Money orders may not be the most innovative or technologically advanced payment method, but they can come in handy in many situations. An old school form of payment, money orders are a safer alternative to a regular check.
Chances are, you don’t use money orders all that often to pay for services or products; instead, you likely use cash, a credit card ordebit cardas your primary method of payment. But everyonce in a while, a scenario will come up in which you may need to use a money order, such as needing to send money internationally or deliver a payment without worrying about putting yourself in jeopardy offraudulent activity, or don’t want to risk a personal check bouncing.
Similar to paper checks, money orders are issued in the form of a paper document, and they are used when you want to pay for something. When you want to purchase a money order, you need to provide money upfront. And because of that, money orders ensure the receiver that they will get their payment. For example, if somebody gives you a money order worth $100, it’s as good as cash once you deposit it at your bank or take it to a financial institution to exchange it for money. In addition, instead of being backed by your personal bank account, like a check, a money order is backed up by an agency or large corporation. This makes it a more secure form of payment to the recipient.
When you purchase a money order, you pay the full amount upfront plus a small fee. After verifying that the amount is correct, you’ll need to fill in your name and contact information on the front of the money order, plus the name of the recipient and their contact information.
A memo line allows you to specify what the money order is for. You then sign the front as if it were a personal check. Be sure to keep your receipt in case you need proof of payment or want to track when the order is received.
Filling out a money order is pretty straightforward.
I can transfer money instantly, as many times as I want! This is by far my favorite banking experience. I get all deposits early and have never had any issues. I was the first person I know to get the stimulus checks! Chime is legit, the sh.;-D if you have direct deposit, you have the option to enroll in their 'SpotMe' program. As well, you can make a direct deposit from your Chime Bank account to Cash App using the routing and account number of the Cash App account. How to transfer money from Chime to Cash app without debit card. If you do not have a Chime bank debit card, you can still transfer funds to Cash App.
You’ll need to include the following basic information:
- Your name
- The name of the recipient
- Possibly your address and phone number. Pro tip: If you want to retain your privacy, ask if this information is necessary.
- There may be a memo area to fill in with notes
- You may need to sign it with your signature
Looking to cash a money order? Follow the steps below:
1. Find a location that cashes money orders
You can cash money orders at numerous locations. A few common places to cash a money order are banks, convenience stores, and credit unions.
2. Endorse your money order
Make sure you filled out your money order. Once you get to the location, sign the money order just like you would a check.
3. Show a valid ID
In order to verify that you are authorized to cash the money order, you will need to identify yourself so make sure to bring a government-issued ID like a driver’s license or passport.
4. Pay fees (if applicable)
If you’re cashing your money order at your bank, you might not have to pay fees. Otherwise, be prepared to pay a fee.
5. You’re done!
Get your cash and make sure you place it securely with you.
You may want to use a money order in the following scenarios: Slot machine maker software free.
- The receiver of the funds doesn’t want to run the risk of getting a bounced check.
- The person issuing the payment may need to cancel payment. For instance, if you believe the money order was stolen, you can pull the plug on issuing the funds.
- You want to protect your privacy. Money orders don’t include bank account information.
You may want to use a money order in lieu of cash for the following reasons:
- You want a receipt as proof of having made a payment
- If you’re worried about losing the cash (either misplacing it or having it stolen)
- If you have to pay an ATM fee to withdraw cash
Money orders come in handy for a number of reasons. You can use them for the following scenarios:
Paying for rent
There are many benefits to paying your rent with money orders. The first is a paper trail. You receive a receipt attached to the money order as proof you’ve paid your rent. And, if you lose the money order, you can file a claim to get your money back. Some places also allow you to track your orders online, so you can see when your landlord receives the money order. This way you’ll ensure the money gets in your landlord’s hands. Plus, you have proof you sent payment on time. Lastly, money orders are immediately withdrawn from your account so you can purchase a money order and rest easy that you won’t overspend and not be able to pay your rent.
FYI: If you’re having trouble staying on top of rent and bills, see how Chime’s Get Paid Early feature can help you get your paycheck faster
Buying from an online seller
If the recipient doesn’t know you and wants a secure form of payment, he may ask for a money order. Think of in-person transactions, such as buying something on an online marketplace like Facebook Marketplace or LetGo. In this scenario, you may meet up with the seller to exchange goods for moola.
When it’s unsafe to send cash
Chime Deposit Cashier's Check
Did you get wind of that postal worker who stole 6,000 greeting cards with cash, checks and gift cards? While she couldn’t cash those checks, she was privy to sensitive bank account information. And instead of sending cash, which could end up in the wrong hands, only the recipient can cash in on a money order. If you don’t have a safe place (away from home) to keep your money, then paying your monthly rent and utility bills via money orders are the way to go.
You can purchase and cash a money order from:
- The U.S. Postal Service. Every U.S. post office accepts debit cards as payment for money orders. You can find a post office near you using the USPS locator.
