may have been erased (indicating fraud).
 
The dollar amount should be imprinted twice. 
 
Maximum value for domestic money orders is $1,000.
 
Maximum value for international money orders is $700 ($500 for El Salvador and Guyana).
 
Still not sure whether your money order is valid?
 
Verify – Call the money order verification system at 866-459-7822.
 
Report – If you suspect fraud, call the U.S. Postal Inspection Service® at 877-876-2455 (Follow the prompts).

QUES: Whose address do you put on a money order?

Because you are the buyer, you must include your current mailing address. The terms From, Sender, Issuer, Remitter, or Drawer may appear on some money orders.
 
Including your information helps the recipient (wherever the money order is deposited) to contact you if they have questions or if there is a problem.

QUES: Do money orders need to be signed?

A sign of the sender is a necessary field for any money order. Your signature is required on most money orders, just as it is on a check.
 
However, the void in USPS money orders is merely labeled “From.” It is entirely up to you whether you write or sign your name.

QUES: Do you have to fill out anything on a money order?

You don’t have to write the money order’s amount in, but you should double-check it. Payee is a word that has a lot of different meanings depending on who. How to Fill Out a Money Order
 
If you’re unsure what to write, ask the payee to prevent making a mistake. The order must have the correct name, exactly like a check, in order for the payee to cash it.

QUES: What happens if you fill out a money order wrong?

The money order must be canceled or returned if there is an error on it. If you discover you filled out information erroneously, simply ask the cashier to cancel the money order and issue a new one.
 
Except for you, this typically causes no problems. How to Fill Out a Money Order

QUES: Is it possible to get money back from a money order that has been filled out?

The issuer will neither replace nor refund the purchase price once the money order has been cashed.
 
However, as long as the money order hasn’t been cashed, you have a reasonable chance of getting your money back—minus a fee and a few weeks’ delay.

QUES: Is it possible to cash a stolen money order?

If you receive a receipt with your money order, keep it in case the money order is lost, stolen, or something else goes wrong.
 
When a person receives a money order, they can usually cash it at the institution that issued it, at a check cashing or other retail outlet, or at a bank.

QUES: Is it possible to deposit a money order that does not bear my name?

Regardless of where you cash your money order, you’ll need to show identification. If you don’t have identification, you can endorse the money order to someone who does, such as a sibling or friend. They will then be able to cash it for you.

In conclusion, money orders are very good as cash alternatives. They protect senders by keeping their banking information private, and recipients don’t need to worry about rejected payments.

If a money order is lost/stolen, as long as they still have the receipt, senders can get most of their money back.

And for the 14 million American adults that do not have a bank account, money orders provide a way to send and receive funds, as well as pay bills.

Do not forget to share this article with friends and loved ones. Please drop your questions and comment in the comment box below.

CSN Team.

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