New Velocity Limits At Walmart Affecting Serve, Money Orders, Bill Pay etc.

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New Velocity Limits At Walmart Affecting Serve, Money Orders, Bill Pay etc.

A couple of weeks ago I alerted you to the fact that there were issues at Walmart with money orders. We saw multiple reports of Visa gift cards being declined when swiping for a money order.  Most of the time people were able to get it to work after trying a different location or swiping the card multiple times.  Over the weekend a few reports of new issues rolled in and a couple of readers reached out to me via email as well.  It appears there is now a new velocity limit at Walmart and everything above that limit will be auto declined.  This is for money orders, Serve, Walmart bill pay, Go Bank loads etc. This seems to be just for Metabank issued cards for the time being.

Details

The reports I have seen all say that any swipe over $400 will be auto declined.  This is bad news for anyone that has $1,000 Simon Mall Visa gift cards.  If you are dealing with mostly $200 office store gift cards you should still be good, business as usual.

The one way to work around the new limits is to break up the $1000 card into 2 $400 swipes and 1 $200 swipe.  This can be a pain but it will get the job done.

If you have a $500 card from a grocery store or drugstore etc. then it would would probably be best (easiest) to break it into $250 swipes etc.

This is a real problem for people that have locations that don’t allow you to split tender or do multiple swipes.  That is where the $1,000 gift cards were really handy and are now somewhat useless.

Final Thoughts

This is another nail in the coffin so to speak but at least Walmart isn’t completely dead (yet). There should still be a few work arounds for you but it does seem to be affecting most everything you can do at Walmart.

Did you run into the new velocity limits at Walmart on your normal runs this weekend?  Will it change how you earn points going forward?  Will you limit your gift card purchases etc.?  Let us know in the comments your thoughts.

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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20 COMMENTS

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20 COMMENTS

  1. I got declined on multiple swipes of 3 vgc from staples last night in central IL. One of the cards was declined on a purchase afterward, even with valid pin. Makes it a whole lot more work if this liquidation is gone. Glad I liquidated my smgc a couple weeks ago.

  2. Hi Mark,

    Just got off work and read about this. I am your regular reader for years. is $400 per swipe at WM effective as of today?? I just purchase some GC last night with SGC flash sale promo.

    • Sounds like it started over the weekend but it doesn’t appear to be at every Walmart right now. Not sure if it is rolling out to others or if this is another YMMV situation.

  3. I believe there’s a long-standing issue using Vanilla cards at WM. At one point it would only accept swipes of less than $50 (or something like that).

  4. Just Swiped 4 X $200 VGC’s I bought at Staples for an $800 MO at the local Walmart, no issues. Location is Wake Forest, NC.

  5. Good to know it’s just Metabank but that seems like an odd choice, you would think it would be about the $ amounts more than the bank. This is super helpful though, hopefully we can find sources that are not Vanilla or Metabank…

  6. Also, some are reporting this is at Kroger and possibly a few other large grocery chains. Seems like this is being done by Metabank, and they will possibly eventually catch any money-center type transaction. They only got around to blocking WM and some grocery chains for now.

  7. Isn’t the issue just with Metabank cards? I swiped $500 US Bank cards (bought at grocery stores) over the weekend with no issue. Used both for buying MOs and loading Bluebird.

      • I have a feeling this is an issue with Visa because it happened with a Vanilla Prepaid card too. I have no issues using Simon Mall or Vanilla cards at Publix though. I am waiting for Staples or OD to put the Master Card gift cards on sale to see if those still work at Walmarts and Krogers.

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