Western Union
Western Union
  • The general fee for money orders can range  from 50 cents to $10 and up, depending on where you get one
  • Western Union fees: could range anywhere from 50 cents to $1.50 and more
  • Most banks charge $5, $10, or 10 percent of the total amount on the money order

What Is A Money Order?

Money orders are a solid form of payment that is accepted just about anywhere. Don’t get them confused with a cashier’s check, which is only obtainable from your bank. You can get a money order from the post office, a bank, Western Union, and grocery store.

Finding the right place for your money order purchase depends on the amount you are willing to pay, where you need to send it, and when the money order needs to reach its destination.

Best Places To Get A Money Order: Fee Comparison

Bank of America$5$1,000
Not available in Arizona, California, Nevada.
Wells Fargo$5
U.S. Bank$5
PNC Bank$5
BMO Harris Bank$5$1000
TD Bank$5
Capital OneDoes not issue money orders
SunTrust$5 for customers
$10 for non-customers
Regions Bank$1$1000
BMO Harris Bank$5$1000
M&T Bank$6

Since many financial institutions do not list an amount for money order fees, the best way to determine how much your local bank charges is to find a nearby branch. Most banks charge $5, $10, or 10 percent of the total amount on the money order. The local (Los Angeles) Wells Fargo, Chase, and U.S. Bank charge a flat rate of $5 and only offer domestic money orders.

Related: MyBankTracker tests how long it takes for a personal check, cashier’s check and money order to clear.

Money orders are waived by some banks if you have a special account. For instance, Wells Fargo waives money orders if you have a preferred checking or Wells Fargo At Work Checking Account. Chase will waive the fee if you have a premiere or private account with the bank. U.S. Bank waives the fee for those that have a platinum checking account.

Tip: If you have a higher tiered checking account, check to see if your bank offers free money orders.

Western Union Money Order Fees

Just like with banks, Western Union does not provide a set amount for a money order. A representative explained the rate varies by location. However, in general, these fees could range anywhere from 50 cents to $1.50 and more. International money orders are available, but it is suggested to verify with the financial institution where the funds will be deposited, in order to ensure the transaction can be completed.

As an example, three local Los Angeles Western Unions were contacted by MyBankTracker. Here are the fees:

  • Location A: 55-cent fee for money orders between a penny and $500, and $1 fee for money orders between $500.01-$1,000
  • Location B: 80-cent fee for money orders between a penny and $500, and $1 fee for money orders between $500.01-$1,000
  • Location C: 75-cent fee for money orders between a penny and $299.99, and $1 fee for money orders between $300-$1,000

You don’t need an account to get a money order from Western Union. Western Union also allows customers to deposit money orders to withdraw cash. Most banks require that you have an account with them to get a money order. An additional upside is that Western Unions in your area are usually open every day, including weekends, whereas most banks and the post office are closed on Sundays.

The fee associated with cashing money orders from Western Union ranges between 1 percent to 3 percent, depending on the amount. A representative informed me to go into a local branch to find out how much will be taken out. This is because the rates fluctuate so much from location to location.

Tip: To find the best rate at Western Union when cashing your money order, call several locations in your area and find the one that with the lowest fees.

USPS Domestic and International Money Order Fees

The current price for domestic money orders at USPS are as follows:

FeeMaximum Amount of Check
$0.40All postal money orders issued through military facilities

Domestic money orders can only be purchased for up to $1,000. Anyone that needs to send more than $1,000 will need to get two separate money orders.

Tip: If you need to send more than $1,000 on a regular basis, consider opening a checking account at a bank so you can obtain cashier’s checks.

International money orders cost $4.50 for any amount.

International money orders from the United States Postal Service can be cashed in 29 countries.

If you are going to attempt to cash a money order at the post office, you may run into difficulty. USPS may not be able to help you to cash a money order if the amount exceeds $1,000. Someone attempting to cash a money order worth tens of thousands of dollars or more should consider visiting a bank.

