Personal Finance

Money orders - LOWEST COST?

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  • Jun 16th, 2019 6:48 pm
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[OP]
Jr. Member
Nov 8, 2017
196 posts
22 upvotes
Somewhere in Ontario

Money orders - LOWEST COST?

What is the lowest cost option for a money order. I'm in the greater Toronto area, and I've reviewed many options: Canada Post charges a very high $7.50, which is an absurdly high cost for a payment document. I phoned several payday loan offices, surprisingly they are a fraction of Canada Post, range I got was $4.50 to $5.99. But even $4.50 seems too high for a simple payment instrument in my judgment.

Are there any outlets that do it at a more affordable $1-2 range? Any advice?
15 replies
Jr. Member
Sep 13, 2016
154 posts
113 upvotes
You can get bank draft from your local bank branch. Sometimes for free depending on your acct type and/or relationship with your bank
Sr. Member
Apr 19, 2017
551 posts
397 upvotes
Have you heard of Transferwise?

https://transferwise.com/ca/borderless/
AirBnB, Carrot, CucuCovers, DROP, Foodora, GreatCanadianRebates, LendingLoop, Mintos, PayMi, PayTM, Ritual, Stack, Swagbucks, Tangerine, TransferWise, Uber, Wealthsimple, Wealthsimple Trade
[OP]
Jr. Member
Nov 8, 2017
196 posts
22 upvotes
Somewhere in Ontario
I've heard of moneygram, not transferwise. But I'm looking for a paper money order, not electronic, the type you get at the post office. But I refuse to pay $7.50 for the service, its just a rip off.
Deal Fanatic
Oct 26, 2008
5724 posts
1384 upvotes
BC
As winnipeger1 said, if the funds are coming out of your account at a bank or other financial institution, in my experience they will do a bank draft for no charge.

But as you are asking about a money order specifically you are presumably funding it with cash over the counter.
Money Orders have always been a chargeable item. The post office clearly charges what they consider their time and materials involved plus a markup.
Anywhere charging less than $4.50 would surely be doing it as a loss leader.
Deal Addict
Dec 16, 2017
2102 posts
825 upvotes
Raincouver
macnut wrote:
Jun 13th, 2019 6:34 pm
Anywhere charging less than $4.50 would surely be doing it as a loss leader.
just because this is in Canada. American Money Order costs at most $1.20 US. Most of the time you pay < $1 each
CAN/USA Cross Border Banking

Netflix? Bill me in Turkish Lira, Watch Me around the world.
Sr. Member
Dec 20, 2018
933 posts
799 upvotes
dekvitaly wrote:
Jun 13th, 2019 9:20 pm
just because this is in Canada. American Money Order costs at most $1.20 US. Most of the time you pay < $1 each
USPS is $1.25+
[OP]
Jr. Member
Nov 8, 2017
196 posts
22 upvotes
Somewhere in Ontario
macnut wrote:
Jun 13th, 2019 6:34 pm
As winnipeger1 said, if the funds are coming out of your account at a bank or other financial institution, in my experience they will do a bank draft for no charge.

But as you are asking about a money order specifically you are presumably funding it with cash over the counter.
Money Orders have always been a chargeable item. The post office clearly charges what they consider their time and materials involved plus a markup.
Anywhere charging less than $4.50 would surely be doing it as a loss leader.
There is no way it costs $4.50 per transaction to fund a piece of paper drawn on a money order account. It might cost them 10 cents between the paper templates they have printed up and the 2 minutes of staff time it takes a clerk to take the cash and write it up... $7.50 is downright absurd.
[OP]
Jr. Member
Nov 8, 2017
196 posts
22 upvotes
Somewhere in Ontario
dekvitaly wrote:
Jun 13th, 2019 9:20 pm
just because this is in Canada. American Money Order costs at most $1.20 US. Most of the time you pay < $1 each
I don't always like comparing to the US, its a different system and you can never compare dollar to dollar. Our currency is as different to the US currency as a Euro or a Yen (people forget this). HOWEVER, this is one item where you can tell there's severe price gouging going on, despite the different currency.

