A money order offers a reliable alternative to cash, credit or cheques. You can purchase a money order through banks, some retailers and participating Western Union Agent locations, and use them to send gifts, make purchases and even pay bills. Purchase a money order through a bank, some retailers and participating Western Union Agent locations.
Accurately filling out a money order is not complicated, but it does require attention to detail. Need help filling out a money order for the first time? Learn how to fill out a money order correctly by following the step-by-step instructions below.
What do I need to complete an international money order?
A money order is similar to a cheque in terms of the information needed; the major difference is that money orders must be prepaid. Instead of withdrawing funds from your account when the recipient cashes your cheque, the money is withdrawn immediately when you purchase a money order. When you fill out a money order, here’s what you’ll need:
- Name of addressee
- Your address
- Amount of payment in euros
- Cash or debit card to pay for the money order.
Some money transfer service providers may not ask you for the reason behind the payment, but it is a good idea to have the reason for the transfer on hand just in case. There are two types of money orders: you can buy a domestic money order for payments within Spain, or an international money order for payments outside the country.
How to fill out a money order (step-by-step)
When the agent hands you the money order, it will look like this: each important section will be clearly labelled so you know where to fill in the information. Here’s how to fill in the money order:
1. Write the name of the beneficiary
First enter the name of the person or company to whom the money order is addressed to in the field “PAY TO ORDER OF”. Make sure that the spelling and details are correct. Once the money order has been processed, you will not be able to change it.
If the money order is correctly completed, the recipient will be able to cash it immediately upon receipt. If the name is incorrect, delays will occur, which may result in late payments. Be very careful when completing any money order, especially if you are paying the recipient for the first time.
2. Fill in your details in the buyer’s fields
The buyer is you. Whether it says “From”, “Sender”, or “Buyer”, this is where you enter your information. Western Union® money orders require your full name and address, but others may only have a field for your name. Use your full legal name and current mailing address in this section.
3. Sign the front of the money order
Be sure to sign the front of the money order, do not sign the back. The reverse side is for the receiver when he/she collects the money order.
Some money orders leave space for a note specifying the purpose of the payment, although this is not necessary to process the payment, it is useful for your records. If you need to, write a brief note about the reason for the payment. Otherwise, leave it blank.
After reviewing the fields for accuracy, you can send the money order to the recipient as you would a cheque. If you are mailing the money order, consider acquiring tracking information so that it does not get lost in transit.
4. Keep the money order receipt
Your money order will have a detachable receipt for you to keep on file. This is not only your proof of purchase, but also provides transfer tracking information so you can confirm when the money is deposited by the recipient.
If you suspect that the money order has been lost, misplaced or stolen, let the supplier know. You will not be able to do this without the receipt, so keep it in a safe place, at least until the money is deposited by the right person.
Where to get an international money order
Money orders are not available on the Internet. Unlike electronic money transfers, money orders must be purchased in person. Find your nearest Western Union office and one of our agents will be happy to process your money order and help you fill it out correctly.
Where to buy a money order
You can buy with a money order using cash, travellers’ cheques, or your debit card. In fact, one of the main benefits of using money orders over other money transfer options is that you don’t need a bank account to buy one.
Some issuers accept credit cards as a form of payment, but it is likely to be processed as a cash advance, which carries fees and a higher interest rate. Consider waiting until you have all the cash you need on hand before buying a money order to save extra money.
Another thing to bear in mind is that individual money orders are usually limited to amounts below €950. If you need to send more than 950 euros, talk to the agent about your options, including electronic money transfers. Finally, you will have to pay a small processing fee in addition to the amount you send. Your agent will explain the cost when it arrives.
Learn more ways to send money with Western Union besides money orders
If you need help with the transfer process or need a refund, please contact Western Union customer service.
Western Union gives you options. In addition to money orders, you can transfer money in the way that works best for you: online (here), with the app, in person and more. You can learn how to complete a money transfer on our website or contact us anytime if you need help with the steps to complete a money transfer. For more information on using Western Union, please see our frequently asked questions.
Advantages and disadvantages of a money order
Using a postal order as a method of payment has the following characteristics:
Advantages of the money order
- No bank account required – for both the sender and the recipient
- Lower cost than a normal bank transfer
- More secure than sending cash
- Guaranteed amount of money: immediate withdrawal of payment
- Possibility of tracing the money order, and of reimbursement in case of loss or theft.
Disadvantages of money order
- It can take days to send a money order.
- Possibility of sending or paying with fake money orders, although all kinds of digital scams already exist.
- Cost can vary (go up in price) for international money order items
- Purchase of the money order must be in person at one of our physical agents