Is there a way to order and mail a British Postal Order online?
October 10, 2009 1:22 PM   Subscribe

Is there a way to order and mail a British Postal Order online?

So we are going to Glastonbury!

I asked this question a while back and you were all a tremendous help, and I am forever grateful.

Well now it is time to book a B&B in Glastonbury Town for the night before the fest (to beat the 12 hour traffic jams) and they want us to pay with a Postal Order, which I gather is sort of like a money order.

Can I order these online somewhere and have it shipped directly?
Can I use a US money order?

Google isnt telling me much and time really is of the essence on this one.
Can anyone help me iron this out? Thanks!
posted by Senor Cardgage to Travel & Transportation (10 answers total)
You can only buy a postal order over the counter at a post office in the UK.

Presumably these people have email. Perhaps you could ask them if you could pay them via PayPal because you're outside the UK and cannot buy a postal order.
posted by essexjan at 1:56 PM on October 10, 2009

It's quite possible that they won't have Paypal. If you know someone in the UK that you trust, they could do this on your behalf. I'm 99% sure a money order won't work. Could you possibly send them a cheque?

Just to note - our post has been really messed up lately with the ongoing strike action, so anything you send may take extra-long to reach them.

You could possibly pay it directly into their bank account. You'll need the account number, the sort code, and probably the SWIFT number for their account, which they'll probably need to ask the bank for. You might also need their IBAN number, but I think that's just for intra-EU transfer. It might be smart if you ask your bank what details they'll need beforehand. It's quite quick, but the only issue is that they might charge you some unpleasant fees. If you're willing to suck that up, though, it's relatively painless.
posted by Magnakai at 2:27 PM on October 10, 2009

They only need an email address to receive a payment via PayPal, and presumably they have one, which they can then link to their bank account to transfer the payment.
posted by essexjan at 3:19 PM on October 10, 2009

It is possible to send a USPO money order but the charges at the UK end are prohibitive. It is easier to buy GBP from a bureau de change and send it air mail in some sheets of folded paper.
posted by Dr.Pill at 3:26 PM on October 10, 2009

Cash or equivalent only????? Come on, unlike the rest of the UK these people have not progressed past the stone age. I suggest you find another B&B.
posted by randomstriker at 4:29 PM on October 10, 2009

I haven't seen a postal order for 15 years. If they're the kind of people who encourage them as payment, I don't think you'll persuade them to sign up for Paypal for this.

Your bank in the U.S. should be able to do an international transfer. You'll need the recipient's SWIFT and BIC codes, which they can get from the bank. To/from the U.S. typically takes a working week and costs someone about £10 for small < £1000 amounts (you nominate on the transfer form who is liable for the fee, sender or recipient).

Their bank should also accept cheques drawn on U.S. banks. Mine does. It costs to deposit though, so if you get them to find out how much and you cover the cost, maybe that will work. E.g. my bank charges £4 for US cheques under £100, £8 for cheques under £2000.
posted by caek at 5:24 PM on October 10, 2009

caek, they may bank with Nationwide which doesn't support foreign exchange (being a building society). So a cheque would be useless to them.
posted by essexjan at 2:17 AM on October 11, 2009

how about an international money order? It's a while since I've seen one or had to use one, but you could look into that method of payment?

I find it kind of odd that they wouldn't accept payment by a credit card seeing as that is how most B+B etc do their business.
posted by nunoidia at 2:47 AM on October 11, 2009

Forget about international money orders or trying to find a way to send a postal order from the States. Insist on using a reasonable method of international payment. PayPal or Google Checkout are simple, a SWIFT bank transfer should be accepted by any business (if they have a bank account - and I hope they do - they can accept it) and even a Moneygram wire transfer might be doable. If they can't be flexible, find a B&B that is run competently. Bear in mind that Glastonbury isn't the closest place to the festival itself.
posted by turkeyphant at 8:29 AM on October 11, 2009

Bear in mind: Glastonbury is completely backwards when it comes to t'internet.

If I can help out with buying and sending a postal order, I'm happy to. MeFi mail me.
posted by hnnrs at 4:11 PM on October 11, 2009

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