You can buy a money order with a debit card at some places that sell them, including the U.S. Postal Service, grocery stores, and banks.
Some issuers (including select Western Union locations) also allow you to pay for a money order with a credit card. However, the transaction will likely process as a cash advance, meaning you’ll pay fees and interest.
For more details about where and how to buy money orders with debit or credit cards, see below.
Buying a Money Order With a Debit Card
The most widely accepted payment method for a money order is cash.
However, several places will allow you to use a debit card to buy a money order, including the following (ordered by nationwide availability):
- The U.S. Postal Service (USPS)
- Bank of America
- U.S. Bank
- Bank of the West
- Fred Meyer
- King Soopers
- Giant Eagle
- Family Fare
- Food City
- Food Lion
- Stop & Shop
- Turkey Hill
- Weis Markets
Note that debit card acceptance varies by location; it’s best to call ahead to the store or branch you plan to visit to make sure that it accepts debit cards.
You can find out more about the above options (including their limits and purchase fees) in our list of places that sell money orders.
Buying a Money Order With a Credit Card
There are very few places that let you buy a money order with a credit card, but it is possible at the following issuers:
- Western Union: Select agent locations (including partner locations like Albertsons, Fred Meyer, and King Soopers) accept credit cards. Western Union doesn’t provide a comprehensive list of agents that accept credit cards, and acceptance varies by individual location; it’s best to contact your local agent before visiting.
- 7-Eleven: Accepts cash only at most locations, but some stores that partner with Western Union may accept credit cards. Contact your local store to check its payment options or see our related research for the list of states where 7-Eleven partners with Western Union.
- Chase: Select branches allow Chase credit cardholders to buy money orders with cash advances (as previously reported).
Before buying a money order with a credit card, know that since money orders require guaranteed, upfront payment, most credit card issuers process them as cash advances, which carry added costs. You’ll pay the credit card’s cash advance fees and APR on top of the money order issuer’s purchase fees.
Credit card companies typically charge a cash advance fee of a percentage of the transaction or a flat dollar amount, whichever is greater.
For example, if you have a 5% transaction fee and buy a money order for $1,000, your cash advance fee will be $50.
Cash advances also have high APRs, for which interest begins accruing immediately — usually at around 22% to 27%.
Other Payment Options
Cash is the most widely accepted way to purchase a money order, and it’s the only payment method accepted by every issuer and agent location.
Some places will also allow you to pay with a prepaid, PIN-based reloadable Visa or Mastercard (as previously reported).
Since money orders must be prepaid and guaranteed, there are virtually no places that allow you to pay for a money order with a personal check, which can bounce.
In the course of our research, the only place we found that accepts personal checks as payment for money orders is the check-cashing store Advance America.
You also cannot buy a money order online or using a PayPal transfer.
See our related research for the security features and risks associated with money orders, plus how long it takes money orders to send, clear, and expire, and our complete money order FAQ.
- Bank of America customer service (800) 432-1000[↩]
- U.S. Bank customer service (855) 977-2704[↩]
- Citibank customer service (800) 374-9700[↩]
- Bank of the West customer service (800) 488-2265[↩]
- Meijer customer service (877) 363-4537[↩]
- Family Fare customer service (844) 251-3999[↩]
- Shoppers customer service (888) 907-7467[↩]
- Weis Markets customer service (866) 999-9347[↩]
- Western Union customer service (800) 325-6000[↩]
- 7-Eleven customer service (800) 255-0711[↩]
Hi, I don’t know if you’re still monitoring comments here, but if so might you know the answer to this:
A few years ago, all the places nearby (convenience stores, tobacco stores, etc.) that sell money orders put in a policy that they’d no longer allow customers to buy money orders with debit cards. This includes longtime customers. So to buy a money order, customer must pay extra fees to get cash from the ATM, often not in the denomination they want, and then buy the money order with cash. I can’t get a straight answer on the reason.
One of the main reasons some stores stopped accepting debit cards for money order purchases was to stop “manufactured spending.” Manufactured spending is when people use a credit card to buy prepaid debit cards (like Visa Gift Cards, which run as debit) to get a bonus on their credit card, then use the prepaid debit card to buy money orders and effectively get their money back, as if they’d never spent anything. You might also see stores saying they don’t allow money order purchases with debit because of fraud. And, one last hurdle is that when buying a money order with a debit card, the card must run as a PIN based purchase. If you pay with a debit card but the machine runs your card as credit and you don’t enter a PIN, you won’t be able to buy the money order. Many debit card networks automatically run debit cards as credit.
How long is a bank issued money order good for?
Bank money orders typically expire within 90 days but most banks will let you get a refund at any time if you don’t get around to using one before it expires.