Can You Buy Money Orders With Credit Cards?

It is possible but rare to buy money orders using a credit card. Many retailers and institutions that sell them have policies against it. A money order is a cash equivalent item, and accepting a credit card as payment exposes the payee to greater financial risks.

Policies Against Credit Cards

Sending a money order is essentially a safe way to send cash-like funds to a targeted recipient. Large banks and retailers often require that you pay for your money order using cash or an equivalent method. Wal-Mart, for instance, only accepts cash, a PIN-based debit card and a Wal-Mart MoneyCard as payment methods as of 2015. Ridgewood Savings Bank also notes on its website as of 2015 that you must pay for a money order with cash. Fox News reported in an October 2011 article that the U.S. Postal Service and check-cashing offices were among the majority of money order outlets not accepting credit card payments.

Credit Card Payment Limitations

Your only real hope of using a credit card to purchasing a money order is a small supermarket. However, finding a convenient place to pay with a credit card is virtually impossible as of 2015. Grocery and pharmacy chain Meijer only accepts cash or debit card payments. One option is to use your credit card at your bank or an ATM to get a cash advance, though you face higher interest charges on a cash advance.

Cash Advance Fees

Even if you find a business that sells money orders to credit card users, your card provider typically charges a cash advance fee on this transaction as well. Since the money order is a cash equivalent, you pay the same basic cash advance fee you would if you went to the bank and got cash with your card, according to Bank of America. Cash advances vary by bank, but you pay an upfront percentage of the purchase amount and an interest rate that is higher than your standard purchase rate.