If you don’t have a checking account or if you don’t want to carry a lot of cash, a money order is still a popular method of payment for personal transactions. Even with the rise of PayPal, Venmo, and online banking, there are still plenty of places that issue and cash money orders.
What Is a Money Order?
A money order is like a check, but the payment has been guaranteed through a third party. You don’t have to worry about an overdraft or insufficient funds from a checking account because the money order was already paid for. It’s safer than cash, too, because a money order can be canceled and replaced if it gets lost.
Most grocery stores, pharmacies, and convenience stores sell money orders, and so do banks and post offices. Look for the MoneyGram or Western Union signs at the customer service desk of the stores you shop at regularly. You generally have to pay for a money order with cash but some stores accept checks and debit cards as payment.
Always save the receipt until the recipient has cashed your money order. If the money order gets lost, you can cancel it and have it reissued if you have the receipt. Otherwise, you’re out that money.
This list of places to purchase money orders will set you on the right track but keep an eye out for other locations around town as well. Policies may change so be sure to call a store or check out the MoneyGram and Western Union websites for the latest updates before you purchase your money order.
1. U.S. Post Office
Every branch of the U.S. Post Office sells money orders up to $1,000 in value. They cost $1.25 or $1.70, depending on value. You can pay for them with cash, a debit card, or traveler’s checks. You may cash Postal Money Orders at any post office, too.
7-Eleven uses both Western Union and MoneyGram, depending on location. Money orders cost either 65 cents each or between 1% and 3% of the money order’s value. They have a limit of $500.
At CVS you can get a money order up to $500 in value for 99 cents. They use MoneyGram for processing them.
Money orders from Walmart cost 70 cents each and may be valued at up to $1,000. They use MoneyGram and you may also cash a money order at Walmart if it was purchased from a Walmart, for a small fee.
There are a few Kmart locations still open and some of them sell money orders through Western Union for 69 cents each. The limit is $500 in value. Since not all Kmarts offer money orders, check with your local store.
Money orders from Meijer cost 65 cents. They use Western Union and the limit is $500.
7. Harris Teeter
At Harris Teeter you can buy a money order for 99 cents. Most stores have a limit of $500 but some have a limit of $200. They accept cash or check for payment. You may cash a money order at Harris Teeter as long as it was purchased at the same store. Harris Teeter uses Western Union.
8. Giant and Stop & Shop
Publix charges 85 cents per money order processed by Western Union. The maximum value varies by location.
Fees and maximum values vary by location, but you can get money orders from Kroger with limits of either $500 or $1,000 for approximately 70 cents each. Call your local store to find out their policies. Kroger uses Western Union.
Safeway is a Western Union agent. Their prices for money orders vary by store, as do the maximum values. Visit the customer service desk to find out the policies at your local Safeway.
Western Union sells money orders at Walgreens, although their policies vary by store. Check with your local Walgreens to find out the costs and the limit.
13. Rite Aid
Rite Aid sells money orders of up to $500 for 99 cents each. They use Western Union and only accept cash for payment.
14. Local Banks
Every bank offers money orders or cashiers checks. If you have a savings or a checking account, find out the policy from your bank or shop around at some of the others in your neighborhood.