Since the big news last month that Vanilla Reload cards were going cash only at CVS stores nationwide, some manufactured spenders have been scrambling for alternatives. There are definitely options, though none easier than the good old Vanilla Reload.
Enter the OneVanilla Prepaid Visa Card.
You can still, at the time of this post, purchase these prepaid cards at CVS stores (and other stores) with a miles/points earning credit card. The fee on these cards is $4.95 ($1 more than the old Vanilla Reloads).
You can then go to Walmart and load you Bluebird account at a MoneyCenter kiosk or at a regular cashier by using the OneVanilla as a debit card. The PIN is whatever 4-digit number you enter upon your first purchase. In this case, the first and ONLY use of this card so enter any 4 digits.
There are, of course, caveats to this. You need a Walmart within a reasonable distance. The further it is from you, the more time & gas you waste, adding to the overall cost of points. Also, you can only load $1,000 per day with this method so to max out your spend potential each month, you would have to visit a Walmart a minimum of 5 times.
My process (which includes Joann) is as follows:
- We each buy 2 $500 OneVanilla Prepaid Visa Cards at our local CVS using credit cards. (Note: Your store’s policy may differ regarding the number of prepaid cards you can buy in one transaction)
- With our $2,000 worth of OneVanilla cards, we go to Walmart (ours doesn’t have a MoneyCenter so we do this with a regular cashier)
- We each load our Bluebird accounts with $1,000 (in 2 separate $500 transactions)
- We go home and pay our credit card bills with Bluebird Bill Pay!
Again, we try to maximize our trips to Walmart so we both load the maximum $1,000 per day to our Bluebird accounts. It wouldn’t be worthwhile to just buy one $500 OneVanilla, drive to Walmart, and load only $500.
It’s never going to be as easy as it was with Vanilla Reloads, but Bluebird is still a viable option for manufactured spend. It just takes a little extra effort now.