How to Get a Money Order

  1. Cash, Pen, Financial Institution
How to Get a Money Order
How to Get a Money Order
credit: Kritchanut/iStock/GettyImages

If you don't have a checking account, or if you need to pay someone who doesn't take personal checks, you might need to know how to get a money order. Essentially, a money order is a document representing prepaid funds, and is similar to a cashier's check except that money orders are usually limited to a certain amount, such as $800 or $1,000.

Determine the amount you need to pay before you get the money order. In most cases, you'll need to buy the money order with cash, though some financial institutions will allow you to pay with a debit card, credit card or personal check.

Call several financial institutions to find out how much they charge for money orders. If you have a checking account, your bank might provide them for free, and you can also check grocery stores, post offices and check-cashing institutions.

Request a money order from the desired financial institution, then give them the cash value of the money order, plus the fee if one is charged.

Fill out the information on the money order. In most cases, you'll need to provide your name, the recipient's name, your address, and perhaps even your phone number.

Give the money order directly to the recipient to avoid potentially losing it.