How to Fill Out a Money Order

Money orders are easily accessible and an alternative payment method to cash and checks. While the process to fill out a money order is simple, incorrect entries may lead to financial losses. There are five simple steps that can help ensure your money order is accepted without any issues.

Lindsey Crossmier, writer for Annuity.org
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APA Crossmier, L. (2022, June 17). How to Fill Out a Money Order. Annuity.org. Retrieved June 26, 2022, from https://www.annuity.org/personal-finance/banking/how-to-fill-out-a-money-order/

MLA Crossmier, Lindsey. "How to Fill Out a Money Order." Annuity.org, 17 Jun 2022, https://www.annuity.org/personal-finance/banking/how-to-fill-out-a-money-order/.

Chicago Crossmier, Lindsey. "How to Fill Out a Money Order." Annuity.org. Last modified June 17, 2022. https://www.annuity.org/personal-finance/banking/how-to-fill-out-a-money-order/.

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5 Steps to Filling Out a Money Order

A money order is a secure option to transfer funds or make a large payment since they typically clear quickly. Typically, you can purchase a money order for under $2 from a banking institution, credit union, post office or retail store like Publix or Walmart.

Learning how to fill out a money order can help you manage your personal finances while also ensuring the intended recipient can successfully deposit or cash out the amount listed.

Example Money Order

Keep in mind that the date and dollar amount will be automatically filled out for you when you purchase the money order.

1. Gather All the Necessary Information for the Money Order

Make sure you have all the required information before purchasing your money order. You should also confirm what forms of payment are accepted for your money order as the approved payment types may vary depending on where you purchase. Most places do not accept a credit card, so it is recommended to have cash, a debit card or a check handy, since these are widely accepted.

Required Information for a Money Order
  • Payee’s name
  • Payee’s address
  • Payment amount
  • Payer’s name and address
  • What the payment is for/billing account number
  • Cash, check or debit card to purchase the money order

2. Fill in the Name of the Recipient

Fill in the name of the payee as soon as you get the money order. If the name is not filled out and another person finds your money order, they can fill in their own name and cash it out.

Writing Money Order Step 2

To avoid possible fraud, make sure you write the payee’s name in ink. Write legibly and be sure to spell their name correctly.

3. Fill in Your Address

Below the line of the payee’s name is a section titled “address” or “purchaser’s address” — write your own address on this line. Some checks may leave space to include the address of the payee as well.

Writing Money Order Step 3

If there is space for your address as well as the payee’s, then include both. If there is space for only one address, then only write your own.

4. Fill in the Account or Order Number

In the section titled, “payment for,” “account number” or “memo,” fill out the account or order number. If the payee gave you an account or order number, this is where to put that information. For example, if you are paying for an electric bill, you can write your electric account number.

Writing Money Order Step 4
Tip
This section may require specific information depending on the recipient. For example, you may need to put your Social Security Number on this line if it is being sent to the IRS for tax purposes. Before you submit your money order, be sure to verify with the recipient what information to include.

5. Fill in Your Name

The section where you sign your name is located under the memo or order number line, and it is typically labeled “purchaser’s signature,” “from,” “signer” or “drawer.”

Writing Money Order Step 5

By signing your name in this section, you are agreeing to the terms on the back of the money order. As the purchaser, you are not responsible for signing the back of the check — that is for the payee to sign.

Save Your Money Order Receipt

Save your money order receipt for extra financial protection and assurance. Your money order receipt includes a tracking number, which has multiple purposes.

Reasons to Keep Your Money Order Receipt
  • You can track your order.
  • You can confirm if your money order was cashed by the right payee.
  • You can use the tracking number to get a replacement if your money order got lost or stolen.
  • You can cancel the payment if the money order hasn’t been cashed.

Money Order Frequently Asked Questions

Where do you get a money order?
You can purchase a money order from a bank, credit union, along with most convenience stores, post offices and supermarkets, like Publix or Walmart.
How do you purchase a money order?
Cash, checks or debit cards are acceptable forms of payment for a money order. Credit cards are typically not accepted for a money order. For example, Walmart and the U.S. Postal Service do not accept credit cards for money orders.
How do you cancel a money order?
Since a money order is essentially a prepaid check, you cannot cancel payment on a postal money order once it has been cashed. However, if the money order has been lost or stolen, you can fill out a form to investigate the status. In this case, your money could be replaced.
How much does a money order cost?
Typically, a money order costs under $2. The bigger your money order is, the higher the cost. With the U.S. Postal Service, a money order up to $500 costs $1.45. With some companies, like Amscot, a money order is free.
Please seek the advice of a qualified professional before making financial decisions.
Last Modified: June 17, 2022

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  1. Amscot Corporation. (n.d.). Important Information About Your Money Order. Retrieved from https://www.amscot.com/free-money-orders.aspx
  2. New York University. (n.d.). Check and Money Order Explained. Retrieved from https://www.nyu.edu/students/student-information-and-resources/student-visa-and-immigration/current-students/employment-and-tax/optional-practical-training/check-and-money-order-explained.html
  3. United States Postal Services. (n.d.). Sending Money Orders. Retrieved from https://www.usps.com/shop/money-orders.htm