Can You Still Load Your Bluebird at Walmart?

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Update:   You can no longer load a Vanilla Visa to your Bluebird.

Via Travel With Grant and Million Mile Secrets’ readers Brandon, IReadDoYou, and Kathy, there’s been a change in how you load gift cards to your Bluebird account at Walmart.

You’ll have to perform a couple of extra steps with certain gift cards, but don’t worry.  You can still load your Bluebird with gift cards!

Can You Still Load Your Bluebird At Walmart?

You Can Still Load Bluebird With Gift Cards at Walmart … With a Little Extra Work Sometimes!

What’s Changed?

Link:   How to Load Bluebird With a Gift Card at Walmart

In the past, your best bet for loading your Bluebird account at Walmart has been with using Visa gift cards.  American Express cards don’t work, and MasterCard is sometimes hit-and-miss.

Some of these Visa gift cards require that you set a PIN (by calling or registering the card online).  Others, like Vanilla Visa Gift Cards, allow you to set a PIN by typing in a random 4-digit number the 1st time you use it.  My preference has always been the Vanilla Visa cards, because it’s easy to set the PIN.

Can You Still Load Your Bluebird At Walmart?

Vanilla Visa Gift Cards USED to Be the Easiest

Now, Walmart has updated its software, and it’s become more difficult to load some gift cards, including the Vanilla Visa cards.

According to Travel With Grant, some Vanilla Gift Cards (OneVanilla, for example) are being rejected when you try to use them to load Bluebird.  Instead of going through as a debit transaction, it’s processed as credit – then denied (because you can’t use a credit card to load Bluebird).

Over on Flyertalk, folks also confirm that they’ve had issues loading OneVanilla Gift Cards.

The good news is that there’s a workaround!

How Do You Load Vanilla Visa Gift Cards Now?

1.   Fast Fingers (Travel With Grant’s Method)

Hopefully you have fast fingers, because you’ll have to do a little bit of work to make Walmart accept a Vanilla Visa card now.

After you swipe your card, you’ll see a small yellow box that says “Change Payment Method” on the credit card reader screen.  It might only appear for a second or 2, so you’ll have to hit it fast!  You have an advantage if you play video games!

You’ll then get an option to select other payment methods.  Select “Debit/ATM,” then choose “No Cash Back.”  Then enter your PIN.

Can You Still Load Your Bluebird At Walmart?

You’ll Have to Do a Little Song and Dance Before You Enter Your PIN

If you don’t get a “Change Payment Method” button on the screen after you swipe your card, try hitting the green or yellow buttons on the keypad after you swipe your card.  This sometimes works to bring up the alternate payment method screen.

2.   Hit the Red Cancel Button (Brandon’s Method)

Million Mile Secrets’ reader Brandon suggests another method:

  • Confirm your load amount
  • Swipe Vanilla Visa gift card
  • You’ll see a “waiting for cashier” message on the screen
  • Hit the red cancel button on the keypad
  • Select the “Debit/ATM” option
  • Enter your PIN

Brandon follows up with the same technique suggested by Travel With Grant, because some Walmarts have a different type of card reader screen:

The cashier said “it has to be debit”…so I swiped again and saw the “Change Payment” button.  I clicked it and it brought me to another screen where I could see a bunch of new options, one of which was “Debit.”

I hit “Debit,” and then clicked “No” for the CashBack option, and then it prompted me for a PIN.  I entered my PIN, *BAM*, transaction approved!

I love your enthusiasm, Brandon!  Thanks for testing this out for everyone!

3.   Code 70 (Kathy and IReadDoYou’s Method)

Million Mile Secrets’ reader Kathy was having trouble loading her Vanilla Visa cards at Walmart and said the cashiers didn’t seem to know what they were doing.  Reader IReadDoYou had this suggestion:

@ Kathy:   Next time tell them to use Code 70

Kathy follows up with a success story!  She asked the cashier to use Code 70 and it worked!

Thank you IReadDoYou for posting about the Code 70.  After 3 days of going to different Walmarts and trying different cashiers, this worked.

I found a cashier that wouldn’t give up. I told her to try Code 70 and I hit cancel, then change payment method.  The other cashiers didn’t know what they were doing at all.  Thank you so much.

