One downside of money orders is that they are susceptible to fraud, and have become a common deception vehicle for thieves. In response, money order design has evolved to include a multitude of security and anti-counterfeiting features. From watermarks and security strips to rainbow ink patterns and UV-light features, look for the multiple indicators that can tell you whether a money order is legitimate or not.
Every money order comes with a detachable stub or receipt that allows you to track it after it’s delivered or sent.
Another consideration is how many money orders you will need because each one is typically capped at a maximum value of $1,000. So if, for instance, you need to pay $2,500, you’ll need three money orders. Here again, knowing the fees in advance is useful.
A money order is essentially a paper check that can’t bounce because it’s prepaid. You can buy one at any U.S. post office, at Western Union and MoneyGram outlets inside Walmart, CVS, 7-Eleven, and other groceries, convenience, and drug store chains. Most banks, credit unions, and check-cashing stores offer money orders as well.
If someone pays you with a money order for more than the requested amount and asks you to pay them back the difference, beware! This is a common scam of money order fraudsters.
Although personal checks offer similar security benefits, money orders have the advantage of being prepaid. Assuming you have a legitimate money order, accepting it as a form of payment is free of risk because the sender has already provided the funds.
However, redeeming money orders isn’t as convenient as buying them. For instance, some convenience stores sell money orders but don’t cash them. And, while post office locations will cash money orders in theory, if your money order is large and the post office is in a small market, they might not have enough cash on hand to redeem it.
By contrast, a personal check is accepted on the good faith that the sender’s bank account has sufficient funds or overdraft protection to cover the check. If not, the payment bounces and the recipient is left short—and often pays a bank fee on top of that.
Money orders can be bought or redeemed at more than 200,000 locations in the United States, including 30,000 post offices, almost 10,000 CVS stores, and 6,300 Walmart locations, as well as Western Union and MoneyGram outlets inside tens of thousands of 7-Eleven, Publix, Kroger, K-Mart, Safeway, Meijer, and other retail locations. Most of the nation’s approximately 100,000 bank and credit union branches also offer money orders.
Money orders work well when cash, checks, and payment apps don't. Here's how to buy or cash them at 200,000 U.S. post offices, banks, and retail locations.
Printed or handwritten, we will cash it – just bring photo ID. We cash checks other check cashing services won’t accept!
“Effective March 02, 2020, the new check cashing rate is 2.23%. A typical example is $2.23 for a $100.00 check.
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The Pay-O-Matic Corp. is licensed as a Money Transmitter by the New York State Department of Financial Services and the New Jersey Department of Banking and offers proprietary bill payment and prepaid services under its Pay-O-Matic Payment System business unit. Pay-O-Matic Check Cashing Corp. is licensed by the Superintendent of Financial Services, pursuant to article 9-A of the Banking Law and is an authorized agent of the following Money Transmitters*: The Pay-O-Matic Corp. and Western Union Financial Services, Inc. *These Companies are licensed as Money Transmitters by the New York State Department of Financial Services. Rapid Armored Corp., a wholly-owned subsidiary of The Pay-O-Matic Corp., is licensed as an Armored Car Carrier by the United States Department of Transportation and the New York State Department of State. The Pay-O-Matic Corp. and its subsidiaries do not disclose any nonpublic personal information to anyone, except as permitted by law.
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