How to Get a Money Order or a Cashier's Check

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A money order or cashier's check offers security for both parties in a financial transaction. The purchaser of these instruments is able to protect her bank account and credit card information since neither of these is printed on the instrument. The seller is protected knowing the money was paid up front for the money order or cashier's check. You do not need a bank account or credit card to purchase a money order. However, a bank account is required at most financial institutions to purchase a cashier's check.

Step 1

Purchase a money order with cash at the United States Post Office, some grocery stores or at a bank. Money orders cost approximately $1 to $2. The funds for a money order are secured by cash paid for the money order.

Step 2

Cashier's checks may only be purchased at a bank. The amount of the cashier's check is secured by the banks' funds. If the cashier's check was paid for with a personal check, debit or credit card, the amount of the cashier's check is taken from the account used for purchase when the check is cashed. The fee for a cashier's check varies depending on the financial institution from approximately $3 to $5.

Step 3

Be prepared to present valid photo identification for cashier's checks or money orders for over $3,000. Each bank has its only policy for identification requirements for purchasing money orders or cashier's checks.

Tip

Money orders are usually lower priced than a cashier’s check. The post office usually has the lowest price for a money order. Banks charge a higher fee for money orders than retail outlets.

Warning

Protect a cashier’s check or money order the same way you would cash. These financial instruments are easily cashed by anyone. Write the name of the recipient on the money order immediately after buying it to reduce the risk of it being cashed by someone other than the intended recipient if lost or stolen.

Things You'll Need

  • Cash for the amount of the money order or cashier’s check

  • Fee for the money order or cashier’s check

  • Photo identification

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