If you’re required to use a money order or are in a situation where one is convenient, are you completely comfortable doing so? Are money orders safe, and where can you pick one up?
First-time money order users might have similar questions. But not to worry–we’ve put together a quick rundown below, answering those exact questions!
Read on to educate yourself on money orders.
What Are Money Orders?
The only way we can trust someone else’s certified check is because their bank has put a hold on those funds in the person’s account. A money order is a similar certified check, except the funds have been prepaid for the order amount.
Example: If you’re getting a money order for $600, think of it like buying a printed $600 bill from an institution, made out only to whoever you designate it to. And the order is as easy for the payee to deposit as cashing a check.
You can think of it nearly on the same terms as a check with the exception that you pay up front first for a money order. Both of these payment forms are certified by a financial institution and are far more credible than a personal check.
Who Offers Money Orders?
If you’re on the hunt for a money order, you won’t have to look long. Money orders can be purchased from dozens of places across town.
For starters, a bank or financial institution would be the most obvious places to grab a money order. Some people may not prefer that route, though, and enjoy the convenience of obtaining one from the nearest USPS office.
Alternatively, many retailers and major pharmacies or grocery stores tend to offer money orders to customers. There may be a fee associated, but it’s usually low (about a dollar). Call ahead before you do any driving to double check.
Are Money Orders Safe Compared to Checks?
Here’s the big question. Short answer: yes, as a form of payment, they’re basically just as safe (if not more) as checks. People use them all the time and have so for nearly a 150 years now.
But the true “safety” of the money order all depends on your own responsibility. Since money orders are addressed to a person or establishment, your only worry is losing them (since you would be losing all that money).
However, if you fear that your money order has been lost, stolen, or forged somehow, you can put a stop or hold on it by contacting whatever facility gave it to you.
Keeping Your Money Orders Safe
You might as well understand best safe practices if you are going the money order route. First, you’ll want to fill out the order entirely all in one go, making sure that nothing gets left blank.
Also, make sure to use a dark ink (preferably black) that stands out clearly and undeniably in every letter or number.
You’ll receive a receipt when you purchase your money order, and you’ll want to hang onto that until confirmation of your payment has been received. If you can, deliver your money order in person or have it mailed and certified.
Yes, Money Orders Are Safe
So, are money orders safe? Yep, about as safe a form of currency exchange as we’ve developed yet. And now you know where to get them and the best practices to use to ensure your transaction is optimally safe!
Looking for more insider financial tips from the professionals? Visit the Eastwood Bank blog today for more quick resources!