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How to Fill Out a Money Order to Send Money Safely

Cash orders are about as easy to fill out as a private test. Completely different shops use completely different codecs, however all of them want the identical primary data. Most cash orders are from one in every of three model names: Western Union, MoneyGram, or the U.S. Postal Service.

Right here’s a step-by-step information on when to make use of a money order, the place you will get one, and the way to fill it out appropriately.

Key Takeaways

  • Cash orders are straightforward to purchase and money, and about as easy to fill out as writing a test.
  • Charges fluctuate broadly, so test prematurely. Keep away from utilizing a bank card.
  • When you fill within the recipient’s identify, the cash order is protected from misuse.
  • In the event you’re paying a invoice, embody an account or bill quantity to make sure the cost is credited appropriately.
  • It could actually take as much as 30 days or extra for a refund should you cancel your cash order.
  • Cash orders are useful for individuals with out checking accounts.

When You Ought to Use a Cash Order

When you’ll want to pay somebody or somebody must pay you, however money, a private test, or a smartphone app aren’t good choices for no matter motive, a cash order could be the answer.

A cash order is a bit of paper, however it’s safer than money as a result of it names a particular recipient, who must endorse it and present identification to money it. Cash orders are useful for individuals who haven’t got a checking account or don’t need to settle for private checks. Even should you use checks, you may not need to share the private data printed on them—akin to your deal with and account quantity—with particular recipients. Cash orders are broadly accepted as a result of they’re pay as you go, eliminating the chance of bouncing.

Certified and cashier’s checks issued by monetary establishments supply much more safety than cash orders. Nevertheless, they carry a lot larger charges and require visiting a financial institution throughout banking hours, and a cash order is a neater and cheaper choice.

The place You Can Get a Cash Order

To date, on-line cash orders are uncommon and dear. So shopping for a money order usually requires you to go to a location that sells them and depart with a paper cash order in hand.

Luckily, hundreds of U.S. places promote cash orders, many with night and weekend hours. You should purchase one at any Walmart, CVS, or 7-Eleven, in addition to at any of the 31,300 U.S. Postal Service (USPS) retail places of work. Banks, credit score unions, grocery retailer chains, and check-cashing shops promote cash orders, too.

The restrict on cash orders is $1,000, however you possibly can order greater than separately.

What They Price

Virtually all cash order purchases contain a payment, so it’s sensible to buy round. Walmart costs $1.00 at most places, and the USPS costs $1.30 to $1.75 relying on the quantity. Worldwide costs are considerably larger. For instance, the USPS costs at the least $10.55 plus a payment.

Costs at banks, credit score unions, and different sellers will be considerably larger. However, some banks supply them free to particular classes of shoppers.

Bank card firms typically cost hefty charges on cash order purchases as a result of they deal with them like money advances. You additionally could possibly be piling up curiosity costs, so keep away from this feature if attainable.

What Data You Have to Fill Out a Cash Order

First, you will have to know the precise greenback quantity you need. This shall be machine-printed straight on the cash order, and you will not be capable of alter it later. You additionally have to know the right identify of the individual or firm you will make out the cash order to. Be exact, or the recipient might have hassle cashing it.

In the event you’re paying a enterprise, add the account or bill quantity to make sure the cost is appropriately credited to you. You’ll be able to fill this data out later, however a clean cash order (so long as the money quantity is on it) is nearly as good as money if it is misplaced or stolen.

Additionally, convey a debit card or money to pay to your cash order, except you are at your financial institution and might withdraw it out of your account.

In the event you overlook to fill out the identify of the recipient in your cash order after which lose it, anybody can money it, it’s mainly discovered cash.

The way to Fill out a Cash Order

The U.S. Postal Service carries its model and format of cash orders, as do some banks and credit score unions. Different sellers typically supply one in every of two manufacturers: MoneyGram is offered in any respect Walmart and CVS shops, whereas Western Union is offered at 7-Eleven, some grocery chains, and check-cashing shops. Whichever kind you get, the vendor will imprint the date and the quantity after which provide the incomplete cash order to finalize by hand.

There are simply three items of knowledge you will be requested to supply to finish any cash order: the recipient’s correct identify, your deal with, and your identify or signature. Cash orders ask to your deal with in order that the recipient can contact you if an issue happens. In the event you’re not snug sharing this data, there’s nothing to cease you from leaving this area clean or getting into your e mail deal with or cellular phone quantity as an alternative.

