Tools & MorePersonal FinancesCan You Buy a Money Order With a Gift Card? The Workaround

Can You Buy a Money Order With a Gift Card? The Workaround

The Clever Workaround That Lets You Turn Gift Cards into Cold Hard Cash

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You know that burning question everyone has – “Can I actually buy a money order with a gift card?” Well, I’m going to let you in on a little secret workaround.

It’s true that most retailers flat-out reject gift cards as payment for money orders and cash services. To their systems, those plastic cash equivalents look just like a credit ccard. And we all know trying to get a money order on a cash advance is a definite no-go.

Buying Money Orders With Gift Cards

Obtaining Money Orders: The Essentials

  • Cash and debit cards are the primary payment methods for buying money orders.
  • Credit card payments for money orders are no longer accepted by providers like Western Union and 7-Eleven.
  • Personal checks cannot be used to purchase money orders.

Typically, you can only use cash or a debit card to buy a money order. In the past, Western Union and 7-Eleven accepted credit card payments for money orders, but that’s no longer the case. You can’t buy a money order with a personal check, either.

But some chains have cracked the code on this conundrum. Companies like Walmart, CVS, and Walgreens have gotten smart. They’ve programmed their registers to recognize mainstream gift cards – think Visa, Mastercard, etc. – as pin-based debit cards. With a few taps of the keypad, those once-unusable gift cards magically transform into acceptable tender for money orders, money transfers, you name it!

Now, don’t run off to your nearest store just yet. This clever workaround still has some hitches. Policies can vary by location, and you may encounter a cashier who hasn’t gotten the memo. Trust me, after a few frustrated conversations at the customer service counter, you learn to ask first!

But if you play your cards right (pun intended), this little loophole could be the key to unlocking that silly gift card money. Who knows, maybe I’ve opened up some intriguing possibilities for your financial life! Let me know if you need any other inside tips and sign up for our newsletter for more tips moving forward:

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We’ll address common questions like:

  • I want to buy a money order with a gift card – what are the requirements and restrictions when buying money orders with a gift card?
  • What types of gift cards can be used and where are they accepted?
  • What fees may be involved with this type of purchase?
  • Are there any risks or downsides associated with paying for money orders from gift card balances?

By equipping yourself with knowledge around this unique transaction method, you can determine if using gift cards for money orders fits your financial needs and capabilities. Let’s explore the ins and outs of blending these two payment tools.

You can also watch the Youtube Video to get a quick overview

Exploring the Limitations of Using Visa Gift Cards for Money Order Purchases

  • Primary Payment Methods: While cash and debit cards are the preferred methods for purchasing money orders, select retailers like Walmart, CVS, and Walgreens may accept Visa and MasterCard gift cards as debit transactions. This is contingent on the gift cards being pin-based, providing a clever workaround for using gift balances creatively.
  • Retailer Variability: Not all outlets accept gift cards for money orders. Policies vary significantly by location and by the cashier’s awareness. It’s crucial to verify acceptance before attempting a purchase to avoid setbacks.
  • Fees and Limitations: Be prepared for possible transaction fees and purchase limits when using gift cards for money orders. These constraints are determined by the retailer’s guidelines and state regulations, which can influence the overall cost-effectiveness of such transactions.
  • Legal and Compliance Risks: Utilizing gift cards for money orders walks a fine line in legal and compliance terms. Awareness of retailer policies and adherence to state laws ensures that these transactions remain secure and lawful.

Purchasing Money Orders with Gift Cards: A Financial Planner’s Guide

Can I buy a money order with a gift card

Can you buy a money order with a gift card? The short answer is, it’s not straightforward. I’ve seen clients navigate countless financial shortcuts and workarounds.

Purchasing money orders with gift cards falls into a tricky category, so let’s unpack this properly to ensure you understand all the angles.

Start at the Top: Understanding the Basics

What Are Money Orders Explained

First things first, the majority of places where you’ll try to buy a money order—like Western Union, 7-Eleven, and the U.S. Postal Service—won’t let you pay with a gift card.

They typically require cash or a debit card. This standard ensures transactions are straightforward and minimizes the risk of complications related to payment methods.

