A money order is very much like a check except that it is purchased from a separate entity rather than written on your own checking account. It can be purchased from a wide variety of places including retail stores (like Walmart), the post office, banks and credit unions and other similar businesses. A lot of people purchase money orders to pay bills or securely send money to individuals. The money order is purchased for the face value and a small fee. It is made out specifically to the person who is intended to receive it so no one else can cash it. The good thing about a money order is that it is as good as cash; the person receiving it knows that it can't bounce like a normal personal check because it is prepaid. For a variety of reasons, the payee may not cash the money order in a timely manner so it's good to know the expiration rules. Do money orders expire? Depending on the issuer of the money order, there may be a time limit before the money order expires.
Money orders from Amscot do not necessarily expire, but after a certain period of time, they will begin to depreciate. The specific time frames are listed clearly on the back of the check. For specific information, or for questions regarding an Amscot money order, you can contact them directly. Contact information is also listed on the back of the check.
MoneyGram money orders are valid until one year from the purchase date. They don't expire but after that period, you will have to pay a small fee to cash them. The fee varies depending on the state of residence. MoneyGram has a toll-free automated line that can provide information about your MoneyGram money order: 800-542-3590.
TD Bank money orders do not expire.
US Postal Service
Money orders purchased from the US Post Office do not ever expire.
Western Union money orders also do not actually expire right away, but after one to three years, to cash it you will have to pay a small service fee that will be deducted from the value of the money order. After that time period, the money order can no longer be cashed at face value but you can request a refund directly from Western Union.
Any of the issuers of a money order have specific terms that can be verified by directly contacting them. A money order is as good as cash, but if it isn't cashed in a timely manner, you may have to request a refund rather than simply cashing it. If you have a money order that you purchased but never made payable to anyone, the simplest thing to do is make it payable to yourself and cash it.