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History of the Hobby: Remembering Walmart MoneyCenter Express & Liquidating a Visa GC (Video)

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This was my favorite version of KATE, because she was so big and regal. Other versions were much smaller, although they all had the same keypad and touchscreen.

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Remembering the Walmart MoneyCenter Express

Back in the good old days through about 2016, Walmart stores across the country had a magical machine that would allow you to load Visa/MC gift cards to other prepaid cards such as Bluebird or Serve with minimal human interaction. It was called the Walmart MoneyCenter Express.

Over the years that the Walmart Money Center Express (also known as KATE for some reason) was around, I spent A LOT of time in front of the frustratingly slow machine. It was a great way to liquidate cards, but the process of loading each card was slow and tedious.

These machines were supposed to be a full replacement for the real MoneyCenter, but despite having an option to do money orders, I never saw that function work. Also, there were limits of how much money could be loaded within a period of time. If you lost track of how much you loaded, then you would get an error requiring employee intervention.

A less elaborate version of KATE.

This was my preferred way to liquidate $100 cards. I rarely bought such low denominations, however from time to time there were deals that were very profitable so I broke my rule. I would often show up at the store around 6-7am so I could load away before the normal crowds would show up. The $100 cards also took long enough that the limit was never triggered. I think the most I ever did in one straight shot was about 100 cards. My brain was fried.

Loading A Visa Gift Card at Walmart MoneyCenter Express – Video

Which brings me to the video you are about to see. In 2014 I wrote a step by step article showing readers how to liquidate cards via KATE, however I also took a video at the same time which was never released. Considering this was such a big part of the history of the hobby, I thought it would be fun to look back at the tedious process of using the MoneyCenter Express.

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Bottom Line

I remember my days in front of KATE fairly fondly, although I remember how hard it was to load more than a few cards, because all of the waiting would drive me crazy. It was a fun time though and I miss her a little.

Do you remember using the Walmart MoneyCenter Express? Share your fond memories of KATE in the comments!

Disclosure: Miles to Memories has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. Miles to Memories and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers.

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Shawn Coomer
Shawn Coomer
Shawn Coomer earns and burns millions of miles/points per year circling the globe with his family. An expert at accumulating travel rewards, he founded Miles to Memories to help others achieve their travel goals for pennies on the dollar. Shawn also runs a million dollar reselling business, knows Vegas better than most and loves to spend his time at the 12 Disney parks across the world.

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  1. I miss Kate and Bluebird.
    Do we even have anything close now?
    Also, the Target RED was fantastic… I miss those…

  2. IIRC, loading 1 card took about 2-3 min. And there was a $1999.99 max, so loading 4 cards took roughly 10 min. Then there was a 10 min velocity limit before you could start the process again. But during this 10 min window, you could load at the money center in person or even at the checkout lines.

  3. That took forever? REALLY!? The entire process took little over a minute! Sure, compared to the instant gratification world everyone “has to” live in now the process was sooooo agonizingly painful (sarcasm). With the vital role this machine played in the points game, it sure sounds like one has no reason to gripe.
    Instead, maybe you should be grumbling because you had to go to Walmart.

    • REALLY Gary? This is how you comment. I make a little video dedicated to this machine and lovingly refer to it and you want to pick it apart because I said the machine was tedious. I personally liquidated THOUSANDS of cards on KATE and it was tedious. Do I wish it were still an option? Absolutely! Would I still use it? Sure. Was it tedious? ABSOLUTELY! But criticize away my friend.

      • Whether someone thinks Kate takes forever depends on one’s perspective. From the perspective of an amateur (like myself), walking in with 5 or 10 GCs… it would certainly not take forever.
        From the perspective of professional GC buyers (like yourself) yes, putting 50 or more cards through the machine would take a couple hours. Forever? I still say no. But a definite chunk of time. Time that people choose to burn when they make the decision to walk in with 50 GCs. It’s the price one knowingly pays to take full advantage of the points game.
        Shawn, I do enjoy your advice and commentary. I respect you as an expert in this field and I apologize if you found my comments to be of personal nature. That was certainly never my intention!


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