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The difference between a cashier's check and a money order

Learn the differences between cashier's checks and money order
Learn the differences between cashier's checks and money order
Photo provided by dvortygirl via Flickr

When compared to personal checks, cashier's checks and money orders are more widely accepted payment forms when sending money. Though the two payment structures share many similarities, they do have distinct differences.

A cashier's check is sometimes called a certified check as it is certified by a bank. A money order is always called a money order. However, in this article, we will also call it a letter of credit. With that, here are some characteristics of certified checks and letters of credit that separate them from each other.


When compared in pricing, a cashier's check cost more to attain. Some banks may charge up to $10. Also, this style of payment can only be purchased from a bank.

A money order (currently) can cost you less than a dollar to be issued at many different places. It can be purchased at a bank, but may be cheaper to purchase at a convenience store or gas station. It can also be purchased at U.S. Postal Service offices, money transfer or check cashing services, and grocery stores.


A cashier's check is guaranteed by a bank. The funds come from the bank, has the bank's address, and the banker will sign the check and address it to the chosen party.

A letter of credit is guaranteed by the cash you give to have it formulated. It is addressed by you and includes your return address, name, and signature.

Stop Payment

A stop payment cannot be placed on a bank certified check. This is a good reason why many exceptional money situations will require you to bring in a certified check versus other payment forms.

Cash Total

Cashier's checks can be purchased at higher dollar amounts when compared to money orders. Money orders can only be purchased at $1,000 or lower, but you can always buy more than one if needed.

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