Getting carded at Walmart

I’ll be on vacation until January 6th.  Until then, I’ll publish a series of “mini posts” with an occasional regular post if something interesting comes up.  I may or may not answer blog comments or emails during this time.  Thanks for understanding! 

I haven’t been to a Walmart lately, but readers have been commenting, tweeting, emailing, and texting with news about Walmart’s latest policy.  Apparently, if you try to load more than $500 to your Bluebird card, they now require your Driver’s License, Address, SSN, and more.  What follows are miscellaneous tidbits of info gathered from these reports.  Please comment below if you can confirm or deny any of this:

  • $500 Bluebird loads are fine and do not require extra info.
  • You can load up to $1K to your Bluebird card without issue if you load $500 or less at a time, in separate transactions.
  • Bluebird (and GoBank) loads at automated Kiosks are not working at all even when the machines appear to be functioning.
  • Some Walmart stores are no longer allowing loads at regular checkout lanes, but instead require customers to go to the customer service desk.
  • Walmart Bill Pay transactions over $500 are also subjected to rigorous information demands.
  • I have yet to hear any reports about Money Order purchases.  Anyone?

While there may not be any harm in giving Walmart all of that information, I’m sure that most people will want to avoid it.  So, while this new policy doesn’t kill the point-earning opportunities available at Walmart, it does make things a bit more difficult.

About Greg The Frequent Miler

Greg is the owner, founder, and primary author of the Frequent Miler. He earns millions of points and miles each year, mostly without flying, and dedicates this blog to teaching others how to do the same.

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  1. My local Walmart just started to require a copy of my credit card bill for them to take the account number and name directly from when using the BillPay. Previously, I just brought in a piece of paper with the account number on it.

  2. No issue loading $500 to BB in single debit transaction at register today. Also went to customer service desk and got $490 MO without issue. The scrutiny must come with larger transactions

  3. Loaded $200 at register without issue last week. Kiosks at the 4 closest WalMart stores tome have been consistantly out of service for past few months.

  4. Unloaded 4 200$ visas today. New policy at my 2 local walmarts in PA, When loading over 400$ you have to go to customer service. When I asked why, they said they were having problems with machines getting stuck. Kiosks have been consistently down for the last 2 weeks, usually operating without a hitch.

  5. Kiosks in my area are frequently out of order too. But one has been working the last 2 times I tried, including yesterday. Had no issues loading 2 x $500 prepaid Visas in 2 transactions.

  6. My experience with Bluebird here on the West Coast: Previously I’ve loaded hundreds of gift cards to BB without incident. Then one day about 6 weeks ago when I tried to do a load the cashier specifically asked to see the card, and on confirming it was a gift card she said they *just* had a staff meeting and were told to no longer load GCs without first taking copies of the GC, the customer’s BB card, and the customer’s ID. She also said something about it being a fraud prevention measure but I didn’t ask for elaboration. So while I did not get turned away per se, I would’ve had to allow copies of my personal financial information to be copied in order to proceed. I was only intending to load one $200 GC, but the amount never even came up. I walked away because (1) I was vaguely concerned about some flag being raised on my BB account and (2) more importantly, I am entirely uncomfortable allowing my personal financial info to float around in some Walmart back room. It’s one thing to swipe my card on a machine that (hopefully) encrypts info, but another thing to have physical copies of my personal financial information floating around unsecured in an environment full of low-wage and mostly inept Walmart workers (no offense).

    • Not sure what you’re inferring…that a wally employee making $9/hr, or < $400 per week, pre-tax, would be incentivized to scam someone who comes in regularly and loads more than their paycheck, multiple times a month?? Nahh, would never happen.

  7. I was able to load one $500 Vanilla Visa GC at the kiosk today. I did this about 5 hours ago.

    I will mention that my Kiosk has been very hit or miss lately. Even when it is working, it sometimes denies loading of BB. It will let me swipe my BB but the machine will error out before swiping my GC. Then it will give me a message of going to the customer service desk. This has been going on for the last couple of months.

