For many dedicated budgeters, cash is a preferred payment method. It’s easy to keep up with and impossible to overspend; not to mention, you always have money for a tip handy. Cash can’t work for everything though. Since it isn’t trackable, cash isn’t a good option for rent or utility payments or for sending through the mail. For situations when you can’t use cash, it can be hard to find a good alternative. Money orders, however, are one convenient option with many benefits.
No Checking Account
One of the common replacements for cash is a personal check, but there are drawbacks. Not only do you have to pay extra to have checkbooks printed, but you also must have a checking account in the first place. Although many people already have checking accounts, for those who do not, it’s not a quick option when you need an alternative to cash. Money orders, on the other hand, do not require a checking account.
Pay With Cash
If you prefer cash for your transactions, you’re in luck with money orders. Cash is the easiest way to purchase money orders! At some places, you can use a credit or debit card, but an additional fee may be applied.
Although money orders do cost money, they are not cost-prohibitive. Through the postal service, fees are typically less than $2, so you’re not going to break the bank taking advantage of money orders. Depending on how often you’re using the service, money orders can be cheaper than a bank account that charges monthly fees.
Checks have your bank information across the bottom, card numbers can be stolen, but money orders are secure because they don’t display any sensitive personal information. Money orders can also be tracked or replaced, so they’re more secure than cash, too. Sellers also receive extra peace of mind when you pay with a money order because they’re backed by the issuer rather than your personal bank account the way a check is.
Not only are money orders protected from loss or theft with tracking and replacement guarantees, but they can be purchased from many institutions, including post offices, banks, and even retail stores. For fewer fees, they should be cashed at the issuing institution, but for convenience’s sake, they can typically be cashed anywhere that issues them. You can even use them to send money internationally!
As with any financial transaction, be sure to read all of the fine print so you’re not surprised by fees, but when you’re looking for an easy way to pay, a money order just might be the way to go!