Short Answer: You can deposit money orders into a checking or savings account — including someone else’s bank account — since money orders are generally subject to the same depositing rules as personal checks. You can also use a money order to open a new bank account. For more about depositing money orders, see below.
Can You Deposit a Money Order Into a Bank Account?
When you receive a money order and don’t want to redeem it for cash, or if you want to avoid the fees associated with cashing it, you can deposit it directly into your bank account.
You can deposit a money order in person at your local bank or credit union branch. You will need to show a valid, government-issued ID, and endorse the money order before depositing. You can also deposit money orders at ATMs; if your bank allows mobile deposits, you may be able to deposit a money order with your mobile device.
Money orders are generally treated the same as checks and are subject to next-day availability for funds. You can deposit money orders into a checking or savings account, and the funds will clear in the same time frame as a deposited check. Our previous research explains how long it takes checks and deposits to clear at the major U.S. banks and credit unions.
Can You Deposit a Money Order Into Someone Else’s Account?
Banks will usually allow you to deposit checks or money orders into someone else’s account — for example, if you’re giving a gift, helping a friend or family member cover bills, or paying someone back. We contacted associates at Bank of America, Chase, and Wells Fargo locations to confirm this policy. You can also sign a money order over to another person so they can deposit the money order themselves.
Note: To prevent fraud, some banks will not allow anyone other than the account holder to make cash deposits into an account. Major banks with a ban on depositing cash into another’s bank account include Chase, Wells Fargo, and Bank of America. At these banks, you are not able to cash a money order then deposit the funds into someone else’s account, but you can still deposit a money order or check directly into the account.
Can You Open a New Account With a Money Order?
You can use one or more money orders to open both checking and savings accounts at banks or credit unions. We spoke to customer service representatives at several banks — including KeyBank, M&T Bank, SunTrust Bank, and PNC — to verify this policy. All representatives confirm that you can use a money order to open an account, but many also noted that the funds would not be immediately available for accounts opened with money orders; exact wait times vary.
For more information on opening a bank account, see our research on what you need to open a bank account and how to set up a bank account. Or, to find out more about how money orders work, see our money order FAQ.