Do Walmart Gift Cards Expire – Here’s How They Work!

A popular gift around the holidays, gift cards can have confusing rules that might make for some headaches. Walmart gift cards, in particular, have surprisingly few rules surrounding them. Do Walmart gift cards expire? We dug into some policies around the big box store’s gift cards.

Walmart has a store-wide policy that gift cards do not expire. There is a federal minimum law of five years from the activation date for bank cards, but Walmart store policy currently is that gift cards do not expire.

However, there are some caveats to this policy that you might want to know about. If you have a gift card you received a while ago and haven’t used it yet, or maybe you are considering using it for something other than a purchase, you’ll want to keep reading. 

Activating Walmart Gift Cards

Before you use your Walmart gift card, you first need to activate it. Most cards will have a sticker attached to them with a phone number. Call this number and follow the instructions to get your card up and running. Once activated, Walmart gift cards are straightforward to use. Provide the card as you would any credit or debit card to cover the cost of a transaction.

If there isn’t a phone number attached to your gift card, head to the customer service desk at your nearest Walmart location. They should be able to scan the barcode and help find your account. It’s always best to have your paper receipt in case of any problems.

Can you exchange Walmart gift cards for cash?

Walmart’s policy does not currently allow people to exchange gift cards for cash. Some policy nuances surrounding exchanges with other store gift cards may be worth looking into further. Many Walmart locations offer a gift card exchange program where they will purchase other store gift cards at a discount. However, these aren’t offered by every location, and the exchange rates offered change daily.

How do you know when gift cards expire?

As we’ve been able to determine through this short article, we now know Walmart gift card funds do not expire and are available perpetually, but the Visa cards used to access them can expire and will need to be replaced to access the funds.

You can see these dates directly on the front of the Visa card. The funds are stored separately and tracked by Walmart. You can access the gift card fund account on the Walmart website at This website is also a central location to find all the relevant paperwork and legal terms associated with your gift card.

Do gift cards expire if not used?

There are two policies governing gift card expiration: laws in this area and store policy. Federal law provides a certain level of protection for owners and purchasers of gift cards. At a bare minimum, when dealing with gift cards that carry bank logos, federal law requires stores to honor gift cards for at least five years from the activation date.

Other state laws may be applicable as well. These include value and honor-by-date store requirements and other state-level policies.

Companywide Walmart policy is that gift cards do not expire at any point. This specifically applies to the funds available and tracked through Walmart, not the bank-issued card. Store policy can vary, though, as managers may make an executive decision different from standard Walmart policy. It may be possible to run into a Walmart manager unwilling to honor the company-wide policy that gift cards do not expire. 

Can you use an expired Walmart gift card?

As mentioned above, Walmart gift cards do not expire. However, the Visa Gift Cards that Walmart sells have an expiration date on the card. This date applies to the card itself and not the funds. The funds attached to the card are still available in the account. The card must be replaced, however, as each Visa card has its unique expiration date that Walmart does not control.

What to do if your Walmart gift card won’t work?

You might run into some problems when you try to use your Walmart gift card. Suppose you are trying to use it immediately after purchasing and activating it or are having trouble activating it the same day you purchased it. In that case, you might need to wait 24 hours and allow the transaction to process. It takes some time for the information from the store to travel to the data center. You may just be trying to access your funds too soon. 

If your card is declined and it’s beyond 24 hours from when you purchased and activated the card, you can check your balance by going to You can also call the Walmart gift card customer service at (866) 633-9096. 

What to do if you lose your Walmart gift card?

Walmart is relatively forgiving. If you lose your Walmart gift card, call their customer service line at (800)411-7942. A representative will help walk you through the process of canceling your prior card, hopefully before it can be used if stolen.

Once they can cancel the prior card, Walmart will replace it and issue a new card with the remaining balance. It’s important to retain your receipt, as most stores will not allow a replacement without the original receipt in hand

What else do I need to know about Walmart gift cards?

Walmart is a big store with many products for sale, making it a great option for gift cards you buy for others. Make sure to hold onto the card and the receipt, as losing either can create headaches later. Using Walmart gift cards is straightforward.

Activate via the phone number on the front of the card or at the customer service desk. Use the funds as if they were any other type of credit card.

We started this article by trying to figure out whether Walmart gift cards expire. We looked at some relevant store gift card policies and learned about exchanging funds.

Ultimately, Walmart gift cards don’t expire, but there are some tricky rules surrounding how you can use the funds. While most stores will not allow replacements for stolen cards, Walmart will – as long as you have the original paperwork to go with it. 

If you have a more complicated question, it might be worth a trip to the customer service desk.

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