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Are Money Orders the Same as Cashier's Checks?
Answers by John Burnett, BOL Guru
Guru Bio

Question:   How should a customer write a check to the bank if they wish to purchase money orders? Are money orders consider the same as cashier's checks?

Answer: The best source for the answer to your first question is the bank where you'll purchase the money orders. Simply don't make out the check until you're at the bank to make the purchase (you'll have to include the fees for the checks in the total amount).

There are two types of money orders that banks sell. The first, often called a "bank money order," is a money order that the bank makes out completely, and signs. That type of money order is the legal equivalent of a cashier's check or teller's check (a check drawn by a bank payable at or through another bank). It is not subject to stop payments, although it can be replaced after 90 days if lost, stolen or destroyed.

The second type of money order, which is sold more often than the first, is the "personal money order," which is generally issued with only the dollar amount printed or embossed on it, and is signed by the purchaser or remitter. This type of money order is not the legal equivalent of a cashier's check or teller's check (because it's not signed by the bank), and is subject to stop payment if it's lost, stolen or destroyed.

First published on 8/15/11

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