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.
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.
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 […]
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.
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 […]
[…] tip to FM and […]
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.
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”?
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
Thanks for the input. I am still a little confused about the $400 limit at WM. My $200 VGC declined when trying to but a MO. Do you think it was because my total was $800 that it declined a $200 VGC or is it potentially a per store issue?
Did you read the update to the article? It clearly states the limit now appears (some conflicting DPs) to be $50-ish. This is the limit per debit transaction.
It is the DP’s that are confusing to me. I will try another way-mart and see what kind of results I get. Has anyone ran into a problem loading more than $50 onto BB through VGC?
New DP, went to my go to WM today, 500 loaded to my BB with a sunrise VGC at the cashier . No issues, maybe it is only a MC problem?
What area if you don’t mind? Thanks
So, is this thing still in SOME Walmarts, or is it the rule now for all stores? I frequently used 3 different Walmarts, about 10 days ago two of them declined the transactions for $999, one did not. Once I read up on the issue and found out about the apparent $400 max limit, I tried the two that declined 2 days ago for $400 and $300, and they worked. I’m yet to try the one that did not decline my larger transaction.
Has anyone had any issues at WM paying bills? I pay $2,000 towards my cc bill with 4 $500 cards and pay $1.50 fee in cash. If I were to do that with MOs it would cost $1.76.
Anyway my WM has a CS and a money center, but the money center has been closed due to COVID and they can’t get the CS registers to talk to MO machine in the money center, hence only allowing me to pay bills.
My Walmart flat out said they weren’t allowing multiple swipes when buying a money order.
try another walmart……the policies at individual stores vary greatly.
I was also frustrated with this new policy and was declined several times getting $1000 MOs at Walmart. Glad to hear that anything under $400 per swipe works. So I went yesterday to a Bay Area Walmart and purchased ‘two’ $380 MO and it worked!!! Yes, its a bit of a hassle but its still worth it for me. I still would like to know if this is a Walmart or MetaBank thing. What are others doing to liquidate their gift cards?
I went to WM this am and tried to buy MO with Metabank VGC that I purchased from Staples last week. Verified funds were active and all before I went, but they all declined when trying to buy just (1) $800 money order using (4) $200 cards. Any idea why they would decline? This is the first issue I have run into doing it this way.
If I can’t use WM anymore to purchase MO, then where can I go to quickly liquidate them if I prefer to use the MO method? Try another WM or what?
Same here in the Midwest. Worked last night without issue but no luck today. I stopped at a grocery store and they had no problem so this definitely seems like a Walmart issue or policy change. This will take me much longer to liquidate.
What grocery store
Kroger, but stores around me usually won’t split payments so I have to do $200 at a time
I tried Vanilla, Staples, and Simon Cards, only <$50 works. I tried Serve and GoBank
Is Sunrise bank part of Metabank? visa gc issued by Sunrise bank cannot pass at walmart either.
Yes Meta bought the prepaid part of Sunrise a few years ago. I would assume they would behave similarly to Meta cards.
today’s DPs on FT that >$50 swipe @ WMs no longer work; NOT GOOD!
only <$100 worked
I have 2 WM that are my go to stores. Never have any problems. Today I ask both stores about the rules changing. They looked at me like I was crazy. No changes, they’ve had no problems with VGC. Got my MO as usual. 4 swipes.
with how much is each or 1 swipe?
Has anyone tried using a go bank card yet?
How does Go Bank work in the liquidation game?
$999.12 MO today, central California, $500 vgc from market, $300 from Office Depot deal, $200 from staples. All MetaBank .
I used Sunrise Bank gc in Michigan this morning 11/9 (from Meijer) and had the same problem. When I swiped it again for $400, it worked just fine. Man, this game is getting harder and harder. I am already expecting that sooner than later, Walmart MO will be something from the past.
Same here. Have you tried swiping at Meijer itself? But my local meijer sometimes will check the card. Walmart is the best place for vgc liquidation.
Anyone have any issues with sunrise VGC? Got the error 56 today trying to load 500 into my BB. Tried 400 and it worked
Same happened to me!
I got the 56 also after first swipe of two $200 VGC (Metabank, from Staples for one $399 MO). CSR pressed a button and cleared the error and I re-swiped my same VGC and it went through just fine for the same, original amount of $200. Swipe of second VGC went through for $199.88, no errors. I chuckled and asked her what that error was all about – she shook her head and said “I dunno, it was error 56, and I just cleared it”.
I live in FL and had no problems flipping gift cards to money orders at Publix and Winn Dixie for years. But, in the past few months, Publix wants to see your id and the actual “debit card” with your name on it. And Winn Dixie is doing the same. So, I switched to Walmart. I have been to many Walmarts from Ft. Myers to Sarasota. They are not consistent in their policies at all. Some want to see ID and the actual card. Some have no problem doing multiple money orders on the same day and others will only do 1 money order per day. And some Walmarts, it just is the luck of the draw on the clerk you hit. But, I am glad you posted the Meta Bank information and I always read your posts. Thanks.
