Manufactured Spending

Newbie Guide to Manufactured Spending: Walmart Money Orders

Limit: Varies

Fees: $0.22-0.75 per $1,000 (although this varies as well)

Where to buy: Walmart MoneyCenter

How to Cash Out: Bank deposit, bill pay at bank branch

Walmart Money Order

Though money orders can be purchased at your local Safeway, Kmart and other retailers, not every place will accept debit cards for these purchases. The Walmart MoneyCenter is a tried and tested source for money orders that can be purchased with PIN-enabled gift cards.

Once you get over the fact that you have to park your car in another city, spend 10-20 minutes in a line where the slowest cashier works the register while three other employees stand around doing nothing, it pays off.

When you finally make it to the front of the line, simply tell them you want to purchase a money order, specify the amount, and swipe your debit or gift card when prompted. Money orders can only be purchased with PIN-enabled cards, so, unfortunately, American Express gift cards are ineligible. Vanilla Visa gift cards generally can’t be used to purchase Walmart money orders either. Your safest bet are GiftCardMall branded Visa gift cards sold at office supply or grocery stores. There are two scenarios in which money orders come in handy:

A cheap way to generate miles

If you have a mile-earning debit card, buying money orders is a cheap way to earn miles. Recently, the Alaska debit card was discontinued, so the only mile-earning debit card left is the UFB Direct check card, which earns 1 AAdvantage mile per $3 spent.

If you try to purchase more than $3,000 worth of money orders, the cashier will pull out a giant binder and record all the information listed on your driver’s license, along with the purchase amount. You don’t want that to happen, so keep your purchases at $2,950 to be safe.

Instead, walk into a local bank branch (i.e. Citi, Chase, Bank of America, U.S. Bank) and use the money orders to pay off your credit card. If your mortgage is with one of these banks, you can pay that as well. If you have a secondary bank account, depositing a few thousand dollars in money orders each month should be ok.

A cheap way to cash out prepaid cards

As I demonstrated throughout the series, money orders are a cheap way to cash out prepaid cards that have been loaded with a mile-earning credit card. For example, if you’re buying Visa gift cards through a shopping portal like TopCashBack or Extrabux, unloading them via Walmart money orders is cheap and there are no monthly maximums. [Update 4/9: TopCashBack is no longer offering cash back on Visa gift cards.]

Since Visa gift cards purchased at drug and grocery stores come in $500 increments and money orders come in $1,000 increments, you can buy a single money order and split the payment between the two cards. This will cut your unloading cost in half.

Disclosure: I will earn a $10 referral fee if you register using the TopCashBack link in this post, along with $5 from Extrabux after your first purchase. You’ll earn $5 just for signing up. Extrabux pays out additional commission when users who signed up with my link use the portal. Please feel free to include your own referral links in the comment section.

Risk and tips

As far as risk, if you do everything in moderation, you will be fine. If you’re using a mile-earning debit card, I would keep money order purchases under $10,000 per month to avoid suspicion. Even if you are buying less than $3,000 at a time. Go overboard and you’ll get your accounts shut down.

As for cashing out Visa gift cards, just make sure your local Walmart doesn’t suddenly wise up and wonder why you’re buying so many money orders. I think of Walmart like a government office. Everything moves at snail pace and most employees don’t do more work than they have to. So I doubt you’ll encounter problems, but as a rule of thumb, it’s best to fly under the radar.

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  1. This topic is of great interest to me so thank you very much. I don’t have a miles earning debit card and would like to keep it that way, so I’m looking for ways to earn miles through MO purchases, especially as VR purchases w/ credit cards seems to be getting less and less permitted by CVS.

    So you’re saying that I can go to a cashback portal, buy prepaid Visa gift cards, obtain a PIN, then take those to Wally World and buy the MO, deposit the MO into my checking account, then pay my CC out of that checking account. Anything to look for in the prepaid Visa cards on the cash back portal so I don’t end up with non-PIN enabled cards?

    • PointChaser

      Yes, that’s the way to do it: Go through TCB to buy Visa gift cards from Those gift cards are all PIN enabled. If you’re buying them elsewhere, a good rule of thumb is to get gift cards issued by Bancorp, US Bank, and MetaBank.

