How to Buy a Money Order Online

by Mary Jane Freeman ; Updated June 27, 2018
How to Buy a Money Order Online

Although there are myriad ways to send or transfer money online, buying and sending a money order is not one of them. The next best alternative is to buy a cashier's check online. However, very few banks offer this service. If yours is not one of them, there are plenty of other ways you can send money online.

Cashier's Checks

Cashier's checks are also known as bank, certified or official checks. When a bank issues a cashier's check, it is guaranteeing the funds. This is why banks require you to pay in cash or from an account you have at the bank with available funds. Since you can't provide cash when ordering a cashier's check online, you will be paying for the cashier's check with the funds in your checking or savings account. Visit your bank's website and log into your account, then select the "order cashier's check" option. For example, if you're a Wells Fargo customer, log into your account, go to the Account Services page, then click the "Order Official Bank Check" link. You can also go directly to the Order Cashier Checks page and enter your username and password to get started. Enter the payee's name and address and the amount you want to send.

If your bank charges a fee, it will be deducted from your account. Delivery to the payee typically takes two to five days.

Bill Pay Service

Another online option is your bank's bill pay service. You can transfer funds to both people and businesses with this service. Log into your bank account and enroll in bill pay if you have not previously done so. Select the option to make a payment. Enter the payee's name, mailing address and payment amount. If you're paying a bill, enter the account number in the section labeled "Account Number" or "Memo" or enter a brief reason for the payment, such as auto repair or graduation gift. Next, indicate the date on which you want the bank to issue the payment and complete the transaction.

Bill pay services are usually free. Keep in mind that if you're making a payment to a business, the bank may convert it to an electronic transfer if the business accepts electronic payments. Delivery times vary, but payment usually takes between two and five days.

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Bank-to-Bank Transfers

You can also send funds through the Automated Clearing House, commonly identified as an ACH transfer, bank-to-bank transfer or direct deposit. When sending an ACH transfer, you are transferring money from your bank account to another person's bank account. Log into your bank account online and select the money transfer option. Provide the recipient's account number and bank routing number. A routing number is the nine-digit number that electronically identifies the bank and ensures funds are transferred to the correct financial institution. Enter the amount you want to transfer and send.

Banks may charge a fee for transfers above or below certain amounts. Although processing times vary, ACH transfers typically take one to three days.

Wire Transfer Service

If you want the funds to arrive the same or next day, send money online through a wire transfer service. If you are wiring money through your bank, log into your account online and choose this service. For example, if you are a Bank of America customer, log into your account and select the "Transfers" option. Next, click on the "Outside the Bank Transfers" link. Provide the recipient's name and address, amount of the payment, bank routing number and account number.

This service tends to be the most expensive because of the expediency. The fee is deducted from your bank account and is typically based on the amount of the transfer.

Tips

  • You can also send wire transfers online using Western Union or Money Gram. The process is similar to bank wire transfers, and you can send funds online using a bank account, debit card or credit card.

Email and Mobile Delivery

Some banks make it possible to send money online using an email address. For example, if you're a Bank of America customer, log into your account and choose the "Transfers" option. Next, pick "Using their email address or mobile number" from the drop down Send Money to Someone menu. Add the recipient's name, email address or cell phone number and payment amount, then select "Make Payment." The recipient receives an email or text message with instructions on how to transfer the funds.

Banks typically set limits on transfer amounts. Transfers can take one to five days.

About the Author

Based on the West Coast, Mary Jane Freeman has been writing professionally since 1994, specializing in the topics of business and law. Freeman's work has appeared in a variety of publications, including LegalZoom, Essence, Reuters and Chicago Sun-Times. Freeman holds a Master of Science in public policy and management and Juris Doctor. Freeman is self-employed and works as a policy analyst and legal consultant.

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