Million Mile Secrets’ readers really are the best!  I love it when you help each other out.

Folks report that the Walmart MoneyCenter kiosks are not yet affected by this change.

If you’re still having trouble, remember you can load gift cards to Amazon Payments and spend them that way.  I’m out of the country so can’t try this out myself, but it sounds like it’s working for lots of folks!

Bottom Line

There’s a change in how you load some gift cards to Bluebird at Walmart.

If you use a OneVanilla gift card, it will process as a credit transaction and get denied.  But if you hit the “Change Payment Method” button that comes up (briefly) on the screen after you swipe your card, you can change it to a debit transaction and enter your PIN as usual.

You can also try hitting the green, yellow, or red buttons on the keypad right after you swipe your card.  It should bring up a “Change Payment Method” screen.

And if that doesn’t work, ask the cashier to use Code 70.  You should be able to change your payment method to debit.

Thank you Travel With Grant, Brandon, IReadDoYou, and Kathy for all the great workarounds!

I’m looking forward to trying this out when I get back from my trip.   Have you had any experience with the new method of loading Vanilla Visa gift cards onto your Bluebird at Walmart?

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62 responses to “Can You Still Load Your Bluebird at Walmart?

  1. As far as “code 70”, the cashiers have to do action code 70 just to initiate the transaction itself. I’m not sure if Kathy is either mixing something up, has never loaded a bluebird card before, the cashiers at the walmart she went to have never loaded a bluebird card or maybe the cashier had to legitimately press “code 70” again.

  2. I’ve had most luck with MetaBank gift cards, avoiding any of the steps above. They may charge a dollar or two more on fees, though.

  3. 2nd josh’s comment. Action Code 70 only initiates the Prepaid Card load sequence.

    This means FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, DON’T ATTEMPT TO TELL THE CASHIER CODE 70 IF YOU CAN’T FIGURE OUT HOW TO LOAD THE GIFT CARD AT WALMART. IT’S NOT GOING TO CHANGE PAYMENT TO DEBIT AND YOU’LL ONLY PISS OFF THAT WALMART WHEN EVERYONE STARTS FAILING LOADS

  4. I loaded one yesterday, no problem. The cashier might’ve been doing something on her end. I didn’t have to cancel or change payment, but I did have to click for “no cashback.”

  5. Went to a couple of my local Walmarts this weekend and was denied when trying to use the Vanilla Card to load Bluebird with the Cashier. I havent tried any of the tips above yet but plan to. However, I did find a Walmart with a functioning kiosk and was able to load the Vanillas with no problem.

  6. Freequent flyer has a pretty good summary of the changes and what needs to be done as well: http://freequentflyerbook.com/blog/2014/6/3/newest-changes-to-walmart-point-of-sale-system

  7. I use the Visa Simon gift cards. Do you think there is an issue with those?

  8. There are some Walmarts, such as in Troy, Michigan where the employees have been instructed to refuse to perform the transaction if you are using the Vanilla Visas, on the basis that the Vanilla Visas are gift cards and not debit cards. Since the store does not have a kiosk, you have to go elsewhere.

  9. I’m not sure why everyone is having trouble with WM employees, I unloaded $2K at the registers today no problem utilizing the workarounds referenced above. The WM employees DO NOT need to TOUCH or LOOK AT your cards for PIN transactions. If they try to tell me they need to see my card I let them know that I am performing a PIN transaction and don’t feel comfortable handing my card over. If they have a problem with it I move on to another lane.

    Another piece of advice that I can share is that it would behoove you do carefully select your cashier. Before I started my ventures with Bluebird and Serve I extreme couponed…which helped me develop skills for selecting which cashiers would give less of a hassle AND how to deal with cashiers that hassle you. Manufactured spending is alot like extreme couponing.

  10. I had the load issue the first day Walmart went to the new software. Fortunately somebody had already figured it out and posted on a blog, and when I followed the steps you laid out above it worked perfectly.

    The WM employee was also thrilled that I showed her how to make it work as she apparently has a number of people come through loading Bluebird with Prepaid Debits. As long as you’re not weird about it, the system works perfectly.