- Money transfer outlets, which include places like Western Union or MoneyGram, as well as some convenience stores, drugstores, supermarkets and check-cashing outlets. Even some major retailers like Walmart may offer a counter where you can buy a money order.
- Banks and credit unions.
Money orders typically have a $1,000 limit. Plus, there’s a small fee. If you get one from the post office, for example, the fee is $1.20 for any amount up to $500, and $1.60 for amounts between $500 and $1,000. And, if you get a money order from CVS, there’s a 99 cent fee for a $500 limit. So, if you need more than $1,000, you’ll likely need to purchase multiple money orders.
- Fees can add up: If you’re using money orders regularly because you lack a checking account, fees will add up fast, especially if you have to make sizable payments that require multiple money orders.
- Target for scammers: Money orders are traditionally considered safe, but they can be used in fraud. In fact, the perception that they are safe is exactly what makes them perfect for scams, and they’re sometimes prohibited as a form of payment because of this risk. A money order theft may be as simple as someone intercepting the money order and attempting to put their own information over the recipient’s. Or a scammer may pay someone via a money order for more than the requested amount, then ask for the difference to be paid back. The money order turns out to be counterfeit, and the recipient is on the hook for it.
- Bank processing concerns: If you receive a money order as payment, the bank may place a hold on your account until the money order clears. This hold may last for two or three days. If you need access to money, your account is frozen.
- Not very convenient: Buying a money order requires extra steps for the purchaser. You often need to make a special trip, pay in person, and speak with someone during business hours, and pay a fee just to secure a money order. Compare that to the ease of writing a check, or using anonline banking service like Chime.
If you’ve decided a money order isn’t what you need, there are a number of options that might fit your situation better without resorting to cash. Some financial tools you can use to pay up without getting a money order include:
Cashier’s checks are similar to money orders. They’re signed by a bank representative and drawn from a bank’s account after the funds are transferred from your own. Cashier’s checks are available for larger dollar amounts, as long as you have the necessary funds, so they’re a better choice for large payments.
Personal checks, while old-fashioned, are also a good alternative to money orders. Many billers and online sellers still accept personal checks, so you can use your checking account to pay bills and transfer funds. If you’ve been denied a checking account because of previous mismanagement, be sure to look intoChime’s second-chance bankingfeatures.
A wire transfer is an electronic transfer of guaranteed funds and is a good alternative if you need to send money as quickly as possible. As with a cashier’s check, you’ll often need to visit your bank or a store in person. Wire transfers are more expensive(about $30 to $40in many cases) and more cumbersome, but they can’t be faked or canceled like money orders.
Electronic payments of non-guaranteed funds are also an option. If you’re just paying bills, your bank’s online bill payment service can send funds almost anywhere—often for free. Online services and mobile appscan also send money at no charge.
Prepaid debit cards
If you don’t have a bank account, consider using aprepaid debit card. These cards offer the convenience of plastic, but instead of being attached to a credit account, you load them with your own cash, typically online or at a variety of retail locations. It’s important to keep in mind that many of these cards come with a range of fees, so a traditional debit card linked to a checking account may be a better option.
When you need a more secure alternative to sending cash but can’t use a check, money orders may be your best bet. Before purchasing or cashing a money order, keep the following in mind:
- Money orders are backed up by an agency or large corporation.
- You need to provide money upfront.
- Be prepared to pay a small fee.
- Know the name of the payee and the amount you want to send.
- Fill out the fields provided.
- Keep the receipt.
Goodbye hidden bank fees.
Over 38,000 fee-free MoneyPass® and Visa® Plus Alliance ATMs. No monthly fees. No minimum balance fees. No overdraft. No deposit required.
Bank online with Chime and get unlimited cash withdrawals at over 38,000 fee-free MoneyPass® and Visa® Plus Alliance ATMs, plus over 30,000 cash back locations. You can also locate fee-free ATMs using the ATM Finder in the Chime app whenever you need to find an 'ATM near me.'
To make sure the transaction you are making is surcharge-free, look for the MoneyPass® or Visa® Plus Alliance logo on a sign at the ATM or displayed on the ATM screen. Learn more about ATM fees here.
Chime Reload Locations
Skip the ATM fees
While most financial institutions will allow you to use their ATMs for free, most of them charge a fee when you use one that’s out-of-network (not affiliated with the bank)
The big banks offer thousands of free ATM locations, but that availability usually depends on the number of brick and mortar branch locations they have. In fact, there are hundreds of U.S. cities where some of the largest banks haven’t set up shop, or where only a few machines are scattered across town.
With a mobile bank like Chime, you can access over 38,000+ ATM machines without having to worry about fees.
Want to avoid ATM fees?
Fees can sometimes add up to be a big problem. Most banks will charge you a fee for using an ATM that is out-of-network. In other words, if you use a machine that is not officially affiliated with your bank you may be charged a fee by the operator and also by your own bank. The best way to avoid fees is to find a bank with a fee-free ATMs and an ATM that is within your bank’s network. Therefore, before choosing a bank, it might be a good idea to check the available locations that belong to that bank.
