How to Pay for a Money Order

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You’ve just moved in to your first apartment, and are reveling in the feeling of having your own place and your own space. Then it dawns on you: You have to pay your rent, and the lease says that they only accept checks or money orders. You don’t have a checking account, and how in the world do you pay for a money order? You’ll be relieved to know that the answer lies close at hand, at your local post office or convenience store.

Inquire about the fee that your local money-order vendors charge. This can vary according to location and the amount of the money order, so checking ahead of time gives you the option of shopping for the lowest fee. Money orders are typically sold at convenience stores, check-cashing stores, major grocery stores and every post office.

Calculate the total cost by adding the amount you need on your money order and the fee.

Order your money order by telling the clerk the amount of money you wish to send. The clerk will add the fee after he prints the money order, and will tell you the total amount due.

Hand the clerk the total amount of cash for the money order and fee, and he will hand you your money order. Note that the money-order receipt is part of the money order itself; usually either a duplicate copy or a tear-off portion on the end.

Tips & Warnings

  • Money orders are the same as cash, so be sure to fill out the money order completely and sign it as soon as possible. Keep the receipt in a safe place in case you need to prove you sent the money order.

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