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-   -   Money order / certified check (https://britishexpats.com/forum/usa-57/money-order-certified-check-862929/)

Springy6 Aug 5th 2015 9:34 am

Money order / certified check
 
We've finally found a temporary apartment in the school district but they want the deposit paid by money order or certified check.

I've spoken to my bank this morning who haven't issued these for at least the last 2 years and have also spent a significant time googling. I've found lots of ways to transfer the money into a bank account but not a way to create a tangible piece of paper for them to pay in.

Am I missing something? I have emailed asking if they would do it by wire transfer but won't get able answer until they wake up - just trying to get ahead of the game.

penguinsix Aug 5th 2015 10:03 am

Re: Money order / certified check
 
You can buy a money order at the Post Office. Costs are minimal.

tonrob Aug 5th 2015 10:48 am

Re: Money order / certified check
 
Many supermarkets sell them, and also Walmart. They cost 70c each at my local Walmarts, $1.55 in the post office and supermarkets seem in between. They're normally for a maximum of $1,000 each, but you can buy more then one if you need a higher amount. You'll need either a debit card or cash to pay for them.

Pulaski Aug 5th 2015 12:22 pm

Re: Money order / certified check
 

Originally Posted by Springy6 (Post 11716727)
We've finally found a temporary apartment in the school district but they want the deposit paid by money order or certified check.

I've spoken to my bank this morning who haven't issued these for at least the last 2 years and have also spent a significant time googling. I've found lots of ways to transfer the money into a bank account but not a way to create a tangible piece of paper for them to pay in.

Am I missing something? I have emailed asking if they would do it by wire transfer but won't get able answer until they wake up - just trying to get ahead of the game.

"Certified check" is, generally speaking, synonymous with "official check" and "cashiers check", and sometimes "bank draft". I have never heard of a bank that doesn't issue official or cashiers checks.

FWIW A certified check is where the bank certifies that there is money in your account to clear the check. With an official/ cashiers check, the money is taken from your account and placed in the bank's own account and held to clear the check.

md95065 Aug 5th 2015 1:58 pm

Re: Money order / certified check
 
I don't think that the OP is in the U.S. yet so their problem appears to be how to make a money order or cashiers check from a U.S. bank materialize in the hands of their prospective new landlord while they are still in the UK.

Pulaski Aug 5th 2015 2:34 pm

Re: Money order / certified check
 

Originally Posted by md95065 (Post 11716883)
I don't think that the OP is in the U.S. yet so their problem appears to be how to make a money order or cashiers check from a U.S. bank materialize in the hands of their prospective new landlord while they are still in the UK.

Ah! :lightbulb:

In that case they need to go to their British bank and ask for a "US dollar bank draft". In exchange for equivalent GBP plus a fee they will be given a USD "draft" (check) drawn on a US Bank. The OP will need to have the name of the payee because drafts are issued by the bank with a specific payee printed on the draft, unlike money orders which are sold "blank", for the payee to be added later.

For example if they go to Barclay's Bank they will buy a "draft" where Barclay's is the customer/account holder, and the bank where the account is might be, for example, Citibank.

Springy6 Aug 5th 2015 6:20 pm

Re: Money order / certified check
 
Thanks for all of the above. Md95065, you're right, we are still in the UK where checks are now pretty obsolete.

Pulaski, thanks for this. We currently bank with First Direct, the online arm of HSBC so will go into branch tomorrow once my head has cleared following my leaving do!

smies Feb 26th 2016 3:27 pm

Re: Money order / certified check
 

Originally Posted by Springy6 (Post 11717079)
Thanks for all of the above. Md95065, you're right, we are still in the UK where checks are now pretty obsolete.

Pulaski, thanks for this. We currently bank with First Direct, the online arm of HSBC so will go into branch tomorrow once my head has cleared following my leaving do!

How did you sort this out in the end? I'm in exactly the same situation (also banking with FD).

Springy6 Feb 26th 2016 3:39 pm

Re: Money order / certified check
 
I persuaded the apartment people to let us do a bank transfer instead. Was very quick straight from our bank account to theirs.

Pulaski Feb 26th 2016 3:43 pm

Re: Money order / certified check
 

Originally Posted by Springy6 (Post 11880379)
I persuaded the apartment people to let us do a bank transfer instead. Was very quick straight from our bank account to theirs.

If by that you mean a "wire" you had to pay a fairly hefty fee, likely $25-$35, and the recipient also had a fee deducted, likely at least $15.

markcst Feb 26th 2016 7:14 pm

Re: Money order / certified check
 

Originally Posted by Pulaski (Post 11880386)
If by that you mean a "wire" you had to pay a fairly hefty fee, likely $25-$35, and the recipient also had a fee deducted, likely at least $15.

The sender can pay both, I know it doesn't remove said fees, but it means the receiver gets all the dues.

Pulaski Feb 26th 2016 7:40 pm

Re: Money order / certified check
 

Originally Posted by markcst (Post 11880541)
The sender can pay both, I know it doesn't remove said fees, but it means the receiver gets all the dues.

True, but I don't believe many people realize that the wire will be docked a fee at the other end.

Springy6 Feb 26th 2016 8:32 pm

Re: Money order / certified check
 
They got the exact number of $ they requested - the same number that went from my account so not sure that there was a charge at their end.

Pulaski Feb 26th 2016 8:56 pm

Re: Money order / certified check
 

Originally Posted by Springy6 (Post 11880615)
They got the exact number of $ they requested - the same number that went from my account so not sure that there was a charge at their end.

You still haven't said if it was a wire or some other form of transfer. .... Even if it was a wire not all banks charge a fee, or waive the fee for premium accounts, or for the first x wires/mth.

orchid_in_bloom Feb 27th 2016 3:33 pm

Re: Money order / certified check
 

Originally Posted by Springy6 (Post 11880615)
They got the exact number of $ they requested - the same number that went from my account so not sure that there was a charge at their end.

You may want to check whether the recipient did get the exact amount without any charge just to avoid potential problems.

When we still had our business in the OZ and our client in the US wired us their payment, their US bank charged them fees for the wire, which they paid separately, but when we got the funds, it wasn't the exact amount we were expecting. We had a back and forth communication with our client before we called our bank. Our bank said they didn't charge us any fee but the US bank deducted an additional fee before the amount was transferred.


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