Completed Walmart Credit Card Applications Are Now Worth Four Types Of Soda, Candy

[April 27, 2008. Latham, New York. Image thanks to Alex!]

Back in the glory days, when credit and food were cheap, it took a mere 2-liter bottle of Pepsi to bait customers into filling out a Walmart credit card application.

Recent events have forced America’s largest retailer to resort to increasingly drastic methods to entice applicants. Filling out an application is now worth one of four different sodas, VitaminWater, or a box of candy. The way things are going, a completed Walmart credit card application will soon be worth a party-size bag of chips. The horror!

Comments

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  1. Diet-Orange-Soda says:

    I still think it’s ridiculous that anyone would apply for a credit card in exchange for a bottle of soda.

  2. theoretical says:

    mmmmm, bribery!

    Somehow I think I’ll just pay for the soda-just not at Walmart.

  3. elephantattack says:

    wow, Walmart has credit cards? Guess they are that much closer to actually owning people souls.

  4. pecheckler says:

    Wal-Mart employees need a union.

  5. geoffhazel says:

    @pecheckler:

    walmart makes their employees work for free. I know this firsthand. I was in the paint department trying to get some paint mixed up and the one and only woman there kept calling for help but nobody came. she said her shift had ended 20 min ago. I said “well at least you get some overtime, right?” and she said “uhh. well, they don’t like us to clock more hours than we are scheduled to work” – IOW no overtime. She was just being a good employee helping us even though she wasn’t going to get paid for it.

    Kinda pathetic they won’t hire enough people to run the store or pay the ones that keep it running.

  6. SeanVarus says:

    Comment on Completed Walmart Credit Card Applications Are Now Worth Four Types Of Soda, Candy What’s wrong with that? At least I don’t get hounded by the cashier
    EVERY time I go through the checkout like at Target. And it’s not
    just a free soda, if you are approved you can get $20 back or no
    interest financing for 12 months. Do research before you post a
    random story like this.

  7. Diet-Orange-Soda says:

    @geoffhazel: On the other hand, she would probably get chewed out had she been caught working off the clock.

  8. WraithSama says:

    @Diet-Orange-Soda:
    “I still think it’s ridiculous that anyone would apply for a credit card in exchange for a bottle of soda.”

    I find that an amusing comment given your handle.

  9. Cliff_Donner says:

    “Do you want to save 10% today by opening up a Target charge?” . . .

    Now I love Target. I love, love luu-u-u-urve it.

    But if I never had to hear these words again, every time I check out with a $5.00 purchase –

    (“Oh my God, are you telling me I can save a whole 50 cents, and all I have to do is obligate myself to the terms of some credit card contract — Oh wait, I should probably read it . . . – – wait, what does THIS mean — oh wait, there’s 5 people in line waiting behind me — I should probably just sign it — oh yeah, well just throw 50 cents in my face, I’ll sign anything . . . “)

    – I would be delighted.

    If the obligation of these sales reps to ask this stupid question could be replaced with Wal-Mart’s end-aisle display promising free candy, I’d be ecstatic.

    That said, I love Target. Will NEVER shop at Wal-mart.

  10. StevenJohn says:

    Ignoring the demographics of the typical WallyWorld customer, can one imagine the quality of customer that is completing the application in exchange for a box of elcheapo candy?

    Maybe because 95% of the applicants are not qualified for a CC is the cause of the cheap inducement.

  11. ludwigk says:

    @Cliff_Donner: Unfortunately, offering the credit card is probably a metric they’re supposed to hit 100% on, and signing up people probably earns them bonuses and preferential shifts etc.

    What’s annoying is that my bank is always trying to get me to sign up for their credit card. When they offer it, I explain to them that I had an MBNA card, and they bought MBNA, but they chose not to convert my card, so basically I pin the blame on them. I would have a card with them, but missed the opportunity.

    Then they go on about how good their rates and balance transfers are, and I (luckily) explain to them that I have no balance.

  12. sam says:

    @Cliff_Donner: Team Members are required to ask this question and are mystery shopped to ensure compliance. Ideally, the cashier should never be prompted on such a small purchase, and additionally the system should remember your preference and link it to your card number. Unfortunately, it is not a perfect system and it occasionally does not always follow these guidelines. Or, in your case, it never remembers your credit preference.

