Walmart Memo: Stop Rewards Points Churning
There are several reports that Walmart has sent out a memo to employees regarding activities considered to be “rewards points churning”. The meme has been reported on FlyerTalk, Doctor of Credit and Frequent Miler. Some are saying that it could just be a hoax, but it seems to fit in with recent issues at Walmart in recent weeks. Reports on FlyerTalk also say that cashiers are aware of the memo and have said that starting on 12/19 they won’t accept Visa gift cards for money orders.
Walmart is a popular location for many to liquidate their gift cards. And this memo seeks to stop just that. It gives a quick description of how and why people buy gift cards and then it instructs employees to look out and stop such activities. Walmart says that “the activity creates significant customer service and operational impacts […] due to the lengthy nature of the transactions.”
Here’s the text of the memo:
Effective: December 19, 2020
Manufactured spending or rewards points churning is the practice of using a credit or debit card that earns rewards to buy cash like products (Money Orders, Gift Cards, Bill Payment), and then using those cash like products to pay off the credit card balance or deposit them directly into their bank account. Manufactured spenders seek to do this activity because rewards earned are often greater than the fees incurred for buying the cash-like products.
This activity creates significant customer service and operational impacts for our stores due to the lengthy nature of the transactions. As a result, Walmart has decided not to allow manufactured spending transactions. If you become aware that a customer is engaging in manufactured spending transactions, that activity should be stopped.
If you think you are witnessing manufactured spending you should decline to process the transaction.
If you have questions, please consult with your supervisor for assistance, and/or reach out to your Regional Ethics and Compliance Director
It’s not clear if this will be hard coded or it will only be left up to cashiers and staff to enforce it. From the wording of the memo, it looks like it will be Walmart workers that have to watch out and stop these activities. Definitely try to liquidate gift card you already have by December 19, and then see how thing develop after that. It’s always a good idea to always keep looking for other options as well, and not rely on just one avenue.