What is a Money Order?
Money orders are a secure payment method. They are convenient, affordable, and widely accepted. Money orders are a good way to send cash that never expires.
How and where do you get money orders? Head to the Post Office™ and purchase one for a certain amount - it will then be valid as payment. If a money order is lost or stolen, you may be able to have it replaced.
How to Send a Money Order
Money orders can be purchased at any Post Office™ location. You can send up to $1,000 to destinations within the United States. Pay for your money order with cash, debit card, or traveler’s checks. There is a small fee for each money order you send.
Accepting Money Orders
Before accepting a money order, make sure it's real.
- If you suspect fraud, call the U.S. Postal Inspection Service at 1-877-876-2455.
- If you think you’ve been given a fake money order, call the Money Order Verification System at 1-866-459-7822.
How to Spot a Fake Money Order
There are several key things to look for when spotting a counterfeit money order.
Check the Dollar Amounts
- The dollar amount is discolored. It may have been erased, indicating fraud (see 3).
- The dollar amount is not imprinted twice (see 4).
- The value of a domestic money order is larger than $1,000. The maximum value for domestic money orders is $1,000.
- The value for an international money order is larger than $700 (or $500 for El Salvador or Guyana).
Examine the Paper
Hold the money order up to the light. You should see:
- Watermarks of Ben Franklin repeated on the left side, top to bottom (see 1).
- A vertical, multicolored thread with the letters “USPS” that weaves in and out of the paper to the right of the Franklin watermark (see 2).
Replace Lost or Damaged Money Orders
My Money Order Is Lost or Stolen
- We’ll replace a lost or stolen money order. There is a $5.95 processing fee.
- Go to your local Post Office location to complete and submit PS Form 6401 Money Order Inquiry.
- After you submit the form, check the Missing Money Order List for your money order serial number.
- When we’ve determined the status of your money order, we’ll issue you a replacement.
Search the Missing Money Order List