Find out if Money Orders have been Cashed or Deposited.
How to Track a Money Order: In the world of financial transactions, money orders serve as a secure and reliable way to make payments, especially when you want to ensure that your payment reaches its intended recipient. However, like any financial transaction, there may come a time when you need to track a money order to confirm if it has been cashed or deposited. In this guide, we will explore how money order tracking works and the steps you can take to determine the status of your money order.
Understanding How to Track a Money Order.
Unlike personal checks, which are directly connected to your bank account, money orders are typically purchased with cash, making them less traceable through standard banking channels. Therefore, if you pay with cash, you won’t see any evidence of the money order clearing in your bank transaction history. To track a money order, you need to follow a specific process:
- United States Postal Service (USPS): The USPS offers an online form for tracking money orders, which comes with a modest fee if the money order is lost or stolen. You can also visit your local post office for assistance.
- MoneyGram: MoneyGram provides an online form for tracking their money orders. Alternatively, you can call their Customer Care Center at 1-800-926-9400 or visit a MoneyGram location near you.
- Western Union: Western Union allows you to track their money orders by calling 1-800-999-9660, filling out an online form, and paying up to $15 in administrative fees.
Making Your Request
After approximately 30 days from the date of purchase, the issuer of the money order typically sends a copy of the endorsed money order, which shows who cashed or deposited it and when. If the money order remains uncashed, you might have the option to cancel it and request a refund. However, the exact process may vary depending on the issuer.
Gather Needed Information
When you buy a money order, be sure to keep the receipt containing the order details. To track the transaction, you’ll need to provide the money order number and the order amount. For most services, you can check the status of the money order on their website by entering the serial number and issued amount. If you used a U.S. post office to purchase the money order, you’ll also need the office number.
Pay Service Fees
Tracking a money order may be time-consuming, and it can be expensive if you believe the money order is lost or stolen. Different issuers have varying fees for researching potentially lost or stolen money orders and issuing refunds, which can range from $6.95 to $15 or more. Additionally, you may need to fill out forms, sometimes in person, and the process may take up to 30 days or longer.
Contact the Recipient
If possible, try to communicate with the person to whom you sent the money order. Sometimes recipients may not process money orders immediately, and it may take some time to deposit the funds once they are received. Getting information directly from the payee may be more convenient than filling out forms.
It’s a good idea to wait at least two weeks after sending a payment before considering canceling a money order. While most letters arrive at their destination within a few days, payments may take longer, especially during holidays and weekends. The recipient may have been busy or out of town when the payment arrived. However, if you have concerns, it’s wise to seek answers promptly.
Specific Issuer Procedures
USPS Money Orders
If you used a USPS money order, visit a post office and fill out a Money Order Inquiry. You can also check the status of the money order online. To complete either form, you’ll need the receipt from your original purchase, which shows the money order number, amount, and details about the post office where you purchased it. USPS charges $6.95 for researching a money order, and the process may take 30 to 60 days.
MoneyGram Money Orders
Tracking a MoneyGram money order is relatively straightforward. Call MoneyGram’s Customer Care Center at 1-800-926-9400 or use their online form. You’ll need to provide your money order number and the exact dollar amount. The system should then provide information on whether the money order has been cashed or not. If you don’t have the transaction number, you can complete a form and visit a MoneyGram location.
Western Union Money Orders
The process for tracking Western Union money orders is similar to that of MoneyGram. Before filling out forms and paying fees, verify whether the money order was cashed by calling 1-800-999-9660.
If you need a copy of the paid money order and you don’t have your receipt, you can fill out and mail in the Money Order Research Request form, paying a $30 administrative fee for the copy. However, it may take six to eight weeks to receive a response, depending on the money order’s status.
Other Money Order Issuers
If your money order was issued by an organization not mentioned above, such as your bank or credit union, tracking is still possible. Smaller institutions may make the process even easier, requiring only a phone call rather than filling out forms.
Tracking and Cashing Money Orders You’ve Received
When you receive a payment by money order, your bank manages the process of processing the payment. You can deposit the money order into your bank account or cash it, much like you would with a regular check. However, it’s crucial to be cautious and verify the legitimacy of the money order before spending the funds.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
1. How do you cash a money order?
Many places that cash checks, such as banks, credit unions, and grocery stores, also cash money orders. You’ll need to endorse the money order, show ID, and may have to pay a fee.
2. How much is a money order?
Money order fees vary by company and the order’s size, but they’re generally less than $2 per $1,000 being sent. For example, in January 2022, USPS charged $1.45 for money orders up to $500 and $1.95 for orders between $500 and $1,000.
3. How long is a money order good for?
Money orders don’t typically have an expiration date, but fees may be imposed if they aren’t cashed within a certain time frame.
In conclusion, tracking a money order is essential to ensure that your payment reaches its intended destination. By following the procedures provided by the issuer, you can obtain valuable information about the status of your money order. It’s always a good practice to retain all receipts and maintain clear communication with the recipient to expedite the process. If you’re ever in doubt about the legitimacy of a money order, it’s best to contact the issuer for further guidance.