Comments on How are people supposed to cash money orders?" (12 total)  
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Date Written
by trancd822
I just want to say this:

I think the banks are doing the right things by not cashing money orders instantaneously. Banks should explain to the customers that there are a process of getting the money from the money grams, since like a check, it can be forged, and there can be no fund.

There are so many scams out there relating to international money grams, and banks should do all that it can to protect its customers.

Even though you think that it is outrageous that your bank refused to cash your money grams, you should be thanksful that your bank is protecting you by not doing so.

I have been a victim of those Nigerian - Money Order scam and I just wished that my bank has half the common-sense that your bank did to tell me what is going on and give me the right information.

Don't be so quick to be mad. You should be glad that someone is trying to look out for you. That is what I think ...

All bank should tell you to deposit the money gram into your account, wait for the fund, and then you can withdraw the money. The added protection would be so helpful as to prevent people from being scammed by other people. Nigerian and the rest of the world used this lil clitch in our banking system to take advantage of people. IT IS IMPORTANT THAT THE BANK STEP UP AND PROTECT THE CUSTOMERS. YOU SHOULD BE THANKSFUL, NOT MAD.

Like regular checks - there are possibilities of forgery etc ... but most people are not educated about money orders, thinking that the money already there, so what is the problem with cashing it immediately. Well, not all the time ... and that is the truth that need to be known. THE PUBLIC NEED TO KNOW THAT. My bank failed me ... I am glad your bank didn't.
Jun 15, 2009
12:14 pm PDT

Surprise! It was a breeze!
by vickidale
After receiving the International Money Order from Canada, I called a local bank and was told they couldn't cash it. Then I called my local Credit Union and asked again if they would cash it. The man said they probably would (I thought, "Yeh, right") but went anyway. After the woman asked her supervisor, she cashed the money order and didn't even charge a fee! That was too easy!
Feb 13, 2007
7:13 pm PST

International money orders...why not as good as cash?
by vickidale
I'm expecting an international money order this week from Canada for $35.00. I've never received one before but hey, money orders are no big deal, right? I asked my Credit Union where people cash money orders and they said it would probably be hard to find anyone who would cash it and it might take 90 days to clear and would cost a fee of some amount. I went on line to see if I could find out how to cash this thing and found your comments. I sure hate to pay almost half the amount just to get it cashed. But I sure won't accept money orders any longer when I sell something.
Feb 10, 2007
4:51 pm PST

Re: I know EXACTLY what you went through
by mikegn
Yikes. A check in Euros would be really fun to cash. I could see my bank wanting a lot more than $15 in fees to take one of those...

May 29, 2003
12:23 pm PDT

Re: AMEX: Never Leave Home Without it!
by mikegn
Hi Deb,

I've sent you a reply via email.

May 27, 2003
3:09 pm PDT

AMEX: Never Leave Home Without it!
by ruby950
Hi Mike:

I read your note to me on Corpgent's comment page.
I don't even have a check card! I don't even know what it is! This essay is an interesting idea for an essay. I am sorry that you had such a problem. I would hate the $15 fee too, but maybe it is worth it with all of the problems you are having. Sometimes you have to say..Time is Money, hold your nose and pay it!

My best,
May 27, 2003
4:33 am PDT

Re: Re: Re: I agree with...
by mikegn
If they won't touch foreign currency, why would they touch a foreign (denominated) money order? If it were a US$ money order drawn on a foreign bank, that might be different.

From what I understand, my bank normally _wouldn't_ take a foreign money order. My banker spoke not just with the bank manager, but with someone higher-up elsewhere to get the approval to take it.

This reminds me of something I heard years ago. I once spoke with a Chase Manhattan call center rep (Note: I don't personally bank with Chase Manhattan), who claimed that whenever a customer called with a request, the first thing a representative would do is try to locate the customer's record to check the account balance. Apparently, if the customer's account balance was $25,000+, the customer would usually be given what they wanted. Otherwise, they wouldn't. Of course, I don't know if this is really true -- I only heard it from this one individual. Nonetheless, I think it sums up how the banking system so often works: the rules can be and are bent for certain customers. I just wish the rules weren't there in the first place...

