Dead! Walmart Gift Cards Devalued With Latest Negative Change

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Walmart Gift Cards

Walmart Gift Cards No Longer Work On 3rd Party Gift Cards At Sam’s Club

I’ve loved the flexibility of Walmart and Sam’s Club gift cards for years.  First, Walmart and Sam’s Club seem to have everything.  Second, I could use each store’s gift card at the other store.  Third, and most importantly for me, I could use store gift cards to buy third party gift cards.  But sadly, it appears that third option is now dead.  Here’s why this Walmart gift card news is a big deal, and how I made the unfortunate discovery.

Why This Is Bad News

Active hobbyists leverage certain credit cards and deals to save big on Walmart and Sam’s Club purchases.  For instance, Walmart has routinely been included as a 5% category on the variety of quarterly bonus category credit cards from Chase, Citi, Discover.  Amex targets many of us with Sam’s Club and Walmart offers, as well.  For example, my favorite play in recent memory was the 4 extra Membership Rewards Amex Offer stacked with Dosh at Sam’s Club late last year.

While buying merchandise and Visa/Mastercard gift cards with fees are feasible options to many, simply purchasing Sam’s Club or Walmart gift cards also enabled us to earn big points near term while leaving purchase options open longer term.  Also, you could effectively stack a Walmart bonus category described above with the purchase of discounted third party gift cards at Sam’s Club.   This was a great capability for normal consumers, active hobbyists, and resellers alike.

But no more!

The Discovery

I’ve been very active lately acquiring discounted Disney e-gift cards at Sam’s Club with Walmart gift cards I obtained through Shop Your Way.  This is partly why I loved the ability to transfer Citi ThankYou points to Shop Your Way points at a favorable rate.  While attempting my most recent purchase of a Disney e-gift card a few nights ago, I was greeted with this:

Walmart Gift Cards

The above message clearly states that I cannot use gift cards to purchase other gift cards.  I got the same message when I attempted to buy a physical Disney gift card.  I optimistically but nonsensically tried a couple more times.  Of course, these attempts proved futile.  Ouch.  But what other options did I have?  That led to my next method.

Walmart Online Order

I decided to try the Walmart website next.  Sure, I would lose out on the 4% discount via Sam’s, but I was still curious.  After adding a Disney gift card to my shopping cart, I went to online checkout.  The good news is I didn’t get the nasty message from Walmart that I got from Sam’s.  The bad news is that I didn’t even have the option to add a Walmart gift card to pay for the Disney gift card.  So no dice with Walmart online.  I had one more method to try, though.

Walmart Gift Cards

Walmart In-Store Via Walmart Pay

I loaded a few Walmart gift cards from Shop Your Way to Walmart Pay in the app.  The balance reflected in the app was enough to cover a Disney gift card.  At the store, I picked up a $25 Disney gift card and went to checkout.  After scanning the Disney gift card, I used Walmart Pay at the register.  I immediately got a pop-up advising that the transaction couldn’t be processed and that only debit or cash was accepted.  (Interestingly, the register did not present credit as an option, although most of us know you can easily buy gift cards at Walmart with credit cards.)  Since I didn’t want to pay via those other methods, I canceled the transaction.  And no, Walmart Pay cannot be used at Sam’s Club.

One Impractical Option I Haven’t Pursued

I haven’t attempted to use my Walmart gift cards to buy third party gift cards in person at Sam’s Club.  Based on the above outcomes, I consider success unlikely.  Regardless, from my perspective, this option is impractical.  Shop Your Way offers a $30 maximum denomination for Walmart gift cards, and these e-gift cards only come with a serial number and PIN (no barcode).  Buying one $47.98 Disney gift card would require the cashier to manually enter the info for two gift cards.  Even if this did work, it’s not worth the hassle for me.  But if this method has worked for you, let us know!

Walmart Gift Cards – Conclusion

Oh well, I had a great run.  This is just another example highlighting the slow death of buying third party gift cards with store gift cards.  I’d like to highlight again that the above experiences were involving the use of Walmart gift cards at Sam’s Club and Walmart.  I have no up to date first-hand knowledge of using Sam’s Club gift cards to buy third party gift cards, but I imagine that is likewise no longer an option.  Also, I only attempted to buy Disney gift cards with the Walmart gift cards.  Perhaps it’s still possible to buy other third party gift cards with Walmart or Sam’s gift cards.  If you have such a datapoint, please share in the comments!

The hobby constantly changes for better or worse, and this is a tough one to absorb.  It’s just another reminder about the importance of creative thinking in this hobby, and I look forward to describing some potential alternatives in a future article.  Have you used Walmart or Sam’s Club gift cards to buy third party gift cards in the past?  How big a loss is this to you, if at all?

Benjy Harmon
Benjy is a fan of points, miles, and financial independence. An experienced world traveler, husband, and father, he currently focuses on roaming throughout the USA expense-free (or close to it). He enjoys helping others achieve their travel goals, Disney-related and otherwise.

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9 COMMENTS

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9 COMMENTS

  1. Just tried this yesterday, so disappointed. I’ve gotten large Walmart gift cards from a Black Friday deal for a new phone the past couple years and have used them to buy third party gift cards for Christmas but this year it was a no-go. Even tried purchasing with other non-gift card items but no luck.

  2. What a crappy article.

    “Walmart Gift Cards No Longer Work On 3rd Party Gift Cards At Sam’s Club”

    “Also, I only attempted to buy Disney gift cards with the Walmart gift cards. Perhaps it’s still possible to buy other third party gift cards with Walmart or Sam’s gift cards.”

  3. Admittedly, I wasn’t doing this, but it doesn’t seem like that big a loss. You can still use your CC to buy the third-party GC directly.

  4. A good data point to test would be mixing non-gift card purchases with gift card purchase checking out in person via WalmartPay at the register. Unsure how this would play, if you can mix like that; when we were checking out of a grocery store with a mixed purchase, the self-service clerk monitor had to move the GC purchase to her separate terminal to complete the purchase, while the non-GC purchase continued at our self-service station. But if they can be mixed, maybe the WalmartPay would work? How are you able to do a GC purchase on your own at terminal anyway, does the clerk have to come over to make input?

    • Doug,

      Interesting perspective!

      When I was at Walmart self-checkout, yes, a clerk came over and input the value I wanted on the gift card. I then scanned Walmart Pay on the screen, and got the disappointing message.

      • Great, so if someone has the opportunity, purchase GC and non-GC, have clerk input the value, scan a couple of non-GC items, then try WalmartPay. My guess is that it has at least a 50/50 chance of working; it seems that if a programmer is tuned into lines, customer frustration, etc., they would have to have considered the consequences of making many fully scanned carts be voided out b/c of a single gift card in the mix. It might be a while before I can try, but try I will!

        • I think the chances for this working are slim at best. Technically, a check “does this contain 3rd paty gc” is a much more natural and more trivial check than “does this _only_ contain 3rd party gc”

          I don’t think it’s impossible that this is the case, but the chance is more like 9999/1 than 50/50.

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