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Walmart Money Card Review - The Most Popular Prepaid Card

Picture of Item Reviewed

Editor's Rating:
Intro Purchase APR Regular APR Annual Fee Credit Needed
N.A. $36 ($3 Monthly Fee) No Credit
Feature Summary
  • Relatively low fees
  • Monthly fee waived if direct deposit of $1,000 or more in a month
Executive Summary - Arguably the most popular prepaid card around (helped no doubt by its brand name). Unlike other cards, this one has very little fees and charges only a $3 monthly fee. This is waived if you direct deposit $1,000 a month. A prepaid card that will suit those with no bank accounts.

Announcement - From 8/31/2012 until 12/24/2012, you can save 15 cents per gallon at Walmart Gas Stations when you use this card there. This part of Walmart's gas rollback program and valid in the following states:

Arkansas, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia

This card is perhaps one of the most popular prepaid cards. I'm sure part of the reason is because it is associated with Walmart. Another factor could be that you could also load this card with moneypak (owned by greendot), which has many outlets for you to load the card. The monthly fee turns out to be reasonably low as well. Here are the more in depth details of this card.

Low monthly maintenance fee and transaction fees - One of the key attractive feature of this card is it's low monthly fee, which is only three dollars. This compares to the average of about five to six dollars a month that other typical cards tend to charge. But aside from this low fee, there are fees for almost all other transactions. Below is a lis of what you have to pay.

The other key point is that there are no transaction fees, whether it is PIN based or signature based.

No Fees On Statements Etc - One of the biggest peeves I have with other prepaid cards is that there is always a charge for little things like requesting a mail statement or even calling a customer service representatives by phone. Some cards give you two free calls and month and then start to charge you.

In contrast, Walmart (in their card agreement page) gives you their number to call if you wish to check your current balance. You could also obviously check it through their website.

Temporary Cards? Huh? - Unlike other prepaid cards, Walmart will issue you with a "temporary card" before your "personalized card" is shipped to you. This is especially true if you apply for the card at Walmart itself. The smag is that it cost three dollars to have the "temporary card" issued to you. And when you get your "own personalized card", that is another three dollars, unless you get the student version or the family version.

Benefits of Direct Deposit - Like other prepaid cards, Walmart allows you to load your card via direct deposit. And here is the kicker. If you load $1,000 in a month, your $3 monthly fee will be waived. Reloading at Walmart stores is free (but you still have to pay the $3 monthly fee). You can also reload your card through other retailers with relationships with GreenDot.

Walmart Money Card Peer Comparison

This card compares very well with its peers. Firstly, the $3 monthly fee is perhaps at the low end of the range. There is also no charge for transactions. Another great feature is that you do not get charged for making calls to customer representatives (in contrast to almost all other similar cards).

While Walmart waives your monthly fee if you direct deposit $1,000 more more, there are some cards like the Silver Prepaid Card that will waive your direct deposit if the amount is $300.

A Really Convenient and Cost Effective Card

Overall, this card is perhaps one of the best prepaid cards out in the market today. It is a pretty low monthly fee (which can be waived with a $1,000 direct deposit), and there are no purchase transaction fees or fees for call ing them with an inquiry! The fact that Walmart is located at many places (where you can load your card) makes it even more convenient. And if you are not close to a Walmart, your card can be loaded at GreenDot locations.

Because there are no credit checks and no bank accounts required to get this card, it is especially suited to those with poor credit and/or those without a bank or checking account.