Ever wondered whether there are other “affordable” and “safer” ways to transfer money or make payment? A money order is one of those ways. With a money order, you will not have to use your credit card, a personal check or pay the beneficiary in cash. It is also pretty much to fill, so we have prepared a step by step guide on how to fill out a money order.
First things first, what is a money order? A money order is a printed payment document that the payer uses to guarantee the payment they are issuing. Since as a payer you have already paid the lender of the money order to obtain it, the beneficiary of the money order will only receive a document that is already prepaid.
There are many locations for you to get a money order- from some grocery stores to banks, credit unions, some pharmacies as well as the postal office. The fees for these institutions vary from one institution to the other as well as the location.
Usually, money orders allow one to make a payment of up to $1,000. That means if you have a larger payment to make, then you will have to purchase several money orders or use other payment methods like writing a cheque or a bank transfer. And, if going to the bank or meeting a client to write a check is inconvenient for you, you can also order checks online through Checks SuperStore.
Read more on choosing a checking account.
Step by Step Guide on How to Fill out a Money Order
As much as there are different money orders, most of the details to fill out remain constant.
1. Fill in the beneficiary’s details
Where you see “Pay to the order of,” “Payee” or “Pay to” is where you need to fill in the details of the person or the business you wish to make payment to. Ensure that the details you input are correct- the spelling included.
To avoid losing your money in case the money order is lost or stolen, avoid making your money order payable to cash.
2. Fill in your address
This is where the details of the purchaser are required. The purchaser, in this case, is you. So, fill in your address details as accurately as possible. It will prove useful in case the beneficiary needs to get in touch when there are issues with the payment.
3. Fill in the additional information
Some money orders will have a section with a “Re” or a blank “Memo” space for you to provide further information. You can use this space to fill in the order details, transaction details, your name, your account number especially if you are paying a bill. Any details that you feel are necessary to make it clear to the beneficiary the reason for the payment.
4. Signing the money order
Where you see “Purchaser’s signature” on the front side, append your signature. This is what makes it the money order official. Do not sign on the back side as that is where the beneficiary of the funds will sign once they receive it.
5. Tear off the money order and keep your receipt
When you are done, tear off the money order and keep the receipt that is attached to it. Keep it safe as this will be proof of your payment. You can use it to track the money order if it is stolen or lost and someone else cashes the money. You can also use it to verify whether the beneficiary received it and cashed or deposited the money.
As mentioned earlier, there are different types of money orders. How can you fill them?
1. How to fill out a money order from Western Union
The Western Union is well known for providing money orders. From their website, there is a filter where you get to choose your location. It provides you with places near you where you can buy a money order.
All you need to fill out here is the name of the beneficiary, your full name and contact details, your signature and you are good to go- right after you have taken your receipt. Your account number details are not a must but can be provided if it is necessary.
The money order fees for Western Union vary from one location to the other. Be sure to confirm the charges first before purchasing the money order to see if you are comfortable with the range.
2. How to fill out a money order from a Post Office
Sending and receiving letters is not the only function that postal offices have. Most, if not all, sell money orders and also allow one to sell them internationally. If your local post office is closer to you than the Western Union or your bank’s branch, then check in there and get your money order. The charges, of course, vary.
What is required from you when filling a post office money order is the beneficiary’s address and additional details on what the money order is for. There is a memo line for that right at the bottom of the money order.
3. How to fill out a money order from MoneyGram
You can use the location finder for MoneyGram to find a MoneyGram close to your location. Also, if there is a Walmart close to you or a CVS, you can check if there is a MoneyGram within their premises and purchase a money order from them.
A money order from MoneyGram might be the simplest out there for one to fill. All you need to fill in is the recipient’s name, your address and append your signature. Once you are done, tear it off and keep your receipt.
The Pros and Cons of Money Orders
If you do not want to involve your bank in the payment process, or if you do not have a bank account, then a money order is your ideal payment method. You can use your credit card, cash or even your debit card to purchase a money order and you are good to go.
A money order also makes it possible for one to make payments to vendors that do not take checks. In the process, you can keep the details of your bank account private since it is not a must that you disclose these details.
However, money orders do have their cons. For example, they are prone to scams and fraud. If by any chance you have received a money order, be sure to check whether it is real or a fraudulent one. You can verify this by checking the amount on the money order. Also, confirm if the details provided appears to have been written over previously erased details.
You can also call the U.S. postal offices using 1-866-459-7822 to verify any of their money orders. MoneyGram, too, does provide a service number you can call for any verifications, which is 1-800-MoneyGram. For Western Union, call 1-866-459-7822 to verify any of their money orders you may have received.
Another con of a money order is that you cannot make a payment above their maximum limit ($1,000). Also, tracking a lost money order is much more difficult compared to the ease of tracking any bank transfer.
Difference between a Check and a Money Order
While both a check and a money order cost a fee and can be deposited into the accounts of the recipient, they still do have a few differences. For starters, a money order does not require you to have a bank account to buy or write one especially when purchased with cash. With a personal check or cashier’s check, you will need a bank account.
A money order usually has a maximum limit of money you can purchase, i.e. $1,000 but a cashier’s check makes it possible for one to pay amounts larger than $1,000 at a go. Also, it is much easier to track cashier’s checks than it is to track a money order since cashier’s checks.
For that payment, you want to make without involving your bank, then purchase a money order and use it to pay. Even if you do not have a bank account, a money order will still enable you to make a payment. Regardless of the type, you are using; you mostly need to know how to fill a money order.
Mostly, fill out the recipient’s details such as the address and the name. You are also required to fill out your name and address and, on some occasions, your bank account numer. You then append your signature on the front side of the money order, and you are good to go.