Heads Up: The Fed continues to raise rates — up 3% this year — making credit card debt even costlier.
Pay it off today with a low fixed-rate personal loan. View your rate —>

How to Cash a Postal Money Order

By Ashley Kilroy · August 05, 2022 · 4 minute read

We’re here to help! First and foremost, SoFi Learn strives to be a beneficial resource to you as you navigate your financial journey. Read more We develop content that covers a variety of financial topics. Sometimes, that content may include information about products, features, or services that SoFi does not provide. We aim to break down complicated concepts, loop you in on the latest trends, and keep you up-to-date on the stuff you can use to help get your money right. Read less

How to Cash a Postal Money Order

Anyone can use a money order to send or receive money. While money orders aren’t the most common tool, they’re usually simple to obtain and cash. To cash a money order at no charge, visit your local post office branch and present your money order at the window.

In this article, we outline where to cash postal money orders and what the process looks like.

What Is a Postal Money Order?

A postal money order is a type of financial certificate issued on paper by the post office. Similar to a paper check, the document is worth the amount of money determined by the person or company that purchased it. While you can obtain a regular money order from almost any bank, only the United States Postal Service (USPS) issues postal money orders.

Unlike a check, a postal money order is prepaid by the party sending it, so it can’t bounce. Money orders also never expire. A receipt is provided to the purchaser in case the money order is lost, stolen, or damaged. As a result, you can use a postal money order to securely send a payment through the mail.

Another advantage of money orders is that they are difficult to counterfeit. You can make a payment of up to $1,000 with a single order.

To send a money order, you must pay for it ahead of time using cash, a debit card, or traveler’s check. Although it is possible to buy a regular money order with a credit card, you cannot put postal money orders on a credit card.

Check your score with SoFi Relay

Track your credit score for free. Sign up and get $10.*


Recommended: What Is a Niche Bank?

How to Cash a Postal Money Order Step by Step

If you receive a postal money order, you can redeem its face value by cashing it. There is no advantage in keeping a postal money order for a long time, since it doesn’t earn interest and cannot be used directly to make a purchase.

Here’s how to cash a money order at the post office for free:

1.   Bring the money order and a photo ID to a post office service counter.

2.   Sign the money order in view of the postal worker. (Do not sign it ahead of time.)

3.   You will immediately receive the cash value of the money order.

Where to Cash a Postal Money Order

You can cash a postal money order in certain places outside the post office. Many banks will cash postal money orders, as long as you have an account there. Some grocery stores and retailers will cash money orders, too.

Because proof of ID is required, you can not deposit money orders via a mobile banking app.

List of Places That Cash Money Orders

Here are some locations that may cash a postal money order:

•  Most banks. Check with your local branch.

•  Check-cashing retailer. Consumers without a bank account or nearby post office may cash money orders here for a fee.

•  International postal office. The post office offers special international money orders that can be cashed at banks and post offices in some other countries.

•  Rural mail carrier. Some mail carriers may cash money orders for rural customers if they have enough cash on hand.

•  Some supermarkets and major retailers. Search online for “places to cash a money order near me.”

Recommended: Alternative to Traditional Banks

How to Identify a Fake Postal Money Order

You’ll want to examine your money order before attempting to deposit it, to ensure it’s authentic. Here are a few ways to spot a fraudulent postal money order:

•  Look closely at the paper. Valid postal money orders have special markings and designs to prevent fraud. Visit USPS.com to view a sample money order.

•  Review sum amount. If the dollar amount is faded, too large, or not printed twice on the paper, it could be fraudulent. All postal money orders must be under $1,000 and have the sum printed twice on the paper. International postal money orders cannot exceed $700, or $500 for El Salvador and Guyana.

If you think your postal money order is fake, contact the U.S. Postal Inspection Service at 1-877-876-2455.

Recommended: Does Net Worth Include Home Equity

The Takeaway

Cashing a USPS money order is a straightforward process. Your local post office can cash a postal money order at no cost to you. You may also be able to cash a postal money order at a bank branch if you have an account there, or at your local supermarket.

A money tracker tool like SoFi Relay can help you monitor all of your accounts with one app. You don’t have to pay a dime to use its online budget planner, debt payoff planner, and more.

Track your expenses and take better control of your finances with SoFi Relay.

FAQ

Can you mobile deposit a USPS money order?

Unfortunately, you cannot use mobile deposit for USPS money orders. Instead, you must deposit it in person with a valid ID.

Where can I cash a money order for free?

You can cash a postal money order for free at your local post office. You may also be able to cash it at your local bank branch.

Can you cash a money order online?

Since you need proof of ID to deposit a postal money order, you usually can’t deposit it online.


Photo credit: iStock/Delpixart

SoFi’s Insights tool offers users the ability to connect both in-house accounts and external accounts using Plaid, Inc’s service. When you use the service to connect an account, you authorize SoFi to obtain account information from any external accounts as set forth in SoFi’s Terms of Use. SoFi assumes no responsibility for the timeliness, accuracy, deletion, non-delivery or failure to store any user data, loss of user data, communications, or personalization settings. You shall confirm the accuracy of Plaid data through sources independent of SoFi. The credit score provided to you is a Vantage Score® based on TransUnion™ (the “Processing Agent”) data.
*Terms and conditions apply. (Must click on the link to be eligible.) This offer is only available to new SoFi users without existing SoFi accounts. It is non-transferable. One offer per person. To receive the Rewards points offer, you must successfully complete setting up Credit Score Monitoring. Rewards points may only be redeemed into SoFi accounts such as cash in SoFi Checking and Savings or loan balances, Stock Bits, fractional shares and cryptocurrency subject to program terms that may be found here: SoFi Member Rewards Terms and Conditions. SoFi reserves the right to modify or discontinue this offer at any time without notice.
Third-Party Brand Mentions: No brands, products, or companies mentioned are affiliated with SoFi, nor do they endorse or sponsor this article. Third-party trademarks referenced herein are property of their respective owners.

SORL0522007

All your finances.
All in one app.

SoFi QR code, Download now, scan this with your phone’s camera

All your finances.
All in one app.

App Store rating

SoFi iOS App, Download on the App Store
SoFi Android App, Get it on Google Play

TLS 1.2 Encrypted
Equal Housing Lender