Certified Check Vs Money Order

Certified check vs money order- While certified checks are used for professional use and have no limits, money orders are used for personal purposes and have low limits. 

Confused between Certified Check vs Money order? 

Well, no worries. Because in this post, I will provide an in-depth comparison between Certified Check vs Money order. Moreover, I will also answer some relevant queries. So, stay with me till the end.

Find out Cashier’s Check Vs Money Order

Is a Money Order a Certified Cheque?

certified check vs money order

No, a money order is not a certified cheque. They are completely different forms of payment. 

A certified cheque is a personal cheque that has been guaranteed by the bank. This means that the bank has verified that the funds are available in the drawer’s account and will ensure that the cheque is paid when shown at a branch. 

On the other hand, A money order is a prepaid financial instrument that can be purchased at a variety of places, including banks, post offices, and convenience stores. Money orders are guaranteed by the issuer, which is typically the financial institution that sells them.

Although, banks treat money orders the same way they treat checks. However, Money orders are not the same as certified checks. 

Certified Check vs Money order

Here is an in-detail comparison between Certified Check vs Money order

Comparison FactorCertified Checks Money order
Definition Certified checks are written and signed by an account holder but verified and payment is guaranteed by his/her bank.Money orders are a prepaid form of payment issued by financial institutions or their agents. 
Issued ByBanks and credit unions. Mainly issued by Western Union, MoneyGram, Post offices, and Amscot. However, retail chains can serve as their agents an issue money orders too.  
Fund The fund of a certified check comes directly from a personal or business account. However, the money is on hold by the bank or credit unionPaid in advance. But requires a fee to cash it. 
Special Security Features It’s Like any other check. But it contains a bank stamp and the signature of a bank representative.Watermarks and special tracking numbers.  
SecurityIt’s quite secure. But easy to copy. Not as secure as a cashier’s check.
Availability Most banks and credit unions offer it. But some don’t. Widely available in Money centers, grocery shop chains, gas stations, and post offices.
Acceptance Almost all businesses accept it. Can be used personally too. Not all businesses accept it. Best suited for personal use. 
CostSome banks offer it to their customer for free while some charge $10-$20.It’s quite cheap. Usually, ranges between $0.5-$3. However, the Cost of buying and cashing depends on the store.  
ConvenienceNot convenient as not all banks offer it. More convenient. As they are easy to purchase. 
Requirements A bank account with more funds than the check amount is a must.  Valid ID is a must and recipient details should match his/her ID.
ValidityNot valid after the expiry date.Valid for life. 
LimitThere is no limit. The limit is low. Typically, the highest limit is $1,000.
TrackingCan not be tracked online. Online tracking is possible in most cases. 
Cashing Can be cashed at any bank or credit union. Can be cashed at any supported stores, banks, credit unions, and post offices. 
Cancelation Not easy to cancel. Easy to cancel. Cancelation can be done both online and offline. 
RefundRefunding takes at least 90 days or the check validity period if lost. Refunding a canceled money order can take 30-60 days at max. 
Reliability Reliable and widely used for large payments. Quite reliable for smaller amounts.  

Although, some details might not match depending on your region. However, in most cases, these are the basic differences between certified check vs money order. So, What is better money order or certified check?

Also, check Are certified checks better than money orders

What Is Better Money Order Or Certified Check?

Well, it certainly depends on the purpose of your use. Because both are great at serving their purpose. 

In case, you need to make a large payment and your recipient needs assurance then a certified check is a better option. They are more secure than money orders because they are guaranteed by the bank. However, they can be costly and not every bank issues them. You will also require a bank account. 

On the other hand, if you need to make a small payment to a business or individual who does not accept personal checks then a money order is a good option. Money orders are also a good choice if you do not have a bank account. However, the amount will be limited and not all businesses accept it. 

By now we have found the key differences between certified check vs money order. Now, let’s look at some of the related queries. 


Here are some of the frequently asked questions related to this topic. 

Does a money order count as a certified check?

No, Money orders do not count as certified checks. Although, banks treat them as checks. However, certified checks are different. But money orders are also guaranteed by the issuing financial institution or agent.  

Why use a money order instead of a check?

It’s because money orders never bounce and they are valid for life. On the other hand, money orders do not require a bank account. They are easy to cash and cheap too. 

Is a money order the same as check or cash?

No, Money orders are not the same as cash or checks. They are best suited for sending money by mail or personal payment. 

In Summary

Both certified checks and money orders serve their purpose well. They can be different in terms of many things but they are both more secure than regular checks. So, you can choose any of these according to your needs. 

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