Where Can You Cash a USPS Money Order? Your Guide to Getting Your Funds

If you‘ve received a United States Postal Service (USPS) money order, you may be wondering where and how to cash it. Money orders are a secure alternative to checks and a convenient way to send money, but getting your funds in hand requires a few extra steps compared to depositing a check. In this guide, we‘ll cover everything you need to know about cashing USPS money orders, including a list of places that cash them, how much it costs, and tips for avoiding problems or scams.

What is a USPS Money Order?

A USPS money order is essentially a prepaid check issued by the United States Postal Service. When you purchase a money order, you pay the amount of the money order plus a small fee (usually around $1-$2) upfront. You can then fill out the money order with the name of the recipient and give it to them as payment. The recipient can then take the money order to a post office, bank, or other establishment to cash it or deposit the funds into their account.

Some key features of USPS money orders include:

  • They can be purchased at any post office in amounts up to $1,000. For larger amounts, you can purchase multiple money orders.

  • They are more secure than cash or personal checks because only the person named on the money order can cash it. If a money order is lost or stolen, you can usually get a refund by showing your receipt.

  • International USPS money orders can be sent to recipients in 28 countries. Domestic money orders are only for use within the United States.

  • Money orders are often used by people who don‘t have a checking account, need to send a secure payment, or want an easy way to track that a payment was cashed.

"USPS money orders are a tried and true method of sending money safely within the United States and to select countries abroad," says John Thompson, a financial analyst. "For many people, especially those who are unbanked, money orders are the best way to make important payments."

In 2020, the USPS issued over 87 million money orders with a total value of $22.4 billion. While their use has declined somewhat with the rise of electronic payment services, money orders remain a popular way to send guaranteed funds.

Where Can You Cash a USPS Money Order?

So you‘ve got a USPS money order in hand – now what? Your next step is finding a place to cash it. Luckily, you have quite a few options. Places that cash USPS money orders include:

Post Offices

The most obvious place to cash a USPS money order is at a United States Post Office location. In fact, USPS branches are required to cash money orders that they issue, and they will do it free of charge. However, not all post office locations have enough cash on hand to cash a money order, especially for larger amounts. It‘s best to call ahead to your local post office and ask if they can cash your money order and what requirements they have.


Most banks and credit unions will cash USPS money orders, even if you are not an account holder there. However, many require that you have an account in order to cash the money order for free. If you don‘t have an account, you may have to pay a fee, which can range from a few dollars up to $20 or a percentage of the amount.

Some major banks have specific requirements for cashing USPS money orders:

  • Bank of America – Free for account holders. Non-account holders pay an $8 fee.
  • Chase Bank – Free for account holders. Chase does not cash money orders for non-account holders.
  • Wells Fargo – Free for account holders. Non-account holders pay a $7.50 fee.
  • Citibank – Free for account holders. Non-account holders pay a $7 fee.

It‘s always a good idea to call your bank or check their website for their most current fees and policies on cashing money orders.

Grocery Stores

Some grocery stores will cash USPS money orders as a courtesy to their customers. However, not all locations offer this service, so it‘s important to check with your local store first.

So, does Kroger cash postal money orders? Yes, many Kroger locations do offer money order cashing services. Kroger is one of the largest grocery chains in the United States with over 2,700 locations. While policies can vary by location, most Kroger stores will cash USPS money orders for a fee of around $3-$6. To cash your money order at Kroger, you‘ll need to bring it to the customer service desk along with a valid government-issued photo ID.

Keep in mind that even if your local Kroger does offer money order cashing, they may have cash amount limits and other restrictions. It‘s always best to call ahead to your specific Kroger store and ask about their fees and requirements for cashing USPS money orders.

Other grocery stores that may cash USPS money orders include Publix, Safeway, Albertsons, and Vons. Walmart stores used to cash USPS money orders, but they stopped offering this service in 2018.

