(Update: $99 Swipe Limit) Many Walmarts Limiting MetaBank Cards To $400 Per Swipe


Update 11/11/20: The hits keep coming. As per Dan’s comment below, there are several data points on FlyerTalk today suggesting the reduced $400 limit has now also gone the way of the dodo. In its place there appears to be a newly reduced limit of $99 $49.99 or $50. That’s the limit placed on Vanilla Visa gift cards at Walmart which makes it seem like it’s something which has been implemented by Walmart rather than MetaBank.

Having said that, there were reports of issues liquidating cards at the Kroger and Albertsons families of stores recently too. That initially made it seem like a MetaBank issue rather than it being some kind of coordinated effort by all these grocery chains/superstores.

Either way, this clearly isn’t a positive development.


Last 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 its affiliate stores.

There were haphazard data points as some people weren’t having any issues at all, but there was a significant number of people around the country reporting that transactions were being declined, particularly when liquidating $1,000 Visa gift cards purchased from Simon Mall.

a counter in a mall

There are now an increasing number of data points suggesting that MetaBank Visa gift cards are being limited to $400 per swipe at Walmart. Mike gave us a heads up in the comments of the previous post, with several data points on FlyerTalk suggesting that swipes of exactly $400 or less are fine, but anything larger than that will likely get declined.

If this change holds, that’ll reduce the appeal of $1,000 Visa gift cards purchased from Simon Mall because it’ll mean that each card will require three swipes to liquidate rather than one. That therefore increases the hassle of each card, as well as the liquidation cost.

While this is a disappointing development, it isn’t as bad as it could’ve been. When reports of problems with Visa gift cards increased a week or two ago, many of the reports were from people simply unable to buy a Money Order. That didn’t bode well at all, especially if you were sitting on a large pile of Simon Mall cards purchased with one of their recent promo codes. At least now we know – for now – that you can still use the cards at Walmart; you’re just limited to $400 per swipe. There’s therefore no need to scramble for a new liquidation method, but it will take a little more patience and time and fees to do so. Having said that, it’s always worth having multiple liquidation options just in case further changes are brought in.

Want to learn more about miles and points? Subscribe to email updates or check out our podcast on your favorite podcast platform.
Notify of

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

oldest most voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

anyone know if metabank charges a fee if a GC transaction is processed as a “cash advance” by the merchant?

[…] I think Safeway et al sell MetaBank Visa gift cards; if so, be aware that there have been issues liquidating them at Walmart. […]

[…] think these cards are issued by MetaBank which have had liquidation issues at Walmart and some other stores. It’s still possible to use them at some stores, but be aware you could […]

[…] multiple methods. You just never know when one door will close, as was recently the case when many Walmart stores and some grocery chains began severely limiting the use of prepaid gift cards fo…. Imagine buying thousands of dollars in gift cards only to find that you have no way to liquidate […]


I used my Simon Visa Debit Card to pay my Macy’s Credit Card bill at the store. It also works at Sam’s Club to pay your Sam’s club credit card.

[…] important to be aware of is that these are MetaBank Visa gift cards. There are issues liquidating them right now, so be cautious when stocking up on these if that would be your normal method of redeeming […]

Mike Chicago

It looks like $99 is the new swipe limit for Metas/Sunrise cards at Walmart MC. $297 BB/Serve loads and $395.12 MOs per trip to Walmart, along with the hassle of dealing with cards with small leftover balances, defeats this liquidation method. Meijer still works for $499.35 MOs and $500 loads for now, but we will need some new ideas to keep this game going.

Mark W

DP: I’ve been able to reload GoBank reliably with Sunrise and Metabank VGCs up to $500 in a single swipe at my local (central FL) Walmart for years without issue.

Nov. 6: I tried three times to reload GoBank with a $500 Sunrise VGC. It failed each time. (Debit not accepted. Code 05.)

Nov. 8: On a whim, I tried decreasing the load amount to $300 with the same $500 VGC. This worked without issue.

Nov. 10: I went back to the same Walmart to load the remaining $200 from the same Sunrise VGC. This failed with a message to the cashier to contact the card issuer. I called the customer service number on the card and was told that the transaction was authorized on their end, but Walmart was declining it, and to try to use the card elsewhere. As a further experiment, I went to a different Walmart and tried to load $400 from a real debit card. This worked; indicating that the issue was not with my GoBank card.

