No checkbook? Need a way to pay that isn’t cash? You need a money order, a check-like stand-in issued by a trusted source and widely accepted in a variety of situations.
You can buy money orders at Walmart, gas stations, grocery stores, and even banks, but what if you wanted to send it to someone and you only want to make one stop?
So, does USPS sell money orders? Can you buy one at your local post office? Here’s the answer you seek.
Does USPS Sell Money Orders?
The United States Postal Service does sell money orders, both domestic and international. Domestic money orders cost $1.45 to $1.95, depending on the amount, while international money orders cost $10.50, plus a country-based processing fee. These can be purchased only in Post Offices, though not every Post Office sells international money orders.
To learn more about where you can buy money orders, how much they cost, the methods of payment accepted, and even if you can cash money orders at the post office, read on for all the details!
Where Can You Buy USPS Money Orders?
USPS money orders can be purchased at any Post Office location across the country, however, international money orders can only be purchased in specific locations.
The easiest way to find a Post Office location near you, as well as a location that sells international money orders, is to use the USPS.com PO Locator tool here.
If “Money Orders International” is not listed under Services at this Location, then you must search other locations.
You cannot, however, purchase money orders online at USPS.com.
How Much Does USPS Charge For Money Orders?
Like pretty much all their services, USPS’s money order fees, especially for domestic money orders, are quite low.
The amount you pay is based on the amount of the money order.
- $0.01 to $500 cost $1.45
- $500.01 to 1,000 cost $1.95
- International: $10.50, plus the intended country’s processing fee (varies)
The Postal Service also sells Money Order Inquiries, where you can obtain a copy of a paid money order for $6.95.
How Can You Pay For a USPS Money Order?
There are only two methods of payment not allowed for a USPS money order: checks and credit cards.
That means you can with U.S. currency and coins (cash) and Traveler’s Checks “payable in U.S. dollars if the purchase is for at least 50 percent of the value of the Traveler’s Checks.”
You can also pay with ATM/Debit cards, where you are required to enter a PIN.
My guess is that checks aren’t accepted because, first of all, if you have a checkbook, you don’t really need a money order.
Secondly, checks delay the process of the Post Office actually getting paid; if the check bounces, they’re out the money.
And paying with a credit card has that same liability associated with it. Most money order issuers want to make sure you have forked over the money first.
And no, you cannot use your debit card and try to have it charged as a credit card.
The teller will ensure that you choose the option that requires you to enter your PIN and which removes the money from your account immediately (or declines the transaction).
The above is also why you can’t purchase USPS money orders online – there is too much opportunity for delay between the transaction and USPS getting their money.
What Is the Biggest Amount You Can Get a USPS Money Order For?
The largest amount you make out a domestic money order for is $1,000.
International money orders cannot exceed $700, though some countries, notably Guyana and El Salvador, limit them to $500.
For domestic money orders, if you need more than $1000, you can do multiples.
However, you will have to pay the fee for each one, and if you need more than three, per USPS regulations, you must fill out a special form and show your ID.
How Long Are USPS Money Orders Good For?
USPS money orders never expire.
If you, or someone who has been issued one, find an old USPS money order, cash it!
Does USPS Sell International Money Orders?
USPS does sell international money orders, although not all Post Office locations offer that service.
To find the closest Post Office location that sells international money orders, use the USPS.com Locator Tool.
Note that the maximum amount you can make it out for is $700 and only $500 for Guyana and El Salvador.
Finally, it’s worth noting that quite a few countries, including the U.S., will no longer allow the selling of money orders intended for different countries, nor will they cash them.
You can find the list here, under 371.2 Availability.
Can You Cash a Money Order at USPS?
You can cash a money order at your local post office, even if it wasn’t issued by USPS.
That’s right, any domestic U.S. money order can be cashed in any post office or bank.
The important thing to know is that you should not sign it before you bring it in. At the Post Office, you must sign it at the counter while the teller witnesses it.
Bring your ID so that the teller can verify that you are the intended recipient of the money order, and you will be paid the exact amount listed on the money order.
Can You Get Your USPS Money Order Replaced?
If your money order is lost, stolen, or damaged, you can get it replaced, but it’s a process.
First, USPS has to confirm that the loss or theft is legitimate, which can take up to 30 days.
Or, USPS has to investigate the claim that it was lost, which can take up to 60 days.
You will also have to pay $6.95 as a processing fee if your claim is verified and you are issued a new money order.