What It’s Like at Walmart After December 19th

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Does Walmart Still Work

This is a guest post from a reader that would like to remain anonymous.

Does Walmart Still Work?  What It’s Like After December 19th

In recent weeks, many have shared a Walmart memo regarding changes in service which were to take effect on December 19th.   Many rumors and questions swirled – and there were no definitive answers.  Is the memo fake?  Is this the end as we know it?  Could this all be a big overreaction?  Does anyone really know anything?  We are past the memo date now, and many answers are still elusive.  Fortunately, we can each rely on our own experiences to inform future decision making.  Does Walmart still work?  For what it’s worth, here’s my experience today.

Today’s Experience

I visited Walmart today to conduct some of my normal financial transactions.  The store was humming along as usual, not packed, but also not empty.  My line at Customer Service had a couple individuals in it, and I took my place in line as usual.  When it was my turn, I greeted a friendly representative who I had interacted with previously.  I completed 4 different transactions and was done in about 4 minutes.  The representative did not bring up the memo, nor did I have a need to bring it up myself.  This is only my first experience at Walmart since December 19th, but it was business as usual this time. Even though I did notice the memo posted on the wall in the back.

Does Walmart Still Work

What Does This Mean?

This one data point reflects that Walmart still works.  I’m not surprised – I didn’t think it wouldn’t.  Unfortunately, I cannot draw any absolute conclusions based on one experience.  Given this new reality we live in where the memo exists, things are hard to predict.  We can never be as confident as we were in pre-memo times.  Additionally, there have been recent issues with Metabank gift cards.  On the other end, though, no one should resort to scare tactics like “Walmart is dead.”  While it’s easier to live in a world with clear yes/no answers, we live more in the middle where outcomes can be inconsistent, unexpected, and store-specific.  We are subject to risk at certain times, but we can also benefit in others.

Going Forward

I plan to continue visiting Walmart and conducting similar transactions.  That said, I may not float as much as I previously did.  Everyone’s situation is different.  I’ll continue to pay attention to others’ data points, but I will clearly lean on my own the most.  Bottom line, I will stay informed, but will continue doing what works for me until it’s no longer possible.  I encourage you all to do the same!

Does Walmart Still Work? – Conclusion

We are all adapting to a new reality with Walmart.  Capabilities may be more limited, but they still exist.  Of course, reliable backup solutions are key and even more important for those who rely primarily on Walmart.  But there is no reason to give up on Walmart as a solution for your needs.  Not yet, at least.  How have your experiences been lately?

Mark Ostermann
Mark Ostermann is a father, husband and miles/points fanatic. He left the corporate world after starting a family in order to be a stay at home dad. Mark is constantly looking at ways to save money and stay within budget while also taking awesome vacations with his family. When he isn't caring for his family or taking a weekend trip, Mark is working towards his goal of visiting every Major League Baseball ballpark.

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22 COMMENTS

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22 COMMENTS

  1. I went to my regular WM a couple of different times in the new year and asked the reps about a memo. These reps know what I do and all 3 have been working at WM for some time. All said they were unaware of any reason why I couldn’t get MO. So I ordered some from Simon and I’m working thru my first batch. I’ll make less, smaller orders so I’m not as stretched and will keep buying MO until I can’t.

  2. BAU at Wal-Mart in January. Maximum load is $99 per swipe. I stop after two swipes. Money center clerks seem unaware of the MS memo.

  3. I haven’t gotten any MO at WM since the 18th. I finished my stash then, and have none on order. For the 1st time in probably 3 years, I have no MS happening, or about to happen, or waiting to happen. It’s an odd feeling. But a nice diversion for the holidays.

    Btw, the above poster talked about “intent.” Isn’t the intent of CC issuers to separate me from more of my money? That sounds like a scam to me.

  4. For me I know WM did receive the memo not to accept the GC’s so MOst are dead for now but im able to load BB in small swipes. With my Visa GC im only able to get $50 per swipe to work. With Mastercard im able to get my $200 cards to work.

