Many Problems Reported On MetaBank Visa Gift Cards (Simon, Staples & Others)


There have been numerous reports in the past few days of issues surrounding the liquidation of Visa gift cards.

All the initial chatter seemed to revolve around Visa gift cards purchased from Simon Mall and the fact that people were having a hard time liquidating them at Kroger and Walmart. It initially seemed like those stores had hardcoded their systems against Simon cards, but that doesn’t appear to be the case after all.

Purchases at Money Services and some self checkout lines were being declined, but occasionally going through on the third or fourth swipe, while other people have been able to complete transactions without any issue whatsoever.

There have since been reports that this issue is affecting other MetaBank Visa gift cards, such as those bought from Staples during recent deals when the purchase fee was waived. The problem also seemed to affect transactions at the Albertsons/Safeway family of stores which gives even more of an indication that the problem is on MetaBank’s end as it’s unlikely that all three large chains would have simultaneously changed their policy.

That hopefully means that this is a temporary issue, but it’s something to be aware of if you’re planning on stocking up at Simon (either in-store or online), or by taking advantage of this week’s Staples deal. If these issues are ongoing and affecting your local stores, that could make it harder to liquidate them which could be an issue if you’re unable to float the money.

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Went to Walmart today, $400 swipe was declined. Tried $50 and it worked. You are only allowed to swipe the same card twice. So sad…


Is this in one transaction? Or if you go back the next day you can swipe the same card twice again?


I only went to one Walmart, so just one transaction. It’s so exhausting to go to each walmart for just a $200 money order.

Mike Chicago

$99 seems to be the swipe limit now. So $396 MOs or $297 loads, a hassle to make a walmart trip for that amount, and now have the added hassle of $1-$5 balances leftover on GCs to deal with.

[…] week there were an increasing number of cases where people were having issues liquidating MetaBank Visa gift cards at Walmart, Kroger and its affiliate stores and Albertsons and […]


Looks like WM is only allowing a max of $400 per swipe. So if you want a MO with a larger amount you have a max of four swipes to get the job done. Experimented today using Simon cards purchased at mall. Used different amounts per swipe and found this works. Also see Flyertalk for more data points.

Last edited 1 year ago by PDXtraveler
Mike Chicago

Confirming data point – MO @ WMT today, tried swiping 2 $500 GCs purchased from grocery store, both failed after 3 and 2 swipes respectively (debit not allowed with a variety of error codes). Had some 300s and 200s from Staples as a backup, 2x 300s and 2x 200s worked no issues. All Metabank issued GCs.


You will have try your $500 GC’s at only $400 or less per swipe. The max is $400 per swipe. That means you will have to do multiple swipes for those GCs to drain them.

Mike Chicago

Thanks. After reading flyertalk for details, it appears the same card can be used multiple times in the same transaction as long as each swipe is $400 or less. This $400 max swipe really defeats the main benefit of the Simon 1Ks.


Not to mention, some Walmarts don’t like multiple swipes for the same transaction.


$500 Visa from local grocery store rejected today. Worked earlier in the week without issue.


I tried using my simon debit cards which I purchased from the Simon Outlet Mall Office and online. Went to 2 Walmarts today and all cards were declined even with multiple swipes. Message was “Debit not available appr. code = 56 OMG, I have a lot of cards and I’m getting worried. Hope it gets fixed soon. Please keep us updated. Thank you!

Mark W

Just tried to liquidate tonight at a Walmart I’ve used for years and never had any issues with and got “Debit not available” error… Hopefully this is a temporary glitch and not new restrictions rolling out to Walmart registers…

[…] volume ordering program from November 6-8, 2020. That said, I recommend caution here. We’ve previously reported problems that people have had lately liquidating (and we continue to get more reports of the same) and while […]


Bought 5 $200 Visa GC at Staples.
WM MO was down.
Tried Shaw’s it worked as 2 $500 MOs, $1 each.


This is happening on the Vanilla One Prepaid cards too. I picked one up at Walmart today and tried to use it at Kroger, it said Not Authorized. It worked fine at Publix. All of my Simon Mall cards worked flawlessly at Publix last week but got the same error message at Kroger. Does anyone have data points on MasterCard gift cards? I bought MOs with the 200 MCGCs at Kroger last week without any problems.


My local WM in central NJ informed me they can no longer accept gift cards for MO purchases. They are checking cards.


Stephen – just FYI…my trick for the non-working/swiping $1k visas has been to ask the associate to enter the amount manually instead of just pressing the All/total button. In very rare instances that has failed, I have asked to split the transaction into 2 $500 payments swiping the same card -worked everytime.


bexho2000, is this for money orders or loading money to a card?


MOs and bill pay…