Credit cards, as convenient as they are, tend to fall victim to scams, and personal checks, a slightly more secure analog solution in this digital age, can bounce, leaving retailers and shop keepers suspicious. Money orders, on the other hand, are fast becoming a new trend with millennials who are looking for a secure mode of payment that most sellers would trust. With Chase Bank being the bank of choice for many a millennial (thanks to their friendly rates), more and more people are asking how to fill out a Chase Bank money order.
With the cryptocurrency trend slowly going back into the darkweb from whence it came (and where it’s still the currency of choice), many people are looking for ways to hold their cash without actually having the physical denominations in hand. But first…
What Exactly is a Money Order?
A money order is a type of paper document that’s used for making payments using a guaranteed fund. It’s similar to a check, except that money orders are prepaid, meaning that it already has an intrinsic value assigned to it by the issuing authority.
As a type of guaranteed funds, banks are more than happy to issue money orders because they don’t bounce, unlike personal checks, and they guarantee payment to sellers, making them attractive to retailers and shopkeepers.
Money orders are safer because it’s a direct payment to a bank. When a money order is issued, it contains the name of the payee (that is, the person who ordered it) and the name of the financial institution that issued it (that is, the bank you bought it from). When you present a money order to a shop for payment, it will have your name and the name of the bank where your money is kept, meaning it will be extremely hard for thieves to cash it in without your authorization.
Money orders can be bought from several sources, including, but not limited to:
- Banks and Credit Unions (the most common place to find them)
- Convenience Stores
- United States Post Offices
- Money Transfer Stores
- Payday Loan Offices
- Check Cashing Stores
Once you choose where you’ll get your money order, you’ll need to buy it. This is the ‘guaranteed funds’ that make it attractive to banks and retailers. This is done by going to your bank of choice and transferring funds from your primary account. If you’re buying this from a place other than banks, the retailer will usually require you to pay in cash, use your debit card, or use your credit card’s cash advance option. (Note: cash advances often have additional fees and interest rates, and thus makes it the most expensive way to get a money order. As much as possible, try not to use your credit card when buying money orders).
The bank or retailer will usually give you different options as to the denominations of the money order you’ll be purchasing. Once you choose, they’ll print a document out for you to fill up, usually with some basic information and the all important “Pay to the order of”. We’ll talk more about how to fill up a Chase Bank money order later.
Of course, just because money orders are safe doesn’t mean you shouldn’t keep records: always keep a copy of your money order receipt (and any other supporting documents) should something go wrong (rarely happens, but you never know) and you want to track or cancel your money order.
Money orders usually come with a small fee (more on this later). In some supermarkets and convenience stores, you can expect to pay around a dollar or so per money order. Banks, credit card unions, and other financial institutions usually charge higher, but it’s more direct and more trusted by retailers and shops.
More often than not, money orders usually have a maximum purchase amount: on average, this limit is set at around $1,000 per money order. This makes money orders more suited for smaller purchases. Of course, if you need more than that, you could order multiple money orders (although that will come with multiple fees, as each money order has to be paid for individually).
Why Use Money Orders?
Money orders offer multiple advantages over credit cards, checks, and even straight-up cash. As a cash alternative, money orders are made to be payable to individual persons or entities (shops, retailers, etc.), making it harder to steal. Unlike cash, if a money order gets lost or stolen, it can be cancelled and you’ll even get a replacement (although depending on where you got your money order from, this might come with additional fees).
Because it’s payable to a specific person or store, mailing money orders is safer. Unlike cash, money orders can also be tracked, so you can have proof that your recipient actually received the funds and have converted it into cash or credit. If you lose cash, there’s really no other recourse.
Many millennials refuse to open bank accounts digitally, and while this makes it harder to open a bank account at the bank itself (many millennials are too busy for this), they can go around this difficulty by purchasing money orders for payments.
Money orders can be used to pay for small items like mobile phone bills, utility bills, and even insurance premiums. Of course, over time, the added fees of buying money order after money order might rack up, it’s still an option for those kids who simply do not have the time to go to the bank and open an account (Note: it’s a hassle but, you need to have a bank account, if not for safety then at least for your credit score).
Unlike personal checks, money orders keep your private information, well, private. Personal checks often have a ton of personal information about you printed on it: bank account numbers, phone numbers, even your home address. This makes it sketchy if you’re paying it to someone you might not necessarily trust. Money orders, on the other hand, just have your name and the name of the bank, and nothing else that might compromise your privacy.
Money orders are becoming so popular that many sellers are now requiring payments to be in the form of a money order. This is because a money order is safer than a personal check (which can bounce), can be cashed faster than credit card transactions, and safer than carrying cash at the store. A cashier’s check usually works just as well, but more sellers prefer money orders. Besides, a cashier’s check is more expensive than money orders, so this works out for both payee and recipient.
Because it’s very secure, money orders can be used to send money overseas. It’s safer than sending cash, which can be intercepted and stolen, and money orders can be used to purchase local currencies directly. Chase Bank and USPS money orders are usually the most trusted by other countries, so look into getting your money order from these institutions.
How to Fill Up Your Chase Bank Money Order
You’ll need to go down to your local Chase Bank branch, because online money orders from Chase are not allowed (this is for safety reasons). Next, Chase Bank will have certain steps you need to fulfill before you can receive your money order.
First, you’ll need to have a checking or savings account with them. This account must then have enough money for the money order you’ll be ordering. The bank will get its guaranteed funds from these accounts.
Once Chase Bank confirms that you have enough funds, a teller will print out your money order after you let them know how much of it you need. Then, write your name (or the name of the payee) on the line that says “Pay to the order of”. Congratulations, you’ve just filled out your Chase Bank money order and it is now ready to use!