  5. How do the $500 VGCs sold at Walmart work to buy MOs at the money center? The packaging son the VGCs ays these gift cards/debit cards are issued by Green Dot. Haven’t tried yet.

  6. Scammers that run gift cards through and use others MS strategies are close to criminal IMHO! They are clearly circumventing the intent, if not the rules, of credit card point and Mike programs. I hope the analytics software of all the card issuers can identify these transactions so they can be voided and the accounts closed.

    Don’t worry scammers – your time will come!!

    • Strikes me as way off-base to label manufactured spending “strategies” as scamming. If you’ve read my response to your prior posts on the subject, you know that MS has a wide range and degree of activity, none of it illegal, immoral, and for certain, not scamming. Intent is often as more a perception than a fact, so to say that the activities “circumvent the intent” is incorrect – either there is a rule broken, or there is not. Rest assured, all corporations full cover their intent using detailed rules, so if no rule, there is no intent to stop it.

      • DJG – The definition of immoral is nonconformance with accepted standards. You don’t need a hard and fast rule defined and posted on the wall somewhere to break to be immoral. We have all seen cases where manufactured spending makes the rules change – always in an attempt to eliminate it. Also, most people do not manufacture spend on cards. Therefore, manufactured spending goes against the clear intent and standard use of credit cards. So by definition, it is immoral and you’re just rationalizing it as acceptable behavior because you personally benefit. And I suspect you are fully aware of this.

        • @babblespeak – offering a partial definition is at the very least, immoral by your own take – not mine, but by your take, “accepted standards” of behavior would be to post a full and honest definition, which is not what you did, you thus were immoral when you posted a partial definition, rather than the full, “not conforming to accepted standards of morality.” Leaving off, standards “or morality,” sure changed and distorted your attempt at justification, and again, by your standards, an immoral act.

        • @babblespeak, your thought, “most people do not manufacture spend on cards,” actually disproves your point. ALL spending on cards with benefits is manufactured spending in its most elemental state. If it wasn’t, then folks would get generic no-benefit credit cards, or use their debit cards, or use cash or checks. By using a benefit-posting credit card, you are in fact making a MS decision – I want to use this card so that I receive X benefit. From there, MS increases, with the next stage being I’ll spend on card A for this expense and card B for that expense. As the stages progress, you’ll go to spending in advance to meet bonuses, then comes buying clubs, then I’d offer comes gift card buying without liquidation, then comes GC buying with liquidation. It’s all a spectrum of MS, thus, perhaps if you see it as immoral, put your cash and checks on the counter from now on, cut up those CCs, and you’ll be as moral as possible.

      • This is equivalent to people who use the abused term “tax loophole” to condemn people who are legally using tax laws to their advantage as if that is somehow cheating. What part of “legally” do they not understand? In the literal sense of “tax loophole”, who in their right mind DOESN’T take advantage of them? I’m betting @babblespeak doesn’t reprimand his tax accountant for manipulating tax laws in a way that will get him the highest possible refund as possible. That would be immoral afterall. lol

  7. Much appreciated article, data point, etc. I am small player, just small loads to BB to liquidate $300 traunches of Meta-VGCs ($50s & $100s) purchased no-fee during grocery store promotions, that I liquidate with single $50/$100 loads during each WM visit (lots of WMs in area, lots of convenient reasons to stop by). Would be great to have a bit more information about the dollar range you used with no issues, and assume you were buying MOs (my plans are to slowing ramp up skill set).

    • The reader was able to do $500 at a time with non Metabank cards. Some single swipes and some multiple.

    • The reader was able to do $500 at a time with non Metabank cards. Some single swipes and some multiple.

  8. I recently tried purchasing a money order at two different Walmarts, here in Austin, and both times I got a message that it was unable to process debit transaction. Both cards were Metabank giftcards purchased from Staples.

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