  13. sam says:

    @ludwigk: Conversion rate is approximately 3% if I remember correctly. It varied from store to store and is adjusted accordingly based on the area.

    Successful application rewards also vary from store to store, but it’s usually as extravagant as a verbal congratulatory remark from a supervisor and a fun plush Target dog- which of course makes it all worth it in the end.

  14. t325 says:

    @sam123boo: When I was working at Target, we were told to ask EVERY customer (*ahem* guest) regardless of the purchase amount. I got chewed out by my manager once because I didn’t ask someone who bought nothing more than a 50 cent pack of gum.

    So glad I don’t work at that hellhole anymore.

  15. TechnoDestructo says:

    @Cliff_Donner:

    I think you have just given us all instructions on how to end this practice forever.

  16. pine22 says:

    what would stop me from using fake information so i could get some free skittles lol?

  17. chutch says:

    Personally, I’m still holding out for free $5.00 credit to start my card before I sign. I may have to wait a while, but I WILL NOT settle for less. :)

  18. LUV2CattleCall says:

    @geoffhazel:

    She was going above and beyond, good for her…but don’t go ape-shit on Wal-Mart.

    That being said, our flight attendants/pilots (in most cases) don’t get paid if our aircraft are stuck at the gate, so I guess everyone should just hate airlines too?

  19. cliffordmanning says:

    @LUV2CattleCall:

    The people at Wal-Mart do not deserve the ape-shit wrath, it is the corporation as a whole that deserves the four horsemen from the nine rings.

    And yes, we should hate airlines, but not for this reason specifically. Currently, and at last count, there are 4,267,450 other reasons, big and small, to hate airlines. I, myself, will avoid flying as much as possible until someone opens a fly-at-your-own-risk airline. I expect them to confiscate guns, large knives, and machetes, but I have concluded that any airline that can get their passengers through the doors and into the plane in 30 minutes tops deserves my money.

  20. FREE CANDY?!? Oh wait, is this another scam? You can’t fool me! First Ben and Jerry’s, then Carvel, now WalMart….

    I bet, in very small letters on that yellow sign… “Free product contigent on approval of credit card” and there’s some poor f*ck who had to give back his 2 liter because he was denied.

    “Wait? Whaa? NOoooo…” HAHA

    Booooo Wal Mart.

  21. Mykro says:

    The Walmarts here in Indiana have had that for a while.

  22. Angryrider says:

    If you’re willing to give away personal information for some soda or candy, you’ve got some serious problems.

  23. Rando says:

    Meijer does this too, but the sad part is Meijer has an employee that walks around the store while you’re shopping, asking you to get a card.

  24. homerjay says:

    @sam123boo: Every time they ask me its after I’ve already signed for my own credit card purchase. I tell them every time its too late.

  25. Rachacha says:

    Benjamin R Dover
    123 Sesame Street
    New York, NY 10027

    SSN: 101-92-8374
    Co-Applicants:
    Bert Andernie
    Fredrick Rodgers

    Now Gimme my free soda (The sign does not say it has to be accurate information)

  26. laddibugg says:

    @ludwigk: Can you transfer your MBNA balance (if you had one) to a BofA card? I thought the was against the rules, and if so, their argument holds even less water.

  27. snoop-blog says:

    Only a fool would choose the soda over the box of candy!

  28. macinjosh says:

    @Cliff_Donner: Do you buy scented canders there too?

  29. The sign does not say it has to be accurate information

    Yeah, exactly – I was wondering how long it actually took to fill out one of these forms, and what kind of dollars-per-hour that represents given the retail value of the “free gifts”.

    For super-fast signups being offered at a store’s checkout, it could be quite worthwhile to scribble “D. Duck, 123 Erehwon St, Chickenmilk, WI” on a piece of paper in return for ten per cent off a large cash purchase.

    You’d think they’d have safeguards to prevent this, but this whole site is pretty much dedicated to companies that aren’t that smart :-).

  30. B says:

    When flying with soutwest recently, I noticed they have credit card application booths where if you apply, you can get a free southwest branded shirt or towel. Since this was past the security checkpoint, I thought of suggesting they should give away free bottles of water with the application. I think it would have made the offer much more successful.

  31. TonyTriple says:

    @Daniel Rutter:

    I know that the scum sucking leaches who do this on college campuses got hip to that and now ask you for ID!

