Revealed is the cheapest place to get a money order as well as other cheap options.

A money order is a form of payment for a pre-specified amount of money. While they’re similar to checks, money orders are often preferred due to the guaranteed funds for the vendor and the increased anonymity for the buyer (since they don’t display checking account information like a normal personal check does). When you’re sending money to someone else, it’s only natural to want to find the cheapest place to get a money order. If you know where to look, you can purchase a money order for as little as $0.65.

Included in This Article:

  • When should you use a money order?

  • Which companies are the most common providers of money orders?

  • What’s the cheapest place to buy a money order?

  • Where else you can get cheap money orders

  • Cashing your money order online or through an app

  • Other tips about money orders if you’ve never used one

  • And More…

When Should You Use a Money Order?

Money orders are helpful when:

  • You need to pay bills but don’t have a checking account.
  • You want to ensure that a check doesn’t bounce.
  • You’re mailing money and want an option that’s more secure than cash.
  • You’re sending money to relatives overseas.

Which Companies Are the Most Common Providers of Money Orders?

While you can purchase money orders at a variety of businesses, from supermarkets to pharmacies, nearly all of these places will use one of two money order services: MoneyGram or Western Union.

MoneyGram

MoneyGram is the smaller company, with a little over 100,000 locations worldwide. It operates in the United States and several other countries. MoneyGram money orders can be bought from any participating retailer or bank (more on that in our list below). Outside of the United States, some military bases sell MoneyGram money orders as well.

MoneyGram money orders can be deposited into a bank account or cashed at participating locations.

Western Union

Western Union is the larger of the two companies, with over 500,000 locations worldwide (not counting ATMs and kiosks). Western Union does offer options for transferring money overseas, but their money orders can only be used in the United States.

Western Union customers can buy a money order at participating retail locations (see below for a list of options). Recipients can cash their Western Union money orders at participating retail locations or at their bank. Depositing the money order directly into the account is also an option.

What Are the Cheapest Options for Buying a Money Order?

The price of money orders can range anywhere from free (if your bank offers this service) to just over $10.

We’ll cover banks specifically towards the end. But in general, there’s a tie for the top slot when it comes to the cheapest place to get a money order: 7-Eleven and Meijer.

1. Winner: 7-Eleven

2. Winner: Meijer

Below are some of the other cheap options, ranked from least to most expensive.

3. Kmart

4. Kroger

  • Which service does Kroger use?: Western Union
  • What is the fee?: Fees can vary by store; typically around $0.70.
  • Can money orders be cashed here?: Yes.
  • Note: Because Kroger operates under different names in different areas, each store has its own money order policy.
  • Read more on Kroger’s website.
  • Find the nearest Kroger location.

5. Walgreens

6. Walmart

  • Which service does Walmart use?: MoneyGram
  • What is the fee?: $0.70
  • Can money orders be cashed here?: Yes, Walmart cashes money orders that were purchased at another Walmart. Money orders will be cashed at the customer service desk.
  • Note: Walmart is something of an anomaly because it has its own service that is limited to in-store domestic transfers, while international and online transfers happen through MoneyGram.
  • Read more from Walmart’s Money Center.
  • Find the nearest Walmart location. 

7. Publix

8. Vons

  • Which service does Vons use?: MoneyGram
  • What is the fee?: Typically $0.89 per $1,000, up to a maximum money order value of $2,999.99. Note that fees may be different at your local store.
  • Can money orders be cashed here?: At certain locations (although not at all of them)
  • Note: The information regarding fees was obtained through Vons customer service. Fees and available services will vary by location; check with your local Vons for details.
  • Read more on Vons’ Money Services page.
  • Find the nearest Vons location.

9. CVS

10. U.S. Postal Service

  • Which service does the U.S. Postal Service use?: USPS (proprietary — not through Western Union or MoneyGram)
  • What is the fee?: $1.20
  • Can money orders be cashed here?: Yes, but if you cash an amount over $10,000, you will need to fill out a Funds Transaction Report form. We recommend that you call ahead to verify that the funds are available at your local post office before you go in to cash a money order.
  • Read more on the USPS Money Orders page.
  • Find the nearest USPS location.

11. Your Bank

Your bank can be the cheapest option for purchasing a money order. It can also be one of the most expensive. For instance, some banks will provide you with a money order for free if you have a certain type of account, while other banks will charge fees of $5 or higher, even for account-holders. Bank of America, for example, charges $5 for money orders up to $1,000 while a Western Union money order from the Navy Federal Credit Union costs $14.50.

Before you head out to 7-Eleven or Meijer, be sure to check what options are available at your bank. Here are the prices for purchasing a money order at some of the largest banks in the country. If you are not a member at the bank where you plan to purchase a money order, we recommend that you always call your local branch in advance to see if this service is available for non-customers.

These fees may be waived depending on the type of account you have (for example, if you have a business account or a mortgage with a certain bank), so it never hurts to ask if you can get a money order at your bank for less than the listed fee. For more information about the money order services at these and other major banks, take a look at our article that covers even more places to get a money order. 

Cashing Your Money Order Online or Through an App

As mentioned above, you can cash a money order at many of the places where you purchase them, but not all. Banks, however, are almost always an option for cashing money orders. Even more convenient are banks that give you the option to cash money orders electronically. Any kind of deposits, including money orders, will generally be free at a bank or credit union where you have an account. Keep in mind that you typically need to be a member of a particular bank to take advantage of mobile deposits.

When using an app, you’ll be depositing the money order directly into an account rather than receiving physical cash — so if you need dollar bills, you may want to plan to get cash back the next time you go shopping.

Banks That Cash Money Orders Through Apps

Banks That DO NOT Cash Money Orders Through Apps

Most of these banks have noted that the money order format is difficult for their machines to read, so it’s advisable to visit these banks in person if you intend to deposit a money order.

  • Ally Bank: Call Ally Bank customer service at 1-877-247-2559 for more information.
  • Bank of America: Call Bank of America customer service at 1-800-432-1000 for more information.
  • PNC Bank: Call PNC Bank customer service at 1-888-PNC-BANK for more information.
  • Regions Bank: Call Regions Bank customer service at 1-800-734-4667.

Important Tips About Money Orders

Before you head out to buy a money order, you may want to consider other factors that will affect the price and status of your money order.

  • As mentioned above, rates can differ based on location. Even retail chains can have fees that vary among individual stores. International money orders that will be sent overseas will generally cost more than ones sent within the country.
  • Purchasers sending money orders to a different country should also keep the exchange rate in mind, as some locations will convert the money order into local currency.
  • When picking up or cashing a money order, be sure to have your photo I.D. (driver’s license, passport etc.) with you. Some locations will require proof of address (bank statement, utility bill, etc.) as well.

Cheapest Place to Buy a Money Order: Conclusion

By most measures, 7-Eleven and Meijer are the cheapest places to buy a money order. In case there isn’t a 7-Eleven or Meijer near you, there are numerous other places you can visit for cheap money orders, including Kroger, Kmart, Walgreens, and sometimes even your own bank. Since many of the places that sell money orders don’t necessarily cash them, you can check out our articles about places where you can cash a Western Union money order, places where you can cash a MoneyGram money order, or places where you can cash any type of money order.

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