I appreciate the rest of your comments. I'm still not happy with the situation. People buy money orders because of their supposed versatility. But from my past experiences, money orders are treated like worthless paper at the vast majority of banks (even post offices...).

May 21, 2003
7:08 am PDT

Re: Re: I agree with...
by Arthur.Rubin
If they won't touch foreign currency, why would they touch a foreign (denominated) money order? If it were a US$ money order drawn on a foreign bank, that might be different.

Just curious.

And ... if your bank is a member bank of the Federal Reserve Bank, and if it were a US money order drawn on a member bank of the Federal Reserve Bank, the funds could clear (I mean really clear, not just your bank giving access to the deposit) the next business day. For a "member" check, it could take two days. For a foreign money order, there would probably have to be an exchange of postal mail with the issuing agency before it would clear. This would exceed the .maximum 10 business day hold that banks are allowed to place on deposits, (yes, even to Canada, at least during the annual postal strike) so the bank would be taking a real risk in addition to the additional paperwork.

Now, my bank will issue Canadian dollar money orders, so they'd probably accept them for a fee. But I also have an American Express office within a mile, so I'd probably deal with it there.
May 21, 2003
6:08 am PDT

Re: I agree with...
by mikegn
It should be noted that some banks would charge $15 to deposit Canadian currency, so money orders aren't that special.

My bank won't even touch foreign currency. I've semi-looked (I haven't called every area bank, though) for banks that will convert foreign currency, but no luck yet.

Currently, when I get back from a trip and have leftover foreign currency, I Fedex it to American Express's foreign currency buyback program. I pay $9 to Fedex 2-day it, I pay a $4 AMEX fee, and I get a fairly bad exchange rate... But it's the best option so far.

In my opinion, the whole issue isn't about forgery. As I said in my previous comment, I would have no reason to forge a money order for a couple hundred dollars. And if the bank applied any risk filters or the like, it would show that.

I think the issue is pure greed. The banks don't think they should have to accept the relatively time-intensive (and I emphasize "relatively") deposits, even from their account holders. I can see the rationale, but it's not great for customers. I feel like I need to have relationships with multiple banks to access the various services that I need on semi-regular occasions.

May 20, 2003
11:54 am PDT

Re: well..
by mikegn
What isn't forgable? Personal checks are forgable, company checks are forgable, payroll checks are forgable, cashiers checks are forgable, travelelers checks are forgable, US currency is forgable, foreign currency is forgable, and even credit cards are forgable. However, in my opinion, if you have competent clerks, they can validate the authenticity of such items. Most forgeries aren't that good.

And why should a bank fear a deposit of a money order? Why would I fake a money order for a couple hundred dollars? I think my banker understood that, but she was apparently bound by "corporate policy". And in the end, they would accept it, but wanted to levy a $15 fee. Why should I pay a large fee (most bank fees are in the low single digits) to deposit something?

What should I tell people that need to send me money orders? "Sorry, I can't deposit money from you"?

It's just crazy...

May 20, 2003
11:43 am PDT

I agree with...
by Arthur.Rubin
the good doctor. Money orders are really not much different than checks. If obtained legitimately, the money has been set aside by the issuing agency, but they can be forged, and stop payment orders can be issued.

In your case, your bank may not even be able to verify the existence of the issuing agency.

If you were closer to the Canadian border, your best bet would probably be to find a bank which is affiliated with a Canadian bank, and have them process the money order through their affiliate. They might have to mail the money order to that affiliate, but it might be processed without an additional fee.

It should be noted that some banks would charge $15 to deposit Canadian currency, so money orders aren't that special.
May 20, 2003
11:35 am PDT

by drdevience
..actually, Money Orders are easily forged. The public thinks they are the safest form of payment, but the money institutions fear them. They've been burned many times with fake ones.

An international MO I can see causing seizures. LOL

May 20, 2003
8:14 am PDT