Walmart Money Center Review

Learn about the services offered at the Walmart Money Center to find out what financial products are available through the retailer.

Learn about the Walmart Money Center.

What is the Walmart Money Center? It’s an in-store kiosk that customers can use for money transfers, check cashing, coin to cash converting, prepaid card reloading, check printing, bill payments, and other financial services. The company also has a website version of the Center, although to use many of the services you will need to go into an actual store.

Hours of Operation

The Walmart Money Center operational hours can vary by store, but generally, the Center opens at 7 a.m. and closes at 10 p.m., Monday through Sunday.

Services Offered

Walmart says that its Money Center helps save you a trip to the bank. While you can’t do everything at the Center that you could do at a bank, many of its services are similar. Here’s what you can expect to see:

  • Check cashing – Without requiring you to register an account, Walmart lets you cash your checks for up to $1,000 for a $3 fee. Checks over $1,000 require a $6 fee. You get the cash on site “instantly,” and for added convenience, you can even load the money onto your Walmart MoneyCard and enjoy a waived reload fee. The cashing limit maxes out at $5,000 for most of the year, but from January through April that amount gets bumped up to $7,500. Types of checks you can cash include:
    • Payroll checks – The check your employer may use to pay you
    • Tax checks – Your yearly refund on your federal taxes
    • Government checks – Such as government benefits
    • Cashier’s checks – Checks printed and guaranteed by a credit union or a bank
    • MoneyGram money orders (from Walmart) – While not technically a check, a MoneyGram money order lets you use your credit or debit card to send money from one place to another, even internationally
    • 401k disbursement checks – Retirement money that comes out of your 401k
    • Insurance settlement checks – After you settle with an insurance claims adjuster, this is the check you receive with the agreed upon money
  • Check printing – You’ll find hundreds of options for both personal and business checks at WalmartChecks.com.
  • Tax prep services – During tax season, Walmart can help you file your return with professionals from Liberty Tax and Jackson Hewitt.
  • Coins to cash – You can use Coinstar to convert your change into gift cards
  • Bill pay – You can pay your utility bills at some stores. If this service is available in your area, your payment can be sent electronically from Walmart to your utility company.
  • Product care plan – This is kind of like extended warranty. In some cases it goes beyond the coverage offered in the manufacturer’s warranty, sometimes offering protection against power surge, drops, pixel failure, heat damage, and other unfortunate experiences. Walmart also offers Soluto, a tech team that can help you troubleshoot different technologies. By setting up a Product Care Plan, you get 30-days of Soluto access.

What if My Walmart Doesn’t Have a Money Center?

If your local Walmart location doesn’t have a dedicated Money Center, you might be able to access the services at the store’s customer service desk.

Does Walmart Have a Federal Bank Charter?

Several years ago, the store tried to obtain a federal bank charter but failed because many thought that the move would put smaller banks out of business. The lack of a charter means that while its Money Center can cash checks, you can’t use Walmart to make federally insured deposits or secure a loan.

How it Stacks Up to Other Stores

Other stores offer bits and pieces of what Walmart has here. Grocery stores will often let you cash checks. Though, they may charge you a percentage of the check, which may end up being more expensive than Walmart’s standard fee.

While the Center offers a great variety of services, none provide the depth you receive from someone focusing in one specific area. Best Buy’s Geek Squad, for instance, will meet your tech needs more exhaustively than Soluto. And as great as check cashing at Walmart is, you’ll still have to make a trip to the bank if you want to deposit money. That’s if you have a bank. Some Walmart Money Center users are unbanked.

Overall, the convenience of what Walmart offers depends on how many of the store's other services you plan to use. If you are visiting the retailer already, then the Center can be a time saver in some cases.

The Online Version

The Center loses quite a bit of its appeal when you’re using the online version (found at walmart.com/cp/walmart-money-center/). Many pages are limited to being informational, telling you what you can do if you travel to a retail location. Where there is online functionality, the services offered aren’t any better (and usually worse) than what you’ll find elsewhere on the world wide web.

Final Thoughts

It’s no secret that Walmart has banking ambitions. While so far it’s been unable to realize that goal, it’s making baby steps into the market by providing check cashing and other financial services through its Money Center. As customers become more comfortable using Walmart as a banking alternative, the company is sure to add more features, and will maybe one day offer a full-fledged bank.

In the meantime, the Money Center is a welcomed service for several financial activities.

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