Wal-Mart is offering the new Walmart MoneyCard(SM) Visa® Prepaid Card; a pre-paid and reloadable Visa debit card. This money card is accepted at nearly 29 million Visa-accepting merchant locations around the world. It a more convenient and safer alternative to charging on a credit card, having a bank account or carrying cash for purchases. This card can be used at any ATM machine or retail store that accepts Visa debit cards. Customers who have chosen to replace their checking accounts with the Wal-Mart Money Cards had reached more than $24 billion in 2008 in the United States; today this number has continued to grow.
The Walmart MoneyCard(SM) Visa® Prepaid Card can be used for a maximum of one year as long as the balance is more than zero dollars. Once the funds that have been added to the card have been used, the card holder can add more funds within a 60 day period; beyond 60 days, the card will expire. Money can be added through direct deposit, with check or cash at a cash register or through Green Dot money paks (available both at retailers and online). Green Dot is a company that offers consumers financial services and products through leading retailers, with the Money Card being just one of them offered at Wal-Mart.
The initial fee for a Wal-Mart card is $3.00 and this is added to the card when it is issued. Although the Prepaid Card offer with no issuance fee is available currently (above) only online. The cost to reload a card without the option of check cashing is $3. Both domestic as well as international ATM cash transactions costs $2.00. A balance inquiry using an ATM machine costs $1.00 and there is a monthly fee of $3.00 for using the card
Advantages/Key features of the Wal-Mart Money Card
1. Pre-funded. Because it is made as a pre-funded card, customers are only able to spend what has been added to the card.
2. Management of daily spending. The Money Card provides email and cell phone alerts, free balance inquiries and online transaction history.
3. A back account is not required nor is a credit check needed for purchase.
4. Can be used anywhere a Visa debit card is accepted worldwide; hotels, restaurants, grocery stores, gas stations, airlines.
5. Bills can be paid with the Money Card through Bill Payment. Same-day, next-day and three-day bill payment options are available.
6. Can be reloaded over and over again.
7. No reloading fees or transaction fees applied.
8. Cash-back incentive. Receive 1% back when purchasing gas.
9. Direct deposit. Either all or part of a paycheck can be direct deposited onto the card.
10. Safer than carrying cash.
11. 1% rebate is offered with gas purchases. This rebate is seen as additional funds on the card.
While the Wal-Mart Money Card is very advantageous for many customers, other customers are finding it to be a problem for them. Complaints are made that money cannot be withdrawn from the account until using a permanent card and this card has to be sent through the mail. Others customers complain that the temporary card given when first buying the card can only be used one. Online purchases are also sometimes more difficult for some when using the Money Card when compared to other types of cards.