    I generally agree the “Code 70” thing sounds strange and like the type of thing that would draw a lot of unneeded attention…

  11. What about plain old Visa cards with a pin we bought from the gift card mall? Similar process?

  12. I can confirm Simon mall gift cards are not affected

  13. This seems like a dumb question, but I always unload these at the customer service desk. Never had an issue. It sounds like I can use any normal check out lane though?

  14. @ Tom….thank you!

  15. As Marc said, there are some Walmarts that refuse to load gift cards. YMMV, but one Walmart I went to in Houston that has a Money Center forced all prepaid loads to be done at the Money Center and there the cashier refused to load gift cards. The kiosk wasn’t working there either. I haven’t had any issues at the other Walmart I go to but that one doesn’t have a Money Center.

  16. FYI, sometimes even if you get all the steps listed above, it might still give an error message. My BF got through to the end only to get an “error code 01” – which the cashier said meant that it was credit. My assumption is that he didn’t hit the Change Payment button fast enough, even though he got all the prompts for cash back, etc. On the 2nd attempt he was faster and it processed as a debit transaction.

  17. I bought VGC from Meta bank this week in Stop n Shop to get the gas points and had no problems loading them in my BB. ($5.95 activation fee) – I posted the picture in my blog

  18. A lot of these methods are regional. The workaround to process the cards as debit does not work in South Florida. I’ve tried it at several places and I used to use this method in the past with MC gift cards. And Simon Mall cards ARE affected down here as well. Simon cards are my main cards these days. Luckily I’ve been able to use the kiosks with no problem.

  19. Frank, did you say you were able to upload 2K on your BB acct? I got the impression that you can only upload $1000 at a time (up to $5000/mo) when using the Simon Mall gift cards? Would love to take less trips to WM, is there something I don’t know?…,

  20. Pingback: Billpay at Walmart - Page 151 - FlyerTalk Forums

  21. I loaded 2K from Simon Visa GC’s this weekend through customer service at Walmart without any problems. I did 1K on Friday and 1K on Saturday.

  22. My local Money Center Express kiosk works as usual for loading BB. Credit isn’t ever an option, so it just asks “cash or debit”? You select debit, swipe your VGC, and it goes right through. 2 payments of $500 each are easy.

    If however, you are trying to load 2 BB cards in a row, it will require manager approval on the 4th $500 load. The trigger for this is $2K in a short time period. Even with different BB account numbers, it will balk at 4 payments of $500 in less then 15 or so minutes.

    So load $500 X 2 for the first card. For the second card load $500, and then $499.99. 🙂

  23. FOR THOSE WHO ARE IN THIS GAME, DO AT YOUR OWN RISK. According to Walmart this is a fraudulent activity and they COULD BAN you from entering all Walmart’s(I don’t know how they can do that but at least that’s what it says). I went to a Walmart kiosk and tried to load $500, it went fine, tried to load another $500 with the same bluebird card, kiosk light went on and since its almost in the customer service area, manager came to the spot as she was near by. She entered her password to get into the system and there was this message displayed. “FRAUDULENT ACTIVITY ALERT. It is illegal to load bluebird with Prepaid or Gift cards, any person trying to do fraudulent activity should be banned from all Walmart’s.” On reading the above message manager wanted to see my debit card and I showed her my real bank debit card and also used it since I did not want her to get suspicious and she was looking me until my transaction was completed.

    Since this is turning into Fraudulent activity, I don’t think this game is for me. I will do other manufactured spending like buying and reselling things and other things. I’m not sure if they can ever hand you over to police but even if there is a remote chance, I will strongly suggest people to stay away from this gift card/prepaid card thing.

    I’m 100% sure this will go way very soon but until then MMS, I would highly suggest you inform your audience about the risk instead of encouraging anymore of this fraudulent activity.

  24. FOR THOSE WHO ARE IN THIS GAME, DO AT YOUR OWN RISK. According to Walmart this is a fraudulent activity and they COULD BAN you from entering all Walmart’s(I don’t know how they can do that but at least that’s what it says). I went to a Walmart kiosk and tried to load $500, it went fine, tried to load another $500 with the same bluebird card, kiosk light went on and since its almost in the customer service area, manager came to the spot as she was near by. She entered her password to get into the system and there was this message displayed. “FRAUDULENT ACTIVITY ALERT. It is illegal to load bluebird with Prepaid or Gift cards, any person trying to do fraudulent activity should be banned from all Walmart’s.” On reading the above message manager wanted to see my debit card and I showed her my real bank debit card and also used it since I did not want her to get suspicious and she was looking me until my transaction was completed.

