A money order is one of the oldest ways of sending and receiving money. It is a printed document ordering to pay a specified amount of money and is issued by a bank or Post Office. You must visit the place with the right amount of money to send to the intended recipient. Money orders are an outdated money transfer option but are still important in some instances, and you can fund your purchase in various ways. But can you purchase a money order with a credit card? We shall see about that later on.
A money order almost looks like a personal check because it is a paper document the recipient can cash out or deposit into a bank account. Also, checks allow you to deposit or cash out in a bank. You can use a money order to carry out various transactions such as paying rent, electricity, and other bills, sending money to others or paying for online orders with retailers accepting the money order payments.
Even though money orders are mediums of payments for various financial transactions, they are still not the best to use for your payment activities. Digital wallets are far much ahead as they allow you to make instant transfers. The best digital wallets include PayPal, Payoneer, Venmo, and Cash App. And by the way, these payment platforms accept check deposits but not money orders.
How do I get a money order?
You can easily buy a money order from various banks and postal service centers. You just need to have the right amount to purchase a money order. If using a bank or payment card, it should have enough balance. For your information, money orders are the best alternatives to cash and personal checks.
They are widely accepted, affordable, and never expire. You usually get a receipt that will help you track your purchase and show proof of value if the document is lost, stolen, or damaged. If you lose a check, that might be the end of you because if someone cashes it out, you will lose the money.
How to send a money order?
It is not difficult to transfer money orders as you can do it either domestically or internationally. You can send a money order in the following manner.
- Decide on the money order amount. Know the limits for sending money. For example, you can send up to $1,000 in a single order within the United States.
- Next, go to any bank or Post Office location.
- Carry cash, a traveler’s check, or a debit card.
- Fill out your money order at the office with a retail associate.
- Pay the value of the money order and the issuing fee as well.
- Keep your receipt to follow up with the money order.
How do you receive a money order?
Before accepting any money order, you must check if it is genuine or fake. Some people can send fake ones to scam you. Actual US money orders have Watermarks of Ben Franklin on the left side, and on the right of the watermark, you will see a vertical, multicolored thread that has the letters “USPS” weaving in and out of the document.
Also, you should make sure that the dollar amount is not discolored or erased. The dollar amount should be imprinted twice. Also, check that the value is not that large. Domestic money orders do not exceed $1,000, while international money orders cannot exceed $700 (or $500 for El Salvador or Guyana).
Once you are sure that the check is genuine, you then cash it out at your bank. You do not need to have a bank account, as you can cash out for free at the nearest post office, bank, or some stores. The steps below are necessary.
- Take your photo ID plus the money order to any bank, store, or Post Office location.
- Sign the document at the counter where a retail associate sees what you are doing. Never sign a money order before taking it for cashing as it may become invalid.
How does a money order differ from a check?
Many people usually get confused when they hear about money orders and checks, wondering if there is any difference. Checks and money orders have slight differences, which include the following.
- You require a checking account to get a checkbook, while a money order does not require a bank account.
- Money orders require you to pay money instantly when purchasing it, while most checks do not require money at the time of writing, except the cashier’s checks that require you to pay money instantly.
Can you purchase a money order with a credit card?
Some institutions cannot allow you to purchase a money order with a credit card. You can use cash, debit card, your bank account, or a traveler’s check. You might buy the document with a credit card at some places, but you need to understand that it is expensive to use a credit card in such transactions. Your card issuer may term that as a cash advance, thus charging high interest on the purchase.
Remember that cash advance applies to any credit card. Even some secured credit cards for rebuilding credit will still charge high rates on cash advances. By the way, using a credit card to buy a money order is the same as taking cash advances, which negatively affects your credit scores. Interestingly, not all credit card issuers will term money order purchase as a cash advance.
How do you get a credit card?
You can get a credit card online from various banks and credit unions. You just need to log into your online account, see the available credit cards, then apply. You can also visit the issuing institution in person and get started.
There are two types of credit cards that you can apply for. We have the secured and unsecured ones. The secured credit cards require a security deposit to get them, while the unsecured ones require credit scores. For your information, that is the significant difference between secured and unsecured credit cards. When you gain suitable scores, you then start using the unsecured cards. Your limit increases with an increase in your credit scores and vice versa.
Once you apply for a credit card, the concerned issuer makes a hard inquiry about your scores from the credit bureaus. They then give you the card or send it to your physical location if you qualify. Secured credit card issuers do not make hard inquiries since your deposit is the security for your borrowing. You can get the card’s details to use your card online as you wait for the tangible card if you apply online.
Credit cards that only allow you to use online are called virtual cards, whereby you use the card number, the CVV, and the expiry date to purchase goods and services. Once you activate the physical one, the online card becomes inactive. The bottom line about getting credit is that you can get approved for a credit card with no credit when you apply for a secured credit card.
What are the factors to consider when applying for a credit card?
You cannot just wake up and apply for a credit card without considering various factors. They include the following.
You have to check the various fees that a credit card issuer charges. Fees you might encounter include the annual fees, monthly fees, foreign transaction fees, balance transfer fees, and cash advance fees. Since getting a card with no fees is not easy, getting one with fewer charges is a wise decision.
ii) Interest rates
Credit cards charge interest rates when you borrow money. Various credit cards charge different interest rates when you apply. It is wise to check a card that does not charge a lot of interest. If you are using a particular credit card only to find out that there are other credit cards with low rates, you can apply for balance transfers to the better card. The best balance transfer credit cards for fair credit give you a longer repayment period without charging any APR. You can get a repayment period of up to two years at some financial companies that give you humble time to repay your debt.
iii) Credit limit
A credit limit is the maximum amount of money you can borrow from your credit card. The higher the limit, the higher you have more money to borrow, which helps you avoid spending above the credit utilization ratio.
iv) Credit scores
When applying for an unsecured card, you require credit scores. The scores show your creditworthiness, and the better your scores, the better your card. It is always good to check bad credit scores on credit card issuers if you have bad scores. As I mentioned earlier, secured credit cards are the best for poor scores. There are many secured credit card issuers for building credit that you can find online.
A money order is a printed document ordering to pay a certain amount of money. The document is issued by a bank or Post Office, and when purchasing, you have to pay first to get the document. You can use a money order to send money to others and pay bills. The money order recipient can cash out at a bank account, a store, or a post office or deposit it in their bank account.