Guest post: Deposit money orders by smartphone

Today I'm very pleased to present a guest post on a topic that I think my readers will find as fascinating as I do: depositing money orders using your smartphone, instead of at the counter or using a bank's ATMs. For more like this, check out Doctor of Credit's site here.

List Of Bank Accounts That Allow Deposits Of Money Orders By Smart Phone

by Doctor Of Credit

I asked on Twitter whether I should post a list of bank accounts that allow MO deposits because a lot of people have been asking me for such a list. Originally I was just replying to those e-mails with this information, but FQF suggested that I share it. I asked him if he'd like to host the post and he said yes, so here goes!

We've divided this list into two sections, nationwide banks and local banks. The local bank section also lets you know of any joining requirements. It's important to remember that a lot of these accounts come with fees (most of which are avoidable) so keep that in mind before opening an account. Tip: Leave the receipt attached to your MO to increase the chances of it being accepted. This won't work for all applications, but it should work for most. 

Warnings about MO's & bank accounts:

  • Always keep copies of everything you do and get receipts where possible. This way if something goes wrong you have a paper trail to help rectify the situation.
  • Start small and only do amounts you are comfortable with having frozen, in case of a shut down or dispute.
  • Check that the bank is FDIC insured or has NCUA insurance if it's a credit union.
  • Spread your money orders around different accounts.
  • If you sign up for a new bank account be wary of monthly fees and early account closure fees (most banks charge this if you cancel your account within the first
  • Some banks will do a hard credit pull when you open a new account, all banks will do a ChexSystems inquiry.
  • Too many ChexSystems inquiries in a short time frame can result in a fraud flag or similar being placed on your ChexSystems account. This will make it difficult to get accepted with other banks/lenders that check ChexSystems.
  • It's also a good idea to familiarize yourself with structuring laws to ensure you're not violating them.

Nationwide Banks/Credit Unions


  • Alliant: Very quick to shut down accounts doing any sort of volume. Usually available the same business day, sometimes held for one business day if submitted after 3PM CT.
  • Discover: Funds take two days to post, no known limits although the ToS does state they reserve the right to add these limits in as they like. People often have issues with MoneyGram MO's, Western Union MO's will work fine.


  • Simple: Allows 15 photo deposits per month and a maximum of $3,000 per deposit. First five money orders are limited to $2,000. For the first 30 days there is also a 9 day hold applied to MO's, after that they should post instantly.  Recently started sending e-mails to people asking the source & purpose of the money orders. $200 of the money order is released the following business day and the remainder the business day after that. They also tend to exclude people with too many ChexSystems inquiries (generally if you have more than 4 in the past year you'll be denied by Simple).
  • CitiBank: Maximum of $500 per month for the first six months and then $1,500 per month. Application seems to have a lot of trouble dealing with some MO's.
  • Everbank: Funds should be available immediately, no known limits.
  • Schwab: The limit that applies will depend on your check deposit limit. This is different from individual to individual. You can find this limit by navigating to the "Deposit" screen, it'll be under the "Amount" field. Most people will find they either have a $1,000 or $10,000 limit based upon how much funds they are holding with Schwab. Their app has issues with differentiating between the background of a MO and the actual writing on the MO, which means they can't accept all MO's. MoneyGram MO's seem to struggle, whilst WesternUnion MO's work better.
  • PenFed: Funds are made available immediately, no known limits.
  • USAA: Money posts instantly, no known limit ($12,000/month is the maximum I've seen). The application seems to struggle reconigizing some MO's, for best results use a black background and decent lighting. If you're still having issues you can use their Deposit@Home product.
  • Wells Fargo: Daily limit of $1,000 and 30 day limit of $3,000 for the first 180 days, after 180 days this limit is automatically increased to a daily limit of $2,500 and a monthly limit of $5,000. These restrictions are per account, not per person meaning you could use a savings & checking accounts to double these limits. Funds should be released the following business day. A lot of people seem to have issues doing MO deposits with Wells Fargo, this seems to be largely dependent on where the MO was purchase.

Doesn't work

  • Ally
  • Bank of America: Used to work but this was shut down on February 23rd, 2014
  • Barclay Savings AccountToS specifically states MO's are not allowed with remote deposit.
  • BB&T
  • Bluebird: ToS specifically states no MO's.
  • Capital One 360/ING direct
  • Etrade
  • Fidelity Investments
  • PNC: Some have reported this working, but more reports of it not working.
  • Serve: ToS specifically states no MO's are allowed.
  • SunTrust
  • Vanguard

State Specific Banks/Credit Unions


  • DCU: [Requires membership]
  • LMCU: Ensure the back of the MO is signed, otherwise the app will not recognize it [Must live, work, worship or attend school in Michigan's lower peninsula].
  • Patelco CU [Must live, work, worship or attend school in one of the following California counties: California counties: Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, Napa, Sacramento, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Solano, or Sonoma].
  • Security Service FCU: Funds available immediately [only available in OH, UT & CO. Other requirements apply].

Doesn't Work

Some banks also have the ability to accept MO's via a mobile application but they charge a fee for doing so. These banks usually have a more feature rich offering with less limits and limitations (and better scanning technology) but the fees makes them a non-feasible option for most people, KeyBank & US Bank are two well known issuers that charge for this service.

As always, your own mileage may vary so if you have any other data points please let us know in the comments - I hope you found this post helpful. 

Will blogs over at Doctor of Credit. If you're going to sign up for a new bank account, you might as well sign up for one that gives you a bonus.

Will compiled this list which shows a complete listing of bank account bonuses. It can be filtered by bonus amount, hard/soft pull, credit card funding, direct deposit requirements, monthly fees, early account termination fees and expiration date. Don't forget to follow him on twitter as well

P.S from Will, if you haven't already I'd recommend signing up for a subscription to Free-quent Flyer. He drops a lot of nuggets of wisdom not shared elsewhere and it only costs you a minimum of $2 a month. You can sign up in the side bar.