Wal-Mart program: Stash cash in savings account, win prizes

Lifestyle and BudgetAssociated Press

Wal-Mart has a new program that offers prizes as incentives to get its legion of shoppers to sock away money in saving accounts.

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The "Prize Savings" program features Wal-Mart's branded reloadable pre-paid debit cards, which are linked to a free savings "vault." Savers are given one entry into a monthly prize drawing for every dollar they stash in the vault.

The sweepstakes will award 500 cash prizes every month, with the average prize being about $25. The monthly sweepstakes includes one $1,000 grand prize.

Wal-Mart says the program, launched without fanfare in August, is the first national and retail prize-linked savings program. The move underscores how the world's largest retailer is expanding its financial services, which already includes check cashing and money transfers.