A money order is a check issued by an organization such as the Postal Service or sold by third parties such as grocery stores, convenience stores, or banks and other financial services companies, to allow individuals to make payments to each other or to pay bills such as utilities and rent.
Money orders are purchased for the amount desired. In this way they are similar to a certified check. The main difference being that money orders are usually limited to under $1000 while certified checks are not. A money order is usually considered safer for payments from unknown parties as opposed to a personal check issued by the payer, since they are generally guaranteed cashable by the receiving party, unlike traditional checks. In recent years, partly for this reason, and partly for convenience, money orders have also been much used as payment for goods bought over the Internet; such transactions more often take place between two private individuals than is the case for non-internet transactions, which are most often between individuals on the one hand and commercial companies on the other.
See also: International money order