Places that cash money orders typically include the bank of the person holding the money order and the entity that issued the money order, according to About.com. Other options include convenience stores, grocery stores and check-cashing venues.
Money order issuers such as Western Union and the U.S. Postal Service usually cash the orders they issued, and they do it for lower fees and quicker turnaround times, says About.com. At places such as check-cashing locations and convenience stores, the fees tend to be substantial. They usually include a transaction fee as well as a certain percentage of the money order.
For people who lack bank accounts, opening a bank or credit union account is often worthwhile to avoid those fees, recommends About.com. The accounts might come with maintenance fees, but they tend to be less than money-order fees. The first money order can serve as the originating deposit, and future money orders can be cashed with no charge at the bank or credit union.
Customers who are cashing money orders need legitimate, unexpired identification, explains About.com. Anyone who suspects a money order may be a scam should contact the issuer of the money order to ensure the promised funds are present. Generally, money orders are safe alternatives when paying via check or cash is not possible or is unwise.