If you have never sent or received a Post Office money order, you might not know how they work. In fact, you may not even understand why they are used. Here are a few facts that will help you to know when to use a money order and how to get one.
Reasons to Use Money Orders
Money orders are more or less like personal checks, but there’s one big difference. Money orders are pre-paid. When you send someone a check in the mail, they need to take it to their bank and then wait for it to clear. When you send someone a money order, they get the money quickly. They can cash in the money order as soon as it arrives.
So, the first reason to use a money order is that it’s more convenient for the person who is receiving the money. A good example would be if your child is in college and loses their purse or wallet. You can send them a Post Office money order so that they have money quickly, rather than waiting for your check to clear.
Another reason to use a money order would be if you are buying something from someone who doesn’t accept personal checks. Some personal checks wind up not being good. In other words, they bounce. Since money orders are pre-paid, many people are more likely to accept them than to accept checks.
A third reason to use a Post Office money order is if you are sending money to another country. Personal checks issued in the United States are not good in other countries. So, if you buy something from another country, or if you just want to send money to family in another country, a Post Office money order is the best option.
Post Office Money Order Advantages
One of the advantages of money orders is that they have no expiration dates. So, they can be cashed in at any time. Although, most people do tend to cash their postal money orders in as soon as they receive the money orders.
Another advantage of using a money order is that it’s a little more secure than using a personal check. In fact, if a money order is lost or stolen but you still have the receipt, you should be able to get a new money order.
Money Order Limits
Unfortunately, Post Office money orders do have limits. For example, they are only accepted in 29 other countries. Also, if you are sending a money order within the United States, the limit is $1,000. An international money order has to be for $700 or less. If the money order is being sent to Guyana or El Salvador, it has to be for $500 or less. It also costs a small fee to get a Post Office money order. For a complete list of countries that accept U.S. money orders, as well as information about sending and accepting money orders, visit https://www.usps.com/shop/money-orders.htm.