Where to cash a money order

A bank teller fills out a check at the service counter.Image: A bank teller fills out a check at the service counter.

In a Nutshell

To cash a money order, take it to a participating location, endorse the order, pay any applicable fees and receive your cash. You can cash money orders at banks, credit unions, the post office and some retail stores.
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A money order is a secure payment method for sending a prepaid amount. Money orders are a trusted way to send cash, especially when a paper check won’t suffice or isn’t available. You may need to use a money order for a rental security deposit, a used car purchase or for sending money internationally or through the mail.

Because money orders are guaranteed, a recipient may prefer this payment method to a check. Fortunately, money orders can be a convenient and affordable way to send guaranteed money to any recipient.

If you’re wondering how to cash a money order, we’ve laid out the step-by-step guide below, along with a list of where you can cash a money order.

How to cash a money order

how-to-cash-a-money-orderImage: how-to-cash-a-money-order

Follow the steps below to cash a money order. After receiving your cash, you can spend it or deposit it into your checking or savings account. Consider putting your cash in a safe place as soon as you can so you’re not carrying around a large sum of money.

  1. Bring your money order to a location that will cash it. This could be your bank, credit union, post office or some grocery stores. Review our list of where to cash a money order in the section below.
  2. Endorse your money order. Wait to add your signature to the back of the money order until you’re ready to hand it over to the cashier.
  3. Verify your identity. Show your identification to prove that you’re authorized to cash the money order. Government-issued IDs, such as a passport, driver’s license or military card, are valid.
  4. Pay service fees. Depending on where you go, you may have to pay a fee to cash a money order. The fees will be deducted from the total amount of cash you collect.
  5. Receive your cash. Place your cash in a safe location before leaving the service counter. You may wish to notify the sender that you successfully cashed their money order.

Where to cash a money order

There are several places you can go to cash a money order. Here are some of your options:

  • Bank. One way to receive your funds is to cash a money order at the bank. One benefit of cashing your money order at your local bank is that you can securely deposit the funds in your savings or checking account immediately.
  • Credit union. Similar to a bank, you can cash money orders at credit unions if you have a credit union account.
  • Money transfer outlet. Several locations, like Western Union and MoneyGram, specialize in money orders.
  • Post office. The post office securely handles money orders and might be an  easy place to cash USPS money orders. You can also send out a package or purchase postage stamps while you’re there.
  • Grocery store. Some grocery stores will cash a money order. Head to their customer service counter to ask if they process money orders.
  • Convenience store. Some convenience will cash money orders. Call ahead of time or look on their website before heading to their location.
  • Money order issuer. Take a look at which entity issued your money order. You’ll be able to cash it at a store that utilizes the same company, such as Western Union.

When to use a money order

Money orders may come in handy for many situations since they are a guaranteed form of payment.

Here are some scenarios when you may wish to get a money order:

  • You don’t have a check to make a payment
  • A check is not an acceptable form of payment
  • You’re sending money internationally
  • You’re worried about bouncing a check
  • Cash is required for a purchase, like a used car or rental security deposit
  • You need to send a payment through the mail
  • You don’t have a checking or banking account
  • You’re making a large purchase and don’t want to have the cash on-hand

When sending a money order — whether it’s at a bank, convenience store or post office — be sure to keep your receipt for tracking purposes. If your money order were to be lost or stolen, it’s important to have your records and receipt.

While fees for cashing money orders are typically small, they may differ from location to location. The fees may also depend on how much money you’re sending and if the funds are being sent domestically or internationally. If you’re unsure how to fill out a money order, you can ask a clerk at the service counter for information.

What’s next: Grow your money in a savings account

If you plan on keeping the cash from your money order in a savings account, consider finding an account with a high interest rate to help your money grow.

By opening a savings account with Credit Karma, you can enjoy a savings rate that’s higher than the national average.