The Walmart MoneyCard is a debit card that requires no bank account or credit check and so avoids overdraft fees. Available in either Visa or MasterCard versions, the card can be used not only at Walmart but at any retailer that accepts Visa or MasterCard.

Key Takeaways

  • Walmart's low-cost pre-paid debit card, the MoneyCard, requires no existing bank account and can be funded via direct deposit.
  • In addition to direct deposit, the MoneyCard can be loaded at store registers, at Walmart Money centers, or with your IRS tax refund, among others.
  • There are fees tied to MoneyCard, including a monthly service fee (which can be waived).

Loading the Walmart MoneyCard

Money can be added to Walmart MoneyCard's via direct deposits, Walmart store reloads, online transfers, or tax return deposits.

1. Direct Deposit

Payroll checks or your government benefits can be loaded directly onto a MoneyCard through direct deposit. This service is free and you can opt to deposit all or part of your check. Employers may notify the bank of direct deposits up to two days before the official "payday," and Walmart will then transfer funds to the card early.

2. Walmart Reload

This option allows you to add money to your card at Walmart locations, which can cost up to $5.95. Cash deposits are free using the Walmart MoneyCard app at Walmart stores. For these deposits you can deposit cash by touching the Deposit tab in the Walmart MoneyCard app and selecting “Deposit Cash using the Walmart MoneyCard App."

3. Online Transfer

An online transfer typically takes one to three business days and there is no reloading fee. However, your bank may charge fees on the electronic transfer.

4. Tax Refunds

If you electronically file your income taxes, you can opt to directly deposit your refund onto your Walmart MoneyCard; no reloading fee applies. You send your card number and mobile phone number to Walmart, which then texts you the direct-deposit information you enter into your tax forms. The standard IRS processing time applies, although e-filing typically allows you to receive a refund more rapidly than filing by mail.

Benefits

The MoneyCard offers many of the benefits found on all Visa and MasterCard debit cards, including fraud protection. Free online bill paying service is also included. You can send money orders, get paper checks, or set recurring monthly payments for bills such as for your auto insurance. These cards also allow you to send funds to friends or family anywhere in the U.S.

You can also earn cash-back rewards by shopping at Walmart.com and via the Walmart app (3% cash back), Walmart fuel stations (2%), and Walmart retail stores (1%). The limit for cash-back rewards is $75 a year.

Fees

MoneyCards cost between $1.00 to buy. The card has a $5.94 monthly service fee, which is waived if you loaded $1,000 or more onto the card in the previous month. ATM and teller cash withdrawals cost $2.50, while withdrawals at Walmart stores are free. Meanwhile, cash reload cost $3.00 at Walmart stores and up to $5.95 for other reload locations. Other fees include a 3% foreign transaction fee and $0.50 for balance inquiries at ATMs. There's also a $5.95 charge for a 12-pack of checks, $3.00 for card replacement (or $15 for expedited delivery).

The Bottom Line

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.