Many banks offer thousands of fee-free ATM locations, but if you bank with a traditional bank that availability may depend on the number of brick and mortar branch locations. In fact, there are hundreds of cities nationwide where even some of the largest banks have not reached yet, or where only a few machines are scattered across town. Alternatively, mobile bank accounts such as Chime allow you to locate over 38,000+ fee-free ATM machines directly from their mobile app. That’s larger than the fee-free networks at Chase, PNC, Bank of America, CitiBank, or Wells Fargo. Chase with 18,500 and Bank of America with around 16,000 are the only ones that come even close to that number of options. Wells Fargo and PNC have somewhere around 10,000 and CitiBank has a very unenviable position with only 3,300 at its disposal. All of this should be taken into consideration when choosing the best option.
Fees Charged by Other Banks
All banks have different rules concerning fees and requirements and the same thing applies to ATM fees. When it comes to using an out-of-network machine, there may be an immediate operator fee which can sometimes go as high as $10 per withdrawal. Additional fees can also be charged by your own bank. As for the non-network fees, these charges fluctuate between $2 and $3.50, depending on the bank and the selected account. An international transaction fee also exists which for most banks stands at $5 plus a conversion rate of around 3% of the amount withdrawn.
It is important to mention is that there is often no notification of this fee during transactions. Chase, Bank of America, CitiBank and Wells Fargo charge $2.50 for using an out-of-network ATM, while for PNC it is a little higher at $3. There are certain exceptions where this fee can be waived but it typically requires the account holder to be enrolled in top-tier services that the bank provides.
ATM Fees are on the Rise
Across the nation, the fees for non-network transactions have hit an all-time record and are now 55% higher than in 2008. Since the recession, this fee has been steadily on the rise and it now averages around $4.70 with no signs of stopping. Some metro areas in the U.S. have already exceeded a $5 fee per transaction. Pittsburgh has a fee of approximately $5.19. It is closely followed by New York City at $5.14 for non-network transactions. Washington D.C. and Cleveland both charge about $5.11. Atlanta rounds out the highest fees at $5.04. Additionally, it is speculated that two more cities will soon be joining this list. Phoenix is currently at $4.96 and Denver at $4.92.
On the other hand, there are places with fees below the average. First is Dallas, where a total average out-of-network fee stands at $4.07 which is more than sixty cents lower than the nationwide average. Milwaukee with $4.19 and San Francisco with $4.23 are close behind, followed by Seattle and Cincinnati that both have the fee at $4.30. St. Louis and Chicago are also on the list with fees of $4.41 and $4.44, respectively.
How to Avoid Fees
There are numerous strategies you can employ in order to avoid fees. Use your bank’s app to locate machines that are nearby. Of course, this may only be beneficial if you have chosen a bank with several options in your desired location. You could be in for an unpleasant surprise if your bank only has a limited number of branches or ATM machines in your area.
More Options to Avoid Fees
Withdraw cash less frequently but in higher amounts. This can help you lower the amount that you would have to pay for fees. The negative of this particular technique is that you may find it easier to spend, misplace, or lose the cash you now have in hand.
Some banks do have a way for account holders to waive all ATM fees, including out-of-network fees, but it does come with a price. Upgrading from a standard checking account to a high yield account offers benefits but also brings new monthly service charges. These charges can be avoided only if very strict requirements can be met, and they can also bring a lot of headaches to account holders that choose to do this. Also, this technique does not eliminate operator fees.
Choose the cash back option when paying. Many pharmacies, grocery stores and retailers such as Walmart, Target and Costco also allow you to receive cash back if you are using a debit card, such as Chime, at the time of a purchase without any fees. If you are shopping at any of these stores, it’s a great opportunity to grab extra cash. Not just that, but Chime gives cash back even when paying for some bills, such as cable and phone. Chime also allows you to locate over 30,000+ cash back locations where you can take out cash fee-free with a purchase.
Another strategy to avoid fees may present itself the next time you are out with a group of friends Offer to pay for the group meals or drinks in exchange for cash. You can avoid the fees and be the most popular friend at the table.
Why Choose Chime as your Financial Service Provider?
If you are looking for a checking and savings with no hidden fees, Chime account might be the best option for you. Chime is one of the fastest growing bank accounts in America with over 4 million accounts opened.
Chime has no hidden bank fees. No monthly fees, no minimum balance requirements, and no overdraft. Chime can also save you money even when traveling overseas with no foreign transaction fees that for other traditional banks go up to 3%. Chime does have a $2.50 fee out of network ATM fee, but this can be avoided by using one of their fee-free ATMs. If you consider the 32,000 fee-free options compared to all others previously mentioned and how easy you can locate them using your mobile device you can feel safe and be certain that you will practically never have to pay for this fee.
Chime How To Deposit Cash
2 minutes with no impact to your credit score.
Chime Deposit Cash Cvs