“Would you like to load your check onto a Wal-Mart MoneyCard?”
Get ready to hear this phrase whenever you cash a check at Walmart (which you shouldn’t do anyway, but that’s another post.) Walmart has launched a prepaid debit card, issued from the same bank that also issues their credit cards.
Why is Walmart doing this? They’re going after the “unbanked” market, the same group of people who get screwed with payday loans, income tax advance refund loans, prepaid debit card fees, auto-title loans and every other awful “service” that this website warns you about.
Check our Walmart’s awesomely evil deal: Cashing your check costs $3.00, but if you put the money on a Walmart MoneyCard, they’ll waive the $4.64 “loading” fee. Neat! After that it’s only $4.94 a month to keep your money on the card.
Want to know how much is left? That’ll be $0.70 to check your balance .This card, in essence, takes people who don’t have access to the banking system in this country and makes Walmart their “bank.” Except it’s a “bank” where it costs $1.95 to get money from an ATM, but getting “cash back” from Walmart’s POS is free! If you deposit more then $1,000, Walmart will generously waive the monthly maintenance fee on the card. Want to speak to a teller? That’ll be $3.50. Your paper statement? $2.00. What a deal! —MEGHANN MARCO