The Heat Death of Metabank/Pathward


It’s almost a national past time around MEAB to poke fun at Metabank Pathward gift cards, but it’s not without cause: they’re harder to liquidate than almost any other issuer, and often they make you pay higher fees than the competition too. I can only assume that’s out of spite. And now they’ve given us another reason to be annoyed, also presumably out of spite.

The Stupidification

Reports came in privately and publicly that things got worse earlier this week. For background, it’s been an open secret with Metabank Pathward gift cards that while many of them stopped working for cash equivalents at Walmart, Kroger and Safeway, some expirations and variations continued to work at both without much consternation. It was also an open secret that most of them worked without a problem at mid-tier grocery chains too. That all changed.

The situation now seems to be that rather than grocery chains implementing blocks, Metabank Pathward has implemented its own issuer-side blocking. That means that in one fell swoop we’ve lost effectively all money center liquidation mechanisms on Metabank Pathward gift cards, and I believe it was intentional too, again presumably out of spite.

What Now?

So what do you do with a tractor size stack of Metabank Pathward gift cards now? You’ve got options:

  • FinTechs
  • Lending platforms
  • Non-money center transactions
  • More, err, liberal payment processors

Good luck out there!

“Now Metabank Pathward can’t see my liquidation technique…” – MSer

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