      • Does topcashback issue any kind of tax form if earnings go over a certain level, like, 400 dollars. In other words, are the rebates reported to the govt.

        • PointChaser

          Not that I know of. Their FAQ doesn’t mention it and I’ve earned over $2,000 without getting a tax form.

  2. Thanks for the great post. in order to lay your credit card at a bank, does it need to be issued by that bank it do they have a bill pay service at banks? Also, would bringing in 2 MO’s each month to pay a mortgage which exceeds $3K be an issue with WF?

    • PointChaser

      $3k is perfectly acceptable – the most money orders I’ve purchased in a month (some for legitimate purposes) was $12,000 and it did not raise a flag. I would just be careful when you’re using the card to buy money orders, then redepositing those money orders into the same account (i.e. Suntrust, UFB). If you’re using it to pay your mortgage at Wells Fargo, that won’t be a problem.

      • JoshNicolaus

        Would you buy multiple money orders with multiple GCs all at the same teller? 3 money orders for 1k each, would equal 6 $500 GCs.

      • If there’s no branch available and redepositing the money orders into the same account is not wise, what other options are available. I don’t have a chase branch in my area.

  3. I have money orders that I’ve purchased at Walmart by using Visa gift cards bought with Ink.

    Scanning the MOs Into my PC for deposit at home via UFB is too difficult for me, although I don’t know if my iPad could do it more easily.

    I have bank accounts at UFB and Santander. Do you think it is ok to make the money orders out to myself sign the back and mail them into UFB? Otherwise deposit them at Santander branch. Otherwise what would you suggest?

    • PointChaser

      I’ve done that before, but I’ve had someone else sign them over to me. It should be ok in moderation. If you can deposit some of them with Santander, I would absolutely recommend you do that.

  4. Great post. How do you handle buying $1000 MO with two $500 gift cards?

    • PointChaser

      Thanks! You can just tell the cashier you’d like to split the cost across two cards and specify how much. I believe you can split it between up to 4 debit cards.

    • Jerry Mandel

      Do NOT go to WM cashiers. Go to WM store’s Money Center. Yes, two $500 debit cards per $1,000 MO. Four Debit cards for two MOs. Six debit cards for three MOs. Pay the 68c fee per MO in cash. Max of three MOs per transaction. I only use One Vanilla debit cards from CVS. (Not reloadable) Not all CVSs have them and they are sometimes behind the counter. I use last 4 digits on each card as a PIN. I deposit MOs into my bank to pay off the credit cards. Call to get all new cards unblocked or they will be declined at CVS. I charge $504.95 for each $500 One Vanilla debit card to get the miles or points for the fees also.

  5. I’ve done this a couple of times lately. Walmart is the worst! Fortunately, the money center is right by the door so I don’t have to go all the way in there. Trying to finish the spend for the Citi Executive card!

    • PointChaser

      I’m giving myself until this weekend to unload that spend. It’s so much easier buy Amex/Visa gift cards online.

  6. Hey, what are your thoughts on using USPS for money orders? There is no walmart near me, and this seems to be one of the options to unload my MVD.

    • PointChaser

      I’d definitely give it a shot. I doubt the money orders will cost more than $1-2, but just make sure it makes sense financially to unload your card that way.

  7. Can you get Walmart MO with the Amex Target card? It has a pin number.

  8. Thanks for the info. How do you set a pin number on the metabank gift cards?
    Do you use the last four numbers on the card or do you have to set it up some other way?

  9. For the first time in my life, I got $4000 Visa GCs from giftcardmall through TCB (on two CCs), activated them online, set PINs online, went to WM today, loaded $2000 to two BBs, then got two $1000 MOs. 🙂 Thank you very much for the detail instructions.

    I feel it’s very important to set PINs online ( It’s easy to do, and when at WM register, I was challenged the GC couldn’t be used to load BB, I was very sure to tell her otherwise. She reluctantly agreed to give a try and of course it worked. 🙂

    One thing to confirm: there’s a limit of $1000 to load BB using debit card, right?


