How Long Are Money Orders Good For? [US Money Orders]

In this article, we’re answering β€œhow long are money orders good for?”

The short answer is that most money orders do not expire. However, there are some important nuances you need to consider, which we’ll discuss below.

And, depending on the company that issues the money order, you may face fees if you leave a money order uncashed for a long period of time.

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Feel free to use the table of contents to jump ahead to the sections most relevant to you.

Table of Contents

  1. How Long Are Money Orders Good For?
  2. Money Orders vs Personal Checks
  3. Will Money Orders Expire?
  4. Frequently Asked Questions
  5. Ready to Explore Your Options?

How Long Are Money Orders Good For?

Money orders continue to be good until they are cashed by the recipient. In fact, while certain companies may charge a carrying fee for uncashed money orders after several years, generally they do not expire. That said, it is best to cash a money order near the time of issue. This ensures that any problems can be swiftly resolved.

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Money Orders vs Personal Checks

The main difference between money orders and personal checks is that a money order is paid for in cash at the time of issue while a personal check draws against a bank account at the time of deposit. In other words, money orders are similar to cash while personal checks are a future debit.

Will Money Orders Expire?

Money orders will not expire, generally. However, companies like MoneyGram and Western Union may charge a carrying cost against the value of the money order if it is not cashed within a specific time frame. In most cases, this time frame is several years from the date that it was first issued.

How Long Is My Money Order Good For?

Your money order is good until you cash it. In other words, the length of time it takes you to cash a money order does not impact the validity of the transfer. However, certain companies (e.g. Money Gram and Western Union) may charge carrying fees on uncashed money orders after several years.

Frequently Asked Questions

Below are three of the most common questions that we receive from people looking into how long are money orders good for. If you have further questions you would like answered, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us directly.

Does a Money Order Have an Expiration Date?

No, a money order does not usually have an expiration date. Instead, they may have dates related to when the issuing company (e.g. MoneyGram or Western Union) will start to charge fees for carrying an uncashed money order. That said, this time frame is usually after several years.

Can I Cash a Money Order From 2 Years Ago?

Yes, you can cash a money order from 2 years ago if it has not yet been cashed. In fact, in general, money orders do not expire. That said, certain companies, may charge fees for carrying the balance of the money order after a certain amount of time, usually several years.

What Happens if a Money Order is Not Cashed?

If a money order is not cashed, a few things can happen. First, the original sender can request a refund of the money order, by presenting the necessary supporting documentation. Second, the money order provider (e.g. MoneyGram or Western Union) may charge fees for carrying the money order without it being cashed.

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