Go Banking Rates notes that the main differences between a money order and a cashier's check are how each is purchased and how much money each can be written for. A money order can be purchased at retail outlets, the post office and check-cashing services for a small fee. The money order is secured by an upfront cash payment. Cashier's checks can only be purchased at a bank.
About.com reports that a cashier's check is secured by the funds in a customer's account. The cashier's check is guaranteed by the bank to be valid. Cashier's checks can be used for large purchases, such as the down payment on a house or car. A money order may have a financial limit, such as $1,000, depending on the issuer.
Anyone with the cash for it can purchase a money order while a cashier's check may only be available from a customer's bank. Someone who does not have a bank account may not be able to purchase a cashier's check. My Bank Tracker notes that some banks may be willing to issue a cashier's check for a non-bank customer if the person has the full amount of the cashier's check available in cash. The bank may also charge a larger fee for issuing the cashier's check than it would for a bank customer.Learn More
There are a number of places where consumers can purchase a money order. The local office of the United States Postal Service is one option. Western Union offices also sell money orders, as do some grocery stores.Full Answer >
Cashing a money order is completed by depositing it in an existing bank account or using the direct issuer to cash the money order, according to My Bank Tracker. The process is similar to cashing a personal check, and valid identification is required. Wikipedia suggests using check cashing stores, convenience stores and grocery stores in the United States as additional options for cashing money orders.Full Answer >
Determining whether or not a money order has been cashed varies depending on where the money order was purchased. USPS and Western Union offer tracking systems, but other locations may require the purchaser to visit the store and fill out a tracking form. Most companies also charge a fee.Full Answer >
A money order is a financial instrument that can be refunded, according to Western Union. Iit can take time to honor the request, so purchasers of money orders should keep a copy of their receipts to ensure that the refund process can be facilitated more quickly and easily.Full Answer >