How to Cancel a Money Order

If a money order goes missing or is stolen, you need to act quickly to retrieve the funds you used to purchase it. Every money order issuer has policies for cancelling payments and replacing or refunding uncashed money orders.

However, keep in mind that the process typically comes with a fee. Although it may seem like an added expense, it’s worth it to recover your cash.

Step-by-Step Guide for Cancelling a Money Order

Before you start, be aware that you will need to submit some documentation and provide specific information.

This is usually done with a cancellation request form. The details of the cancellation process will depend on your money order issuer. Western Union, the United States Postal Service and MoneyGram are some of the most popular money order providers.

Here are the steps to follow if you need to cancel a lost or stolen money order.

1. Contact the Issuer

If you’re sure that your money order has been lost or stolen, your first step is to contact the issuer. They will explain how the process works and what steps to take next.

If you got a money order from the USPS, the quickest way to a resolution will be to visit the post office at the same location you bought it.

If you have a Western Union money order that you want to cancel, the process depends on how the money was sent. In any case, it will be helpful to the issuer if you can clearly explain any details you have about the original money order.

If you’ve got a money order receipt, then you can provide that information when completing a cancellation form.

2. Complete a Cancellation Form

Generally, the next step is to fill out a cancellation request form, unless you have the option to do this over the phone.

You may need the original receipt to submit a cancellation request right away. This form will ask you for certain details, such as:

  • The date of purchase
  • The value of the money order
  • Where it was purchased
  • The tracking number or any tracking information

The good thing is that all the information you will need should be included on your receipt.

Don’t worry too much if you don’t have the original receipt. You can still submit a cancellation request, it just might take a little more time. You’ll have to provide any details you remember, but the issuer should be able to find your money order in their system.

3. Pay the Cancellation Fee

Unfortunately, cancelling a money order will come with a cancellation fee in most cases. The exact cost will vary depending on the issuer, and whether you can provide the receipt:

  • MoneyGram: $18
  • Western Union: $15 with original receipt, $30 without original receipt
  • USPS Money Order: $6.25

If you purchased a money order with your bank or credit union, the fees could be different.

4. Wait for Your Cancellation Request to Be Processed

While cancelling a money order is pretty simple, the hard part is waiting. Even if your cancellation is successful, you are not likely to get your money back right away. Refunds from a canceled money order can take several days or weeks if you don’t have a receipt and can’t provide details.

However, you can receive a replacement money order once your request is approved. This is because it is cheaper for issuers to simply replace money orders rather than refund them.

Replacement money orders can be sent via mail, or online, depending on the issuer.

How to Track a Money Order

Worried that your money order could be lost or stolen? If you’ve sent or received a money order and are feeling anxious about it, there are ways to track them.

Before you cancel a money order and stop payment, try to track it online if possible.

Western Union

It is possible to track all Western Union money orders online, whether you are the sender or receiver. Simply enter the tracking number assigned to the money order, and you can see where it is within their network.

Walmart & MoneyGram

Tracking MoneyGram money orders purchased at Walmart or elsewhere can also be done online. Visit the MoneyGram website, and enter both the serial number and the dollar amount to track orders online.

USPS Money Order Tracking

Tracking a USPS money order can also be done online. You’ll need to provide a serial number, the number of the issuing post office and the dollar amount to track it on the USPS website.

woman filling out form

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a money order?

A money order is a common form of payment that acts as an alternative to checks or cash.

Money orders can be purchased from a wide range of vendors, including the post office, Walmart and Western Union. You can also get a money order from your bank or credit union.

See also: Where to Get a Money Order

How long does a money order refund take to process?

The refund process for a lost money order can take around one to two months. Once your cancellation request has been submitted, the issuer then has to confirm that it has not been paid. If not, you could opt for either a refund or replacement money order, depending on the issuer.

The time frame will vary depending on how complicated your situation is, how much detail you were able to provide, and how well staffed your issuer is. It’s a good habit to keep your receipts and make a copy of any money order that you send.

This can help make the process easier if you ever have to make a cancellation.

How can you recover a money order that has been cashed?

If your money order has been cashed before you complete the cancellation process, then getting a replacement money order will be harder. The same goes if you hope to get a refund.

In such cases, the only way to get a refund is if you can prove that the money order was cashed fraudulently.

To achieve this, you’ll need to get a copy of the cashed money order, and then report it to your local law enforcement. If the money order was indeed stolen, law enforcement officials may be able to track the fraud and help you recover your money eventually.

How do I make a money order inquiry?

A money order inquiry can be made through most money order issuers online. Visit the website of your provider and look for their inquiry form.

Can you buy a money order with a credit card?

Yes. Credit cards can be used to purchase money orders, but only with certain issuers. You can purchase a money order via credit card with Western Union. However, USPS, and Walmart don’t allow it.

Steven Brennan
Meet the author

Steven Brennan is a freelance writer specializing in finance and cryptocurrency. He has an MA in Literature from Maynooth University in Ireland, and lives in the Pacific Northwest with his wife and young daughter.