This was a tough week for me in terms of manufactured spending. I ran into a few problems with two of my most reliable Walmart locations. The first location is one where I’ve been able to load up on $10,000 worth of money orders and another $10,000 in bill pay per visit. This is the only store where I’ve been able to split payments for bill payments, so it’s a great place to go when I need to unload a ton of gift cards.
On my most recent visit, the cashier I normally deal with informed me that the manager had instated a new rule: Going forward, all money order purchases must be done in one transaction. This is bad news for me because the maximum number of payments you can split a purchase into is four cards. That limits money order purchases to $2,000 per transaction. In the past, they were ok with me doing five $2,000 transactions but now they’ve eliminated that option. I’m still grateful I can at least do $2,000 plus a ton of bill pay, so it’s not a complete lost cause.
After this, I went to a second nearby location which has also been an ms-friendly spot. This time, the register began acting up. I had the hardest time trying to pay for $2,000 in money orders per transaction. The computer kept rejecting my payments but then deducting $500 from my total amount due. I finally gave up after buying $6,000, since it was becoming really obnoxious at that point and I didn’t want to end up with a bunch of money orders that I may not have been able to deposit. Thankfully nothing like that happened. It turns out the funds were in fact deducted from each card and depositing the money orders turned out to be a breeze.
When I went back a couple of days later, I ran into the same problem. The cashier was concerned about the payment being rejected yet still getting deducted from the total amount due, so she cancelled the transaction and suggested we try again, $1,000 at a time. This worked out well, but I decided to stop after the second purchase because it was just too tedious and I had too much stuff to do that day.
All of this does put a wrench into my plans to liquidate my current stash of $50,000 worth of Visa gift cards, but I am planning on visiting my sister next week and her town is pretty ms-friendly. I’ll do some damage there and by the time I get back home, I’ll have a pile of newly arrived cards from giftcards.com to deal with. For those who have emailed and left comments to express your disappointment over giftcards.com issuing Metabank cards, don’t be: Metabank cards are ideal for money order purchases at Walmart and elsewhere. And that, as Martha Stewart would say, is a good thing.
What have you all been up to this past week in terms of gift card churning?
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