    Since this is turning into Fraudulent activity, I don’t think this game is for me. I will do other manufactured spending like buying and reselling things and other things. I’m not sure if they can ever hand you over to police but even if there is a remote chance, I will strongly suggest people to stay away from this gift card/prepaid card thing.

    I’m 100% sure this will go way very soon but until then MMS, I would highly suggest you inform your audience about the risk instead of encouraging anymore of this fraudulent activity.

  25. Thank goodness our money center machine is up and running again at walmart. I was in and out in less than 5 minutes. I loaded my two $500 visa debit cards that I got at the grocery store. The workaround was too much of a hassle and most of the cashiers make it impossible.

  26. Silverfalls,

    Fraudulent implies against the law. In that sense, I would advise everyone to not break the law. Jail time and/or fines might suck. So would a permanent record as fraud is a criminal activity.

  27. After two failed attempts this past weekend I was happy to see this post! I went back to Walmart today and was able to load my bluebird using the fast finger trick with the change payment button. Missed it the first couple of times but is was easy once I figured out when and where it was going to come up.

    Since I had just opened two SPG cards and need $10k in spend I am really glad this is still working. Thanks for your help.

  28. Pingback: Can You Still Load Your Bluebird at Walmart? | Million Mile Secrets | Travel Points Central

  29. Pingback: How to Load Bluebird With Gift Cards at Walmart | Million Mile Secrets

  30. Vanilla gift cards are not longer working to load BB at WM. I plan to try out Metabank and US Bank gift cards and see if they work.

  31. So I’ve been doing this for the past month with great success. No problems at all, until today. Tried to load my bluebird with a vanilla Visa gift card, hit the cancel button and selected debit, then the transaction just wouldn’t go through. Cashier handed me receipt paper saying “Debit not available appr. code = 96”. I don’t know if this is just me that’s experienced this, but I’m wondering if Wal-Mart changed their policy and is just not accepting gift cards anymore for bluebird loads.

  32. Loaded two $500 Vanilla Visa Debit Gift Cards Monday 6/16/14 at WM, using
    the ‘change payment type’ workaround. Failed today 6/19/14 at five different
    terminals in a different WM. Something new ????
    Unfortunately the Northeast doesn’t seem to have kiosks.

  33. Just called BlueBird Customer Service – number is on the back of the card.
    Asked if I can add funds to BB using Vanilla Visa Debit Gift Card at WM.
    Was told I was allowed to do this.

  34. Are the US Bank VGC variable load effected or just OV for loading bb at Wallyworld?

  35. Just recently returned from 3 different WM’s all 3 times it failed. I was unaware of “fast finger” but had already been doing that maybe slow and methodical not fast. Each time the transaction was cancelled at the end with a receipt print out declaring “debit not approved call authorizer. I was using the silver/purple Visa debit gift cards.

  36. I had trouble yesterday and today as well with Vanilla cards.

  37. I’ve been able to use the Vanilla Prepaid Visa Non-Reloadable Cards (DEBIT) to add funds to my Bluebird American Express account for the last two months without any problems. Now, this month, I’ve gone to several Wal-Mart’s over the last several days trying to add funds to my card, and I continue getting the same message: Debit Not Available Appr. Code# 96 This is the same message I’m receiving at every Wal-Mart I go to. Have things changed? Does anyone know what is going on? I bought the card, initiated it as a debit, processed it accordingly, and I continue receiving the message. So, is this Bluebirds way of letting us know that we can no longer use these type of cards Vanilla Prepaid Visa Non-Reloadable Cards (DEBIT)on the account? Are we being told that Wal-Mart cannot accept these type of cards onto the Bluebird account anymore for a form of loading funds? I cannot get my Vanilla cards to work to apply the necessary funds this time. I’ve tried multiple times and each time I get the same message stating: Debit Not Available Appr. Code# 96. Please advise. Thank you in advance to anyone that can help me or provide me with any suggestions.

  38. The quick button push worked for me for a couple weeks – but today no luck. Two Walmart’s and got “Debit Not Available.” The clerks said a policy changed this week and no more loading with the pin enabled GC’s.

