How do I Avoid a Money Order Fee?

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  • Written By: Laura M. Sands
  • Edited By: Heather Bailey
  • Image By: Dvortygirl
  • Last Modified Date: 13 February 2020
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In order to avoid a money order fee, first check with your bank or credit union. Many financial institutions offer these instruments at no additional cost to account holders. If your bank charges a money order fee, however, search for a local merchant that does not charge a fee. Also, look for a reputable online merchant, as some will offer a free electronic money order for first time users or for small money order amounts. You can also avoid paying a fee for a money order by selecting an alternate payment form if the recipient will agree to this.

Banks and credit unions will often waive a money order fee for their customers to help increase customer satisfaction. Call or visit your bank or credit union to find out if this service is offered. If it isn’t, call a few other financial institutions in your area and, if you need money orders often, consider opening an account with an institution that will help you avoid a money order fee by providing them to you free of charge.


Grocers and businesses that cash payroll checks, as well as third-party businesses that accept bill payments, may also help you avoid paying a money order fee. Many of these businesses do not charge a money order fee for amounts up to a particular amount. Often, even those that eventually will charge fees do not do so when they first open for business. In an effort to attract new customers, businesses like these offer grand opening specials in which they advertise free money orders for a limited time.

Online businesses may help you avoid a money order fee, too. By ordering an electronic money order, you may obtain one for free from some merchants. Check your local laws and banking centers, however, to find out if electronic money orders are negotiable and properly regulated in your country and state. It is also important to check the laws in the jurisdiction where the money order will be sent. This is particularly important to do when purchasing an international money order.

You may also avoid a money order fee by choosing an alternative but acceptable form of payment. If the recipient will allow, consider paying by cashier’s check, bank check or debit card instead. Contact your bank or, if you do not have one, inquire about opening one through a local or online banking institution.



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