This past weekend I was at my favorite Walmart store buying money orders. On my last visit, one of the cashiers remarked that another woman had come into the store that week and bough money orders “exactly like you do” – in $2,000 increments, split across five debit cards. I laughed it off when she suggested it may have been my mom and quickly changed the subject. I thought multiple people coming in and buying large quantities of money orders with multiple “debit” cards would make them suspicious, but this weekend I was informed of yet another customer who bought $10,000 in money orders from this location. Except, he bought them $999.30 at a time.
This individual was splitting his purchase into 10 transactions, which is incredibly tedious and unnecessary, since this particular location allows up to four card swipes per transaction. So, “G”, if you happen to be reading this post (the cashiers told me his name but I’d like to respect his privacy), you don’t need to split your money order purchases into 10 transactions. You can do it in 5 and get out of there much faster. It also arises fewer suspicions if you just opt for five $2,000 transactions and pay the fee in cash. Or go for $1,998.60 if you want to keep things simple.
Anyways, I wanted to bring this up because I know a lot of folks are new to buying money orders and may not be sure about the best way to carry out these transactions. Most Walmart money centers will allow you to pay for your money orders with up to four cards (plus cash), so it really is so much easier if you just ask to purchase two at a time: Either two for $1,000 each or one for $1,000 and another for $998.60.
Not all locations will allow you to do multiple transactions, but almost all will allow multiple payment forms per transaction. As I mentioned a while back, one of my go-to Walmart stores implemented a new rule that restricted money order purchases to one transaction. As a result, I can’t buy more than $2,000 per day at this particular location. On the flip side, this is the only store that allows split payments on bill pay, so I am able to liquidate quite a few Visa gift cards by paying off credit cards at this location. It costs less than money orders (the 3-business day option does, at least) and it saves me a trip to the bank.
I hope this is useful for “G” or anyone else out there who buys money orders in large quantities and isn’t quite sure about how many increments to buy them in. When I started out, I was a bit more careful and hardly ever bought more than $1,000 per visit, let alone per transaction. Those days have changed. Every newbie gets over their initial reservations and before you know it, you’ll be out-spending me on my best day.
How do you approach money order purchases? Does your store allow multiple payment forms across multiple transactions?
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