    • PointChaser

      Congrats! If your Walmart has a Bluebird ATM, you can use that to load your card and bypass the cashier altogether. Yes, the debit limit is still $1,000.

      • Thanks. I’ll look for that next time.

        But, seems your break from your “self-imposed internet fast” is a little bit long; or is it a 5th break already? 🙂

    • What does your card statement say? “merchandize” or “giftcardmall”?

    • Did you say you loaded $1000 to each bluebird account in one day? I thought the bluebird limit was $200 per day and 1000 per month.

  10. Thanks for this helpful post. I’ve not yet waded into MO land yet, but am thinking of giving it a go now. A few questions, if you don’t mind: (1) do money orders have to be bought through cashiers — not at the bluebird ATM machine (I always like to avoid humans there whenever possible), and (2) never knew you could pay mortgage in person with a MO — does your oder need to be the exact amount of the mortgage payment? If not what happens with the excess amount of MO? Thanks

    • Jerry Mandel

      Cashiers aren’t well trained. Use the Walmart Money Center counter. $1,000 max per MO and 3 max MOs per each transaction. Pay the 68c fee per MO in cash. Deposit MOs in bank and send checks for mortgage, car, alimony, ………..payments…….if you can’t electronically pay from your bank account bill pay. Set up monthly automatic bill pays for mortgage, rent, car payments and avoid mailing checks. I have utilities draw from my checking account and write very few checks.

    • PointChaser

      I’m glad you’re finding the posts useful. The Bluebird ATM shows an option to buy money orders, but I think this is limited to $100 or so – and at my store, when you click on the option, you get an “unavailable” message. So the cashier at the Money Center is your best bet.

      I’d pay the exact amount on your mortgage, but if you overpay, the remaining amount goes towards your principal.

  11. Hi Ariana. If I buy a Walmart MO by debit with my MVD will it show as cash advance ($1.95 fee by MVD) or purchase ($0.50). Also I assume too many cash advances is what gets the MVD shut down?

    • Jerry Mandel

      What is MVD? I use One Vanilla debit cards from CVS at Walmart Money Centers and pay the MO fees in cash. In Dallas, Texas, 68c per MO.

    • PointChaser

      It will get processed as a purchase, so the $0.50 fee applies. I think what has gotten people shut down is loading the card to the max and unloading it right away. What I do is throw in a bit of spend (i.e. a Starbucks card load, a small purchase at the grocery store where I request $200 cashback at the register). So far I’ve managed to avoid shut downs.

  12. MVD is pretty much useless now as VR can no longer be purchased with cc…

  13. Jerry Mandel

    I don’t buy money orders from my bank. I buy MoneyGram money orders from a Walmart Money Center to deposit into my bank.

  14. I’m a little confused with this, I just received my citi advantage card, how does the whole MO thing work? I buy a money order with the credit card? Or do I first buy a gift card?

  15. I’m a newbe and I hope I understand this right. Rewards-Credit-Card>Pre-Paid-Debit>Money-Order>Bank>Rewards-Card. Is it a bad idea to have the money order written to the credit card company directly? My only concern is if you have a lot of cash flowing could this send a red flag to the IRS for a tax audit or even a red flag to the bank and they this its money laundering? Can someone do this with the cash back cards and actually make a living doing this?Thanks in advance for any advise!

    • PointChaser

      You have that right. To avoid suspicion and/or account closures, mix it up: Deposit some of the money orders into your checking account (then use the funds to pay your credit card), make the mo’s out to your bank and pay off your credit cards, cash some of them out then either deposit into your bank account or pay your credit card bill at a local branch. Spreading the mo’s out like this keeps you under the radar.

      • I guess I’m confused here. I’m also a newbie. You start with the the rewards credit card. You then get a prepaid debit card which you take to walmart to get a money order. You make the money order to yourself and take it to your bank or credit union where you deposit the money order?

        Say for example I want to pay my rent while utilizing a rewards card (we’ll say Chase Freedom as I currently 5% cashback on groceries).

