Question mark in a chart showing small money growing into big money

Where Should I Buy My Money Order?

There are many places that sell money orders. The fees vary, so the best place for you to buy one will depend upon your circumstances. The lowest cost money order may not be the most convenient choice, so you should thoroughly research your options!

Local Bank

Most banks sell money orders, but the fees will vary greatly. They may be offered free of charge or they can cost double what money orders from other institutions cost. If you have an account with the bank, the money order may be issued at no charge; some banks will not even sell a money order to a person unless they have an account with the institution. Even if they’re offered for free, they may prove to be inconvenient since banks are only open for a limited number of hours.

Western Union

Although Western Union has a strong reputation for money transfers, their money orders are equally reputable and are easily cashed. Currently, their fees for a money order depend on the location where you purchase and on the total amount of the money order. In general, they will charge from $0.50 to $1.50 per money order. Western Union offices are often open seven days a week, so they are more convenient than banks as long as there is one near you.

Convenience and Grocery stores

Many convenience stores and supermarkets offer money orders. The particular brand available for purchase varies greatly from one store to another. Large retail chains, like Wal-Mart, make buying money orders (as well as cashing them) very easy. Most grocery stores are open seven days a week and have longer hours than a bank. Convenience stores may be open for longer hours, or even 24 hours in a large town. Convenience store money orders tend to be more expensive than other money orders, and they have lower limits on the total values that can be purchased, but the 24 hour availability is hard to beat.

United States Postal Service

In many ways, the USPS money order is the standard for money orders. They can be purchased at any post office and typically have the lowest fees you can find. A money order for $500 or less costs only $1.25 and for an amount over $500, it costs $1.65. Like banks, the USPS has the limited hours that the post office is open. Since post offices offer a variety of services, you could also get stuck with a long wait in line.

Wherever you decide to buy your money order, make sure that you know ahead of time what their fees will be, the hours the store or office is open, how far away the office is, and any additional restrictions they may have—such as a limit on the total amount of the money order.