Banks treat money orders as cash equivalents because, under federal banking laws, money orders are next-day availability items and not subject to deposit holds. When you buy a money order, you must buy it with cash or electronic funds, but you typically cannot get a refund if you decide not to use it. However, while few banks and vendors offer actual refunds, you can still get your money back by negotiating the money order at your bank.

Step 1

Write your name on the payee line of the money order if you have not yet completed that line. Turn the money order over and sign your name on the first endorsement line. If you already made the money order payable to someone else, then on the endorsement line you must write "Not used for purpose intended," followed by your signature.

Step 2

Take the money order to your bank. Complete a deposit slip. Write the amount of the money order on the front side of the deposit slip under the "checks" section and write the same figure under the "total deposit" section.

Step 3

Hand your money order and the deposit slip to the teller. Show the teller a form of government-issued identification, such as a driver's license or passport to prove that you bought the money order. Take your receipt. You should have access to the money on the following business day.