The Walmart MoneyCard — issued by Green Dot — is a prepaid debit card that comes with many advantages but also a few burdensome fees. While regular Walmart shoppers will be thrilled by this card’s cashback option — up to 3% when you shop at Walmart stores — they’re also likely to be disappointed by the $5 monthly fee when they don’t load $1,000 onto their card over the course of a month.
You will have to pay to deposit cash onto your Walmart MoneyCard, and paying higher fees if you don’t visit a Walmart location to do so. However, direct deposits are free and allow you to receive your paycheck up to two days ahead of schedule. This card comes with both advantages and disadvantages; read on to learn whether the Walmart MoneyCard could be a good match for you.
Walmart MoneyCard features
You can deposit money onto your Walmart MoneyCard in a number of ways. You can deposit cash (for a fee), cash and deposit checks at Walmart locations, or set up direct deposits. Not only does the Walmart MoneyCard offer direct deposit, but when you enroll, you’ll be able to get your paycheck up to two days early.
You are also able to both deposit and send money to others via online banking transfers, and these transactions are free. If you are sending money to others, Walmart makes it convenient to use your Walmart MoneyCard in coordination with Moneygram either in their stores or online.
Normally, prepaid cards don’t allow you to earn cash back, but Walmart MoneyCard offers this attractive feature. The catch is you’ll only earn cash back for your purchases at Walmart, and total cash back per year is capped at a relatively low level. If you shop on Walmart.com, you’ll earn a 3% cash back, while purchases at Murphy USA or Walmart fuel stations will earn you 2% cash back. Shopping at a Walmart store earn you 1% cash back. Your rewards can add up to a maximum of $75 per year.
Another unique feature of this prepaid card is the MoneyCard Vault. Any funds you put into the MoneyCard Vault cannot be accessed via your card, but are still a part of your account’s total balance. This is not a separate savings account, and money stored here does not earn interest.
You can make unlimited transfers into and out of the MoneyCard Vault each day via WalmartMoneyCard.com or the associated app. If you know you’re prone to spend more than you should, having funds stored in the MoneyCard Vault may create enough of a hindrance to prevent you from making impulse buys. However, It’s not impossible to access money in the vault in a moment of weakness; it just makes accessing the funds slightly more difficult.
As an incentive, every dollar you store in your MoneyCard Vault will earn you an entry towards monthly cash prizes. You can earn up to 500 entries per month.
To open a Walmart MoneyCard, you do need a social security number. However, your credit report will not be pulled. Your name will also not be run through ChexSystems — a consumer reporting agency which lists people with poor banking histories.
Walmart MoneyCard fees and fine print
The Walmart MoneyCard does come with some significant fees. But in many cases, there are ways to get around them. You’ll be charged fees from the second you open your card. The activation fee is only charged if you choose to open your card in person rather than online. There is also a monthly fee with this card if you have not loaded at least $1,000 onto your card in the month immediately prior.
Some fees are avoidable, or at least you can reduce them. For example, to reload your card with cash you will be charged $5.95 at partner locations , but you’ll only be charged $3 if you reload at a Walmart location. While you can avoid check deposit fees by cashing your check at Walmart and immediately depositing the funds with the help of a customer service rep, you will still have to pay Walmart’s standard check cashing fee of $4.
Should you ever lose your Walmart MoneyCard and want to replace it, you’ll be looking at a fee of $3 for standard shipping or $15 for expedited shipping.
In general, prepaid cards are known for fees. However, the Walmart MoneyCard does have several that raise eyebrows, such as the monthly fee.
|Check deposit fee||$4|
|ATM withdrawal fees||$2.50 + ATM operator fees|
|ATM balance inquiry fee||$0.50 + ATM operator fees|
|Teller cash withdrawal||$2.50|
|Card replacement fee||$3 or $15|
|International transaction fee||3%|
Using the Walmart MoneyCard mobile app
While you can access account features on WalmartMoneyCard.com, an easier way to manage your prepaid card on the go is with the Walmart MoneyCard app, which is available both in the iTunes app store and via Google Play.
The app provides you with access to the MoneyCard Vault feature, which we discussed above. In addition to managing funds in the vault, the Walmart MoneyCard app allows you to send money to family and friends, pay bills and set up direct deposit. To make the direct deposit process easier, the app allows you to send information to your employer to facilitate the process directly within the app itself.
You’ll also be able to use the app to find reload locations, deposit checks and order paper checks. The app is fairly comprehensive, allowing you to do the basics like checking your balance, transaction and rewards history as well as more complex tasks, like getting money into your account without visiting a reload location.
The app has relatively high ratings on Google play — 4.3 stars out of 5.0 stars — and on iTunes — 4.2 stars out of 5.0 stars.
Opening a Walmart MoneyCard account
To open a MoneyCard account, you must be at least 18 years old and have a valid Social Security number. The cheapest way to get the process started is by ordering your card online. It will take about two weeks to reach you, but this method is free. You’ll have to provide some basic identifying information like your name, address, birth date and Social Security number as a part of the application process.
If you choose to purchase the card in the store, not only will you be charged a $1 activation fee; you’ll also have to go online anyways to register your card. You’ll then wait two weeks for your official card to be mailed to you. The card will arrive with your name embossed onto the front. Registering your card is as easy as filling out the card number, expiration date and CVV and then proceeding to enter your personal information.
While it is inconvenient to wait two weeks to get your official card in the mail, having your name embossed on the card allows you to avoid potential hiccups as you go about your financial errands. As long as you have valid ID on you when you present your card, cashiers are less likely to give you problems at checkout. It also makes things easier should you ever lose your card or have it stolen, as Green Dot is able to transfer your account information to a new card, cancelling the old one.
Overall review of Walmart MoneyCard
While the Walmart MoneyCard offers a wide array of features, there are some downsides. First, while the card does offer rewards, those rewards are only applicable at Walmart commodities. Similarly, you can get discounted fees by loading your card at Walmart, but the reload fees are high to begin with.
The fact that the Walmart MoneyCard comes with a monthly fee — and one that can only be waived if you load at least $1,000 onto your card each month — is a major red flag. If you are confident you’ll be able to load the minimum onto your card that much, it’s a non-issue. But if you’re seeking a prepaid card because things went south with your traditional banking history, cash flow might be a problem for you. If that’s the case, the $5 monthly fee makes this card unattractive.
If you do a lot of shopping at Walmart to earn rewards, will consistently be able to load $1,000 onto your card each month and do not have access to traditional banking services with lower or zero fees, the Walmart MoneyCard may be helpful to you. Otherwise, look for lower-fee alternatives, bearing in mind that prepaid cards almost always come with unwelcome fees on some scale.