Agree that its very inconsistent. I am starting to ‘befriend’ a Walmart Money Center worker by knowing her typical work days and I just simply go to her. She doesn’t ask any questions as long as its under $1000/under 4 swipes. I’ve actually walked out of a Walmart when I know a certain worker is the ‘strict one’.
me as well……..if I see an employee (Ann with 5 years experience on her name tag) working, I just walk out! I come back next shift.
Haha, same here – my wife knows him as ‘my nemesis’, and I move on to the CS counter instead.
Guess I’m clueless on this one. Been traveling 35 years and have a broad array of travel credit cards (including CSR, Amex Plat and Amex Gold). I run $150,000 or so in annual spend through them (personal budget and vacations) so I feel I’m pretty serious.
However I don’t understand the fascination with gift cards or, God forbid, money orders (which were only used by people w no bank account in my experience) as it relates to generating points/miles.
Not looking for lengthy explanation but if someone could point me to a good resource so I better understand I would appreciate it.
This post has more about Manufactured Spending https://frequentmiler.com/manufactured-spending-complete-guide/#Buy_liquidate_gift_cards
It’s people gaming the system. Which will, eventually, burn the rest of us when they cut back on rewards for normal users.
Not everyone spends $150,000 per year in personal expenses so manufactured spending helps people who do not have incomes as high as yours.
Your 1st misunderstanding is that all people play this game to earn miles…quite a few run >$150k in a single month.
If I knew of a simpler way to liquidate (I use GC/MO and GC/Go Bank, both require a WM visit), or a part time business with few hassles that could facilitate earning miles/points, I’d consider scaling up. Don’t have either of those…
Hi Jimm, do you have a link or information on GC/Go Bank? I’m not familiar with that type of liquidation. Thanks in advance.
Hi Rowell, pointchaser has an article on Go Bank, and it’s good, but the gold is in the comments. It could be that access to comments has been turned off after Arianna went over to TPG though – it states there are “84 Comments”, but I’m unable to see the actual comments anywhere…
Wait until you retire and have only personal travel. Yep, I use to log over 200K miles a year when working and someone else paying the bill. That was when you got 1 point per $. For the poor retired sap like me, flushing a few cards is about all I can do now.
Byron I am retired! I flew around 8 million miles over 35 years and was senior executive of 4 different national companies (plus had my own business for a while) so I definitely had more than my share of expense account spending. However, the $150,000 plus a year I run through credit cards is all my money, not reimbursed by a company.
Unfortunately, even w no mortgage or car payments (I paid cash for last house and have paid cash for cars for over 20 years) we have a certain lifestyle expectation hence my annual credit card spend. I don’t need to push the envelope or cut corners with respect to reasonable expectations of card companies. Also I never had a problem getting any required spend amount covered (usually within 2 months at most) so don’t need to max spend to get there.
IMHO gift cards, money orders, etc will all be soon ineligible for points/miles – just doesn’t make sense to continue that process especially how much it is played up on blogs like this one (don’t believer credit card risk/reimbursement management/fraud departments don’t read the blogs
So how many MOs can people get in one visit at their Wal-Mart? Mine was one per day and even at $1000, I can easily make more money per hour doing other things instead of acquiring GCs and driving and parking and waiting in line and liquidating. At $400 it’s just absurd trying to make a few bucks. Sure, it could work if they allowed $5000 a visit or if were right next door, but they don’t and they aren’t. Am I missing something?
I agree, everyone needs to take into account the amount of time that you spend with this hobby. Luckily for me, I live near a Walmart and another 20 minutes away. I think they allow more than $1000 for sure (with a 4 swipe limit) its just a matter of them taking your Drivers License info, in which I wouldn’t do.
Can we liquidate SGC $1000 @USPS locations?
If you have your time machine set to 2016, maybe!
Just tried and DID NOT work at USPS.
successfully loaded a $600 total to BB with 3 swipes of $200 earlier this mo; will try again later this wk to see if will go thru
still worked earlier today; so, as long as a swipe is at $400 or less, it still work regardless of the total purch
BB = Blue Bird ? it’s back in the game?
I went on a WM run in SoCal today. Tried 1 $500 Simon VGC, 3 $500 grocery store VGCs and 5 $200 Staples VGCs. The Simon card errored out, but I had no problems with the others. I have 2 Simon cards left, so it’s good to know I can liquidate them, albeit with some hassle, but I will refrain from buying more.
Thankfully I liquidated my two remaining Simon cards and a few Staples VGCs yesterday. The $400 swipe method worked fine then. Still have three Staples $200 cards left. I’ll probably just use them to pay estimated taxes rather than hassle with WM right now. I hope this gets sorted out in our favor, but I’m not optimistic.
I’ve had mixed luck with $500s and also with $200s in past two weekends. Multiple $200s declined even when trying multiple times
If you’re trying to get to $1000 with $200’s, you can’t. Most WMs have a four swipe limit.
I’m not sure how this will increase liquidation cost. Walmart allows 4 swipes total when purchasing money orders.
It doesn’t increase cost, just hassle. My WM only allows one MO transaction per day so I could only liquidate 1 card per day. Though it costs more to buy $500 cards at Kroger at least I can buy $2000 (minus fees) in MOs in a single WM visit.
You’re right – I don’t know why I put that!