Short Answer: You can buy a money order with a debit card at select issuers, including the U.S. Postal Service and some grocery stores and banks. Some locations also allow you to pay for a money order with a credit card, though the transaction will likely be processed as a cash advance, which will come with high fees and interest. You cannot pay for money orders with things like checks or PayPal transfers. For more details on buying a money order with a debit or credit card, see below.
Can You Buy a Money Order With a Debit Card?
The most widely accepted payment method for a money order is cash. However, many places all allow you to use a debit card to buy a money order, including:
See more places that accept debit cards for money orders in our research on how to pay for a money order. Acceptance varies by location, so it’s best to call ahead to where you’d like to buy your money order to make sure that the location accepts debit cards.
Can You Buy a Money Order With a Credit Card?
There are fewer places that let you buy a money order with a credit card, but it is possible. Some banks accept credit cards for money order purchases, as do many grocery stores, including Albertsons, King Soopers, and Fred Meyer.
Before buying a money order with a credit card, there is one important caveat to note: since money orders require guaranteed, upfront cash, most credit card issuers process money order purchases as cash advances.
Cash advances carry hefty added costs. 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 on $1,000, you will need to pay $50. That will be on top of whatever fees the money order comes with. A cash advance also results in a much higher APR on the transaction — as high as 27% — for which interest begins accruing immediately. While most money orders are limited to $1,000 or less, buying one with a credit card will also increase the amount you owe on your next credit card statement.
Other Ways to Buy a Money Order
As noted above, cash is the most widely accepted way to purchase a money order, and it is 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 appears to accept 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.
We provide more information about where you can cash a money order, the security features and risks associated with money orders, and how long it takes money orders to send, clear, and expire. Also, find more about how money orders work in our money order FAQ.