How to get your money order cashed right now


Written by:

What Is a Postal Money Order?

A postal money order is a type of financial certificate issued on paper by the post office. Similar to a paper check, the document is worth the amount of money determined by the person or company that purchased it. While you can obtain a regular money order from almost any bank, only the United States Postal Service (USPS) issues postal money orders.

Unlike a check, a postal money order is prepaid by the party sending it, so it can’t bounce. Money orders also never expire. A receipt is provided to the purchaser in case the money order is lost, stolen, or damaged. As a result, you can use a postal money order to securely send a payment through the mail.

Another advantage of money orders is that they are difficult to counterfeit. You can make a payment of up to $1,000 with a single order.

To send a money order, you must pay for it ahead of time using cash, a debit card, or traveler’s check. Although it is possible to buy a regular money order with a credit card, you cannot put postal money orders on a credit card.

How to Cash a Postal Money Order Step by Step

If you receive a postal money order, you can redeem its face value by cashing it. There is no advantage in keeping a postal money order for a long time, since it doesn’t earn interest and cannot be used directly to make a purchase.

Here’s how to cash a money order at the post office for free:

  1. Bring the money order and a photo ID to a post office service counter.
  2. Sign the money order in view of the postal worker. (Do not sign it ahead of time.)
  3. You will immediately receive the cash value of the money order.

Where to Cash a Postal Money Order

You can cash a postal money order in certain places outside the post office. Many banks will cash postal money orders, as long as you have an account there. Some grocery stores and retailers will cash money orders, too.

Because proof of ID is required, you can not deposit money orders via a mobile banking app.

List of Places That Cash Money Orders

Here are some locations that may cash a postal money order:

  • Most banks. Check with your local branch.
  • Check-cashing retailer. Consumers without a bank account or nearby post office may cash money orders here for a fee.
  • International postal office. The post office offers special international money orders that can be cashed at banks and post offices in some other countries.
  • Rural mail carrier. Some mail carriers may cash money orders for rural customers if they have enough cash on hand.
  • Some supermarkets and major retailers. Search online for “places to cash a money order near me.”

How to Identify a Fake Postal Money Order

You’ll want to examine your money order before attempting to deposit it, to ensure it’s authentic. Here are a few ways to spot a fraudulent postal money order:

  • Look closely at the paper. Valid postal money orders have special markings and designs to prevent fraud. Visit to view a sample money order.
  • Review sum amount. If the dollar amount is faded, too large, or not printed twice on the paper, it could be fraudulent. All postal money orders must be under $1,000 and have the sum printed twice on the paper. International postal money orders cannot exceed $700, or $500 for El Salvador and Guyana.

If you think your postal money order is fake, contact the U.S. Postal Inspection Service at 1-877-876-2455.

The Takeaway

Cashing a USPS money order is a straightforward process. Your local post office can cash a postal money order at no cost to you. You may also be able to cash a postal money order at a bank branch if you have an account there, or at your local supermarket.

Learn More:

This article originally appeared on and was syndicated by

Please understand that this information provided is general in nature and shouldn’t be construed as a recommendation or solicitation of any products offered by SoFi’s affiliates and subsidiaries. In addition, this information is by no means meant to provide investment or financial advice, nor is it intended to serve as the basis for any investment decision or recommendation to buy or sell any asset. Keep in mind that investing involves risk, and past performance of an asset never guarantees future results or returns. It’s important for investors to consider their specific financial needs, goals, and risk profile before making an investment decision.

The information and analysis provided through hyperlinks to third party websites, while believed to be accurate, cannot be guaranteed by SoFi. These links are provided for informational purposes and should not be viewed as an endorsement. No brands or products mentioned are affiliated with SoFi, nor do they endorse or sponsor this content.
Communication of SoFi Wealth LLC an SEC Registered Investment Advisor
SoFi isn’t recommending and is not affiliated with the brands or companies displayed. Brands displayed neither endorse or sponsor this article. Third party trademarks and service marks referenced are property of their respective owners.

Communication of SoFi Wealth LLC an SEC Registered Investment Adviser. Information about SoFi Wealth’s advisory operations, services, and fees is set forth in SoFi Wealth’s current Form ADV Part 2 (Brochure), a copy of which is available upon request and at Liz Young is a Registered Representative of SoFi Securities and Investment Advisor Representative of SoFi Wealth. Her ADV 2B is available at

Featured Image Credit: Khosrork / iStock.