Can You Buy a Money Order with a Credit Card?

Article Summary:

No, you can’t buy a money order with a credit card. You use to be able to get money orders using a credit card at companies like 7-11 and Western Union, but they no longer accept credit cards as a payment method for a money order. However, you can use your credit card to purchase a cash advance or transfer money to your debit card, which you can use to buy a money order.

A money order is a payment method that you can use in lieu of cash or checks. At one point, you could even use your credit card to purchase a money order, but this is no longer an option. Does this mean credit cards can’t be used at all throughout the process?

In this article, we’ll discuss cash advances, options for transferring money from your credit to your debit, and how you can (kind of) get a money order with a credit card.

Can you buy a money order with a credit card?

Unfortunately, you can’t buy a money order with a credit card. Though both Western Union and 7-Eleven once offered this option, both companies have terminated that option.

However, that doesn’t mean you can’t purchase a money order while using a credit card somewhere in the process. You can do this either by getting a cash advance or sending money from your credit card to your debit card.

Pro Tip

Because the funds are paid 100% upfront, many people choose to use money orders while traveling internationally. Money orders are typically almost as good as cash but much safer to carry around with you.

Paying with a cash advance

Most locations require you to pay cash (or with a debit card) for money orders. This means that you can’t just swipe your credit card at a bank to purchase a money order. If all you have is a credit card, then you’ll need to take a cash advance.

Obviously, getting a cash advance with a credit card company isn’t free. When obtaining a cash advance from your credit card company, you should be aware of a couple of different things.

Cash advance fee

When looking to buy a money order with a cash advance, pay attention to the cash advance fee dictated by your credit card company. This fee is just a simple transaction fee that your credit card charges you for taking out a cash advance, rather than using it to buy a product or service.

In some cases, a cash advance fee can be as high as 5%, meaning the amount on your money order is actually 5% more expensive. If you give a money order to someone for $100, they will receive $100. However, if you use a cash advance to pay for the money order, you must pay $105 for a $100-money order.

Cash advance APR

Credit card companies make money by charging you interest on the debt you borrowed from them. Every credit card company has different interest rates, but most will charge you a higher interest rate for using a cash advance, rather than a typical credit card interest charge (which can get up to 30%).

This means you need to pay off the cash advance as soon as possible. When you purchase products with your credit card, there is typically a grace period before you’re charged interest. Cash advances typically don’t have this grace period, so be prepared to be on the hook for high-interest rates right from the get-go.

Looking for a credit card with a good interest rate for a cash advance? Here are some options for your perusal.

Sending money from your credit card to your debit

If you don’t want to worry about paying the cash advance fee or higher interest charges, you may be better off sending money from your available line of credit to your debit card. You can do this in a couple of different ways.

  1. Take out cash. Using your credit card, you can visit an ATM and withdraw the amount of cash you need to make your purchase. Then deposit that cash into the bank account linked to your debit card.
  2. Direct transfer. This can be done in person, online, or through a third-party provider. You’ll need the details of your credit and debit accounts as well as the amount of money you want to transfer.

Both options are relatively quick and painless. However, depending on your bank, you may still have to pay a small fee to withdraw cash or transfer money between different banks.

Don’t do it if you have cheaper options

Although you can sort of buy a money order with a credit card, the entire process is more circuitous than many of us would like.

Getting a cash advance is one option, but there are several costs attached to this approach. Not only do you pay a transaction fee for this service, but you also need to pay the debt down ASAP. Otherwise, you will be saddled with high-interest debt.

Transferring money to a debit card may be the cheapest and fastest overall option, but it doesn’t eliminate the credit card debt you’ll incur.

What if you have to?

We see two reasons for using a credit card to pay for a money order:

  1. Not enough cash. Maybe you don’t actually have the cash to pay for the money order. If that’s the case, you might be better off not purchasing what you want with a money order.
  2. Credit card company points. These days, points are a big incentive for people to use their credit cards as much as possible. However, the number of points you get compared to the debt you receive might not be worth it in the end and, more to the point, you typically can’t earn rewards points with a cash advance. The longer you take to pay back the credit card cash advances, the more money they make.

If you struggle with streamlining your finances, you may benefit from a financial advisor who can help you with your personal financial situation.


Are money orders different from checks?

Though some think of money orders as checks, there is one fundamental difference. The funds in money orders are always 100% guaranteed because a money order is fully paid upfront, typically with cash.

  • Checks. Think of a check as a promise that there is money in one bank account that will be transferred to another. Unfortunately, promises can be broken. In this case, a broken promise results in a “bounced check.” This means the grantor of the check lacks the necessary funds in their bank account to support the check.
  • Money orders. Unlike a check, you pay for money order purchases upfront. Regardless of who you give the money order to, a bank will recognize the payment if it’s been granted by a reputable financial institution. Because the money has been paid all upfront, the bank can then pay the funds from the money order to the vendor.

Can you buy a Walmart money order with a credit card?

Unfortunately, Walmart only accepts debit cards or cash payments for their money orders. You’ll need to provide either one to get a Walmart money order.

Can you use a credit card to buy a cashier’s check?

No. Though cashier’s checks are similar to money orders, the former are usually for much larger amounts and issued by a bank. Typically, there is also an additional fee for a cashier’s check.

Can you buy a money order with a debit card?

Yes, you can buy a money order almost anywhere with a debit card. Debit cards are considered as good as cash in many places, and most places will accept them.

Can you buy a money order from Western Union (WU) with a credit card?

No, Western Union no longer accepts credit cards to purchase money orders. However, you can use your credit card to get cash through a cash advance, which you can then use to buy a money order.

Can you buy a money order from 7-11 with a credit card?

Unfortunately, 7-11 no longer accepts credit cards for money order purchases. However, you can transfer money from your credit card to a debit card or get a cash advance and pay for the money order with cash.

Can you buy a money order at Kroger with a credit card?

You can get a money order from most Kroger locations, but you cannot use a credit card (at least not directly). You would need to withdraw cash from your credit card with a cash advance or transfer the money to a debit card.

Can you buy a money order at Publix with a credit card?

Publix offers money services at every Publix location (via Western Union) but it does not accept credit cards as a payment method for money orders.

Can you buy a money order at Amscot with a credit card?

Amscot offers free money orders but you still need to provide the face value of the money order and you cannot pay for that with a credit card.

Key Takeaways

  • It is no longer possible to buy money orders with credit cards (Western Union and 7-11 were among the companies that allowed it in the past). However, there are workarounds.
  • Using a credit card for money orders is possible, but it’s much more expensive as you need to use a cash advance or fund transfer.
  • Different credit card companies will have different cash advance fees and cash advance APRs, which will cost much more money than using cash to pay for the money order.
  • Money orders are different than checks because they are prepaid and 100% guaranteed.
  • Although points are nice, if you have the money, avoid using credit cards for money orders.
View Article Sources
  1. Chapter 7000. Procedures for Processing Postal Money Orders — Treasury Financial Manual
  2. Chapter 26—Disposition of Abandoned Money Orders and Traveler’s Checks — Office of the Law Revision Counsel United States Code
  3. What is a Credit Card CVV? And 9 Other Credit Card Questions You’re Too Embarrassed to Ask — SuperMoney
  4. How to Pay Your Mortgage With a Credit Card — SuperMoney
  5. Money Transfer Scams: What Are They and How Can You Protect Yourself? — SuperMoney
  6. Compare Money Transfer Services: 8 Factors to Consider — SuperMoney
  7. Money Transfer Services: Reviews & Comparisons — SuperMoney