    So now they can check to see if you really are a mister “Holden Mcgroin of 1313 East Lawbreaker Lane, Hacknsak(sp), NJ.” and not just some college punk out for a free t-shirt or mini-pizza.

  32. Tank says:

    i’d be all in if they were giving away the banned t-shirts, hell, i may apply twice to get my wife a nice present for mother’s day.

  33. ConsumptionJunkie says:

    This is the same gimmick that K-Mart uses to get you to sign up for a Sears card.

  34. TPS Reporter says:

    I lie and tell them I already have one. Shuts them up in a hurry as there’s nowhere else to go with their sales pitch.

  35. YervantFlaccus says:

    @geoffhazel:
    Comment on Completed Walmart Credit Card Applications Are Now Worth Four Types Of Soda, Candy Actually, the employee that was being helpful in the paint department
    was actually doing so against company policy. If they were told to do so
    by management, then the manager may be looking for a new job, in the
    near future.

    Yes, Wal-Mart does do it’s best to have “no overtime” but that said,
    they also have policies in place that say “no working off the clock”.

    Just like any job, punch in, work your shift, punch out.

  36. KingPsyz says:

    this is nothing, my local Wal*Mart on Eastern and Russell (for anyone curious) in Las Vegas has at the front door a bog screen plasma, two guitar hero controlers, a 360 and a sound system set up.

    the sign says:
    “STRAPPED FOR CASH, APPLY FOR A WAL MART CARD TODAY AND ALL OF THIS COULD BE YOURS”

    At least the soda or vitamin water might be of some substance but way to go for encouraging irresponsible spending habits Wally World.

    I would have taken a picture but it’s like they’re waiting for someone to do it so they can hassle them. Every time I took out my phone they would stare at me til I walked away.

  37. BlogFather says:

    @snoop-blog: lmao! ah yes a fool indeed!

  38. TVGenius says:

    @PSN: kingpsyz: I can top that. While speeding through one of our local Supercenters last night, I noticed that with your successful credit card application, you get an entry into a drawing for a full-on brand new Pepsi vending machine. It’s sitting right in the middle of the front aisle by the checkouts.

  39. humphrmi says:

    @SeanVarus: I got six hundred dollars back from WaMu last year, and enough free miles from Citibank to fly my family first class to the West coast for a vacation. In comparison, a bottle of pop and $20 is stupid.

  40. leprofie says:

    Sears offered me $15 today.

  41. KingPsyz says:

    @TVGenius:

    OK, that’s pretty good… but isn’t that a tad illegal?

    I’m fairly certain that contest regulations require that you not make a purchase to be elligible ect.

    I would venture to say having to apply for credit is skimming that fine line.

  42. sam says:

    @t325: You must have worked there a while ago, because I think at one point this was the case. Now cashiers are never to ask without the prompt, and always ask with the prompt. But no one seems to follow either of those rules.

  43. sam says:

    @homerjay: Aha! A common misconception! Not to worry HomerJay, it’s never too late until after you answer the cashier’s question! See, even if you think it’s already been processed, charged and authorized after you sign, it really doesn’t actually do it until the cashier declines the prompt. If you ever actually do go through the process of applying, you’ll witness the card reader spitting your card back out and informing you nothing has been charged to it- even if you already signed.

  44. bitgod says:

    Hah, saw something like this last week at Fry’s, only it was “get a hot dog and a coke” for filling out the credit application. I was asked at the register, I said no thanks. At least they give you a hot dog, that should be hopefully more nutritious than candy.

  45. CaptainDDL says:

    When I worked at Wal-mart a couple of years ago, I was informed that our branch received $100 for each successful application. Just something to think about.

  46. Stumpworthy says:

    I shopped at Kmart in a direct effort to use my sears charge card. I bought a cheap craftsman tool, and a bag of chips, less than ten bucks worth of stuff. the casher guy told me my total was $9.58

    I handed him my sears card, and he handed me a sears card application.

    He said, I can give you a 10% discount on your entire purchase if you apply for a sears card. I had just given this kid my sears card— Why in the world would he give me an application to get a sears card???

    anyways I took the credit card application and pretty much scribbled all over the “quick application” part of the thing.

    I got a statement from sears with a request for $8.61

    Fine with me