        Step1: I take my rewards card and go to a merchant that is considered a grocer THAT ALLOWS you to purchase a prepaid debit/gift card like a Visa Gift Card or Mastercard. This card must be pin enabled right?

        Step2: Once I’ve obtained a prepaid visa/mastercard I can take it to Walmart for example and purchase a money order made out to myself for my rent amount.

        Step3: Take my money order to my credit union and deposit it to my checking account.

        Step4: I then issue a check to my landlord since the money order has been deposited to my checking account.

        Summary: This will allow for me to get % cashback if at grocer w/ Chase Freedom or even 1.5% cash back with Capital One Quicksilver if I use that card instead.

        Did I miss any steps here?

        • You could just make the money order out to your landlord and use it to pay your rent directly.

        • Jerry Mandel

          Yes, you can do it with the trivial cash back credit cards but you are passing up $thousands in value of bonus miles and points.

          • Jerry, I’ve only got cards with cashback ie: Chase Freedom, C1 Quicksilver and Sallie Mae World Mastercard. I’d love to earn travel rewards, what would you recommend that carries no annual fee?

          • Look at all the bank cards websites, Citi, Barclay, Chase, US Bank, AMEX,…. You will see many with annual fee waived first year. However, Barclay US Airways is a terrific ROI with $89 for 50,000 bonus miles. Good for two domestic round trips and the US Dividend miles will convert into AA miles. With any airline and hotel bonus cards, first join the airline and hotel loyalty programs.

  16. I heard Walmart doesn’t accept some debit gift cards as of June 20th 2014 for MO. Does anyone know what cards still work if any?

    • PointChaser

      There are some conflicting reports. I unloaded some Simon Mall gc’s this weekend without problems.

    • The Walmarts in the DC area appear to have put the brakes on using the debit gift cards for purchasing money orders. It seems to have finally happened to all of the Walmarts in the area in the past week or so. Ugh.

  17. Can one vanilla still be used at Walmart and if so,how

  18. I have a grocery store that does not accept credit cards but accept signature debit (so far I’ve used a bank debit card with VISA logo). Is there a way I can purchase a debit card with VISA or Master card logo with a credit card and maybe I can use this debit card at a store that doesn’t accept credit cards? I’m trying to use the credit card to meet sign up spending. Please help.

    • Jerry Mandel

      KIm—I’m in Dallas, Texas and every grocery store accepts credit cards. I buy MC and VISA (never AMEX) gift cards which can be loaded to $500 and which can be converted into debit cards by obtaining PINs. I buy money orders to deposit and quickly meet minimum spending.
      Maybe, you got an uninformed clerk. Did you talk with a manager?
      Why would you use your bank debit card to buy cards? I can’t see any point to it.

    • PointChaser

      As Jerry pointed out, that’s very odd. But if you have no other options, you can try buying Visa/MC gift cards either online via or from your local Simon Mall customer service desk. The fees for SM cards are nominal at $2.95 per $500.

      • Jerry Mandel

        Simon Mall here in Dallas, TX now has $250 max per gift card. At $2 per card, that is $8 per $1,000 MO in Walmart or Kroger. Not bad for a big bonus. Walmart and Kroger both charge 68c per $1,000 MO>

  19. Jerry and PointChaser, I’m very new to manufactured spending (just got our first sign up bonus credit card) so I am confused with your comments LOL.
    We have a grocery store called Aldi’s and they don’t accept credit card as payment. (They only accept cash or debit card). No store gift cards available either. However this is my main grocery store so I would like to use my new credit card (via manufactured spending) to meet my $3000/3 mo spending goal. I was asking how I can achieve this?
    We have Simon mall here. You mean I can buy Simon mall Visa/MC gift card at the mall and possibly can use it at the grocery store that doesn’t accept credit card? Are these PIN enabled giftcard? And/Or are they considered debit card?
    Jerry, regarding the last comment, so you buy Walmart giftcard at Simon mall and use it to get cash from Walmart? Today I went to a Walmart Money center and asked, they said I can only buy money order with cash or debit card.? Please help.
    Thank you all for advice.

    • PointChaser

      Yes, those Simon Mall gift cards are PIN-enabled and processed like debit cards.

