So, you need to make a quick, secure transaction without a debit or credit card. You could write a personal check — but what if you don’t have checks or don’t want to use one? You need a money order.
Money orders are reliable alternatives to cash or checks. If the nearby post office, bank or credit union is closed, consider a trip to your local CVS to buy a money order. But before you grab your keys, there are a few things you might want to consider. This guide will walk you through everything you need to know about a CVS money order, including how to get one and how much it costs.
What Is a Money Order?
A money order is a form issued by a qualified institution — generally a bank or postal authority — that can be exchanged for cash, similar to a check.
You can use a money order to:
- Pay bills
- Send money to another country
- Send money to someone in a correctional facility
- Make healthcare payments
- Make a large one-time payment, like a security deposit
People often use money orders as alternatives to personal checks. Because money orders don’t contain your banking information and are paid upfront, they’re regarded as a safe way to send money domestically or overseas.
How Does A Money Order Work?
Unlike a check, a money order doesn’t pull money directly from your bank account. You’ll buy the money order with cash or a card, then give it to the recipient — kind of like a gift card.
Money orders can be cashed at a qualified location or deposited into your bank account. There is no fee to cash a money order, but you will be charged a small fee to fill one out.
Money Order vs. Cashier’s Check
Cashier’s checks are similar to money orders in that they are paid upfront and can be exchanged for cash. When debating between a cashier’s check or money order, consider how much money you need to send. Money orders are cheaper than cashier’s checks and don’t require a bank account, but are usually limited to $1,000. Cashier’s checks charge a higher fee and have fewer limitations.
Does CVS Do Money Orders?
There are a few common places to get money orders: post offices, banks, credit unions, check-cashing locations, and pharmacies — including CVS.
CVS has close to 9,700 stores in the U.S. Most of those locations offer money orders through MoneyGram, a provider of money transfers and payment services. CVS can be a convenient location to buy your money order, especially if banks and post offices are closed. If you search for “money orders” on the CVS website, you’ll be routed to the MoneyGram page to get started.
How Much Does a CVS Money Order Cost?
CVS does not currently list the cost of a money order on its website. However, according to third-party sources, the fee is $1.25, with a maximum amount per money order of $500. This is slightly lower than the fee charged by the U.S. Postal Service, which is $2 for orders up to $500 and $2.90 for orders up to $1,000.
Are CVS Money Orders Cash-Only?
While CVS does not explicitly state that its money orders are cash-only on its website, its customer support confirmed that you can’t use a debit card or other form of payment to purchase one.
How Do You Fill Out a CVS Money Order?
Buying a money order at CVS is simple and straightforward. Here’s what you can expect:
- Prepare your money.
- Fill out the money order at your local CVS.
- Sign the money order.
- Keep your receipt until the money order is cashed.
Here’s a walkthrough of all the steps below.
1. Have Your Money Ready
A money order is a product that you purchase from a provider like MoneyGram — it doesn’t pull funds directly from your checking account. Because it’s a product, like a carton of milk, you will need the full amount to purchase a money order, plus the fee. You can pay for your money order with cash only.
Make sure you have the cash on hand or enough money in your bank account before you head to CVS. Don’t forget that there is a fee of $1.25.
2. Fill Out the Money Order Amount and Recipient Information
To keep your money order safe, fill out all the information about the dollar amount and the payee immediately. Use the recipient’s legal name or business name to avoid any confusion when the money order is being cashed.
3. Fill Out the Purchaser’s Address Section
As the purchaser, you will need to fill in your address information. You won’t have to include your bank information, as you’re paying upfront for the money order.
4. Sign the Front of the Money Order
You might be tempted to sign the back of the money order, but that’s where the recipient signs. Sign your name on the front of the money order instead. There is a line that indicates where to sign. Look for the words “Purchaser/Signer for Drawer.”
5. Keep the Receipts for Your Reference
Once the money order is filled out and paid for, you’ll get a receipt. Be sure to hold on to your receipt until you know the payment has been received by the payee. You can use it to prove that you made the payment in case the money order gets lost.
Does CVS Cash Money Orders?
You can’t cash money orders at CVS, but you can cash a money order at a check-cashing store or some grocery stores with proper ID. Depending on the location, you might be charged a fee for cashing a money order. You can also deposit the money order at your bank or credit union.
Other Popular Locations To Buy a Money Order
CVS isn’t the only large-scale retailer that offers money orders. You can also buy a money order at most Walmart locations, with a maximum fee of $1 and a limit of $1,000 per order. Walgreens doesn’t sell money orders, but you can get a money transfer at a Walgreens via Western Union.
Is CVS the Best Place To Get a Money Order?
The next time you need to purchase a money order, consider a visit to a nearby CVS with MoneyGram services. You don’t need to wait until your post office or financial institution opens its doors. CVS with MoneyGram makes it cheap, easy and accessible to send a money order.
Jared Nigro contributed to the reporting for this article.
Information is accurate as of Dec. 4, 2023.
Editorial Note: This content is not provided by any entity covered in this article. Any opinions, analyses, reviews, ratings or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author alone and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any entity named in this article.
Discover the Best Banks of 2024: Unveiling Our Top Picks!
We've compiled a list of the top banks for this year!
Here Are the Pros and Cons of Using Multiple Banks
Many banks are one-stop-shop financial institutions...