Walmart MoneyCard Review: Almost Really Good

The Walmart MoneyCard is a pre-paid, rechargeable, Visa card. It’s not really a credit card, per-se, because you don’t get any credit. But for all intents and purposes, calling it a pre-paid credit card is a good description of how it works.

In my pursuit of getting off the debt train, I decided to get one. My goal was to stop using credit cards for my online purchases. I run an online business, several actually. I need to pay suppliers and other merchants through the internet. I didn’t want to give them direct access to my bank account by using my regular Visa check/atm card. I need more protection than that. A rechargeable prepaid Visa card seemed the perfect solution.

I looked through all the offers of similar cards. The Walmart MoneyCard had reasonable fees. $3 to get started, $3 to reload it with it at a Walmart store, a $3 monthly maintenance fee. There are a variety of other fees, for getting money from an ATM and such, but these are the ones that applied to me. And the $3 for reloading at a Walmart store, I shouldn’t have to deal with that either… as my plan was to reload through the online bank transfer method that’s offered on their website… but that became a problem, and that led to the exposure of other issues.

Before I dig into that though, let me say this – I like the card. It has been convenient. I feel much more in control. Their website is handy and easy to navigate. They even email me a nice little balance alert when the balance changes. The $3 monthly charge? That’s nothing compared to the interest and the occasional (yep – rare, but it happens) late fees I’d get hit with from my credit cards.

Overall, I would recommend the card to friends. But there is definitely room for improvement.

The feature I most wanted… the reason I choose this card above others, was that they offered free reloading via an online transfer from a regular checking account. 

I want to log into my bank’s website once a month, and send money to my Walmart MoneyCard for the next month’s expenses, and not be charged for it.

I would normally set something like this up through the ‘bill pay’ on my bank system, and that’s what the MoneyCard’s website instructs me to do. My bank uses the ‘netteller.com’ network as it’s bill-pay system. The netteller.com system requires that I input the company’s (payee’s) name, address, and the account number. Easy enough. 

But the Walmart MoneyCard’s site gives me this information for setting it up: the bank’s name, ACH number, ABA routing number, and account type.

The information needed by my bank, and the information provided by the MoneyCard’s site, don’t match up.

Which led to several ineffective calls to Walmart MoneyCard customer service. Major waste of time. So I called my bank. They took the info and tried to set it up. After several days, the answer is… it can’t be done. My bank says the ACH info that the MoneyCard site is giving me is for setting up drafts, where a company drafts money out of your account. It’s not meant for setting up payments that I initiate to be paid to another party.

I know I won’t get anywhere trying to tell a MoneyCard customer service rep on the phone that their website apparently has the wrong info, or at least the wrong info for anyone on the system my bank uses. So I look for a way to contact them online. No dice. There is no online contact form, no email addresses, no way to contact higher ups. Nothing.

So I went to my local Walmart, which has a Walmart Money Center (and is where I got the card from originally). They had no idea that reloading from my online checking account was offered on the Walmart MoneyCard website, so they were no help.

Then when I went to reload my card while there, but they said I couldn’t reload it using my regular ATM debit card. They wanted cash. I convinced them to give it a try, ran my debit card through and it recharged just fine. As I knew it would, that’s the way I bought and loaded the card in the first place. They were surprised.

So to wrap up, the card has it’s uses. There are many benefits. But it could be so much better if:

–  they get the ability to reload the card from my bank account working (or get in touch with me using the contact form here at newsforshoppers.com and tell me how to do it),

– train Walmart employees in the Walmart Financial Centers how the card works,

– and set up a way for customers to contact customer service online – with issue tracking and a system for escualating unsolved issues.

If representatives of Walmart MoneyCard contact Sure Start News regarding this review, I will provide updates with any information they provide.

As for other, more negative reviews of the Walmart MoneyCard you may find online – look at them carefully. Many are negative because the person getting the card thought it was a ‘gift’ card.

Do understand that this is not a gift card. Even though it’s not really a ‘credit’ card, it functions like one. If Walmart’s employees are trained right, they should make very sure that consumers understand there’s a difference between the  prepaid Walmart MoneyCard and a Walmart Gift Card.

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