Getting a USPS money order can be a great way to kill two birds with one stone. You can get a money order to pay your bills, and you can send mail in the same visit. But you should consider how much it will cost to get that money order.
A USPS money order can vary in price from as little as $0.46 to $1,001.75. The price range includes the value of the money order, which can be up to $1,000. An additional $0.45 to $1.75 serves as the money order fee, and it depends on the type and amount of the money order.
If you need to send money but don’t want to send cash, a money order is a good option. You don’t have to use personal checks, and you don’t need a bank account to get something like a cashier’s check. But there are some things to consider, such as the cost and limit of the money orders.
Money Order Basics
If you need to pay bills or send money to a relative, a money order might be for you. You can get a money order from the post office, so it doesn’t matter if you have a bank account. However, you can’t use a money order for just anything.
You can’t get a money order for more than $1,000 each, plus any fees. If you need to pay $1,500, for example, you would need two money orders to cover the cost. Luckily, you can get as many money orders as you need, so you don’t have to worry about any limits that way.
Money orders are available from the post office as well as many businesses, such as Walmart. You can also get money orders at your local bank, but you’ll probably need an account to get one there.
There are also different types of money orders that you can get. Some work only in the United States, while others are suitable for use in other countries. Before you get a money order from the post office or elsewhere, consider where you need to send it.
No matter what type you get, money orders are more secure than personal checks, but they aren’t as expensive as wire transfers or cashier’s checks.
Domestic Money Orders
A domestic money order is what it sounds like because you can use it to send money within the country. If you need to pay a bill or send money to a friend, this money order can be a good option. You can use it to pay for utilities or your rent, and you can also use it for smaller purchases.
If you want to get a domestic money order, you should figure out how much money it should be. Whenever you need to send more than $1,000, you may want to consider other options. However, you can send multiple money orders, though that will increase the fees you’ll have to pay.
Once you get to the post office, you will need enough cash or money on a debit card. You can’t use a credit card to pay for a USPS money order, and you can’t use a personal check either.
A post office employee will help you get the money order, and they can make sure you fill it out correctly. Be sure to write the name of the recipient on the order, and sign it. Even though it’s not a personal check, you still have to verify that it is valid.
You’ll get a receipt for the money order that you can use to track it. If you’re mailing the money order, tracking it will help you know when it gets to its destination.
A domestic money order costs $1.25 for up to $500, and money orders over that cost $1.75. Of course, you will also need to pay for the value of the money order itself. Unfortunately, a $1,000 money order will run you $1,001.75.
International Money Orders
An international money order is an excellent choice if you need to send money to another country. You don’t have to pay the high fees of a wire transfer, but a money order is more secure than sending a personal check.
Before you send an international money order, you should check with the recipient. They should make sure their country and the financial institution will accept the document. If not, you may want to opt for another method of payment.
You should also consider that international money orders cannot be larger than $700. Some countries, like El Salvador, have a limit of $500. Because of that, you may need to send multiple money orders.
Both domestic and international money orders don’t have limits on the number you make in a day. However, if you get more than $3,000 worth of either money order in a day, you’ll need to provide a photo ID, and you’ll have to fill out a special form.
The fee for an international money order is $10.25, and you’ll also have to pay the processing fee for the specific country. And like with domestic money orders, you’ll need to pay for the balance of the document.
Military Money Orders
Another type of USPS money order is one you get through the military. You can get a military money order at an APO/FPO/DPO location. APO stands for Army Post Office, FPO is Fleet Post Office, and DPO stands for Diplomatic Post Office.
When you get a military money order, it has the same limits and restrictions as a typical domestic money order. The biggest difference is the fee that you have to pay in addition to the money order value.
A military money order is much cheaper with a service fee of $0.45. The fee is the same for smaller and larger money orders. And like with other types, you can get multiple military money orders if you need more than $1,000 worth.
How to Pay for a Money Order
Whether you get a money order at a regular post office or near a military base, you need to pay for it. You can go to your local post office, but you may need to go somewhere else for an international money order because not all locations offer that.
Once you get to the post office, you can request the money order for the specified value. You can pay for a money order in a few ways:
- If you have cash, that is the simplest way to pay for your money order plus the fee.
- You can also use a debit card or ATM card to cover the cost. However, the location must have a way to verify your card’s PIN.
- While not as common, you can use Traveler’s Checks. The value of the money order must be at least half of the Traveler’s Checks.
Unfortunately, you cannot use personal checks or credit cards to pay for money orders. Odds are this is for security purposes. The post office needs to make sure the funds are available and good.
Where Is the Cheapest Place to Get a Money Order?
If you need a money order but don’t want to pay a lot in fees, you should consider the cheapest option. Out of the post office locations, APOs and FPOs have lower fees thanks to their military associations.
However, you may find that you can get a money order for even less at places that aren’t the post office. Some banks offer free money orders to customers over a certain age. You may also be able to get a discount by purchasing from your bank.
But if you can’t get a free money order, the rates don’t get much better than military money orders. As long as you can get to one of those locations, you can send money without having to pay a lot in fees.
A USPS money order costs anywhere from $0.45 to $1.75, not including the value of the money order. You’ll have to pay a fee almost anywhere, but that fee can be worth the added security. But make sure you have enough money to cover the cost before you head to the post office.