Check Cashing Stores

Check cashing stores are another option for cashing USPS money orders, but they tend to charge the highest fees. These stores are designed for people who don‘t have bank accounts and offer payday loans, bill payment, and other financial services in addition to check and money order cashing. Some major check cashing chains include:

  • ACE Cash Express – Fees start at 3% of the money order amount
  • Check ‘n Go – Fees start at 1.99% of the money order amount
  • Money Mart – Fees vary by location, but average around 3%

While check cashing stores are a reliable place to get your USPS money order funds, the high fees mean they should probably be a last resort unless you don‘t have any other options.

How to Cash a USPS Money Order

Cashing a USPS money order is a pretty straightforward process, but there are a few things you‘ll need to do to make sure it goes smoothly:

  1. Keep your money order secure until you are ready to cash it. If you lose a blank money order, anyone who finds it could fill it out and cash it.

  2. Bring the money order and at least one valid photo ID to your chosen cashing location. Acceptable forms of ID are usually a driver‘s license, passport, or military ID.

  3. Sign the back of the money order in front of the cashier. Don‘t sign it ahead of time, as this can make it harder to replace the money order if it gets lost or stolen.

  4. Pay any fees required by the cashing location. Post offices don‘t charge a fee to cash USPS money orders, but banks, grocery stores, and check cashing places usually do.

  5. Get your cash and receipt. The cashier will give you the cash value of the money order and a receipt showing that it was cashed. Keep this receipt until you are sure that the money order has cleared and the funds have been posted to your account.

If you don‘t need the money right away, you also have the option of depositing the USPS money order into your bank account, either at an ATM or through mobile deposit on your phone. Not all banks allow money order deposits via phone, so check with yours for their mobile deposit policies.

It‘s important to cash your USPS money order as soon as possible after you receive it. Money orders are not like checks – they don‘t "expire," but the longer you wait to cash it, the greater the risk of it getting lost or stolen. Most USPS money orders must be cashed within one year of the date issued, or else you‘ll have to go through a more complicated process to request a refund.

USPS Money Order Scams and How to Avoid Them

While USPS money orders are generally very safe, scammers do sometimes try to use fake or altered money orders to steal money from unsuspecting victims. Here are some tips to avoid USPS money order scams:

  • If someone sends you a money order for more than the amount they owe you and asks you to send the extra money back to them, it‘s probably a scam. The original money order will turn out to be fake, and you‘ll lose any money you send back.

  • Don‘t accept a money order as payment from someone you don‘t know, especially if they pressure you to cash it quickly.

  • Verify that the money order is legitimate before cashing it. A real USPS money order will have a special watermark, security thread, and matching serial numbers. If you are unsure, take it to a post office for verification.

  • If you think you may have received a fraudulent USPS money order, contact the U.S. Postal Inspection Service online or call 1-877-876-2455.

In general, only accept USPS money orders from people and businesses you know and trust. If you do get a suspicious money order, err on the side of caution and don‘t cash it.

Alternatives to USPS Money Orders

If you need to send money but don‘t want to use a USPS money order, you have a few other options:

  • Other money transfer services like MoneyGram or Western Union allow you to send cash that the recipient can pick up within minutes. However, their fees tend to be higher than USPS money orders.

  • Peer-to-peer payment apps like PayPal, Venmo, or Zelle let you send money directly to someone else‘s account using their email or phone number. They are convenient and often free, but both parties need to have an account with the service.

  • Wire transfers send money from your bank account directly to someone else‘s account, usually within one business day. Wire transfers often have high fees at both the sending and receiving banks.

  • Cashier‘s checks are like money orders but are issued by banks rather than the post office. They are available in higher amounts but usually cost more, require a bank account, and can take a few days to clear.

Final Thoughts

USPS money orders are a reliable way to send money, but cashing them does require an extra step compared to personal checks. Your best bet for cashing a USPS money order is usually at a post office, your own bank, or a major grocery store chain like Kroger. By understanding the cashing process and watching out for potential scams, you can safely and easily get access to your money order funds. And if you‘re looking to send money, it‘s worth comparing the fees and features of USPS money orders to digital alternatives to find the best option for your needs.