By Julian, author of Devil’s Advocate…
I’m filing today’s post under the category “better late than never.” Or maybe that should be “better late than never?”
I’ve been meaning to write up this tip for a couple of months, but other topics kept capturing my attention and I saved this one for later. Unfortunately, as we all know, in the meantime a whole ton of Bluebird and Serve accounts were restricted and can no longer be loaded.
While no one is quite sure exactly how many accounts suffered this fate, Chuck over at the Doctor of Credit did an excellent analysis of the available data (which is worth reading in full) and concluded that perhaps 2/3rds of all accounts were restricted. Personally I think the days of Bluebird and Serve as products themselves are numbered, since Amex doesn’t appear to be making much money on them anyway.
So even though some folks will argue today’s tip is useless, I decided it’d be helpful to at least get the info out to the 1/3rd of those who can still use it before the entire enterprise goes the way of the dodo.
The (slightly) less irritating Walmart cashier.
If you’re like me, you strongly prefer not to have to deal with people, especially if those “people” are “Walmart cashiers.” I realize it’s unfair to make a blanket statement about a entire group of people, because undoubtedly mixed in with the thousands of sullen and nasty ones there are at least two really smart and pleasant Walmart cashiers. However, I personally have yet to meet either of them.
So whenever possible I load Bluebird and Serve using the Walmart ATM kiosk, known professionally as the Walmart MoneyCenter Express and known informally and lovingly as “Kate.”
Now, in all fairness, Kate can often be just as sullen and nasty as an actual Walmart cashier. So it’s important to know how to treat her right, and I’d humbly ask that you read my post “Bet You Didn’t Know: How to NOT Break the Walmart MoneyCenter Express” before proceeding.
The biggest issue with the Walmart MoneyCenter Express kiosk (aside from it not actually working) is finding one. Not every Walmart has one, and trying to call up individual stores and inquire whether they have a Express kiosk as opposed to a regular ATM will result in further interactions with Walmart personnel, which we want to avoid at all costs.
Fortunately, there’s an easy online way to find all the MoneyCenter Express kiosks in any specific area.
The Walmart Moneycenter Express map.
The magic link you’ll want to bookmark is this one…
As it happens, Walmart MoneyCenter Express kiosks are considered part of the MoneyPass network, which means they will appear on the MoneyPass ATM locator map. However, there are also lots of MoneyPass ATM machines that are NOT Walmart MoneyCenter kiosks, so it’s important to input your search parameters properly.
When you click on the link, you’ll have the option to enter your search location by address, zip code, or place. That part is self-explanatory. If you use this link on a mobile device, you may also get the option to search near you — it’ll pop up as the usual website request to use your current location.
But here’s the important part. In the field under the search location field where it asks you to narrow by bank or retail location name, you’ll want to type the word WALMART. The map may offer you a drop down menu with several suggestions that include Walmart and other identifying info, but you want to only use the word WALMART with nothing else attached.
This will restrict the search only to Walmarts with MoneyPass ATM’s, which are all Kate kiosks (but see the important caveat in the next section of this post). Click on the green “Search” button and voila!
Hover your mouse over any of the numbered locations on the map and you’ll see the exact address for that Walmart, or you can peruse the list of Walmart addresses on the right. The map will also redraw on the fly, so if you click and drag the map itself, any additional Walmarts with Kate kiosks will appear.
But what about the new-style kiosk?
If you’ve been following Frequent Miler’s Senior Editor Shawn Coomer on his own blog Miles to Memories (and you should be!) you already know that in some areas Walmart has been rolling out a new style kiosk that does NOT include the ability to reload Bluebird and Serve. You can read Shawn’s post about the new kiosks here.
So you might be asking whether the MoneyPass map differentiates between stores that have the old Kates and stores that have the new ones? The answer is… maybe.
We don’t have enough data points to be certain, but it appears there may be a pattern on the map. Specifically, when you hover your mouse over a Walmart location, the logo that pops up is either a Walmart logo or a MoneyPass logo. The stores that show a Walmart logo often seem to have the old kiosks, while the ones with the MoneyPass logo tend to have the new ones.
It’s important to emphasize this method is unconfirmed at the moment and definitely not foolproof. We have found at least a few Walmarts that show a MoneyPass logo while still having the old machines, and vice versa. Feel free to share any additional data points on this issue in the comments and if we get a ton of extreme discrepancies on the logos, I’ll update this post with the new information.
A final note.
MoneyPass keeps this map locator relatively accurate and up-to-date. But as noted above, it’s not always 100% right. For instance, the map still shows the store on Crenshaw Blvd. in Los Angeles as having a kiosk, but that store was shut down entirely last month. So obviously the data isn’t completely perfect. But the map is correct a lot more often than it’s not, so you can regularly use it as a resource.
Now, if only there was a map that showed whether a Kate was actually working…
Other Recent Posts From The “Bet You Didn’t Know” Series:
Find all the “Bet You Didn’t Know” posts here.