Manufactured Spending

Is Walmart Eliminating Split Payments on Money Order Purchases?

Reader Zak sent me a tweet recently that had me worried for a second. It was regarding a rumor on Reddit that Walmart was going to eliminate the ability to split payments on money order purchases starting February 15, which we all know would be very bad. Not the end of the world, but it would make liquidating gift cards much more expensive (and a major hassle). 

I went down to my favorite Walmart store to load up on money orders and find out if there was any truth to this rumor. I should have just called, because it is a 30 minute drive and when I got there the money order machine broke down. Luckily, I was still able to pay some bills, so it wasn’t a complete waste. While the CSR manager was ringing me up, I asked if she knew whether this particular store was going to eliminate split payments starting February 15. Both she and another CS rep nearby looked up immediately. “What?! I haven’t heard of that. Have you?” 

They looked at each other confused and the CSR manager said, “No, but I highly doubt we would ever do that. That’s a huge revenue stream and it would hurt our store.” The CS rep chimed in with, “Yeah, as long as you pay for your purchase, we don’t care how you do it.” This particular store seems to always be on the verge of closing down. I’m constantly asked to fill out customer service surveys and they’re always expressing how their “numbers” are low, which seems to apply to everything (sales, credit card applications, survey feedback).

My hunch is that this rumor regarding Walmart eliminating split payments is either made up (wouldn’t be the first time) or it may be implemented in one specific region. In the future, it wouldn’t surprise me if at some point Walmart eliminated debit transactions for money orders altogether. I doubt this is happening nationwide. Still, this is a good reminder to all of you who tend to hoard gift cards not to do that. You really don’t want to be left with thousands of dollars in Visa gift cards that will suddenly cost double to liquidate.

Have you heard any rumors about Walmart eliminating split payments on money orders or bill pay transactions? Please share in the comment section.

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  1. Actually. ..
    There are a couple of Walmart where split payment for MO DO NOT WORK. The employees tried several times and… no avail. I used to do very well there until they did a mayor renovation which included new computers and software. They were willing to try different ways to pergorm the split pay but… didn’t work.
    I would not be surprised if that software tolls out to other walmarts

    • I had that problem at my go-to Walmart. It’s not that the registers are hard-coded, it’s just the employees don’t know how to do it. Ask for a manager next time and he/she will walk them through how to do it.

      • Ive found the Mgr to be the least informed of Walmart employees.

        • Usually that’s true (plus, it seems every other person has a manager title), but the person I spoke to is actually competent at her job. I trust she told me what she knew – that’s not to say that upper management got the memo and didn’t pass it along.

  2. Interesting. I already get mixed reception at various (DC area) Walmarts when trying to liquidate ~$2500 in VGCs:
    –Most don’t bat an eye
    –1 gives me crap about it every time (because there is apparently a woman who keeps trying to unload thousands of GCs every day) but eventually lets me do it.
    –1 requests a form with my info and SSN.
    –1 outright refused to split a transaction (or let me do more than 1). and was very rude about telling me so. I told her I had a prepaid debit with my name on it, she said “we both know that’s not a debit card..” and threatened to call security.

    Anyway, we’ll see. If you are also in the DC area, please be cautious and mix things up a bit. If all the stores in the area decide to stop splitting transactions you’ll have ruined it for the rest of us.

    • I’m not in the DC area. Also, in your case it might be best to just be honest with the cashiers and explain what you’re doing and why. When I finally explained everything at my local WM, they stopped looking at me as some kind of criminal. Just the other day a new cashier got uncomfortable with my transaction and called a manager. The guy knows me now, so he just walked in and said, “Oh hey Ariana! This is Ariana – she’s cool. We all know her. You will too.”

  3. I saw that comment on Reddit. I asked the poster where they were located because I wanted to figure out if this could be a regional thing perhaps or, not. Unfortunately, the poster just dropped the ‘bomb’ and didn’t provide any other information.

  4. Yep, 4 out of 4 in San Jose area have already rolled in the new rule last week.

  5. Hi Ariana…..This is a little off topic. I finally talked Chase into giving me the Marriott Business 80,000 pt. card today. I need those points to secure a SW companion pass. I am going to need to MS to spend my 3000.00 quickly, pay the bill, transfer the points and hopefully qualify for a CP before March 31. I live in a small, rural town. Luckily, I do have a small Walmart. My question is, should I just purchase VISA cards in 500.00’s, then go the Walmart and purchase 500 MO at a time or 1000.00 MO’s? Then to liquidate the MO, just take it to my bank and deposit? Sorry to be so unsure….it has been a while since I have read your MSing for newbies.

