You can track most money orders any time after purchase. Their traceability is one factor that makes money orders a safe form of payment (as previously reported). While the exact process varies slightly by issuer, you will usually need the serial number and dollar amount from the money order’s detachable stub in order to track it.
If you purchased the money order from a convenience store, grocery store, or large retailer like Walmart and you lost the money order stub, your store receipt may include the serial number. If it doesn’t, the store may be able to reprint a version of the receipt that contains the serial number. You can request this at the money services desk. If you are unable to get a receipt with the serial number, you can try contacting the money order recipient for confirmation.
Money Order Tracking Process by Issuer
We contacted the major money order issuers — MoneyGram, Western Union, USPS, and Amscot — as well as several major U.S. banks to find out more about how to track money orders. The following issuers allow you to track your money order with the serial number:
You can track your money order directly on the MoneyGram website. Your money order serial number is the 10- or 11-digit number shown on the receipt stub in red ink. Simply enter the serial number in the appropriate field, enter the dollar amount of the money order, then click on “Check Status” to track your money order.
Alternatively, you can call MoneyGram customer service at (800) 926-9400 and provide the money order serial number and the amount of the money order.
There is no fee to track a money order online or by phone. However, if you have misplaced the receipt stub and need the serial number of your money order, you’ll need to fill out a Money Order Number Search form and send it to the address listed on the form along with the $40 processing fee.
You can track your Western Union money order for free through the Western Union customer service hotline; the company does not offer online tracking. Call (800) 999-9600 and enter the 11-digit serial number on your money order receipt stub, then press the pound sign.
If you’ve lost the money order receipt stub and need the serial number, you will need to complete the Money Order Research Request and submit it along with the necessary supporting documents and $30 administrative fee. You can pay the fee with a personal check or money order.
The USPS offers an online Money Order Inquiry System. Enter the money order serial number from the receipt stub. You can also call to track your USPS money order by calling (866) 974-2733 and entering the serial number. If you lost your receipt stub, call the U.S. Postal Inspection Service at (877) 876-2455 for serial number retrieval assistance.
Amscot does not provide online tracking for money orders. To track your money order, call Amscot customer service at (800) 333-6130 and give them the serial number from the receipt; if you’ve lost your money order receipt, customer service may still be able to assist you.
As with other issuers, you will receive a receipt when you purchase a money order from a bank. Your bank may keep a copy of the receipt and, if you are an account holder, it may be able to trace your money order with information in your account history. However, each bank’s money order tracking process will vary. You can check your money receipt for tracking instructions or contact your bank for its procedure.
Keep in mind that your bank may or may not offer tracking services; you may want to inquire before making a purchase. Representatives for Bank of America, Fifth Third Bank, PNC, Regions Bank, and U.S. Bank told us that they do offer tracking if you visit your branch and provide your money order receipt. Note that individual branches may charge for tracking money orders.
If tracking shows that your money order has been cashed and you want to confirm who cashed it, see how to request an endorsed photocopy. If tracking shows that your money order has not been cashed, you may be eligible for a refund; see our previous research for more information on money order refunds.