The primary hurdle is that Visa gift cards are generally not accepted for money order purchases. If you try using one, the transaction might be processed as a cash advance. This means you could face additional fees and higher interest rates, making the transaction costlier than anticipated.

Digging Deeper: Exceptions to the Rule

buying a money orders with gift cards
buying a money orders with gift cards

Now, you might have heard rumors about certain stores like Walmart, CVS, and Walgreens where people have successfully used gift cards to buy money orders.

Yes, in some cases, these stores might process gift cards (particularly those branded by Visa or MasterCard) as pin-based debit transactions.

But here’s the catch: not all branches will play by the same rules. Policies can vary significantly from one location to another, and cashier awareness can also impact whether your transaction succeeds.

Understanding the policies of places where you aim to buy a money order is crucial. Each retailer or financial institution has its own rules about what payment methods are acceptable.

Watch Out: The Potential Pitfalls

3 tips for buying money orders with gift card

Here’s a bit of inside knowledge—using a gift card can sometimes mirror using a credit card in terms of transaction fees. Some gift cards are treated as credit/debit transactions, which might tag on cash advance fees or higher interest rates.

Plus, if your gift card balance doesn’t cover the entire cost of the money order, you’re back to square one. Remember, every financial tool has its limitations, and while gift cards offer convenience, they also come with a fair share of constraints.

What’s the Best Strategy?

From my experience, if you’re considering using a gift card to purchase a money order, the most straightforward advice I can give is: think twice. It’s often more hassle than it’s worth.

  • Top Tip: Always call ahead to confirm accepted payment methods before you attempt to use a Visa gift card for a money order. This simple step can save you both time and unnecessary expenses.
  • Top Alternative: If you’re set on using that gift card, consider buying a reloadable prepaid debit card instead. These are often more flexible when it comes to different types of transactions, including money orders.

In summary, while you might stumble upon a few retailers that accept gift cards for money orders, this method isn’t broadly supported or advisable. It’s generally best to stick with cash or a debit card to ensure a smooth transaction.

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Always remember, knowing your options and the associated risks can make all the difference in managing your finances effectively.

▶ Read this realted article if you are looking for How to Get Cash From a Visa Gift Card. Or, you can read How to Use a Visa Gift Card on Amazon

Can you buy a money order with a gift card

The Million Dollar Question – Where Can I Use a Gift Card for Money Orders?

Let’s cut right to the chase. Most major retailers and financial service providers simply won’t let you buy money orders with gift cards. We’ve already discusseed this earlier – talking chains like Western Union, 7-Eleven, Walmart, MoneyGram, and even the U.S. Postal Service.

Their policies firmly restrict money order purchases to cash or debit card payments only.

But don’t lose hope just yet! Through my research, I’ve discovered a few exceptions to this general rule.

A small handful of stores like Walmart, CVS, and Walgreens may potentially allow you to use gift cards branded as Visa, Mastercard, etc. to purchase money orders.

Now, I need to add a huge caveat here.

This acceptance seems to be very much at the discretion of the specific location and employee. Just because the policy allows it, doesn’t mean the cashier will go along with it. I’ve learned this the hard way through more than a few awkward customer service counter encounters.

There are also some potential complications to watch out for if you do manage to buy a money order with a gift card:

  • The transaction could be coded as a credit/debit advance, incurring extra fees and interest
  • Your gift card balance may not cover the full cost of the money order
  • The store may cap the maximum money order amount you can buy with a gift card

So in summary – yes, it is technically possible to use a gift card for a money order at select retailers like the ones mentioned. But it requires being in the right place, dealing with the right employee, and bracing for potential limitations or added costs.

Not exactly a straight and easy path! But for those determined to squeeze maximum value out of every gift card balance, a little extra effort could go a long way. As always, I’m here if you need any other insider tips on navigating the world of money orders and gift card conversions.

▶ Have multiple gift cards you want to combine? Learn How Can You Combine Visa Gift Cards?

The reason some places allow gift card money order purchases while others don’t revolves around the policies and agreements between issuers and gift card brands. Certain retailers and money order companies have partnerships with specific gift card providers. Others may not have this arrangement in place.

