Do Money Order Expire? How Long Can You Keep a Money Order?

Do Money Orders Expire?

Money orders do not have an expiry date but some services deduct a small amount of the value for each month it goes unused after a certain period of time.

Do Money Order Expire? How Long Can You Keep a Money Order?

A money order is a safe way to transfer money when you’re buying something from a stranger. Unlike checks, when you pay using a money order, the other person knows the funds are guaranteed.

Money orders do not expire, but you may be charged a monthly fee after a certain timeframe, so it’s important to know where to cash a money order as soon as you discover you’ve forgotten about it.

In this article, we cover:

What Is a Money Order?

A money order is a certificate, usually issued by a government or banking institution, that allows the stated payee to receive cash on demand. A money order functions much like a check, in that the person who purchased the money order may stop payment.

Money orders are readily accepted and converted to cash and are often used by people without access to a standard checking account.

These instruments are an acceptable form of payment for small debts, both personal and business, and can be purchased for a small service fee from most institutions.

Do Money Orders Expire?

Money orders generally don’t expire, although some services deduct from the value of the money order if it isn’t used by a designated number of months or years.

A bank money order generally doesn’t have this stipulation, but you’ll need to check with the branch issuing the check. TD Bank money orders don’t expire, for instance, and fees aren’t charge if you don’t cash it within a specific timeframe.

The post office is the top issuer of money orders, and their money orders never expire, although you’ll pay a fee of at least $1.25 at the time of issuance. Another popular money order spot is Western Union.

Although Western Union’s money orders don’t expire, a service fee may be deducted from the amount on the order. This service charge, if applicable, is detailed on the back of the money order.

1. Amscot

Money orders don’t expire, but after one year they will begin to lose value (“depreciate.”) Check the depreciation info on the back of your Amscot money order to confirm its specific terms.

Initiating a Money Order claim you’ll need to pick up the money order claim form from your local Amscot Branch. Complete the form and send it in with a $12 processing fee and the original Money Order stub (required).

If the Money Order has been cashed, you will receive a copy of the front and back and if not, a stop payment will be placed and the Money Order reissued to you after the standard 30 to 45 day processing time.

2. MoneyGram

Money orders are valid for one year after purchase. After a year, you can still cash the money order, but you’ll have to pay a service fee. When you cash the money order, the service will be deducted from the face value of the money order.

Specific service fees vary depending on the state where you cash your order but are usually around $1.50 per month, so they’ll add up the longer you wait!

For payers you fill out and submit the Money Order Refund Request Form includes instructions and costs $18 to submit. Use the same form regardless of whether your money order was filled out or not.

If the money order hasn’t been cashed, you can recover a refund. If it has been cashed already, MoneyGram will send you a photocopy of it.

For payees you can request a refund by filling out the Payee Refund Request Form It costs $18 to submit, and if the money order is cashed after MoneyGram refunds you, you’ll be liable to MoneyGram for the value of the money order, too.

You’ll need to know the money order serial number to fill out this form.

3. TD Bank

Money orders don’t expire. However, to check your status you have to visit a TD Bank branch and be sure to bring your receipt proving purchase.

If a money order has been lost or stolen, TD Bank can place a stop payment on it immediately, and after 24 hours, they may be able to issue a replacement.

4. United States Postal Service

Postal money orders don’t expire. If you are requesting a refund/replacement, go to the Post Office and fill out and submit a PS Form 6401 Money Order Inquiry. It costs $5.95 to submit. If the Post Office determines the status of your money order, they’ll issue you a replacement.

You can also request a replacement if the money order is damage, but not lost. You’ll need to visit the Post Office and provide the original money order and receipt.

5. Western Union

Money orders don’t expire, but after one to three years a service fee will apply and be deducted from the value of the money order. Once one to three years have passed, you shouldn’t cash or deposit the money order; it won’t be paid.

Instead, you should request a refund. Service fee applicability and conditions are written on the back of the money order.

If you have the receipt you have to complete and sign the money order tracing-refund request on the back of the money order receipt or complete the Money Order Customer Request form. Submit the form to the address listed on the form, by fax to (720) 864-0477, or by email to [email protected] You must include a $15 processing fee.

If you don’t have the receipt, you ave to print and complete the Money Order Research Request form, have the form notarized.

Submit the form along with any documents proving you’re the purchaser to the address listed on the form, by fax to (720) 864-0477, or by email to [email protected] You must include a $30 processing fee and aren’t guaranteed a refund.

You can also find out more about how money orders work in our full article: How Do Money Orders Work.

Where to Cash Money Order

If you’re wondering what to do with a money order, the best place is your own bank, where you can either deposit it or, depending on the bank’s rules, turn it into cash. This is the place you’re least likely to pay a fee for cashing it unless the issuing service requires that a fee be deducted.

If you need the cash immediately, your best course of action is to head straight to the issuing business. But not every place that issues money orders cashes them. In that case, you’ll have to rely on other locations for cashing out your payment.

Those include grocery stores, convenience shops, and payday loan places. Check the fees before you go, though, since some places can charge 10 percent or more.

Where to Buy a Money Order

You can always buy money orders at the U.S. Post Office, and you might be able to by them at your bank or credit union. Many retail stores, like grocers, also sell money orders.

Money orders are usually most expensive at banks. While grocery store prices can vary, they’re often under $1. The Post Office is also affordable and reliable, with fees between $1 and $2 per money order.

The highest value you can buy a money order for is $1,000, but at some stores (especially grocery stores) the limits are lower.

FAQs

1. How much does it cost for a money order?       

Your Exchange Check Cashing has free money orders for .99 cents each. They come in $1,000.00 increments, and you can get as many as you will need.

2. Where can I cash a money order?         

Your Exchange Check Cashing cashes all types of money orders for 5%, or 2% if it is a money order you purchase from us.

3. How much are money orders?  

Your Exchange Check Cashing sells money orders for .99 cents each. We can print them off for up to

4. What do I do if I lost a money order? 

Make a copy of the stub and mail it in to the money order agency. They will mail you your refund. Make sure to call it in lost or stolen first.

Final Say

Do money orders expire? No, money orders don’t expire exactly. If they’re from the Post Office, they never expire at all. Money orders from Western Union and MoneyGram begin incurring service fees and can’t be cash after a certain period.

But, even after that time period, you can still get your money order refunded (less fees). If you know you won’t be cashing a money order for a long time, it’s best to buy it from the post office.

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