A long time friend of Frequent Miler shared a memo that went out to Albertsons store managers, bookkeepers, and those who operate their money services machines indicating that certain types of transactions at the customer service desk will be declined when made for $100 or more in a transaction. This looks like bad news for those who engage in MS at stores under the Albertsons Companies.
As you can see in the memo above, it sounds like Blackhawk Network cards will auto-decline for debit transactions of more than $100 made at the customer service desk. This change is being made specifically to prevent those cards from being used for money order or transfer services. Unfortunately, it sounds like the terminals themselves will be set to auto-decline debit transactions and only allow credit transactions for amounts greater than $100 (and it says that the system is already set up to decline credit purchases for money services transactions). It unfortunately looks like this will apply to both Visa and Mastercard gift cards that run on Blackhawk Network (like those sold at office supply stores and via Simon Malls).
The memo looks like it was dated earlier this month, though the changes are clearly written in future language. It isn’t clear when they will take place or if they already have. I expect this will apply to all of the various store brands (Safeway/Albertsons/Vons/ACME/etc) pictured at the bottom of the page. Furthermore, as it has become clear over recent months that Blackhawk is the one initiating this change, the days may be numbered at other chains still accepting these cards.