  6. I split yesterday, not a problem. I live 5min from a Walmart location, which does not allow split payments so I must drive 15 min to my favorite location. I think is more about the manager and people working on the counter. I used to talk often to a manager who always warn me that WM would shut down split payments and 9 months later I still buying it. I think is more about the location rather than a national WM issue.

  7. AMY…. let me tell you Marriot Chase is nto the best option to do the SW companion. You had to sign for SPG which convert to 3: 1. I don’t think you will be able to put 300 k in one month into the marriot credit card.

    • Hey Juan. Are you saying Marriott will not allow me to charge 3000 in one month? I plan to use those 80,000 points, plus move some SPG and I already have some Marriott points. All three together should give me the 270,000 points that I need to buy the Marriott Travel Pkg – 7 day, which will give me the points needed for the companion pass….Is that right?

  8. Just got hit with the new rule in Santa Clara

  9. This rule got implemented in Soutwest Fla as well this week. Was denied the ability to split after yrs of doing my routine.

    • What did they say to you when you tell them wanting to buy a money order? Even MS-friendly buddy CSR can’t do anything about it?

  10. You’re better than this, Arianna. This is feeding the regional YMMV monster in MS. There are always YMMV items, and this is one of them. This headline is clickbait to get everyone every where looking at it, and it’s misleading. Your blog is much better than this.

    • I have no idea what “This is feeding the regional YMMV monster in MS” means. This isn’t clickbait but an actual question a reader asked me…which I then answer in the post. How is this misleading?

  11. I wish the Walmart stores in the city I’m in hired people that could train these CSR’s to do split payments. There are 5 stores near me and not a single one will do a split payment. If you swipe something else it fails a few times and eventually locks up their computer and the CSR gets quite mad.

  12. I know it’s moot to discuss it when it’s rolled out. Just curious that if the new rule is enforced by the money center staff or the POS system already has been hard coded to reject any split tender? This is really a hard hit.

  13. I’ve had managers tell me about a new 1-swipe rule in my South Bay Area store, but I’ve been able to get other cashiers to do 4 swipes like normal. I think it’s just another inconsistently enforced rule to deal with, just like “no VGCs” and “need a name on the card”. I guess we’ll know tomorrow…

  14. fwliw, had no trouble buying a test $600 mo at a central Va WMT on the 16th…. with two debit cards, on $400 the other $200. Nobody there batted an eye, went through just fine. (early in the day, spouse paid a visa/chase sapphire bill with wmt billpay, using 3 dc’s…. no issues, as per usual)

  15. All 5 closest Walmarts around me here in Atlanta (Ormewood Park) refused split payments. I have to go GC by GC. It is very tedious.

    • I can totally feel your pain. It used to be $800 MO split by 4 $200 VGCs or 2 $1,000 MOs split by 4 $500 VGCs in one transaction. Who has the time and energy to go GC by GC? Not to mention that some stores enforce one transaction policy per customer per day. MS is incredibly challenging now.

  16. My go-to WM just went no-split. This after a few years without anyone batting an eye. I was told “we just had a class.” I’ll try another day when my buddy CSR is back in, but this looks bad. Very, very bad.

    And I know I’ll never change your mind, but I disagree that discussing deals on your blog has no impact because it is so little. Regardless of where else it is available, there’s no such thing as good exposure. Deals die to quickly these days.

    • Sure they do, but I also haven’t written about anything that was in danger of dying. The primary topic that seems to get people into lecturing mode is, oddly enough, money orders. That’s been around for years and if it hasn’t died already, it certainly won’t because of one more post.

      • reflectiveshadowprojectx

        EVERYTHING is in danger of dying. Everything in MS works until one day, it doesn’t. Just because a topic has been around for years doesn’t mean anything. The more it is discussed, the better chance it has of dying. In the grand scheme of things “one more post” isn’t much, but it is one more log to the fire. The question is… does this one more post on the topic help the method survive? No, it doesn’t.

        This stuff should only be discussed in protected forums or offline completely.

  17. my 3 frequent WM in Corona, Victorivlle, and Chino Hills have now stopped split payments.

  18. PLEASE HELP I literally have more than $60,000 in in meta bank gift cards. What can I do now I am dying here. I can’t afford this. I went crazy with the points game and thought the less than 1% cost was worth it for international airline tickets. I had a MS friendly Walmart who let me do 10k a day. I am scared and lost and good idea for this kind of volume.

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