The process of depositing and receiving a money order obviously takes time so buyers often question how long does a money order take to buy, send, process, replace, and refund so they can plan the transfer of money accordingly.
- You can buy a money order almost instantly from a bank, USPS locations, grocery stores, or a general retailer.
- The time required to mail a money order or refund it depends on the issuer that you choose.
- Most money orders do not expire but may depreciate in value over time.
…and Much More!
How Long Does a Money Order Take to Purchase?
One thing that isn’t going to take long is to buy a money order. You can do so online or in-person by following the typical protocol i.e. meeting the agent on counter, requesting for the order, and paying the cost.
On the other hand, it may take you some time to decide from where you wish to purchase it. Most banks and USPS locations offer money orders as well as certain grocery stores and other general retailers.
- Once you have purchased it, you just need to provide the details and deliver it to the recipient.
Time It Take To Mail a Money Order
The next question is how long will it take for you to send it to the recipient? Well, that actually depends on the shipping service that you use.
- Delivering the money order yourself is the fastest way to get this done.
If you opt for USPS first-class mail, it would deliver the order within 3 business days. In fact, the service will also notify you once the envelope has reached its location.
How Long Does a Money Order Take To Clear?
Typically, money orders clear right away. Once they are cashed, the funds should reach your account immediately or, in case of some banks, within 24 hours.
It is normal for a banks to take a day to deposit a money order especially if you submit it towards the end of the day.
Method To Track The Money Order Easily
Most issuers allow you to track the money order with the help of the receipt but the exact procedure for this should be discussed with the company beforehand.
Certain companies like MoneyGram and Western Union require you to provide the tracking number for this. This number if printed on top of the receipt along with the purchase amount.
- The process of tracking a money order is not very simple without a receipt.
In this scenario, you have to request the issuer to “find” your order and this request comes with additional fee. For example, MoneyGram charges $40 to find your money order’s serial number and track it. It is also time consuming and can take up to 60 days.
Can You Refund a Money Order Quickly?
There are many reasons why you would need to refund it. Mostly, customers do this when they have lost or misplaced the previous one. In addition, if you make a mistake on writing a money order, you may need to cancel it and then refund.
Most issuers allow for a refund within 60 days when you report the previous one is missing. However, the subsequent refund policy and the time it would take process the request would vary from one issuer to the other.
The replacement may take up to 10 days and the refund will be complete within a month. However, you need to consider that few extra days are needed for mailing.
- Western Union
Western Union does not offer replacement but you can get a refund within 30 days if you report that it is stolen or lost.
You can request a replacement at USPS for an incorrect or damaged money order. This process can, however, take up to 2 months. The same is the case for refund that requires almost 60 days to finish.
How Long Does a Money Order Expire After?
Similar to the refund policy, the amount of time after which it expires varies from one company to another. Moreover, in most cases, money orders do not expire but depreciate in value.
- You may also have to pay additional fee if you try to cash or refund the money order after 3 years.
These service fees also vary depending which business you are using. It is ideal to to use it as soon as possible. If it has, however, reached the expiry date, it is best to get in touch with the company in question to see what the representatives say about refund.
The Bottom Line
Redeeming a money order for cash may just need a couple of hours but if you order a replacement, you may have to wait up to 2 months.
- So the time it would take for the process to complete really depends on the route your transfer follows.
Moreover, time for certain activities like refund, replacements, cashing an expired money order, etc. varies depending on the issuer’s terms and policies. It is better to get in touch with the specific representatives to obtain more reliable information.
Frequently Asked Questions
How long will my money order take to arrive at the recipient location?
Considering different hurdles, it may take up to 2 week. This is the longest length of time that you should wait before reporting it as missing and going for a refund. In fact, deliveries on holidays may take longer.
Will I get notified when my money order is cashed?
This depends on whether the issuer you choose offers online services or not. In case of USPS, you can visit the online portal and see if the money has been cashed. For this, you may need to enter the order’s serial number and your office number as well as the issued amount.
Can someone steal a money order and cash it?
Although there are protection laws set against it, there have been many cases of order being stolen and cashed. Moreover, issuers do not take responsibility for such orders and might not offer to refund them. If the thief was somehow able to verify the identity, there is no way to refund the money.
Can you buy multiple money orders at once?
Yes, you are allowed to buy as many as you need in same or different amount. However, the maximum amount of a single money order is $1,000.
Cassidy Horton is freelance finance base research writer and published hundred of articles on money, banking, loan and more. Her work is published authority finance site on Forbes, Money Under30, NerdWallet and many other finance brands. Further she is considered financial expert by MSN, LegalZoom & Consolidated Credit.