    • Jerry Mandel

      No cash at Walmart. No Walmart gift card: it is a Simon gift card. Money orders to deposit into bank. You have to read the gift card folder. It says to call up to get a PIN to convert from gift card into debit card. I do it with no problems.

    • Jerry Mandel

      Aldi has its own peculiar rules. You can buy $500 VISA or MC gift cards at Kroger and other grocery stores. After getting PINs, buy MOs in Walmart or grocery stores.

  20. I went to walmart today and tried to purchase a money order using a Visa pre paid pin enabled gift card that I purchased at Simon Malls. They would not take it. Cash only or a bank debit card. So I loaded card to Bluebird. I would still like to find a place to purchase money orders with gift/debit card.

    • Jerry Mandel

      The clerk was ignorant. You should have asked for a supervisor. I have been using Simon cards for money orders in WM. Also, good at Kroger.

    • PointChaser

      The money center employees have been instructed not to take cards without names on them. I’d avoid it going further and would definitely not get a supervisor involved. You can buy mo’s at the kiosk though. Or try the post office of your local grocery store.

      • Jerry Mandel

        That bit about cards without names on them is way obsolete information. ALWAYS get a supervisor. ALWAYS. Although, I once had to get a supervisor to call up to get up-to-date and then tell the clerks it is OK. Note: The only cards with names are bank debit cards.

        • PointChaser

          When they cashier has been instructed not to take “gift cards” without your name on them, there’s not much else the supervisor will add to that. Especially, since they’re the ones that gave them those instructions to begin with.

          • Repeat. I got an area supervisor to call up and get straightened out and then tell the money center clerks it was OK. If no cooperation (She did cooperate.), complain to the store manager. As some wise person once said, I do not tolerate fools and incompetent and lazy people gladly. BTW- We do buy groceries, medicines, and goods in Walmart.

        • Jerry, so are you saying that it is official WM policy to accept debit cards even if they don’t have your name on it…??? I hate to get a supervisor involved and be wrong…??? Sorry if this was covered somewhere else…

          • I routinely buy money orders in Walmart with no name on the debit cards.You can also do the same in grocery stores, such as one of the Kroger chains. Deposit MOs in your bank for quick minimum spending.

          • “That bit about cards without names on them is way obsolete information. ALWAYS get a supervisor. ” But re: to this statement and getting an “area” supervisor involved, have you been told that the policy is to accept all “debit” cards as debit, even when they do not have the name…??? Here in the VA/DC area ALL the WM’s are so over the MS peeps I just don’t want to go down a road that leads no-where…Again, thanks for the info, obviously I am aware YMMV is at play here, but you sound so sure of yourself I am hoping for good results here…

          • Walmart here works fine for me. However, try the grocery stores for money orders. Kroger here accepts the debit cards. I doubt they will accept AMEX cards. So, I only use VISA and Master Card ones.

  21. Please forgive me if this has been answered. I just got the ink plus 70,000 deal today. My mortgage is $1400 a month, My plan is to buy 7 $200 visa debit cards from staples then buy a money order for $1400 (+ money order fee) at walmart. Will they let me use 7 cards in one transaction for 1 money order? Thanks

    • Jerry Mandel

      Adriene——1. Maximum of $1,000 per MO at Walmart and grocery stores. Pay fees separately in cash. 2. Max 3 MOs in one transaction.3. Too expensive in fees to buy $200 cards in Staples. Buy in Simon mall or outlet, drug store, grocery store. $500 gift cards to get PINs to convert into debit cards.

    • I’d recommend buying Simon Mall Visa gift cards or Giftcardmall Visa gift cards from your local grocery store. You can load these onto Bluebird and then use Bluebird to pay your mortgage. At my Walmart, the limit (when they were accepting Visa gc’s for money orders) was three cards per transaction. I recommend you get a Bluebird card and load your gc’s onto it.

  22. I tend to buy gc at Staples for the 5x points. What cc do you use at grocery, mall or other to get the best value ? Thanks for such an excellent resource.