Other places to get money orders

Grocery stores and department stores also offer inexpensive money orders. Walmart money orders are 60 cents and has a limit of up to $1,000. CVS Pharmacy also offers money orders for 99 cents, with a maximum value of $500.

Be aware of money order scams

If you receive a money order in the mail from someone who you are not familiar with, chances are it’s a fake. Educate yourself on how to detect a fake money order, that way you’re never tricked into cashing a fake money order.

If you do end up cashing a fake money order, you may be liable for the money spent when it comes back rejected. It could take up to a couple of weeks for your bank to determine whether or not a money order is fake.

Frustrated with your bank? Check out these new top banks that people are talking about:

Read More: See MyBankTracker’s Best Banks Picks of the Year

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Ask a Question

  • Guest

    Pretty sure USPS has raised its fees on Money Orders (and everything else) in 2014.

    • Gerald Morales

      Yes they did, domestic money orders were raised 5 cents!

      • Brian

        CVS charges 99 cents, in California at least. Also, just so people know CVS only sells them for cash… No debit does not count, register won’t allow it.

    • Jim

      Walmart in my city charges 70 cents, not 60.

      • cdgoldin

        They increased their fees very recently.

    • cdgoldin

      But they reduced them in 2016. The current rate is $1.20

  • Robin

    Bank of America DOES offer Money Orders……. I hate reading articles where the information wasn’t fact-checked.

    • Gerald Morales

      When I chatted with a representative via the Bank of America website I was told otherwise. The truth is Bank of America does offer money orders, but not in every state.

      This was pulled directly from the Bank of America website:
      “We offer money orders in most states. To find the exact fee for your
      account, please call the number on your statement or checks, or the
      number for Bank of America in your local telephone directory.”

    • cdgoldin

      BofA does NOT offer money orders in Arizona.

  • Robert Mauro

    One note that’s probably an important decider for (a) someone purchasing a money order, and (b) a seller accepting one:

    Postal Money Orders, by law, MUST be cleared on the next business day – the whole amount. Inotherwords, no hold times, no staggered clearing (ie: $200 first day, $500 the next, etc).

    In the United States, no other money order instrument has a guaranteed clearing time and are subject to the bank’s whim.

    Of course, if someone has an account with a favorable hold time policy, it might not be an issue… but many banks place a hold on all non cash deposits greater than $500, especially for their base accounts.

  • Guest

    You state that the USPS does not cash money orders, but per their website they cash USPS Money Orders at any post office in the US.

    • Gerald Morales

      I think you may be confused. USPS does cash money orders, but not for high amounts. If anyone has a money order above $1,000, it may be wiser to visit a bank to withdraw cash.

      • Jim

        There’s no such thing as a money order over $1000, as the article clearly states.

        • Stupid Jim

          Can you read English or not? If not, go home and learn before you comment!

          • Karl

            Hi Stupid Jim. You should learn. Jim has a right. Gerald Morales said that the maximum amount of Postal Money Order is $1000.
            Later he said that USPS does not cash Postal Money Orders above $1000. That’s why Jim was surprised. Is that clear?

    • James Carey

      It depends on the cash they have in the till. Small amounts ($100.00) they may have difficulty. Just ask.

  • Chaz Jones

    USPS money orders are a bit steep compared to most others that I know about. Last week, I purchased a M.O. from a mini P.O. located inside a nearby Safeway Supermarket here in WA St. and since I didn’t have the time to shop around and needed one ASAP, I was flabbergasted when the clerk told me that my M.O. for just $5.00 would cost $1.25. I gulped and almost said forget it, but decided to pay the buck twenty five anyway b/c I was pressed for time, but I was not in the least bit happy about it I can tell you that. Now I’m not a tightwad by any means, but $1.25 for a $5.00 M.O.?, come on. I expected to pay no more than $0.75 at most.

