Walmart is a low-cost pre-paid debit card. The MoneyCard requires no existing bank account and can be funded via direct deposit.
While a savings account is an ideal location for earning interest and holding cash for long-term and short-term goals, a checking account is handy for bills and daily expenses.
Walmart MoneyCard is useful for money management, but you may wonder if this card can be used the same as a checking account. But before you run out and get a Walmart MoneyCard, here’s what you need to know.
What is the Walmart MoneyCard?
The Walmart MoneyCard is a debit card that requires no bank account or credit check and so avoids overdraft fees. A Walmart MoneyCard is a reloadable prepaid card.
Available in either Visa or MasterCard versions, the card can be used not only at Walmart but at any retailer that accepts Visaor MasterCard. Several levels of the MoneyCard are available, including a Preferred Card that differs from the regular card in some of its fees.
You can add money to the card through direct deposit; by reloading it at a register, cashing a check at Walmart, or by using a Walmart money center express the machine. There are also options for online bank transfer and to have your tax refund sent to your card account.
The above features of the Walmart MoneyCard only scratch the surface. For the most part, this card is designed to help you easily manage your finances.
Therefore, you’ll enjoy the following additional benefits:
1. Get an Account Number and a Routing Number
Even though the Walmart MoneyCard isn’t a traditional checking account, it does come with a routing number and an account number. This is similar to a checking account with a bank.
This feature is convenient when using your Walmart MoneyCard for online purchase or when paying bills online.
Some bill payment systems will ask for an account number and routing number when setting up a one-time or recurrent payment. Provide this information and you’re good to go.
Use the card to pay your rent, mortgage, car payment, credit card bills, and utilities.
2. Easy Access to Cash
You may have concerns about the accessibility of funds loaded on the card. Another attractive feature of the Walmart MoneyCard is that you can access your money anytime by using an ATM. This is regardless of your location.
Just know that there’s a $2.50 ATM withdrawal fee per transaction. Likewise, there’s a $2.50 teller cash withdrawal fee per transaction. You can, however, avoid ATM fees by withdrawing cash at a Walmart MoneyCenter.
There’s also the ability to get balance information at ATMs for $0.50.
3. Earn up to 3% in Cashback Rewards
A unique feature of the Walmart MoneyCard is that you can earn cashback on everyday purchases. This is similar to rewards programs offered by many credit cards. The more you shop, the more cash you can earn.
2% cash back at Murphy USA and Walmart fuel stations
1% cash back at Walmart stores
The downside is that you can only earn up to $75 in cashback rewards each year. Rewards are redeemable at Walmart.com and through the mobile app.
4. Track Your Account Through the Mobile App
Similar to a traditional checking account with a bank, there’s the option to download the Walmart MoneyCard mobile app. From here, manage your reloadable prepaid Visa or MasterCard.
You can check your MoneyCard balance, review your account history, set up bill pay, review your cashback reward balance, order paper checks, and even deposit your paychecks with the app.
The latter is a must-have if your employer doesn’t offer direct deposit.
5. Multiple Ways to Fund Your Account
Keep in mind that when you get a Walmart MoneyCard, there are different ways to load money onto your card. The most convenient way is to sign up for direct deposit if an option.
Instead of receiving a paper check from your employer, funds are automatically deposited onto your prepaid card.
A direct deposit is a faster way of getting your paycheck. Some people receive their money up to two days earlier. Other convenient options include visiting a Walmart MoneyCenter and putting cash on the card this way.
Additionally, you can reload your card at a Walmart register, through online bank transfer, or via another retailer. During tax time, you can even have your tax refund direct deposited onto your MoneyCard
Walmart MoneyCard Fees
MoneyCards cost between $1 and $4 to buy, depending on the card type. The regular card has a $5 monthly service fee, which is waived if you loaded $1,000 or more onto the card in the previous month.
The Preferred card has a $3 fee, which is waived if you deposit at least $500 to the card within the month or have payroll or government benefits deposited directly to it.
ATM withdrawals cost $2.50 with the regular card and $2 with the Preferred one, but the Preferred card also allows free withdrawals from 24,000 MoneyPass ATMs.
Other fee differentials include a 3% foreign transaction fee with the regular card, compared with 2% for the Preferred one.
The Preferred card also allows you to skip the $0.50 balance inquiry fee at ATMs, provided you use one of the MoneyPass ATMs.
Using the Walmart MoneyCard as a Checking Account
The Walmart MoneyCard without a doubt has features that are similar to a checking account.
You can pay your bills online using a routing number and account number. And with the ability to use your card at ATMs, your money is always accessible.
Additionally, the app allows you to track your balance. But at the end of the day, this isn’t a checking account. So there are some things that the MoneyCard can’t do.
For example, there’s no overdraft with a Walmart MoneyCard.
So while your bank may allow a transaction to go through if you don’t have sufficient funds in your checking account, this isn’t an option with the MoneyCard. The card will decline if you don’t have sufficient funds in your account for a purchase.
Also, using the MoneyCard can be more expensive. While it’s true that many checking accounts charge a monthly fee, the cost to use the MoneyCard could exceed what some banks charge. This depends on your reload method.
Let’s say you reload the card four times a month. Yet, you don’t load enough onto the card to avoid the monthly fee. At $3 per reload with Walmart Rapid Reload and a $5 monthly service charge, you’ll pay $17 a month just to have the card.
If you go to an ATMtwice a month, that’s an additional $5 in fees. Therefore, you can easily spend $23 a month in fees with the MoneyCard.
On the other hand, there are many checking accounts that don’t charge monthly fees or have monthly fees under $10.
The Walmart MoneyCard comes with a number of free services and other benefits, especially for frequent Walmart shoppers. It also offers a convenient number of ways to load money onto the card.
However, other prepaid debit cards and mobile banking options offer lower fees, larger networks of ATMs, and more free services. Research your options before you make a final choice.
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