Money orders are made out to individuals or companies for a specific amount. Payment is collected when the money order is issued. For this reason, money orders are sometimes preferred over checks because they are guaranteed currency. Money orders can be purchased from such places as the U.S. Post Office, Western Union, Money Gram and even Wal-Mart. When you receive a money order, you must endorse it before turning it in for cash.
Locate a Place to Cash the Money Order
Although money orders can be purchased at a variety of locations, and they are guaranteed currency because they are purchased with cash, not every place that sells them also cashes them. For example, the Postal Service does not cash money orders, and some stores will only cash them if they have enough cash to do so. If a store won't cash the money order, you can always try a bank, either one you already have a relationship with or another local institution.
Find the Area of Endorsement
Flip the money order over to reveal the back side. There is a specific area on the back of the money order that is for endorsing the money order. Find that area of the money order, it is a line usually about a third of the way down from the top of the money order.
Sign the Money Order
Sign the back of the money order on the line provided with a pen. Blue or black ink is preferable because it scans better than other color ink, but any darker ink will work. Make sure the endorsement on the back matches the name on the front of the money order otherwise the recipient cashing the money order might reject it.
Provide Identification to the Recipient
Provide identification when turning the money order in for cashing. You must be the same individual listed on the front of the money order in the "Pay to" section. If a company name was used, you will need to prove that you are part of that company. If you have a badge from the company that has your name and photo, that can be used for verification. A business card with your name that also matches the name on your other photo id might also work. When two individuals are listed in the "Pay to" section with an "and" in between the names, both individuals must sign the money order in order for it to be cashed.
- Integrated Publishing: Cashing Money Orders
- Western Union: WHERE CAN I CASH A MONEY ORDER?
- United States Postal Service. "Sending Money Orders." Accessed May 10, 2020.
- MoneyGram. "Send money your way." Accessed May 18, 2020.
- Western Union. "What Are Western Union Agent Locations?" Accessed May 17, 2020.
- U.S. Postal Service Office of Inspector General. "Modernizing the Postal Money Order," Page 5. Accessed May 17, 2020.
- Wells Fargo. "Wells Fargo Consumer and Business Account Fees." Accessed May 10, 2020.
- United States Postal Service. "Postal Facts." Accessed May 10, 2020.
- CVS. "CVS Health At a Glance." Accessed May 10, 2020.
- Walmart. "Money Orders." Accessed May 17, 2020.
- 7-Eleven. "Financial Services." Accessed May 17, 2020.
- Publix. "Customer Service FAQ." Accessed May 17, 2020.
- Kroger Money Services. "Money Orders." Accessed May 17, 2020.
- Kmart. "MoneyHub." Accessed May 17, 2020.
- Western Union. "Western Union and Meijer Ink Deal to Continue Longstanding Relationship." Accessed April 17, 2020.
- If you don't know how to write, you can sign the money order with an X. This must be witnessed, however.
- When two individuals are listed in the "Pay to" section with an "and" in between the names, both individuals must sign the money order in order for it to be cashed.
Alicia Bodine is a New Jersey-based writer specializing in finance. With more than 13 years of experience, her work has appeared in LendingTree, GoBankingRates, Sapling, Zacks and budgeting.thenest.com.