While I haven’t blogged about it yet, but almost everyone already knows, is that one of the easily accessible gift cards that you can buy and liquidate at Walmart are the USBank gift cards sold at Kroger and its affiliates. Some time last week, they changed their policy about the max amount of gift cards you can buy at one time. Before that, I had heard some people were buying upwards of $100,000 (yes, not typo) in one visit. Well, looks like Kroger has put a stop to that. I emailed Kroger corporate for them to clarify things, and this is what they wrote back:
New Kroger Policy
Thank you for contacting Kroger Customer Connect regarding policy specification. Below are the specifications:
There are two sets of limits / rules for these transactions – 1) at the Front End Checklanes, and 2) at our Customer Service Desks.
Front End Checklanes
- $1 – $2,000 only.
- All purchases of open loop gift cards (VISA, MasterCard, Amex) and temporary GPR (GreenDot, 123 Rewards) products, any combination, must be restricted to a maximum of $2,000 (including fees) in a single transaction AND in one single day only.
- No transaction > $2,000 should be performed within the traditional Front End registers by a cashier.
Customer Service Desks / Centers:
- $2,001 – $9,999 only.
- Only single transactions over $2,000 (including fees) may be completed at the customer service desk. (if you are a store that does not have a Customer Service Desk / Euro Lanes, a member of Store Management may complete the transaction separately, within their Front End).
- All transactions for open loop gift cards, GPR and Green Dot gift cards over $2,000 (including fees) must be paid for using
CASH ONLY. *IMPORTANT**
- Debit, credit card OR CHECK will be
NOT be accepted.
- Remember, all transactions for temporary GPR cards were to be paid for by using cash anyway (no change to current practices).
- Transactions of open loop gift cards, GPR and Green Dot are limited to less than $10,000 (including fees) at the customer service desk.
- No transactions of open loop gift cards, GPR and Green Dot gift cards of $10,000 (including fees) or more are allowed.
What this means
This means it’s going to take you a lot more trips to buy gift cards at Kroger, which sucks. The max you can buy is 3 $500 variable gift cards since 4 would put you over 2K due to the fees. Look on the bright side – at least you’re still allowed to buy gift cards with a credit card. I had asked Safeway the same thing, and they just told me that each store could come up with their own policy (Sorry, I couldn’t find the email)