If you can’t send a check but don’t want to rely on something as uncertain as cash, a money order can be a godsend.
It’s essential to know how to send and complete a money order step by step in case you ever need to pay a bill, send money to a relative, or transfer money discreetly from one place to another.
What is a Money Order?
A money order is very similar to a check. It allows you to send or receive payments securely, unlike cash.
However, money orders are prepaid. Instead of money leaving your account when someone cashes a check, money leaves your account as soon as you fill out a money order and deposit it with an appropriate institution.
When should you use a money order?
It may be wise to use a money order when you need to pay someone securely, but can’t use a smartphone app like MoneyGram, online platform, check, or cash (or if you don’t want to use any of these methods).
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This form of payment is accepted just about everywhere because they are automatically prepaid, so there is no risk of the money “bouncing” which can happen with a check. Plus, there’s no risk of identity theft like when you’re transferring money from a checking account.
You can one money order when you must:
- Send money to a family member or friend.
- Pay a bill for your business.
- Receive money from your workplace or someone else.
However, remember that you can only send $1,000 by money order. You can send multiple money orders in the same shipment.
Banks and other financial institutions can offer this personal financial service, just as they can send cashier’s checks and personal checks. Other financial institutions also offer money orders, including credit unions such as Western Union or anywhere you can have a bank account or get a credit/debit card.
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How to fill out a money order
Happily, completing a money order is very simple and not difficult at all. You can get a money order from a location that sells them, such as pharmacies (including Walmart and CVS) or, more commonly, one of the 31,300 United States Postal Service retail outlets. Handy, that’s possible too send money orders from US Postal Service offices.
Please note that purchasing a money order incurs a fee. The fee may vary from place to place; For example, Walmart usually charges one dollar to mail a money order, while the USPS can charge anywhere from $1.65 to $2.20, depending on how much you need to send.
You need a number of details to fill in a form money order:
- The name of the beneficiary.
- The address of the beneficiary or recipient.
- The payment amount.
- Your name and current mailing address.
- The reason or invoice number for the money order.
You do not need to include the issuer of the money order or the location of the post office/convenience store from which you are sending the money order on the memo line.
Step 1: Enter the recipient’s name
Once you have a money order, write the name of the person you are paying money to in the “pay by order of” or “pay to” fields, depending on which field your money order has. You must include the full name of the recipient or the full name of the company you are paying.
Step 2: Add your address
The next step is to add your address to the buyer’s address field. This is the address of the person purchasing the money order – in this case you. You also add the beneficiary’s address.
Step 3: Fill in the “memo” field
Then you need to fill in the “memo” field. This is a line or field where you can describe what you will use the money order for. If you use it to pay a bill, enter the invoice number in this field.
Step 4: Sign your name
Finally, you must sign your name on the front of the money order where it is indicated. When signing the buyer’s signature, leave the back of the money order blank. That’s where the payee or recipient will approve it, similar to approving a check.
There you have it – it should only take you a few minutes to fill out a money order from start to finish, provided you have all the necessary information.
Where and how to deliver a money order
After you fill out the money order, detach the receipt. The receipt is vital to your records and allows you to track whether the recipient ever cashed the money order.
Deliver the money order to the recipient in person or mail it to your recipient using the postal service of your choice. Only the recipient can redeem it.
Remember, unlike a check, any money you put in for the money order will be taken out of your account before the recipient collects the money order.
Can you cancel a money order?
Yes. To do this, you must immediately contact the person or party that issued the money order (i.e. USPS or Walmart). Request a cancellation form and fill it out.
To do this, you must have your money order receipt and show it. Then you have to pay a fee to cancel the money order. This process is the same if you want to replace the money order or get a cash refund.
What else should you know about filling money orders?
Now you know step by step how to fill out a money order. Money orders can be crucial financial tools from time to time and they can come in handy when you need to send money from one place to another safely and quickly.
Looking for more informative articles like this one? View the articles about money and finances of entrepreneurs here