The Walmart MoneyCard is one of the best prepaid debit cards for cash back. Available as both Mastercard and Visa, the Walmart MoneyCard can be used to shop online or in-store anywhere those particular types of card are accepted. However, where the Walmart MoneyCard really comes into its own among the best prepaid debit cards is when making purchases at Walmart itself. If you're not looking for a debit card, and want to spread payments, consider one of the best credit cards instead.
Walmart MoneyCard: Benefits
Application process: Online or in-store
Benefits: Maximum $75 cash back, savings feature
Fees: $5 monthly fee, can be waived
- Up to $75 cash back
- Savings feature paying 2%
The Walmart MoneyCard allows you to earn 3% cash back at Walmart.com, 2% cash back at Walmart fuel stations, and 1% cash back at Walmart stores, up to an overall maximum of $75 each year. Then there’s the option to get your pay up to two days before payday (or your government benefits up to four days in advance) with the free ASAP Direct Deposit (subject to deposit verification and your payment provider’s process and timing).
The Walmart MoneyCard also allows you to put money away and earn 2% annual interest in the free savings feature that comes with the Walmart MoneyCard app, while there is automatic entry into a monthly draw to win cash prizes too.
On a more practical basis, it is possible to use a Walmart MoneyCard to make ATM withdrawals (you’ll need to set up a PIN first), and use it to cover regular monthly payments for things such as gym membership, cable TV and your cell phone bill. You can also quickly send or receive money from other Walmart MoneyCard cardholders or any other Green Dot Bank (they are the issuer behind the card) issued card nationwide.
Walmart MoneyCard: Application process
- In-store or online
- Doesn't impact credit score
It is possible to apply for a Walmart MoneyCard either in-store at your local Walmart or online, but there will be a number of things you will need to share to get started. You will be expected to verify your name, address, date of birth, Social Security number, and mobile phone number, while you will likely need to provide your driver’s license or another identifying document at the same time. Note also that if a valid Social Security number is not provided, a personalized card will not be issued.
You must be at least 18 years old to register as a primary Walmart MoneyCard cardholder, although it is then possible for a primary cardholder to order a card for their children between the ages of 13 -18 through the Walmart MoneyCard app (up to a limit of four cards per account).
Importantly, getting a Walmart MoneyCard account does not impact your credit since a line of credit isn’t issued, there’s no requirement to make monthly payments, and no need to report your card activity to the major credit bureaus.
Walmart MoneyCard: How long before I can use it?
- Online application, within two weeks
- In-store, limited use Starter Card immediately
Applying for the Walmart MoneyCard online will involve you waiting for your new card to arrive by mail. It should be with you within two weeks, at which point you’ll need to activate it online or using the Walmart MoneyCard app, and then deposit money to your card before you can start using it.
However, if you sign up using the Walmart MoneyCard packages found in stores, this will include a limited use Starter Card that can be used (after it is registered online) to pay for purchases until your personalized card arrives in the mail. The Starter Card can be reloaded with money and can be used for ATM transactions or other cash withdrawals upon successful identity verification.
Again, it will then be a case of waiting for your personalized card to arrive in the mail and then activating this online or using the Walmart Moneycard app - any money on your Starter Card should automatically transfer over once it goes live.
Activating your personalized Walmart MoneyCard will unlock several features that make it easy to do things like pay bills on your schedule, deposit checks from your smartphone, and more.
Walmart MoneyCard: Fees
- $5 monthly, unless balance over $1,000
- Free withdrawals in store
The first thing to say is that there are no fees on purchases, and free cash withdrawals at Walmart locations. However, there is still the potential to accumulate costs if you’re not careful.
Firstly, there is a $1 one-time fee to pay at the register if you buy a Walmart MoneyCard fee at a Walmart store. From here, there is a monthly usage fee of $5, although this will be waived if you load $1,000 or more to your card in the previous month. Reloading your Walmart MoneyCard with cash can also come at a price, with $3 charged for doing it at a Walmart store and up to $5.95 being payable if you reload at other locations. However, there is no charge when proceeds of checks cashed at Walmart stores are added to your account, and of course, your paycheck or benefits can be deposited to your balance for free.
In terms of getting cash with your Walmart MoneyCard, an ATM withdrawal will cost $2.50 and may attract a further fee from the ATM operator, while the same fee applies if making a teller cash withdrawal at a bank. For this reason, it is always best to try and make cash withdrawals at Walmart MoneyCenters and Customer Service desks, where no fee will be charged. It is also worth noting that making a balance inquiry at an ATM will be charged at $0.50, with further fees possible from the operator, so try to check your balance online by logging in to the website or the mobile app.
If you are thinking of using a Walmart MoneyCard outside the U.S., this will attract a fee equivalent to 3% of the U.S. dollar amount of each transaction. Finally, there is a $5.95 fee if you want a pack of 12 paper checks, a $3 charge for the regular delivery of any replacement card, and a $15 charge on top of that if you need a replacement card by expedited delivery.
Should you get the Walmart Money Card?
Whether the Walmart MoneyCard will be good for you will likely depend on your shopping habits and ability to avoid paying the monthly fee. For Walmart devotees, it should be possible to attain the maximum $75 cash back a year, and if you want to use the Walmart MoneyCard for cash withdrawals it is best to do this at Walmart MoneyCenters and Customer Service desks for free. However, you won’t want to reload your card at the Walmart checkout, as this will cost $3, and it will cost even more if done elsewhere. Making sure you take advantage of the free (and early) direct deposit of your pay or benefits is key.
More positives include the lack of fees on purchases and the 2% savings option, but to really make it worthwhile financially, you should try to keep your balance above the $1,000 mark, then you won’t have to pay the $5 monthly fee.