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Money Orders and Hosting
Some hosting providers give customers the option of paying for their hosting with money orders as well as more traditional forms of payment such as credit cards and electronic checks, or more modern methods like Paypal or Bitcoin.
Why Money Orders?
Widely used, easy to obtain, and generally considered to be a more secure alternative to checks, money orders are payment documents issued for a pre-specified amount of money.
While paying by credit card or check remain the most popular options for paying hosting fees, they're not your only choices. If you're looking for a way to pay for your website hosting plan that's more secure than a check and doesn't require a major credit card, bank account, or electronic transaction, you may want to consider using a money order.
Similar in many ways to certified checks, money orders have been used since the late 18th century, and continue to be one of the most popular ways to send money. If your hosts accepts money orders, they'll simply provide a mailing address to which you can submit payment.
Benefits of Paying by Money Order
It may seem odd or even ironic in the era of Paypal and Bitcoin to want to pay your web host by sending a money order through the mail, but there are plenty of benefits to this tried-and-true payment method:
- Keep your bank account information secure Paying by personal check exposes your account number to everyone who handles it. This can be especially risky if your payment gets lost in the mail.
- Keep your credit card number secret: Paying via credit card exposes you to the risk of your card number falling into the wrong hands.
- No bank account required: Maybe your bank charges steep fees for certain transactions, or you’re in between banks at the moment. No problem; you can still pay via money order.
- No need to use Paypal: There are those who oppose the payment processing giant for various reasons, or whose local banks just won’t connect with Paypal. Paying via money order allows you to circumvent Paypal while still keeping your account information secure.
Risks of Paying by Money Order
While your host most likely won't charge you additional fees for paying by money order, you may have to pay to purchase the money order itself. Many banks will waive a money order fee for existing customers, but post offices, convenience stores and grocery stores who sell them will charge a modest processing fee. Naturally, you're also on the hook for any postage.
Then there’s the risk, though remote, of your payment getting lost in the mail. Because your money order is prepaid, and not attached to any bank account, your receipt is often the only record you'll have that you submitted your payment until you receive confirmation from your host (confirmation varies from provider to provider), so be sure to hang onto it in case any questions arise later.
When you send your money order, double check the address and be sure to include all your account information and a clear return address on the envelope, so that the office knows which account to apply the payment to and can contact you if they have any questions. If the money order is not marked clearly and the hosting company doesn’t know where it came from, it’s likely that your payment will not be applied to your account in a timely manner.
Finding a Host That Accepts Money Orders
To find out if a web hosting company accepts payment via money order, you can first try checking their website. Usually payment information will be included in a frequently asked questions page, or in their terms of service.
If you can’t find the information on their website, contact the host’s customer service to make sure before you purchase a hosting plan.