I’ve been reading reports online that Walmart is going to update their system to block gift cards from being loaded to BlueBird. Supposedly a blogger talked to a Walmart employee who received a memo that said starting next month Walmart will no longer allow gift cards as form of payment. As of right now these are all rumors. No one in the MS community has officially seen the memo and the number of reports at this point are small.

Let’s backtrack to about 11 months ago when CVS stopped accepting credit card as a form of payment for Vanilla Reloads. Readers from all over the country flooded the FlyerTalk forums with reports that they could no longer buy Vanilla Reload cards. Memos were posted by the cash registers and the POS systems were updated in a week.

If Walmart were to update their systems, I have a feeling it would go in a similar fashion to the CVS fiasco from last year. So far there have been just a few reports on page 135 of this thread on FlyerTalk where some readers weren’t able to load money to their BlueBird cards. To me it just appears that either Walmart or BlueBird were having IT issues and Walmart was NOT updating their POS terminals to block gift cards.

Walmart BlueBird Kiosk

Is Walmart going to block gift cards as a payment option to load money to BlueBird cards? I wonder if money kiosks like the one in this picture will be updated as well.

Updating system or just IT issues?

I have a Bachelor’s Degree in IT and when I read the error message that people were receiving after trying to load money to their BlueBird card, I immediately thought “it’s just IT issues.” The error message that appeared for multiple users was “HOST TIMEOUT.” To me, that just means there was a communication error and an interruption in the network. I don’t believe Walmart is updating their system (at this time) based solely off this error message.

Is this is a guarantee? Absolutely not. I have no idea what Walmart’s plans are. I do know that I am not going to buy as many gift cards in 1 visit in case there are issues trying to unload the gift cards via BlueBid next month. I would probably have to unload them via other means which will cost money (I’m thinking PayPal, Square, etc.)

IT issues

In my opinion, I think Walmart or BlueBird were just having IT issues. “HOSTNAME TIMEOUT” is typical error message you would receive when there’s a communication error.

Why Walmart shouldn’t block gift cards

In all honestly, it gets customers in the door. I HATE Walmart and I can’t stand shopping there. Before I got into the BlueBird game, I hadn’t stepped foot in a Walmart in over 4 years. I always shopped at Target and I could care less if Walmart’s prices are cheaper by a penny or two.

However, while I load money to my BlueBird card, I often find myself going around the store grabbing items to purchase. I figured I’m already at the store and I don’t want to have to make another stop on the way home to Target, so I might as well just pick it up at Walmart. Maybe this is why Target got the RedBird card?

Is this going to hurt Walmart’s profits? Doubtful. The MS community is small and Walmart isn’t going to hurt from the BlueBird gift card blockage if they do enforce it. They are a multi-billion dollar company. Walmart will update the system and life will move on.

Metabank Visa gift cards

I really hope Walmart doesn’t block gift cards as a payment option for loading money to BlueBird. This is my main avenue of manufactured spending.

What will I do if gift cards are blocked?

I guess take a break until I find another method to unload gift cards. I know for certain I would switch over to RedBird, but even that is going to come to an end faster than you can say Jack Robinson. I am very skeptical of RedBird as Target is much more aware of what’s going on in their stores.

This is a hobby of mine. It’s not like I’m being fired and I need to hurry up and find another job. I know there are other avenues of manufactured spending, but BlueBird and gift cards is currently the easiest method, in my opinion. My heart will definitely sink a little bit, but life goes on. I have my health, I have a good job and I have a lot to be thankful for.


Stay Tuned

I’ll keep you updated if the story continues to unravel over the next month or so. My only advice I can give you is to never buy more gift cards than you can handle. You don’t want to be stuck buying $10,000 in gift cards and then try to unload them via BlueBird, just to find out the systems have been updated overnight. You’d then be stuck trying to find another way to liquidate those gift cards.