You can typically cancel a money order as long as it has not been cashed. The process is easiest if you have the receipt stub; however, most issuers are also able to locate and cancel money orders without the receipt.
Note that once the recipient cashes the money order, you won’t be able to cancel it or get a refund. Our related research details how to check if your money order was cashed even if you don’t have the receipt.
Money Order Cancellation Policies by Issuer
We contacted the following major money order issuers for more details about how to cancel a money order:
Cancellation With the Receipt
If you still have your MoneyGram money order and stub in your possession, you can take it to a local MoneyGram agent, where an associate can help you cancel it in person and begin the refund process.
If you already sent the money order but the recipient has not cashed it and you have the receipt stub, you can request a cancellation (and refund) with the Money Order Claim Card. Mail the form, your receipt stub, and the $18 processing fee to the address on the Money Order Claim Card; total processing time can take up to 30 days.
Cancellation Without the Receipt
If you do not have the receipt stub or money order number, you can complete a Money Order Search Form. On the form, you must provide the exact date of purchase, location of purchase, and dollar amount. There is a $40 nonrefundable processing fee to locate the money order number.
If the search shows that the recipient has not cashed the money order, MoneyGram will issue a stop payment. If MoneyGram is unable to locate the order number based on the information you provide, the company will send you a letter stating that no results were found. In that case, MoneyGram will not be able to cancel the money order.
Cancellation With the Receipt
If you have not yet sent the money order, you can take it and your receipt to a Western Union agent location, where you can cancel the order in person, and Western Union will initiate a refund.
If you sent the money order but have the receipt stub with the serial number, you can complete the money order tracing/refund request form on the back of the stub and return it to Western Union. (The address will also appear on the back of the stub.) Alternatively, you can save and fill the Money Order Customer Request form. There is a $15 fee to process this form, but you can return it to Western Union by fax, email, or mail.
Western Union will issue a stop payment for the original money order when it issues your refund, but processing time may take up to 30 days. Note that if you need to cancel multiple money orders, you must submit separate forms for each.
Without the Receipt
If you do not have the receipt, you must print and complete the Money Order Research Request form. Return the form and a nonrefundable payment for the $30 processing fee to the address listed on the form.
On the form, you will need to provide details about the money order, including the exact date of purchase, time of purchase, location of purchase, and payee. If Western Union can locate the money order and it has not been cashed, it will cancel the money order and send you a refund.
United States Postal Service (USPS)
The USPS does not stop payments or cancellations for its money orders. Our previous research features how to get a refund on your USPS money order.
Amscot requires you to provide the receipt to stop payment on a money order; it will not cancel a money order without the receipt stub that contains the serial number. Amscot’s process is the same for stopping payment and for refunding lost or stolen money orders, but note that you cannot start this process until 30 days after you purchased the original money order.
Go to your local branch to get a claim form or print and complete the online Money Order Claim Form; you will then need to mail it to the address on the form, along with your receipt stub and the $12 processing fee. It may take up to six weeks for Amscot to process the cancellation and issue a refund.
Banks can usually cancel a money order as long as it has not been cashed. We contacted Bank of America, Fifth Third Bank, PNC, and U.S. Bank; each branch we spoke with does cancel money orders. Whether you still have the money order or you have already sent it, you will need to return to the bank where you purchased the money order and follow its cancellation instructions.
The bank will typically need your money order receipt and your government-issued photo ID. Most banks will also charge a cancellation fee (typically between $30 and $40), but many will waive the fee for account holders. Each bank’s policy will vary, so you should contact your local branch for specifics.
Canceling a bank money order can take up to 60 days. Since bank fees are generally higher than other issuers, you may want to get the full money order policy and fee information before purchasing a money order.