Differences between a cashier’s check vs. money order

Canada By Serra Pinto Avimlah September 18, 2023

There are plenty of options to choose from when it comes to sending money, but when making a reliable money transfer, your best bet is to either send a cashier’s check or a money order. Although cashier’s checks and money orders are both used for similar reasons, they differ based on the amount of money sent and how they are issued. Learn about the differences between cashier’s checks vs. money orders and when to use which.

What is a cashier’s check?

A cashier’s check is a check that takes money out of a bank’s funds rather than from a personal bank account. This means that when you are required to give someone a cashier’s check, you will have to pay the bank to get the check instead of withdrawing money from your own funds. Once the bank issues the cashier’s check on your behalf, they will likely withdraw the money from your account. Recipients of cashier’s checks get a sense of assurance because they are guaranteed to receive funds that come directly from a bank.

When would you use a cashier’s check?

Cashier’s checks are a good option to use when making large money transfers. You may even find banks that offer cashier’s checks with no upper limits, although some banks will only go up to $250,000 per check. If you are making a more expensive purchase like a new car or a down payment on a house, a cashier’s check may be the best option.

What is a money order?

A money order is a piece of paper that works like a check. Money order slips are prepaid which means the money is withdrawn immediately, unlike checks where the money is withdrawn once the check is deposited by the recipient. The maximum amount of a money order is typically around $1,000. You can purchase a money order slip at a local bank, a Canada Post location, or a money transfer service like Western Union.

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When would you use a money order?

A money order can be useful in situations where a reliable and guaranteed form of payment is required, which includes rent payments, transactions with unknown parties, and payments that are sent by mail. Money orders are also useful if you are not able to open a bank account or temporarily cannot access it, as they can be purchased with cash. Learn to get started with yours today.

While money orders are generally reliable, they can still be susceptible to fraud if they are altered or counterfeited. Always purchase money orders from reputable sources and keep your receipts and any documentation associated with the transaction for your records.

Why would you use a money order over a cashier’s check?

Cashier’s checks are good for making larger money transfers, but there are several benefits to purchasing a money order. Here are some benefits of using a money order over a cashier’s check:

  • Cheaper fees: Money orders and cashier’s checks both require fees, but money orders tend to cost less. The processing fee for a cashier’s check is around 10-15 dollars, whereas money orders usually cost around one dollar. A money order from a bank may cost around five dollars, which is still less than a processing fee for a cashier’s check.
  • Can be used without a bank account: Most banks that issue cashier’s checks require users to open a bank account, while money orders can be purchased without one.
  • Widely available: Money orders can be purchased in many different retail stores and currency exchanges, making it easy to send and receive them. They are also convenient for mailing out if you need to send money internationally. If you are buying a money order through Western Union, you can find the nearest agent location to you and your recipient to see what your options are.

If you’re looking for more reliable ways to send money, make an online transfer with Western Union. By downloading the Western Union Mobile App, you can make quick money transfers from anywhere and track your transfers in real time so you know that your money has safely arrived at its destination