Prepaid gift cards, including PIN-based Visa and MasterCard gift cards, are common for a variety of reasons. If you buy or were given a gift card, they can typically be used in the same way as debit cards for purchases up to the amount loaded on the gift card.

These types of gift cards can also sometimes be used to purchase money orders. In this article, we’ll take a look at everything you should know about buying money orders with gift cards.

In This Article

  • Why Most Stores Don’t Let You Buy Money Orders with Gift Cards

  • Stores Where You Can Buy a Money Order with a Gift Card

  • Stores Where You Can’t Buy a Money Order with a Gift Card

Why Most Stores Don’t Let You Buy Money Orders with Gift Cards

There are several legitimate reasons you may want to use a prepaid gift card to buy money orders. However, recently many stores and retailers have stopped allowing this because of a practice called “manufactured spending,” which involves buying gift cards on newly issued credit cards to earn bonuses or other rewards and then turning the gift cards into cash using money orders.

But there are still a few places you can use prepaid gift cards to purchase money orders for bill paying and other purposes. Here’s our list of stores where you can buy a money order with a gift card.

Stores Where You Can Buy a Money Order with a Gift Card

It’s important to note that you can only purchase a money order with a PIN-based, prepaid card gift card such as a Visa or MasterCard. The card can be either non-reloadable with a fixed amount of money on it, or a reloadable card such as Vanilla, Green Dot, or NetSpend.

This is because most stores will not allow money order purchases with credit cards — you must use either cash or a debit card. PIN-based gift cards are typically processed the same as debit cards, although some PIN-based gift card networks tend to default to credit. If your card defaults to credit, you won’t be able to use it to buy a money order.

And, you can never buy money orders with store branded gift cards. All store-specific gift card policies state that the cards cannot be used to purchase money orders or other gift cards.

1. United States Post Office (USPS)

  • Can you buy a money order with a gift card? Yes, but customers have reported that some gift card network transactions fail to process as debit.
  • Cost: $1.20 for money orders from $0.01 to $500; $1.60 for money orders from $500.01 to $1,000.
  • Limits: $1,000 per money order.
  • Locations: Nationwide. Find a U.S. post office near you.

2. Walmart

NOTE: In addition to purchasing at the cash register, some Walmart stores have MoneyCenter Express kiosks where you can directly buy money orders with gift cards.

  • Can you buy a money order with a gift card? Yes, but customers have reported that some gift card network transactions fail to process as debit.
  • Cost: 70 cents per money order.
  • Limits: $1,000 per money order, up to $3,000 per day.
  • Locations: Nationwide. Find a Walmart near you.

3. Western Union

  • Can you buy a money order with a gift card? Yes, but customers have reported that some gift card network transactions fail to process as debit. Also, certain locations only accept cash for money orders, while others accept either cash or debit. Call ahead to find out whether your Western Union agent accepts debit cards.
  • Cost: Varies; typically around 79 cents per $500.
  • Limits: $1,000 per money order.
  • Locations: Nationwide. Find a Western Union agent near you.

Stores Where You Can’t Buy a Money Order with a Gift Card

The following stores have policies that specifically prohibit people from using gift cards to purchase money orders, for various reasons.

  • 7-Eleven: Has stopped accepting gift cards and debit cards for money order purchases; current policy is cash only for money orders.
  • Albertson’s: Will accept cash or debit cards for money orders, but gift cards are not processed as debit.
  • CVS: Has stopped accepting gift cards and debit cards for money order purchase; current policy is cash only.
  • Family Fare: Money orders are excluded from gift card purchases as per store policy.
  • Fred Meyer: Owned by Kroger, which stopped accepting gift cards for money order purchases in 2016 in order to combat fraud.
  • Kmart: Store policy states that gift cards are not allowed for purchasing money orders; some Kmart locations accept cash only for money orders.
  • Kroger: In November 2016, Kroger stores stopped accepting gift cards as payment for money orders in an attempt to combat fraud.
  • Meijer: According to store policy, only cash and debit cards are accepted for money order purchases.
  • Publix: Store policy states that gift cards are not allowed for purchasing money orders.
  • Rite Aid: Only accepts cash as payment for money orders.
  • Smith’s: Owned by Kroger, which stopped accepting gift cards for money order purchases in 2016 in order to combat fraud.
  • Von’s: Owned by Albertson’s, which does not accept gift cards for money order purchases.
  • Walgreens: No longer sells money orders.
  • Winn-Dixie: Money orders over $100 must be purchased with cash; store policy excludes gift cards as payment for money orders.

In Summary

While there are not a large number of options for stores that allow you to buy money orders with gift cards, chances are you can still find a store near you that will accept gift cards for money order purchases. It’s still possible to use a prepaid Visa or MasterCard gift card to purchase a money order at USPS, Walmart, and Western Union. We hope this article has helped you understand how to buy money orders with a gift card!