  8. I was able to load 3 $200 gift cards at a Walmart kiosk this morning. I was actually surprised, because the kiosks are out of order 90% of the time in the area I live (San Diego).

  9. Would someone please explain the deal with Walmart and gift cards etc. What exactly does ‘loading a card’ mean and what are you trying to gain by this transaction?

    • People buy Visa/Mastercard gift cards in order to earn credit card rewards. In some cases you can earn up to 5 points per dollar when buying gift cards (which can more than make up for the gift card fee if you buy large denominations). Then, at Walmart, you can unload the gift cards by using them as debit cards to load Bluebird, buy Money Orders, or pay bills.

  10. I tried loading 2x$500 gc at walmart. First time, it worked. I went to load another $500 gc at a different cashier, and it did not work. Said that the debit transaction could not process after putting in the pin. Tried this at several cashiers and did not work again. Have not gone back to try it out again at a kiosk.

  11. Just loaded 2 $500 GC onto my BB and 2 $200 GC onto my Gobank card at the Walmart kiosk tonight with no issue. I’m lucky that my kiosk is working most of the time.

  12. Tried using a vanilla visa to get a money order at Wally world. This is the first time trying it this year and I got a code 51 even though I had money on the card. Did WalMart change something?

  13. Many reports here are useless. Do people read? 3x $200 or 2x $500 “individually” are not subject to scrutiny.

    Anyway, keep killing deals & methods! Good going FT, FW and blogs.

  14. Walmart is notoriously bad about following rules. What happens at one store won’t necessarily be the same at another. As far as money orders go, MoneyGram is not allowed to punish Walmart in anyway for not following the rules when it comes to issuing and paying out MOs, they are only allowed to ask for additional training.(I know this from first hand experience) This means that fraud and and all other rule breaking is rampant. The law requires that money orders for $1000 or more require additional information, the employees that sell MOs are also supposed to ask certain questions and refuse service in certain situations. So my advice is go to a different Walmart. They all make up their own rules and disregard federal laws and company policy. It goes the same for those who coupon as well.

  15. The single WM/Kiosk in my area has locked up the last four times I have used it. Each time I attempt to load a $200 Visa GC from OM. I proceed to the screen of how much to load and after entering $200, about 5 secs later I get message that the transaction is denied and I need to go to MC/service desk to complete this transaction.

    Hitting OK does not get rid of message. Hitting store logon button display’s a virtual keypad (which of course I cant use),so I hit ‘back’ and am back to the error message. Hitting the ‘help’ button I am asked if I want someone to come help me.
    I hit the back button, and am returned to the denied message.

    One of the four attempts did return me to the origional screen and I hit the moneycard button instead of the BB button. The end result was the same…transaction denied. The last time this kiosk worked for me was about Nov 20th.

    Any thoughts anyone?????

    • No problems in PA buying $2500 in MO on MVD yesterday. No ID required. Might have helped that it was Friday (payday) and the line was 20+ ppl long and they just wanted to keep it moving.

  16. I was not able to load $500 One Vanilla card onto my gobank card, then I switched to BB card and was able to be load 2 of them on Kiosk.

  17. Any attempt to pay a credit card bill over $500 with my Suntrust Delta Debit card results in a laughable amount of scrutiny. They need my driver’s license, SS#, occupation (?), address, telephone no. There is ALWAYS some problem. To pay one credit card takes about 20 minutes, no kidding. People behind me in line want to kill me. I used to try to pay more than one bill at a time, but have limited it to one now because it takes so long and I feel guilty about the line behind me.

  18. Chris K: The kiosk was working at the Walmart in Serra Mesa yesterday. That is unusual, as it is almost always out of order when I visit there.

  19. wow…SSN, DL(for Birthdate), not much else and the every day WallyMart employee can steal your whole identity.