I'd like to find a Canadian outlet that charges no more than $2 for the money order service. I can accept our currency differences, but anything in excess of $2 for this service is a rip off, IMO. There has to be a few shops selling them for cheaper! My investigation continues...
Deal Addict
User avatar
Nov 14, 2003
3010 posts
1427 upvotes
Everywhere
winnipeger1 wrote:
Jun 13th, 2019 5:10 pm
You can get bank draft from your local bank branch. Sometimes for free depending on your acct type and/or relationship with your bank
+1

My bank, cibc, does not charge me for bank drafts.
[OP]
Jr. Member
Nov 8, 2017
196 posts
22 upvotes
Somewhere in Ontario
batcave wrote:
Jun 14th, 2019 3:13 pm
+1

My bank, cibc, does not charge me for bank drafts.
Tangerine charges $10
Sr. Member
Jan 1, 2017
506 posts
339 upvotes
What do you use money orders for? Why not use etransfer?
[OP]
Jr. Member
Nov 8, 2017
196 posts
22 upvotes
Somewhere in Ontario
Why use paper instruments? If I'm being asked why use a paper instrument, I may be an older generation than many of the readers here. LOL

I have used money orders, drafts, cheques, travelers' cheques my entire life for various reasons. For buying and selling items on classifieds/kijiji/craigslist, sending money abroad (often the US, but also Europe), receiving money from abroad. End users get to choose how to convert the cash at a better rate, giving buyers and sellers more control over their transaction. When you send one of these instruments its like using cash (with a layer of protection if it gets lost, so you get your money back), gives the users more control.

At one point in my distant past, many many moons ago, I had financial disputes. I never filed bankruptcy, but I did have some creditors come after me. That included a freeze one tried to put on my bank account, which took some legal hoops to get rid of. But let's just say for several months I used money orders almost exclusively to pay rent, mail off payments for insurance or utilities, etc. It is nice to be able to have an exchange system outside the traditional bank structure, you never know when you need to. Banks are inherently corrupt and legalese can cause headaches at unexpected moments. Even when you have small debts (in that instance a small, disputed sub $1000 debt had went to collections with a judgment, to my dismay and surprise; causing me severe financial headaches). I've learned the value of transacting outside the official bank systems.

When it comes to traveling, most people today think their ATM and credit card is fine. I have had vacations in the past that would have been torture had I not used paper instruments. I went to Europe 20 years ago, lost my wallet with all my cards. I had taken out travelers' cheques and was able to cancel those and get them re-issued. Good luck getting a credit card or ATM card re-issued with a 15 or 30 minute visit to a financial institution in a foreign country. My trip was interrupted, but not destroyed, and thanks to the fact I took travelers cheques and used paper instruments.

People today never consider a replaceable travelers' cheque on a long voyage, what a pity.

To me, using these paper instruments feels like I have more control. And I am of an older generation, so I suppose there is different sentiment. With credit cards the banks control you and own you, they can shut your card down anytime they deem a transaction unsightly in the algorithm of the computer systems they program.

Not to mention, credit card companies and the payment industry adds 2-5% on top of every transaction with plastic. Its the hidden tax no one gets upset about, yet when government raises a tax by 1% its the end of Earth as we know it.
Sr. Member
Jan 1, 2017
506 posts
339 upvotes
Lol these paper instruments are still issued by the banks and run through their clearing system.
[OP]
Jr. Member
Nov 8, 2017
196 posts
22 upvotes
Somewhere in Ontario
ProductGuy wrote:
Jun 16th, 2019 11:56 am
Lol these paper instruments are still issued by the banks and run through their clearing system.
They aren't attached to your social insurance number or your identity in the same way, and not every money order system is processed through the traditional big banks. Western Union is an example. Money orders also are like cash, no holds on your funds, none of the limitations that services like PayPal institute (the $1,000 limit per money order at the post office, for example, is overcome by simply getting a second money order).

If you ever have a dispute with someone and they file a case against you and get a judgment and you get your assets frozen, you'll probably realize better what I'm saying. It is good to have these services and programs available, and I'd hate to see a day where you couldn't transact business with a money order.

But this discussion has become too focused on why would I need a money order, I am still all ears for anyone who has a CHEAPER money order service somewhere in Canada. If there is *any* convenience store or other outlet that offers these things for a cheaper amount, I hope to find it sometime!

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