Banking » Guides » How To Fill Out A Money Order In 5 Steps
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How To Fill Out A Money Order In 5 Steps

Although the form to fill out a money order may seem a little daunting, you can complete it in a few simple steps. Here's our quick guide.
Author: Baruch Mann (Silvermann)
Baruch Mann (Silvermann)

Writer, Contributor

Experience

Baruch Silvermann is a financial expert, experienced analyst, and founder of The Smart Investor.  Silvermann has contributed to Yahoo Finance and cited as an authoritative source in financial outlets like Forbes, Business Insider, CNBC Select, CNET, Bankrate, Fox Business, The Street, and more.
Interest Rates Last Update: April 15, 2024
The banking product interest rates, including savings, CDs, and money market, are accurate as of this date.
Author: Baruch Mann (Silvermann)
Baruch Mann (Silvermann)

Writer, Contributor

Experience

Baruch Silvermann is a financial expert, experienced analyst, and founder of The Smart Investor.  Silvermann has contributed to Yahoo Finance and cited as an authoritative source in financial outlets like Forbes, Business Insider, CNBC Select, CNET, Bankrate, Fox Business, The Street, and more.
Interest Rates Last Update: April 15, 2024

The banking product interest rates, including savings, CDs, and money market, are accurate as of this date.

We earn a commission from our partner links on this page. It doesn't affect the integrity of our unbiased, independent editorial staff. Transparency is a core value for us, read our advertiser disclosure and how we make money.

Table Of Content

What Information Is Needed for a Money Order?

Money orders provide a secure method to send or receive funds, making a viable alternative to cash, credit cards, or checks.

Although they are similar to how paper checks are structured, since money orders are prepaid, they can’t bounce or be rejected for insufficient funds. However, in order to ensure that the funds are received, you need to know how to fill out a money order.

What information is required for a money order remains relatively standard, despite the requirements varying by the institution.

Although the money order form and the physical order may look slightly different, regardless of which institution you use, you will need the following information:

  • The Payee Name: This is the person you want to pay, and to prevent the payment from being accessed by anyone else, you need to have a specific name on the money order. It is also important that the name is spelled correctly. Otherwise, the recipient may have difficulties cashing the money order.
  • Payee Address: This is another verification method, which will help Western Union or the U.S Postal service confirm that the money order can be cashed by the person presenting it.
  • Your Name and Address: You will also need to provide your name and address
  • The Payment Amount: The final piece of information you’ll need is the amount of the payment and what the payment is for with a billing account number or another type of reference number.
How To Fill Out A Money
(Photo by Nattakorn_Maneerat/Shutterstock)

5 Simple Steps To Fill Out A Money Order

Although the form to fill out a money order may seem a little daunting, you can complete it in a few simple steps.

1. Fill Recipient Name

In the field labeled “Pay to the order of” or Pay to”. Print the name clearly and use ink.

The recipient can be the name of a person or a business name. This section is crucial when you purchase a money order, as only the person or business name will be authorized to cash or deposit the order.

This means that if the money order is lost or misplaced, someone else cannot cash it. However, if the field is left blank, it is like having a blank check or a check written to cash. Anyone who finds the money order could write their own name on it and fraudulently cash it.

Some money orders also have a field for the payee address. This provides further verification for when the money order is cashed.

2. Add Your Personal Details

In the fields marked “sender” “purchaser” or “from,” you’ll need to provide your name. Again write clearly and write in your full name, not a nickname. You should also fill in your address in full.

3. Complete The Memo Field

The money order form will also have a memo line. This is like with your checkbook, so you can designate what the money order is for.

In the memo line, you may specify that it is for purchasing a specific item, payment of a debt, or another reason. You could also add a reference number in this field.

On some money orders, this memo field may say “account number” or “payment for” rather than a memo, but you can use it in the same way.

4. Sign It

At the front of the money order, there is a purchaser’s signature section. It may be labeled as Signer, drawer, purchaser, from or simply purchaser’s signature.

You’re signing to confirm the payment, but don’t sign in the box on the back of the money order, as this is the space for the payee to sign to endorse the money order.

5. Retain Your Receipt

The receipt may be a detachable part of the money order you’ve just completed, or you may receive a separate receipt when you purchase the money order. In either case, you should retain your receipt as proof of payment.

If you’ve made a mistake when you filled out the money order or it is lost, you may be able to cancel it and receive a refund. Again, your receipt will give you the helpful information you need in this scenario.

