Can You Buy a Money Order with a Credit Card?

credit card to purchase a money order

Last Updated on 07/11/2017 by GS Staff

Q:

Can you buy a money order with a credit card?

A:

Some companies do allow you to use a credit card to purchase a money order. However, it is not typically a wise decision to charge a money order because of the way the transaction is processed.

Money order credit card transactions are commonly processed as a cash advance. This means that you will likely pay a higher interest rate from your normal rate. For example, I have a Chase credit card that has a 14.99% annual percentage rate (APR) for purchases. However, it has a 25.99% APR for cash advances. This is quite a huge difference in rates when you calculate potential monthly interest charges. You can review your latest credit card statement to determine the APR for purchases vs. cash advances.

Additionally, you may also to be issued a transaction fee. For example, the Discover it® credit card has a cash advance fee of $10 or 5% of the amount of the transaction (greater of the two fees is charged). You can typically expect between 3 to 5% for most cash advance fees.

Another thing to consider is that the grace period is commonly eliminated when you take a cash advance. On purchase transactions, it is customary to receive a grace period of at least 21 days. If you pay the balance in full during the grace period, you will not accrue interest. This is not the case with cash advance transactions. You start paying the interest immediately and will keep doing so until the cash advance balance is paid off.

Below we have compiled a sampling of some places where you can obtain a money order. The list includes the money order fees and payment methods.

CompanyFeesPayment MethodsCredit Card Transaction Processed as a Cash Advance?
USPS$0.01 to $500 = $1.20

$500 to $1,000 = $1.60
Cash, Debit Card, Traveler's CheckN/A
Western UnionVariesCash, Debit, Credit CardYes
Meijer$0.65Cash, Debit CardN/A
Walmart$0.70Debit Card, CashN/A