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A money order is a secure way to send money or make a payment — up to $1,000. Many recipients prefer money orders because, unlike a personal check, a money order can’t “bounce” and clears almost immediately; therefore, they provide a fast, risk-free form of payment.
Money orders are secure because they’re issued by third-party distributors, in direct exchange for the cash value of the money order, plus a small fee — usually less than $15. And money orders can only be claimed by the person or business they’re addressed to.
Money orders can also be sent internationally and can be used to settle debts larger than $1,000 (by sending multiple money orders). In some instances, you don’t need a bank account to send one.
There are a number of places that distribute money orders. Banks and credit unions are the obvious destinations, but there’s also the U.S. Post Office, as well as some supermarkets and convenience stores.
Once you arrive at the money order distributor, you’ll need to provide the following information to process a money order:
Make sure you hold onto your money order receipt in the off chance there are any issues and you need to cancel it. The recipient can cash the money order by simply signing the back of it.
Money orders aren’t the only way to send large sums of money. But depending on your needs, it could be the right choice.
Here’s how they compare to other payment methods:
As you can see, the proper payment method depends on how much you’re sending. For instance, if you want to securely send $1,000 or less, Zelle is the most cost-efficient method. But if your bank does not offer Zelle, a money order could be your next-best option. If you’re sending more than $1,000, Zelle might still be the most affordable option. But if your transaction exceeds your bank's daily limit, check out these other payment methods.
Need to purchase a money order? Stop by your nearest Citizens Bank branch to learn more.
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