Can You Buy a Money Order With a Credit Card?

Whether you’re paying rent or paying a bill of any kind, you might need to buy a money order. Usually, you can purchase a money using a money order or your debit card, but we often get asked whether you can buy a money order using a credit card? We will answer this question in much detail below.

Can You Buy a Money Order With a Credit Card?

Yes, you can buy a money order with a credit card. That said, not all places will allow you to do so. In the United States, only 7-Eleven and Western Union allow you to purchase money orders using a credit card. Other places, such as USPS, Walmart, Money Gram, and Walmart will not allow you to buy a money order with a credit card.

Although some places offer you the ability to buy a money order with a credit card, it’s not the smartest option, nor is it the cheapest option and we will explain why below.

If you buy a money order using your credit card, most card issuers, such as Bank of America, American Express, Chase, and Capital One will consider the transaction as a cash advance as opposed to a regular purchase and will, therefore, charge you hefty fees for the purchase.

If you’re unfamiliar with a cash advance, a cash advance is essentially a cash withdrawal from your credit card’s line of credit, which comes with extra fees, including a higher interest rate than regular purchases.

Money order purchases are treated as cash advance transactions because banks consider them as cash equivalent transactions, meaning they’re treated as if you’re withdrawing cash from your credit cards.

Here are some of the fees that are associated with buying a money order using a credit card:

Cash Advance Fee

Most, if not all, card issuers charge a cash advance fee that ranges from 3% to 5% of the transaction amount. Other banks impose an additional minimum fee of $10 per cash advance transaction. For example, if you go to a store to purchase a $1,000 money order, you will be charged $50 by your card issuer for making a cash advance transaction. This cash advance fee does not include the fee that the store selling you the money order will charge for it.

Cash Advance APR

In addition to paying the cash advance fees, most banks and card issuers will charge you a higher APR on cash advances. APR on cash advances usually ranges from 24% to 30%, which is more than the normal APR of 14% to 20% charged for regular non-cash advance purchases.

No Grace Period

Normally, when you use your credit card to make regular purchases you’re not charged interest on the purchases until after your due date. However, if you take out a cash advance, you will likely be charged interest starting from the date you made the transaction. So, unless you really need to use your credit card for a cash advance or money order purchase, you should try to avoid it at all costs as it will cost you a ton of money to do so.

Also, if you have a balance on your credit card from previous transactions, things become trickier when you make your credit card payment. This is so because when you make your minimum payment, the payment almost always goes towards paying down the balance with the lowest interest rate, which means your payment will pay down your regular purchases, leaving the cash advance balance unpaid, meaning you paying more interest on your credit card balance.

Why Do People Use Money Orders?

People often use money orders as an alternative to checks because money orders guarantee the availability of funds to the recipient. This is different from a check, which does not guarantee funds and can bounce when deposited into the recipient’s bank account. As such, many people, businesses, property managers, and landlord preferred to receive payment in the form of a money order instead of a check.

Also, money orders provide protection from theft of banking information. Whenever you pay by check, your account number appears on the lower portion of the check, which can be used by scammers to withdraw additional funds from your bank account. With a money order, you are not sharing any of your banking information with the recipient, which offers a layer of protection from fraudsters and scammers.

Where Can You Buy a Money Order Using Your Credit Card?

In the US, not many places offer you the ability to buy a money order using your credit card. The only two places that we know that offer you the ability to purchase a money order via credit card are 7 Eleven and Western Union.

Other places, such as Walmart, Money Gram, and USPS will not allow you to pay for a money order using a credit card. However, they will allow you to purchase a money order using a debit card. So, if you have a debit card and cash in your checking account, you’re better of using it vs using a credit card for the money order.

If you really need to purchase a money order and only have a credit card to do so, you can try going to an ATM machine and taking out a cash advance on your credit card and taking the cash to pay for the money order.

That said, regardless of whether you purchase your money order directly by using your credit card or indirectly by taking out a cash advance and using the cash to pay for the money order, you will pay a hefty fee for taking out the cash advance and you will be charged a higher APR on the cash advance balance.

Do You Get Rewards for Using Your Credit Card to Purchase a Money Order?

No, since purchasing a money order counts as a cash advance or cash equivalent transaction, you will not earn any points as most card issuers don’t offer rewards points for such transactions. So, if you though you were going to get a ton of points for purchasing money orders, you’re out of luck.

Alternatives to Buying a Money Order Using Your Credit Card

If you’re using your credit card to buy a money order to pay your bills, you will save a lot of money by paying your bill directly with your service provider using your credit card. This is so because when you pay for services using your credit card, the transaction is classified as a regular transaction and not a cash advance transaction, saving you a ton of money.

The same logic applies if you want to pay your rent. Some landlord and property managers offer tenants the ability to pay a 3% to 5% fee to process a one time credit card transaction for a rent payment. This is significantly cheaper than what you would pay if you were to purchase a money order using your credit card to pay your rent, so it should be an alternative that you strongly consider.

Credit Score Planet Frequently Asked Questions

1. Where can you get a money order with a credit card?

In the United States, you can get a money order with a credit card at Western Union and 7 Eleven. If you know of additional places where you can do this, please feel free to leave them in the comments section below.

2. Can I use a credit card to buy a money order at the post office?

No, the United State Postal Service will not allow you to purchase a money order using a credit card. However, they will allow you to buy a money order using your debit card so long as you use your pin number to authenticate the transaction.

3. Can i buy a Western Union money order with a credit card?

Yes, you can buy a Western Union money order using a credit card. But, be aware that your bank will consider the transaction as a cash advance or cash equivalent and they will charge you expensive fees for the transaction.

4. Can I transfer money from my credit card to my bank account?

Yes, most banks will allow you to transfer cash from your credit card to your bank account.

5. Can you pay rent with a credit card?

This depends on your landlord or property manager. Some property managers will charge you a small fee and allow you to pay your rent using a credit while other landlords will not offer you this option. That said, even if your landlord does not offer you the ability to pay your rent using a credit card, you can take out a cash advance or buy a money order using your credit card. However, be aware that this is a costly method of paying your rent because banks will charge you hefty fees for cash advance transactions.