    • Amex Blue Cash Preferred is a good option for cash back, or Hilton HHonors Amex. Hilton points are massively devalued, but at 6 points per $1 it takes less than $16,000 in spend to earn enough points for a top-tier hotel like the Conrad Koh Samui.

  23. How would someone load a visa gift card with pin into a bluebird account?

    • You can do it at the Walmart register or the Bluebird kiosk.

    • Go to any cashier at Walmart

      • Jerry Mandel

        Checkout cashiers don’t know so much. Go to the Money Center counter in the Service Center. Not all Walmarts have kiosks…….and that work.

    • Don’t go to the money center. They’ve been instructed not to accept gift cards for payment.

      • Jerry Mandel

        1. I wrote to Walmart HQ and the response said they will accept prepaid DEBIT cards (now) for money orders. To verify it, I went to one today (12/27) and was told they will accept DEBIT cards WITH PINs-not “GIFT” cards. Sadly, the clerks don’t always seem to have up-to-date information. So get a supervisor/manager. 2. It seems each store varies with how many debit cards they accept in one transaction.So, come back later or another day.

        • Jerry you’re an idiot for doing that. “Don’t call the airline” – it’s the first rule of ms. Ariana, please block this asshole from commenting in here. He’s always encouraging stupid behavior like this.

          • On which planet does Mary live? “Call the airline”? What I outlined is working well and routinely every day for thousands of people.

  24. Just double-checking the statement… “Generating 500-1,000 miles at a rate of $0.53 cents is about as cheap as it gets (unless you go the gift card/shopping portal route). If you were to generate a total of 100,000 miles through this method, it would cost you just $53-$106, depending on which card you use” … For $0.53 per 1000 miles, isn’t the cost closer to $530?

  25. Jerry Mandel

    NO place in Dallas, TX now lets you buy money orders with gift/debit cards with PINs. USPS HQ says you can use them to buy money orders but no branch computers permit it.

    NB- $530 is a bargain for 100,000 miles.That is 4 domestic round trips which could cost $hundreds each.

    • Jerry I live in Dallas also wondering how are you manufacturing spending? CVS here doesn’t allow buy OV GC. Where are you buying GC and what type? And any possible way to redeem them since money order loop hole is closed? Please share/suggest your experience thanks I am also having hard time to buying them and redeeming them.

      • I don’t buy gift cards anymore. No way to redeem them without money orders. Or use them up for personal expenses. At Galleria mall info desk, $250 gift cards are $2 each. Four cards max per transaction. You can buy gift cards at Kroger, etc. I do bonus manufactured spending by prepaying utilities, cable, cell phone, insurance, newspaper. You get it back at no cost to you from no monthly payments for some months. Contact me.

  26. Can you still buy MO at Walmart with visa gift cards? I tried for the first time and was not successful. I bought the gift cards from Cub grocery in Minnesota. The ATM Money Center here doesn’t seem to be the same as the BB Money Center people are referring to. I put my BB card in and it asked for a pin. Should I be putting my gift card in first and entering the pin? Anyway, I went ahead and loaded my gift cards to BB.

  27. I found a way to locate the BB Money Centers on Flyertalk. If you search on this website and enter Walmart as the Location you will find the correct Money Center machines.
    The Walmarts around me are the new ATM Money Centers and don’t work with BB.

  28. Is depositing money order into bank account ok ? dont we need to show the source of it ? And do we need to show this money flow in the tax submissions ?

    • Jerry Mandel

      Money orders into bank accounts is good. Tellers consider it routine. Not related to taxes in any way. It is not income.

      • Thanks Jerry for the reply. But is there any way IRS can come and take a look at it. And also i am on working visa , so dont want to screw things with IRS or USCIS .

