Money Order vs. Cashier’s Check: What’s the Difference?

Many people don’t know very much about cashier’s checks or have misunderstandings about them. For example, cashier’s checks are really intended to be used for large payments, not everyday use.

The world of financial instruments and tools is complicated and always changing. Many people don’t know if these options are even useful in the modern economy. Do you know when you should use a cashier’s check or money order?  

Read on to learn everything you need to know about cashier’s checks, money orders, and more!

What Is a Cashier’s Check?

A normal check is written by someone to some other party, and the other party simply has to trust that there is enough money in the writer’s account to cover the payment. As you might have experienced in your own life, it can be stressful not knowing whether a check is going to bounce or not.

Cashier’s checks were invented to solve this problem. To write a cashier’s check, your bank will first check to make sure that there is enough money in your account to cover the transaction. That way the recipient doesn’t have to worry whether or not there is enough money in the account to cover the check amount.

To get a certified cashier’s check, you simply have to ask your bank to make one. Many banks have limits, like requiring that cashier’s checks be for amounts of at least $1,000. There may also be cashier’s check fees, usually between $2 and $20.

Some people wonder, “Do cashier’s checks expire?” In most cases, they do not. On top of that, a bank is usually obligated to accept a cashier’s check, unless they have legitimate suspicions about it.

Sometimes, grocery stores like Walmart will also cash cashier’s checks, though others, like Kroger, will not.

What Is a Money Order?

In contrast to a normal check, you can use a money order without having a bank account at all. Anyone can go into a bank and ask to have a money order made. A money order is like a check because it is made out to a specific person, but you have to pay the bank the amount for the money order on the spot.

At the end of the day, a money order works basically like cash to the recipient. The only difference is, it is safer since only the intended recipient can use the money order.

Money orders often have fees, like cashier’s checks, but they are usually smaller. While cashier’s checks aren’t intended for large transactions, money orders often make sense for either small or large transactions. 

Know When to Use a Cashier’s Check or Money Order

We hope that you learned something helpful about the proper time to use a cashier’s check versus a money order. These Financial tools can be very convenient if you know how to use them.

To learn more about the exact ins and outs of using cashier’s checks, take a look at our other pages!

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