How to Check the Status of Your Money Order – When you use a money order, you’ll want to know if your payment was approved and paid by the person to whom it was intended. The possibility to track money orders is high, but it will take some time and money.
How Money Order Tracking Works
Money orders, unlike personal checks, are not directly linked to your personal bank account; you must purchase them with cash as well (though some places will accept a debit card). If you pay in cash, your bank transaction history will show no evidence of a money order clearing. You can, however, monitor money order payments by sending a request to the money order issuer.
How to Track Money Orders
United States Postal Service (USPS)
Submit a form and pay a modest fee.
Call an automated response line (1-800-926-9400) or use an online tracking system.
(More information on each of these choices is given below.)
Typically, the issuer sends a copy of the approved money order (showing who cashed or deposited it and when) or a note that the money order has not yet been cashed after about 30 days. If the money order is still outstanding, you will cancel it and receive a refund. The exact method varies depending on the issuer.
Making Your Request
Gather Needed Information
Anytime you buy a money order, you should get a receipt with the order information. To track the transaction, you will need the money order number and the order amount. Make sure to take a picture of the money order or make a copy of it, so you have the specifics if you need to keep track of it.
Pay Service Fees
Tracking a money order takes time and can be expensive. At $6.15, USPS is the most affordable, but other issuers charge $15 or more for potentially lost or stolen testing payments. 1–3 You may also be required to complete paperwork, often in person, and you will not receive a response (let alone a refund) for 30 days or more.
Contact the Recipient
Contact the person to whom you sent your payment if appropriate. Individuals and businesses are often unable to process orders efficiently, and they take longer to deposit payments received. Obtaining information directly from your payee could be preferable to complete a questionnaire.
It could be worthwhile to wait at least two weeks after submitting payment before giving up and canceling a money order. Most letters arrive within a few days of being sent, but payments seem to be taking longer. During holidays and weekends, it can take much longer. Furthermore, the customer may have been busy or out of town at the time the payment arrived. That being said, if anything seems suspicious, it’s best to get answers as soon as possible.
Tracking Money Orders From the USPS
If you used a USPS money order, you must visit a post office to complete PS Form 6401, Money Orders. 5 To complete this form, you must have a receipt from your original transaction that shows the money order number, amount, and information about the post office from which you ordered.
The USPS actually charges $6.15 for money order research. The process will take at least 30 days, and you will obtain a copy of the front and back of the money order, whether it has been cashed or deposited. With that information, you can figure out where the money went. 1
If you can’t wait that long, there might be some informal “workarounds” that will allow you to determine if the money order has been cashed or deposited. You may, for example, call the post office or use the Money Order query system to see if the item “does not suit.”
However, the information you obtain could not be correct because the device was not configured to do what you were attempting. The only way to be certain is to fill out Form 6401 and wait.
It’s a bit easier to keep track of a MoneyGram money order. Contact the MoneyGram automated answering service at 1-800-542-3590 or use the MoneyGram online tracking system. You must include your money order number as well as the exact dollar amount; the system will then notify you whether or not the item has been cashed. 6. If you do not have a transaction number, you must fill out a form.
If it has been cashed and you need a copy of the approved money order, or if you need to file a claim, fill out the Claim Card, pay $18, and wait at least 30 days for a mailed response.
If you don’t have your money order number, you’ll have to pay an additional fee and fill out another form to get the information you need. You will be able to request these services in person as well, ensuring that the process runs smoothly.
Please visit the MoneyGram Money Order Service page for more detail and links to forms in Spanish and English.
Western Union Process
Western Union’s approach is similar to MoneyGram’s. Check that the money order has been charged by calling 1-800-999-9660 before filling out the forms and paying the fees. 8
If you need a copy of the money order paid and have obtained it, please use the Money Order Tracing/Refund Request form contained on the back of your money order receipt. You can also go to the website of Western Union Track Transfer.
If you want to cancel the money order, don’t email a copy of your request until the receiver has approved it. The treatment costs $18 and can take up to 30 days.
Again, keeping your receipt when purchasing a money order is better. If you do not do so, Western Union will charge you $30 for your money order. 9 Refund requests may be sent by Western Union in person, by mail, by fax, or by email.
Many of the money orders sold in grocery shops, convenience stores, and check cashing establishments are Western Union or MoneyGram money orders. If your money order was issued by a non-covered institution (such as your bank or credit union), there’s a decent chance you’ll be able to find it. It could be even simpler, particularly if you work for a small bank. Rather than filling out paperwork, a simple phone call can be all that is needed.
Tracking and Cashing Money Orders You’ve Received.
If you accept payment by money order, your bank will handle the payment processing logistics. You will deposit the transfer into your bank account in the same manner as you would have deposited a check or money order.
If you suspect that the money order you received was fraudulent, please contact the money order issuer and express your concerns. It could be possible to audit the payment funds or, at the very least, determine if they are deemed fraudulent.
Do not invest the funds until you have received confirmation that they have been cleared.
The clearing process will take several weeks, even though your bank’s funds policy allows you to use the money right away. If you use the funds and the money order turns out to be fraudulent, the bank will demand that you return the funds.
When accepting money orders, you should ideally know who you’re dealing with. Money orders, on the other hand, allow for anonymous transactions, for better or worse. If you need help investigating criminal activity, you may need to contact law enforcement (and they might not be able to help).