  39. Hi all,
    i have also been getting “debit not available’. I got the same message when I tried to use Onevanilla to purchase a money order.

    I decided to make a purchase with it at a different store, and the cashier had to process the transaction as a ‘credit card’ transaction, rather than a debit card transaction.

  40. Since the debit giftcards (GCs) issued by MetaBank are still working at Wally-mart, while the One Vanilla / Vanilla GCs are not, and the kiosk is managed by MetaBank, perhaps this is MetaBank’s way of restricting use of competing GCs? It seems not to be a Blue Bird restriction since if money orders are restricted as well, as those have nothing to do with AMEX BB.

    Maria, can you confirm Wal-mart allowed the OVGC to be used in credit mode to buy a money order?

  41. Loading VGCs to Bluebird is now officially dead without any way to work around it. Several of us warned you this was coming, but were falsely accused by the site’s owner of trying to trick you so we could keep this MS method to ourselves. Walmart has been working on blocking this for months and it was obvious change was afoot. BB and Serve are products designed for AMEX to make money off of cash transactions from those who cannot afford traditional bank accounts. This site’s readers are not the target demographic and it was only a matter of time before AMEX closed the loopholes that allowed us to roam freely. If we find another avenue to keep functioning as unprofitable customers, rest assured that the new method will eventually be shut down too.

    I hope most of you aren’t stuck with stacks of gift cards that will take a lot longer to drain now. The moral of the story is to never buy more than you can float with your own money if an MS method gets closed, like this one just did.

  42. Bryan Schmiedeler

    I was buying Vanilla Reloads at my local CVS in Kansas City and loading them on my bluebird at home. I was not doing manufactured spend, but just paying car and house loans, but the mortgage was pretty large, so this really helped. I won’t do manufactured spend.

    As I understand it, I can use MetaBank gift cards to load my BB at the ATM machine at Walmart. My local WM has this machine. But how can I tell what is a MetaBank gift card, and where can I buy them?

    Thanks,

  43. Same problem with Vanilla Visa card at Walmart with the change to debit trick. Tried at three cashiers. Same error as everyone else. Same question about where to get MetaBank gift cards. Luckily, I only bought one Vanilla Visa gift card. Seems like none of the gift cards with pin will work if Audrey’s post about a policy change is correct.

  44. The Visa GCs available at Staples are issued by MetaBank. The denomination is limited to $200, but this could be worth it if you need to meet spend on a card that gives category bonuses in office supplies. Also, many supermarkets will allow you to buy money orders with debit cards, and likely OVGC and Vanilla Visa will still work for MO purchases there.

  45. I posted this on another thread, but wanted to be sure everyone saw it.
    It appears that this primary form of MS may be over. I tried 2 different WM this a.m. (using a U.S. Bank debit/gc, not Vanilla) and went to Money Center (Kiosks down, as always, in my experience). At the first , she was processing and appeared to be prompted to ask to see card. She informed me that if it didn’t have my name on it they couldn’t accept it. I tried explaining that I had always done this, and offered to show her my receipt for the gift card. She said it was “money laundering” and they weren’t allowed to accept it. Asked about Money Orders and she said “same thing–only if your name is on the debit card.” At the 2nd WM, the woman didn’t even let me swipe the gc. I swiped the BB, and she asked to see the “debit card.” I showed her and she said “we can’t accept without your name on it–federal regulations.” I tried the same arguments (always done it, have receipt, not doing anything illegal . . .), but no luck. She was adamant that, not only was the rule/law to prevent money laundering, but that I was actually money laundering. I tried to very politely explain what money laundering was and that I most certainly was doing nothing of the kind, but no avail. Sigh. Thank goodness, I’ve only got one $500 gc to spend. I feel for those of you with many. Unfortunately, I have a LOT of spend I need to accomplish somehow in the next few months.

  46. Pingback: You Can No Longer Load Vanilla Visa Cards to Bluebird at Walmart | Million Mile Secrets

  47. Hi Jason,
    no, it did not.

  48. I switched over to the US Bank gift cards after the vanilla gift cards were no longer being accepted by Wal-Mart for Bluebird loads. I had good luck with the US Bank ones for a couple of weeks now, all of a sudden today was a no go. Wal-Mart system wouldn’t accept the US Bank gift cards either. Just wondering if others can confirm Wal-Mart has also stopped taking US Bank gift cards for BB loads?