    The reason I’m here is to check just to make sure I wasn’t being cheated, b/c the fee does seem a bit steep as I said. Turns out the fee is as she stated it according to the info here. This however does not mean that I won’t use other services at the P.O., just means I will shop around the next time I need a M.O. which isn’t that often. As a retired Senior on a tight budget, I have to watch what I spend and ‘am always looking for savings where ever I can.

  • v mcclung

    I want to purchase an international money to send to Great Brittan. The postal clerk told me Great Brittan was not an approved location. ??

    • cdgoldin

      Probably because it’s spelled “Great Britain”.

      • LotusPrins


      • fluap08

        Yep. Or, because it is the United Kingdom.
        Great Britain is just the name of the big island.

  • Tim Giangiobbe

    The 1.25 that the USPS charges is not bad considering the other prices like Western Union and ability to be compensated for lost or stolen MOs. It is hard enough with the top two WHY get a Wal Mart Money Order and have a nightmare if lost and never cashed after ONE YEAR .
    Not a big money maker just a way to get customers to come in store

  • st4rchy

    Wow, this article is bad. A chart labeled “fees from banks” lists five places only two of which are banks. Walmart is misspelled! Come on. Last, one part of the article names one price for a CVS money order and another part, a different price for a money order of the same value. I’m used to junk web articles but I had to comment because this is very poorly done indeed.

  • cdgoldin

    Walmart (and Safeway, and probably many other grocery stores) charge $0.70 for money orders. However, they charge $3 to cash them! The Post office charges $1.20 for money orders, and NOTHING to cash them. However, the may not have enough cash on hand to cash a larger money order. So, if you are using money orders to pay bills (presumably because you don’t have a checking account), buy them at Walmart, but ask people who pay you to buy them at the post office. If you are sending money to someone who doesn’t have a checking account, use the post office.

    • MyBankTracker.com

      Good tip! Thanks for sharing!

    • LotusPrins

      Nice tips

  • Tamaranth

    I’m really sorry to be “that commenter”… >.> But just a heads up, in your list of companies/fees at the top it says the fee at CVS is $0.70, which is inaccurate. (Later on you mention that money orders at CVS are $0.99 with a max of $500 per money order, which is correct, so I figured the one at the top was just a typo but I thought you might want to know.) If someone else already pointed this out, I apologize for being redundant!

    Great article, very helpful! 🙂

    -a random CVS employee 😛

    • LotusPrins

      Nice catch

    • Happy Harry

      I was wondering the same thing. Thank you

  • Carlo

    Can you buy a money order with a credit card or does it have to be in cash?

    • Depending on the where you buy money orders, you may be able to use a credit card. However, note that the transaction is likely to be classified as a “cash advance,” which means that you could pay the associated cash advance fee and cash advance APR on your credit card.

  • Nobunaga Oda

    Thoughtful commentary . Speaking of which , others need a USCIS N-648 , my colleagues encountered a blank form here http://qr.net/KBESWREW

  • Amon Jaeger

    You hit the nail on the head. Unfortunately, I found this article too late – I already found the answer on another service. You will be surprised how easy it can be to merge some documents. Try to merge your files through the online sowtware http://goo.gl/tlau6h

  • Donna Gilbert

    how long are money orders good for

    • It depends where the money orders are purchased from. If purchased from the USPS, the money order does not expire. With a bank or money transmitter (e.g., Western Union and MoneyGram), there may be a void date printed on the money order.

  • abby_adams

    Be aware, if you need to get an international money order & try USPS, your local post office or station may not have them. I checked the USPS website for my local station & on that station’s page it shows that international money orders are available there. WRONG. Tried USPS 800 Help line, confusing voice prompts but finally got through only to be told 18-20 minute wait time to talk with a human. Tried USPS locator for another post office. Call that post office first to confirm that they have international money orders. YES! To avoid hours of frustration, check with local USPS locations by phone FIRST.