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Points and miles collectors like the option to earn points by loading Vanilla Reload cards to an American Express Blue Bird account. What’s not to like, you meet minimum credit card spend and can earn miles purchasing reloads for reloadable gift cards that can be used to pay everyday bills.
I shared my trouble finding a store that would sell a Vanilla Reload card. But what I didn’t share was I bought a My Vanilla Pre-Paid Visa card before I found a store that would sell the Vanilla Reloads for my Blue Bird card. Instead of purchasing a Vanilla Reload, which the clerk told me was cash only, I purchased a starter kit for the My Vanilla Pre-Paid card and loaded it with $500 with a credit card. It was a simple process that only took a few moments and then I was on my way.
I had read about the My Vanilla Pre-Paid card a few times and was interested to understand how difficult or not it was to use.
My Vanilla Pre-Paid Visa Card Benefits
The My Vanilla Pre-Paid Visa card comes with the benefits outlined below:
- No Credit Check
- Direct Deposit
- ATM Withdrawal
- Deposits FDIC insured up to $250,000
- Personalized card
- More than 50,000 reload locations
- Vanilla Reload Network
- Track spending online
- Set up recurring payments
- Manage your money
- See here for the full FAQ on the My Vanilla card
Experience With My Vanilla Pre-Paid Visa Card
Since my local CVS wouldn’t sell me a Vanilla Reload card, I thought I’d experiment with the My Vanilla Pre-Paid starter kit. I picked up a starter kit and loaded it with $500. The starter kit comes with a gift card that you can reload, but it doesn’t have your name on it. So when I returned home I logged into the My Vanilla website and ordered my personalized card. Next up was to learn how to use it.
The My Vanilla card can be used everywhere a debit card can be used. In addition, you can use it at ATMs, but there is a $400 withdrawal limit. You could purchase something at a store and then select the cash back option to save a trip to the ATM. Instead, I headed into a local bank and asked for a cash advance on the card. I was first asked to present my ID which matched my personalized card. Next, the clerk went to the machine and swiped my card to process the cash advance. Within a few moments the clerk was asking if I’d like my $500 in small or large bills. The process was quick and smooth.
My experience with the My Vanilla Pre-Paid Visa card worked well. The total cost was $3.95 to load the starter kit card and no additional cost to obtain a personalized card. I can’t say I enjoyed or think it was worth it to process a cash advance in a bank. And there are many risks to using this card. For example, if I lost or had my starter kit card stolen which didn’t have my name on it, the My Vanilla site advises customers to call customer service to eliminate or reduce loses. That isn’t very reassuring.
What’s your experience with the My Vanilla Pre-Paid Visa card?
Editorial Note: Opinions, analyses, reviews or suggestions expressed on this site are those of the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any card issuer. This post was accurate at the time of posting. For details on current offers visit the card issuer’s site.