Based on all of the DPs here and elsewhere, it would appear that the days of loading GoBank with VGCs at Walmart are at end. A few questions…

1) Is anyone aware of any other locations one can load GoBank with VGCs for no fee?

2) Is there any point in hanging onto GoBank cards at this point?

3) If GoBank is dead, are there any options left for liquidating VGCs without incurring additional fees?


Your data points are 100% accurate. I’ve tried the same thing with no luck and also have the same questions as you do. Hopefully someone chimes in, one way or another.


Does anyone know if the post office is still letting you purchase money orders with
Simon Visa Debit Cards? I did it once last year and it worked.


Is it possible to use VGCs at Self Checkout to buy other gift cards? I wondering if anyone has any other liquidations strategies since the MO and BB/Serve routes are drying up and I would prefer not to use them for native spending.


Been wondering the same thing. Saw that others had been doing this earlier this month, even apparently using multiple vgc’s per transaction…. Have you tried it yet? Alas, if this still works, even modestly, we’ll have to worry about the stampede that will kill it.


I’ve given up on this for the most part. I was in the process of scaling things down anyway. I’ve banked a significant amount of points and miles this year.

[…] Affecting Serve, Money Orders, Bill Pay etc. Wait, we thought it was $400 limit and now say whaaaat? (Update: $50 Swipe Limit?) Many Walmarts Limiting MetaBank Cards To $400 Per Swipe. Enter some sad violin music […]


Maybe this will reduce some of the trash we have in the MS game


Good luck they said that when Vanilla Reloads, Redbird, and USPS died (among a number of other deaths I am forgetting) and it didn’t happen.


Here is my experience just this morning. I had an MS-friendly WM so I took 2 batches of cards to load with small shopping in the middle. All metabank cards – 1x$500 and 16 recently purchased 200 cards from Staples. Things started off well, but 5 200 cards failed with “error 1”. All other 200 cards worked. I assume but cannot say for sure that these 5 were from my last trip to Staples where the clerk fetched 5 out of a brand new shrink-wrapped pack. Is it something with newer cards? I loaded a total of 12 cards easily with just those 5 failures. This was loading to Serve/BB.

Another note. I have a card that worked and one that failed that both start with the same 8 numbers and have the same expiration date. Who knows what the pattern is, but this isn’t good!

Finally, I checked and the failing cards all have the correct 200 values loaded and ready.


Cashier or MC??




It was a cashier at customer service which … used to be (or maybe still is) called the money center.


17 cards in one visit….. respect !!


this is why we can’t have nice things….. greed kills.


There is no greed here, just people (case in point) with simple minds and with everyone else out to ruin it for them. Grow up.

Two things. I was prepared to do these in the equivalent of 2 separate visits with shopping in between. Sometimes I get the same clerk, other times I don’t. They are used to me, and quite accepting of it, loading 3 cards a visit (that’s 9 VGCs for those who cannot count).

This day, on visit #1, as cards failed, I used cards from batch #2 to fill in. Otherwise they’d have to fetch a manager to clear the transaction. In the end I had loaded “one batch” with 2? 3? cards left. I ended up finishing them all at once. The clerks that are there early in the morning are very friendly. Unlike other stores.

Try not to assume it’s only what YOU do that is ok. You are obviously a light-weight. But then, so am I when contrasted with many others.


I’d be interested in knowing what bank each card was from – if the failures were tied to a card from one specific bank. I say that because I’ve had inconsistent results also, and I noticed just today that the 5 $200 VGC’s I bought at Staples we’re from different banks – 4 were Sunrise, and one was Meta. If you look at the date on the back, lower right on the VGC packaging, the different dates correspond to different banks – 10/16 was Sunrise, and 11/18 was Meta. So Staples is selling cards from both banks and seems like old cards mixed with new. I’ll have to pay attention at WM to see if there is a difference in VGC spending limit based on the specific VGC bank.

Last edited 3 years ago by Jimm

Sorry. Unfortunately I don’t organize my empty packing well. Perhaps I should from now on!


Tried swiping $400 at Walmart today, it was declined. Tried $50 and it worked. You are only allowed to swipe the same card 2 times. So sad…


Meaning the system knows it’s the same card and rejects more than two swipes of it in the same transaction, or the worker is telling you “policy”?

Last edited 3 years ago by Carl

The system is rejecting it if you swipe more than 2 times. Not the worker.


Thanks. So frustrating. 🙁


Cashier or MC?


System didn’t accept