        I just started MS and completed all my initial spending requirements. So now planning to do it for earning miles and points by buying visa gift cards. Usually my monthly spending limit is 2000 $ . Wont be suspicious if i suddenly starting to spend 10000 $

        I am planning to split the spending on the below 3 . all got it recently in a month or 2

        Citi thank u premier ( 3% ) found a gas store sellling gift cards with credit card atlast – 4000 per month ( 5000 cl)

        capital one venture ( 2% ) – 4000 ( 15000 cl)

        discover – 2000 ( 1300 cl) – need to cycle the cl . but its 1.5 % ( double the year end)

        applied for amex prg (2% on groceries ) – denied . sent a letter for reconsideration . if approved ( unlikely ) – will do 4000 on it

        main thing dont want to look suspicious to any of them.

        got 1 -serve , 2 – tmobile – . planning to do 5000 on money order with my credit union

        is 5000 too high on money orders ?

        so total 10000 per month is the goal.

        • Jerry Mandel

          Again and Again. MS is NOT income. It is your money on which you already paid income tax. No IRS concern. I do MS by prepaying utilities, cell phone, cable. You get it back from no monthly payments over the months of credit. Why $10K per month? I have never deposited more than $3K money orders at one time. To banks, that is small.

  29. This is the only blog having a separate post for money orders. Most of other bloggers are against it , since there is a good possibility of account closure.

    So just want to stat under the radar. so any other liquidation methods available apart from serve.

  30. So I’ve never bought an MO at WM. so I go to the MC, tell them I want a $500 MO (and then pay the fee in cash presumably?), and then what? do they swipe my card for me? Do they ask to see the card before I swipe?

    • Jerry Mandel

      At the Money Center, they will ask you to swipe your loaded debit card and put in a PIN. Any 4 numbers. Maximum of $1,000 per MO. I pay fee in cash; simpler that way. Not all WMs let you do it.

  31. Has anyone had success using the Chase iphone APP for depositing money orders?

    • Jerry Mandel

      Including Walmart, NO place in Dallas, Texas area will sell money orders using gift/debit cards with PINs. I challenge everyone to find any place that will do it.

      • I’d love to know where to do this as well. I just got a targeted offer for 100,000 points after spending $10,000 in 3 months. Basically impossible for me to do.

        • Jerry Mandel

          I meant in Dallas, TX area. In some cities, Walmart Money Center counters accept gift/debit cards with PINS for money orders and not in other cities. No one understands this. You need to ask in your city. Prepay annual car and home insurances if they accept cards. I big time prepay utilities, cable, cell phone, newspaper. You get it all back from no monthly payments for many months. See if you can prepay car payments and rent or mortgage payments with cards and property taxes. Can you pay off the card charges in 3 months?

  32. I buy visa cards from using TCB portal for 1.25% back which almost covers the fees. You can add your name to the cards, which is handy.

    For newbies- My strategy so far – At WM, I generally ask for 2 MO for 999.30 and swipe the limit of 4 times for 500 each and you need to tell the clerk 500 at a time. I found a great WM with a Money Center and all the employees are fine splitting the payment by 500 at a time. Some WM’s employees do not allow this even though the registers allow debit card swipes up to 4 times per transaction. I like that these cards have my name on them and I also add the amount in the “Message on Card” field. Only if asked, I say this is a great way to earn miles and pay for my daughter’s college and then say she gets to go to college and I get to go on a trip or this is a great way to earn miles while paying bills, if asked and leave it at that. This usually distracts them enough so they realize there is nothing wrong with these transactions. Only refer to your cards as DEBIT cards, not gift cards. Start slow to get the hang of it and maybe just buy a 500 MO first at few WM around you to see which ones are good. I have 2 good WM and 2 bad ones around me. I miss BB and Serve.

    • Jerry Mandel

      I found that being cute (EG $999.30) confuses the clerks and makes them suspicious that something is wrong. Two $500 debit cards with PINs for each $1000 money order and I tell them up front I’ll pay the fee separately.Smoooooth.

    • Hi Liz. Thanks for your helpful post. I’m a newbie and need some help with the specifics of the MO purchase at WM. I have the $200 Mastercard GC from Office Max. Can someone walk me through exactly how you cash out w/ them at the Money Center? Are there specific things I need to do on the payment/ CC machine?

      • Jerry Mandel

        AZ-The WM money center clerk will tell you what to do. Have your PIN ready. I pay the money order fee in cash. But why bother with a MO? For such a little amount, just use it up in purchases-groceries, etc.

