New Old News
Over a month ago I wrote about changes that were thought to be coming to Walmart stores nationwide that would dramatically effect those who use the store for manufactured spend (MS). Those changes made a lot of sense, but for whatever reason, seemed to be lying dormant. The manufactured spend landscape in the past month, was basically unchanged for most people.
Some of those changes now appear to be taking place at various Walmarts across the country. I don’t have the changes yet (as not all of the stores in my area have implemented changes yet), but it seems like the changes are on the bill pay side, likely limiting a customer to $8k per 30 days via check free bill pay and Moneygram. I had a bill pay denial yesterday too, but am going to try again today. At this time, I’m not sure if money orders are lumped into the limitations too or not. Not all stores are affected yet, as the software updates are being rolled out store to store. I’d guess that stores nationwide will implement the new changes within a few weeks, or roughly by the end of the year.
More Bad News
There have also been increased reports of people getting banned from MoneyGram, even those using varieties of ID’s. The people shutdown by MoneyGram have been doing all sorts of volume from under $10k a month to heavy hitters.
In addition, some additional Chase shutdowns have been reported. Some of those shutdowns happened to experienced MSers and points and miles collectors. For various reasons they got on Chase’s radar and had all of their cards shutdown. They then had 30 days to transfer or cash out their Ultimate Rewards points.
Major points blogs that talk about MS usually do so very casually and rarely mention the consequences of doing so, all while having major credit card companies are “marketing, affiliate, or business” partners – which seems odd. But losing all of your accounts and future points earning potential with a major bank is a major blow. This is especially true if the ban is “lifetime”, which seems to be the case with most banks.
I’ve said it many times and have tried to be clear, but MS isn’t all duckies and bunnies. If you have some gift cards lying around, I’d make an effort to liquidate as soon as possible. It could be a bit bumpy in the next few weeks.