This weekend I spent more time than I had intended to, hopping from one Walmart to another. My objective was to unload that batch of $4,000+ Visa gift cards I purchased from Staples.com. so I ended up visiting Walmart three days in a row. It wasn’t so bad on Friday, when I found a working Bluebird ATM for literally the first time at that store.
The money order function worked fine, but I wasn’t able to use the kiosk to load the Visa gift cards onto Bluebird, so I headed to the cash register and it worked fine. Following all those complaints about issues with unloading Visa gift cards. I was initially worried, but glad it had turned out ok.
The next day, at a Neighborhood Walmart, I got a “card type not accepted” message when I tried to do a load at the register. The cashier let me swipe the card myself without looking at it, so no red flags raised here. When the message popped up a second time, I was freaked out over how I would liquidate $4,300 worth of gift cards, but decided to give it another shot.
The next day I headed to a third Walmart store in my area. This one usually has a working Bluebird kiosk, though the last time I was there, it was down. This is also the store where I was prevented from buying money orders with a Visa gift card. so if the kiosk didn’t work, I knew I would be screwed. What ensured was a long, drawn out, cluster****. It ended well, but I’ll be damned if I ever try to unload $4,300 in mostly $200 increments again.
The trick, I discovered, is to load $199.99 of the $200 gift cards. First, I unloaded the full $500 from a Visa card I picked up at Safeway. No problems there. When I tried to load the $200 card purchased from Staples.com, I got a message saying, “card type not accepted.” However, $199.99 went through
every time. When I hit close to the $1,000 maximum on all three Bluebird cards, it was time to switch to money orders.
The machine lets you buy money orders in increments of up to $500 and the fee at this location was a reasonable $0.55. Taking this fee into account, I tried purchasing a money order for $199.45 (which would come to $200 with the $0.55 fee). I got a “card type not accepted” message. However, $199 (plus the $0.55 fee) went through just fine. Now I have a bunch of Visa gift cards with $0.45 balances on them, but I prefer that over having $4,000+ in gift cards I can’t liquidate.
At the end of those 45 minutes spent at Walmart (part of it was spent standing in line to buy money orders with my Alaska Airlines debit card for legitimate reasons), I was pretty beat. If you’re a masochist who’s had trouble unloading $200 Visa gift cards at Walmart, follow these tips:
- If you purchased your GCM Visa gift card at a store rather than online, you can load the full balance onto Bluebird.
- If you purchased your CGM Visa gift card online, load $0.01 less than the gift card balance.
- If you’re using your GCM Visa gift card to buy a money order at the Bluebird kiosk, keep your purchase at under $1 to be safe.
It took a lot of experimenting until I got the gift card to go through for money order purchases, so I didn’t try this, but you may be able to get away with unloading the same value as you would with Bluebird. With so many cards to unload, I really didn’t have time to keep trying.
Have you had issues unloading your Visa gift cards lately?
For more on points, miles, and For more on points, miles, and free travel, subscribe to my blog (see “Subscribe” above “Recent Posts”) or follow me @PointChaser . Facebook , or Instagram