        • Thanks, Jerry! I ask because I’ve got $6K in these $200 MC GC from a recent OM deal. Can I do a $1000 MO with 5 swipes (5 $200 MC GCs)? Or what would you recommend?

          • Again, the clerk will guide you. Yes, you can get $1,000 MOs from five cards. But two MOs may be the max you can do at one time. Anyway, ask. What is an OM deal and how can I get in on it? (Kidding)

  33. Jerry Mandel

    Buying money orders at WM was working fine. Now, here in Dallas, TX, they have reverted to debit cards or cash and the computer program rejects the loaded PIN cards. If you can reach him, Ben Markl in WM HQ is in charge of this and he fixed it earlier this year. Now, it’s bad again.

  34. Hello,
    If I use VGC to make payment to my credit card at Walmart, instead of buying Money Orders, do you know if I can pay Barclay card? Or if you are aware which bank-issued card works, which does not, would you mind sharing your experience?
    Thank you.

  35. Just had this issue for the first time in hundreds of US Bank GC purchased at Kroger to buy two $1,000 MO at WM. The first three of the four $500 GCs worked fine using the pin that is printed on the white cardboard glued to the GC. Tried twice and got message saying balance not available or something like that. Called the 800 # and the card had $500 balance so I reset the pin. Still wouldn’t work. Had a very patient WM CSR. Called back and got a CSR at US Bank who said card couldn’t be used to liquidate for cash but she unlocked the card. I tried again with the same pin I reset to and it worked. Quite nerve wracking. The WM CSR had said he would have to cancel the transaction and we would have had to start over, but the first three cards were drained so I wasn’t sure how I could get that money back. I literally have shoe boxes of these cards and have never experienced this problem.

    • I’m glad it worked out for you. But just so you know, in my experience the money is refunded immediately if the transaction gets cancelled. I’ve actually found myself in situations where I was buying $2k worth of money orders and the very last card wouldn’t go through. I had no more left, so I had to cancel. I would then try to buy $1500, using the same gift cards, and it has always worked.

  36. I’m new to MS. Just like to know how do you usually deposit money orders, is it ok to deposit to yourself with the MO purchaser’s name and payee the same? I have this Western Union money order, where a purchaser’s name and address is needed. Thanks.

  37. From Tom W.: How long should I wait until I pay off credit card used for my Gift card purchase. I would like to use same credit card multiple times each month.

  38. I bought $1000 gift cards from a grocery store issued by Meta then attempted to buy MO at Walmart. I asked the CSR I’d like to split the payment of $500. She entered $500 but then it got declined. She then said gift cards don’t work at WM. Is it true that not all WM accept gift cards to buy MO? I made sure the gift cards were Visa issued by Meta (it states in the back of card) but didn’t have much luck.

  39. Jerry Mandel

    It is true that not all WM accept gift cards with PINs. Not uniform around the country. No good in Dallas, TX area.

  40. Never call them a gift card. Call them VISA DEBIT CARDs. They dislike the term gift cards. I walk in and ask for a money order $999.12, and tell them I will use two of my DEBIT cards and put $500 on each of those DEBIT cards. Yes it seems like I am shouting DEBIT, and that is to get everyone’s mine off of the word Gift.

    Try another WM and see if works that time.

  41. Jerry Mandel

    You have to use a PIN and, no matter what you say, the computers will decline them.

  42. she did ask me the payment method and I said DEBIT. She then saw the cards and said they wouldn’t work her but I asked her to try it anyway and she did by hitting debit of $500 but the system did not take them.

    • Some clerks sabotage the trans on purpose or by not knowing how to do it. Try a MO for 499.12 or just 495 with a different clerk. 495/499 doesn’t stand out as much.

  43. Andrew Hamilton

    I don’t know if this has been asked already or not but can you cash out your visa gift cards with an app like Venmo or is that more trackable?

  44. Hi there! A lot of these posts are old, so I was wondering if there’s anything new going on or any new tips/tricks. I just got a couple new credit cards. Gonna make a few purchases, and then try buying a $450 gift card at the mall and see if my Walmart or PO will let me buy a money order. First time ever doing this. Anything to look out for?

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