  • Visa gift card: Can be used to buy money orders at select retailers like Walmart, USPS, Western Union. Need to abide by specific branded gift card requirements.
  • Prepaid Debit Cards: Pin-based prepaid cards with Visa/Mastercard logos can also work for buying money orders depending on retailer.
  • Credit Cards: Money order providers typically don’t allow direct credit card purchases. Cash advances carry fees and should be avoided.

The bottom line: pin-based prepaid Visa and Mastercard gift cards like Vanilla Visa gift cards and Netspend have the ability for money order purchases. With a bit of planning, you can successfully get a money orders with gift cards.

▶ Related Reading You May Be Interested In:

Does a Step-by-Step Guide for Buying Money Orders with Gift Cards Does Exist?

Looking to purchase a money order using a gift card? When you seqrch around, you may find it difficult to find a good step by step guide. Let’s end your search here.

Purchasing a money order with gift card funds provides security and convenience benefits but does require some strategic steps.

Here are step-by-step instructions for buying a money order with a gift card at a physical location:

Step 1: Choose an Accepting Retailer

Remember to choose reputable locations and keep personal information secure.

How To Buy a Money Order With a Gift Card A Step-by-Step Guide
How To Buy a Money Order With a Gift Card A Step-by-Step Guide
  1. Choose a location – Select a retailer that allows gift card money order purchases. Buying online with a gift card is not possible.
  2. Call ahead – Contact the location to verify their gift card policy for money orders. This avoids surprises when you arrive.

Why it Matters: Not all retailers or branches have the same gift card policies. Checking ahead saves time and headaches!

Step 2: Have an Eligible Gift Card Ready

Visa/Mastercard branded gift cards generally work best. Prepaid debit cards with PIN and logo also apply; review terms.

  1. Bring identification – Have a valid ID ready as proof of identity. Policies vary, so check requirements beforehand.
  2. Check gift card balance – Confirm you have enough funds on the gift card to cover the money order amount plus any fees.

Why it Matters: Attempting a purchase with a non-accepted gift card brand could cancel the whole transaction.

Step 3: Be Aware of Any Fees

Some retailers charge small processing fees for money orders or gift card usage. Know the amounts ahead when budgeting.

Why it Matters: Hidden costs can be an unpleasant surprise and disrupt your financial plans.

Step 4: Complete Your Purchase

Finally, go to customer service when ready and provide your gift card to finish getting your money order!

  1. Make the purchase – Present your gift card and ID. Fill out the money order with the recipient name and amount.
  2. Keep the receipt – Retain the money order receipt for your records in case you need to track the payment.
  3. Mail the money order – To send the funds, simply pop the money order in the mail to the payee.

Why it Matters: You now have your money order securely purchased with your gift card funds!

Alternative Payment Options for Money Orders

3 Alternatives to using a gift card to buy a money order
Alternative OptionsDescription
CashA universally accepted payment method.
Debit CardsConvenient and widely used.
Personal ChecksAn option for those preferring traditional methods.

Concluding Thoughts: The Inability to Use Gift Cards for Money Order Purchases

Over my many years as a financial advisor, I’ve seen gift cards become an increasingly popular method for handling money matters conveniently and securely. When used strategically, they can serve as helpful financial tools.

This guide has explored key considerations around buying money orders with gift cards – from accepted retailer policies and card limitations to step-by-step processes for smooth transactions. I hope these insights provide both practical guidance and peace of mind when leveraging gift cards as payment.

I encourage readers to continue engaging with this topic by sharing their own stories and signing up for personalized financial planning resources. Successfully blending different banking options calls for community support and ongoing education.

As financial systems continue evolving, will newer payment technologies phase out traditional tools like money orders? Or will convenience solutions like gift cards help strike the optimal balance of innovation and accessibility? I welcome perspectives on bridging old and new for smarter money management. Please share your thoughts!

Michael Ryan
Michael Ryan
Who Am I? I'm Michael Ryan, a retired financial planner turned personal financial coach. And author and found of blog. My advice is backed by decades of hands-on experience in finance and recognition in esteemed publications like US News & World Report, Business Insider, and Yahoo Finance. 'here'. Find answers to your financial questions, from budgeting to investing and retirement planning, on my blog My mission is to democratize financial literacy for all.