  49. Thank you again for all that you do for writing all about MS. You gave me the confidence to finally complete my 1st attempt.

  50. I purchased a couple of US Bank issued gift cards today for the first time since Walmart shut down One Vanilla’s. I set the pin’s using the automated phone system and went to Walmart to load them to Bluebird. I had the same issue I had when I was denied using a One Vanilla Visa Debit card. The signature panel popped up and then the the transaction blew up. I wonder if US Bank is a no go now? I didn’t try the “fast finger” trick and hit the red or yellow button (no change payment method option ever showed up). I will give that a try tomorrow but if that doesn’t work I am thinking US Bank Debits might be dead too. Anybody else experiencing this?

  51. @Charlie and @Johhny, I had the same experience trying to load USBank VDGC’s to my BB, both at the WM kiosk and the register. I did not see a ‘change payment method’ popup either. As an alterntaive, I had been linking these to my BB account as debit cards, which at least let me do the $200/day $1k/month limit. Now that is dead also. BB sends you a nastygram and tells you GC’s are not allowed. Has anyone found a way to unload the USBank VDGC’s? Even if it’s not to BB? (I don’t play the MO game, but may have to try….)

  52. @RusT, I went back to Walmart today and tried again with the US Bank issued gift cards. I pressed the red button on the key pad right after swiping my card and it brought up the change payment option. I selected Debit and then it asked me if I wanted cash back. I said no and was prompted to type in my pin. I typed in my pin and the funds loaded no problem. It looks like the red button is the one you need to push (at least at my local Walmart). I tired to the yellow button first and it didn’t work. Good luck!

  53. Scott mentioned difficulties in South Florida. Has anyone found a way to load the US Bank cards in SoFla?

  54. i tried many walmarts in the south bay of Silicon Valley / San Francisco Bay area, they started to not accept any blue bird loads with gift or gift card stated on it. They would verify if this is your personal card or not. Is this a trend now?

  55. I have went to several san jose locations and Gilroy and have no luck in loading visa gift cards from staples. does anyone have luck in loading in south bay in California………

  56. @RusT
    what does the D in VDGC stand for please?

  57. @purcitron
    The “D is for Debit
    Now it seems they are working fine at WM again. I’ve loaded up several USBank VDGC’s since my last post, and didn’t need any tricks with red or yellow buttons. I’m also seeing reports that the OneVanilla cards are working again, but have not confirmed this myself.

  58. @Rust
    How can you tell if it is a USBANK card? I have a local Walmart I have yet to try any of these methods out at but I am headed there tomorrow morning. I bought a Vanilla card today from rite-aid via CC and now would like to deposit it to my BB. You used the Kiosk or were you actually helped by a human? Still trying to rap my head around all this. Just trying to pay rent via a CC for some extra miles. Thanks so much.

  59. @Benjamin

    I doubt any will work. It would say on the back of the card, unfortunately you won’t not until after your purchase it. I tried a gift card a week or so to pay a bill after it was registered, it wouldn’t go through by phone but online it did. Looks like companies are blocking gift debit cards or force them to be run through as a credit transaction.

  60. I went to Walmart today and was having difficulty loading a debit card. I was frustrated but came home and registered my debit card on the cardholder website http://www.mygiftcardsite.com. This was a gc that I had gotten at Kroger. I had to enter my name, address, etc. Then I went to my bluebird acct and clicked “add funds”. I was able to link the debit card to my acct. You can only transfer $200 per day this way but atleast you can unload you debit card . I hope this helps.

  61. @Benjamin
    It will say USBank somewhere on the outside of the package. I’ve been able to load these at the WM kiosk or the money center / service desk, even the registers can do it. (I like the kiosk – when it works – because no one needs to know my business.) I always change the pin by calling the 866 number on the card (you can’t do this on-line for some reason).
    If you have a Vanilla reload card, you can do that from home, right on the vanilla reload site. If you have a Vanilla Visa debit/gift card, you may have to at least set the pin on-line, but some of these let you set the pin the first time you use it, just choose any pin you like (at the kiosk). I have heard mixed reports about the Vanilla debit/gift cards, so your mileage may vary.