Although filling in a money order is a little more complicated than writing a check, you will have proof of payment, and the recipient will be assured of guaranteed funds. So, follow these steps carefully to complete the money order correctly.

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Where Can You Cash a Money Order

The main advantage of money order is that it is usually highly convenient to cash one. There are several places offering money order cashing services, depending on where you live, you may find some options better for you. The options include:

  • Banks: This is one of the easiest ways to cash a money order. If you already have an account with a particular bank, you can deposit the money order, which will be credited to your account as if it was cash.
  • Credit Unions: This is similar to banks, but if you have a credit union account, you can cash your money order at your local branch.
  • Money Transfer Outlets: There are several locations such as MoneyGram and Western Union which specialize in money order services. These outlets typically offer fast service with a reasonable fee structure.
  • A U.S Post Office: The USPS can securely handle money orders and the offices are one of the easiest places to cash a USPS money order.
  • Check Cashing Locations: Stores that offer check cashing services may also offer money order services.
  • Money Order Issuers: If you look at which entity issued the money order, you can find a local office or store that uses the same company. So, if you have an office offering Western Union money orders and transfers, you should have no problem cashing your Western Union money order there.
  • Grocery Stores: Some grocery stores also allow you to cash money orders. You’ll need to check with the customer service counter to see if they will process money orders. This will save you having to run separate errands if you are already heading out to purchase groceries.
  • Convenience Stores: Not all convenience stores offer money order cashing, but you’ll usually find a logo on the storefront or on their website, so you don’t have to have a wasted journey.
How Money Order work
(Photo by Prostock-studio/Shutterstock)

What To Do After Filling Out a Money Order

Once you’ve filled out the money order, there are some steps you’ll need to complete to ensure that the funds reach their intended recipient.

Before you proceed, make sure to read through the money order and check that you’ve completed all the necessary fields with correct information.

If you do notice a mistake, don’t try to cross it out and correct it. Instead, show the cashier at the location where you’re purchasing the money order.

Depending on their policies, they may be able to correct it or cancel the money order and allow you to purchase a new one.

If you’ve not paid for the money order when you got the form, you’ll need to do this before you can send it.

You’ll need to not only pay the face value of the money order but whatever fees are charged by the issuer. This can be as little as less than one dollar up to five dollars or more, depending on where you’re purchasing it.

Most retailers accept cash or debit card payments, but some do allow credit card payments. Just be aware that your credit card company may view this as a cash advance, so you may incur additional charges.

Your money order will then be processed. Keep hold of your receipt and you can contact the recipient to ensure they have received the funds.

Money Order Mistakes to Avoid

Filling out a money order is quite straightforward, but there are some mistakes that you will want to avoid.

  • Misspelling Important Details: While it may not seem like a big deal, if the recipient’s name is not spelled correctly, it may create problems for the person when they want to cash it.
  • Missing Out the Recipient Field: Leaving this field blank creates a potential for fraud. If the money order is lost with the recipient field blank, someone else could cash it.
  • Writing the Sender Details Incorrectly: When you’re concentrating on getting the recipient details right, it can be easy to make a mistake when you fill in your own name and address. So, take your time and ensure you write your details clearly and correctly.
  • Not Filling in the Memo Line: The memo line is the ideal place to note whether you’re paying a bill, repaying a debt or purchasing an item. This is like the memo line on your check and it can provide excellent verification if there is any dispute.
  • Not Signing the Money Order Correctly: The space for your signature is on the front of the money order. So, make sure you sign it in the right place.
  • Not Checking the Fees: Finally, take the time to compare the fees for purchasing a money order before you actually buy one. The fees can vary a great deal depending on the issuer, so be sure to check you’re getting the best deal.

FAQs

Yes, 7-Eleven locations typically offer MoneyGram or Western Union money orders

If your bank offers the service, you should be able to deposit your money at an ATM.

Most major banks accept money order ATM deposits, but the policies and procedures vary according to the specific bank.

There are a number of places where you can purchase a money order around the clock. This includes convenience stores, check cashing stores and drugstores.

The recipient signs the back of the money order to endorse it.

Generally, money orders don’t have an expiry date, but if they become very old, they may be covered by abandoned property regulations and you may incur fees against the value of the money order from the issuer.

Picture of Baruch Mann (Silvermann)

Baruch Mann (Silvermann)

Baruch Silvermann is a financial expert, experienced analyst, and founder of The Smart Investor.  Silvermann has contributed to Yahoo Finance and cited as an authoritative source in financial outlets like Forbes, Business Insider, CNBC Select, CNET, Bankrate, Fox Business, The Street, and more.
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