    That is if they don’t get it stolen wholesale like Target. Pretty sure the wiser ppl will pass when having to supply SSN to anybody. There’s a reason it doesn’t appear on checks any longer.

    It is one thing to have a debit/cc stolen, quite another to have one’s identity stolen!!

  20. Tried loading an OneVanilla card onto BB last week by 2 different cashiers. Each told me that I can only use a debit card that has my name on it šŸ™

  21. This all happened this afternoon, kiosk worked fine with $100 load, got a message asked me to customer service when I first tried $200 load. Went to a cashier at regular checkout lane for $200 load, no issues. Bought $2999.99 MO, no ID asked, $2k bill pay, no real bill or ID asked.

  22. I went into Walmart this afternoon to buy a $500 gift card. Everything started normal, but then the cash register displayed “ENTER FIRST NAME” and required the cashier to type it in. The cashier hadn’t seen anything like that and wasn’t sure if she was supposed to enter her name or mine and decided to void the transaction and start again. The second attempt had the same results followed by “ENTER LAST NAME” after she typed in my name from my credit card. The next prompt was “ENTER STREET ADDRESS” which is where I called the whole thing off, saying I didn’t want this much information floating around in the Walmart computers. (Plus there was getting to be a big line of people behind me.) The cashier said she agreed, given what had just happened at Target.
    Afterward, I went to a different department and loaded a $500 card onto my BlueBird with no problem as normal.

  23. Yeah I’ve had the same problem with the Kiosk – after entering the amount it hangs up on the screen where it announces “confirmation” for 20+ seconds and then errors out.

    Then all of a sudden one day (Dec 30) it worked. Maxed out and returned the 31… broken again. Who knows. I assume they contracted out the software to the lowest bidder and this is what we get.

  24. Went tonight to my local WM in WA state and used the kiosk to load $1000. It previously (on 1/1) wasn’t working and kept hanging up but this time I did two $500 GCs in smaller amounts, $300 2x and $200 2x and it worked fine.

  25. I had a chance to see what was on the screen whey they had to reboot the software on the kiosk.

    I can’t believe that it’s still using windows XP..wonder why it’s so slow and broke all the time..!!!

  26. Loaded $1,000 via the kiosk last night (2 $500 transactions. No problems. Actually smoother/faster than usual. Probably because everybody else in the midwest was home staying warm. I actually thought my limit was $500 per day until I read your article! Thanks for enlightening me!

  27. I tried to load 2X200 (multiple attempts) at CS this morning. All attempts returned unable to process. Rep. claimed we are unable to accept gift cards anymore. The same VGC was later accepted at the register for a purchase.
    At least taxes and Ins. are due within the next few weeks.

  28. Loaded 2 $500 VGC’s to BB at regular cashier this morning separately, two transactions. No issues. Machine as usual was out of service or I would have tried that.

  29. Been having problems loading BB from gift cards too here in Las Vegas. One store has had ATM out of action for ages, another just freezes all the time. In another store, the transaction gets declined, but if you try it again straight after, it works. Managed to load 2 x $500 today, so happy about that.

  30. I’ve always shown my drivers license when buying money orders at Walmart service desks and don’t mind a bit.

  31. Max per money order was $1,000 each. FWIW the one time I exceeded $3k using separate payment methods (Visa gift cards) I had to fill out the dreaded paper form. If you use one payment method (like a Suntrust debit card) they swipe your ID and take the information electronically

  32. I’m new on this, but someone can explain why you buy Money Orders ?

    Is just to deposit again in your account ? Or you change for cash and spend it ?

    Thank you!

  33. visited 2 Walmarts to buy a MO, using $100 debit cards with PIN. They would only allow 4 debit cards to be used, so I was limited to buying only $400 M.O. One Walmart in Cleveland said they did not have this limitation, but I did not test that site. This appeared to be a new policy since the workers were completely surprised when they could not swipe 5 debit cards.

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