Cashier’s Check Vs Money Order

Written By Guest Post
Last updated July 14, 2020

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Personal Finance
July 14, 2020

Simple. Thrifty. Living.

There are many different times when a personal check won’t cut it, such as a deposit on a new rental property or the purchase of a car. Many sellers or landlords will require certified funds. That is where money orders or cashier’s checks come in. But what is the difference between a money order and a cashier’s check? We review the similarities and differences below. 

  • Like a Check

    The main similarity between a cashier check and money order is that both are certified funds. Both are cashed like a personal check, the recipient of the funds will deposit it just like a check. It is also a possibility to cash the payment at a bank and receive cash back in that moment.

  • Seller-preferred

    As mentioned above, both are certified funds, this makes it safer for the recipient. In essence, these types of payments are much less likely to bounce. However when it comes to a money order vs. cashiers check, cashiers checks are considered more legitimate. More on that later.

  • Information is Kept Private

    Money orders and cashier’s checks do not contain your checking account number. This, in turn, makes them safer than personal checks, which put all of your banking information on full display. This may be especially important if the recipient of the order or check is someone you don’t know well or don’t trust.

  • Unable to Cancel Payment

     Regardless if it is a money order or cashier’s check once the recipient cashes the check the funds are in their hands and you will be out of luck. You could try and cancel either the money order or cashier’s check, but the process is difficult and rarely successful.

There are a list of differences between cashier’s checks and money orders. Including, where to get them, their perception of trustworthiness, price, and fund availability. 

Where to Get Them- One of the biggest differences between a cashier’s check and money order is where you get them. Cashier’s checks must be from a bank, typically you would go through your own financial institution. This is done so they can easily verify the funds in your account. It is like withdrawing cash from your checking account, however the money is in the form of a check. Whereas, a money order can be purchased at a post office, certain retail establishments, money transfer businesses, banks, and even supermarkets. So a money order is easier to obtain, however there are more limits listed below.

Perception of Trust- In general, cashier’s checks are considered more trustworthy than a money order. This is because cashier’s checks are guaranteed by a financial institution, a bank. Whereas money orders can be issued from a number of different places, as such it is perceived as less trustworthy. 

Price- Money orders are less costly, typically running you $5. Cashier’s checks are usually $10, however depending on your bank, some will wave the fee. 

Fund Limit- There is a large difference between a money order vs cashier check. Typically, there is no limit to the amount of money you can put on a cashier’s check, whereas most money orders cap out at $,1000. 

When Funds Become Available- Another difference between a cashier’s check vs money order is when the funds are available to the recipient. If using a money order, only the first $200 is available on day one. However the first $5,000 is available on day if you are using a cashier’s check.

So in the end what is the difference between a money order and a cashier’s check? In simple terms, if you have access to a bank account and need a larger sum of money, a cashier’s check is the way to go. On the other hand, money is easier to obtain if you need a small amount of certified funds. Either way, they both serve a purpose when a personal check or online transfer isn’t available.

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