One required area on any cash order is a sign of the sender. On most cash orders, it is your signature that is requested, simply as you signal a test. However on USPS cash orders, the clean is simply labeled “From.” Whether or not you write or signal your identify is as much as you. One optionally available area on most cash orders will be fairly helpful. On Western Union cash orders, it’s referred to as “Fee for/Acct.#.” On USPS cash orders, it is labeled “memo.” That is the place you possibly can write in an account quantity in case your cash order pays a invoice. Or you need to use the area for another data, identical to you’d use the memo area on a test.

USPS cash orders supply further area for the deal with of the recipient. On MoneyGram and Western Union orders, solely your deal with is requested. MoneyGram cash orders are complicated. The clean says “Handle,” with no clues on whether or not your or the recipient’s deal with is needed, and it means the sender’s deal with.

You will want to supply legitimate identification to buy or money a cash order.

The way to Ship a Cash Order

As soon as you have stuffed in all of the fields, remember to detach the receipt. This stub supplies the cash order’s official identification quantity, and you need to use it to trace whether or not the cash order was cashed, and it is also a file of your cost.

Now that you’ve a accomplished cash order in hand and a receipt, you possibly can safely hand-deliver the cash order or mail it to your recipient. Solely the recipient will be capable of money it.

Errors to Keep away from

Whereas a cash order is seemingly simple and easy to make use of, there are errors to keep away from when utilizing a cash order. Crucial factor is to be sure you spell the recipient and payee’s names appropriately and fill out all of the elements of the order. In the event you overlook to fill one thing out or misspell a reputation, it might void out the order. By no means depart something on the order clean, and remember to maintain your receipt of the transaction.

Remember to buy round for the bottom charges for a cash order, both.

Benefits and Disadvantages of Cash Orders

One apparent benefit of utilizing a cash order is its simplicity. You’ll be able to stroll into an enormous field and even your native grocery and stroll out with a cash order, You need not have a checking account to buy a cash order, both, and they’re easy to fill out.

The disadvantages are minimal, however they could be sufficient to dissuade you from utilizing one. First, you need to pay a payment to buy a cash order, one thing you do not have to do when utilizing a test. In the event you lose a cash order and it isn’t stuffed out appropriately, it may be simply stolen. The cap of $1,000 on cash orders means you possibly can’t use them for bigger purchases or funds. You may should buy multiple, and with every order comes further charges.


  • It is easy to discover a place to buy a cash order.

  • You do not want a checking account to buy or money a cash order.

  • Solely the recipient can money the cash order.


  • A cash order can solely be used for as much as $1,000.

  • In the event you lose or have to cancel your cash order, it might take as much as 30 days or longer to be reimbursed.

  • If overlook to place the recipient’s identify on the order and lose it, anybody can money it.

The way to Cancel or Exchange a Cash Order

If you’ll want to cancel or change a cash order, instantly contact the entity that issued it to you, and they’ll ask you to fill out a cancellation request kind. All the time make sure that to save lots of your receipt and be ready to indicate it. You will want to pay a payment for a canceled cash order, as nicely. While you fill out a cancellation request, you might ask for a substitute cash order or a money refund.

Based on Experian, it might take as much as 30 days or extra for a refund or substitute, so you’ll have to be ready to attend. If the matter is pressing, you’ll have to buy one other cash order.

Alternate options to Cash Orders

There are numerous options to cash orders. You should utilize apps like Venmo and PayPal to ship cash with one swipe, and lots of banks, like Chase, use Zelle to switch cash straight out of your checking account. You’ll be able to write a private test, too, for zero charges and extra safety, ought to the test get misplaced or stolen.

The Backside Line

For lower than $1,000, cash orders will be a straightforward solution to buy one thing, pay a invoice, or pay again private debt. You should purchase a cash order for a small payment at comfort shops, cash order companies, big-box shops, and at some credit score unions and banks. There are drawbacks to utilizing cash orders akin to a restricted sum of money on every order, charges, and a 30 day or extra ready interval for a refund on a canceled cash order.

Whose Handle Do You Placed on a Cash Order?

Normally you’ll want to put each your deal with and the recipient’s deal with on a cash order.

Do You Must Signal a Cash Order?

Sure. You do have to put in writing out your signature on a cash order.

What Occurs If You Fill Out a Cash Order Improper?

Sadly, should you make a mistake, it’s onerous to right. For instance, should you write out the flawed payee identify or misspell it, you’ll have to ask for a refund, which might take 30 days, based on Western Union.

Can a Clean Cash Order Be Cashed?

Sure. If somebody finds a clean cash order with a specified quantity on it, in principle, they might fill it out and money it. In the event you discover a clean cash order with no money worth listed, you can not money it.

Can Anybody Money a Cash Order?

Anybody can money a cash order, assuming it’s made out to them they usually have legitimate identification.

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