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Success With Vanilla Purchase At CVS

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The past few weeks it’s been difficult to find a CVS that allows the purchase of Vanilla reloads with a credit card. But success is finally here, and I’ll share a simple tip that may help you know if the CVS will allow purchase of them with a credit card. These tips aren’t rocket science, but simple and based on visiting several stores after being rejected.

The first thing you can do is take a Vanilla reload to the counter and ask. I’ve arrived at many CVS stores stocked with Vanilla reloads only to be rejected at the counter when attempting to purchase with a credit card.

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The non confrontational approach is to find a CVS store who’s vanilla shelf looks like the picture below. What do you notice?

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That’s right, they don’t have any Vanilla reloads available for purchase. That’s because they are all sold out from people purchasing them. I’ve found that the stores around where I live that don’t allow purchase with a credit card always have a full shelf.

Bottom Line

I’ve found my store and have gone back to complete a purchase after they reloaded their Vanilla reloads.

This has changed my guess about a policy change I shared a few days ago.

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.

About the Author

About the author: The Weekly Flyer is writes about travel from a business traveler perspective. He travels the world every week accumulating points and miles along the way. Feel free to reach me at theweeklyflyer@gmail.com

{ 17 comments… add one }

  • nickfromct February 1, 2013, 6:23 am

    As of last night, my local CVS still accepts credit cards to purchase vanilla reloads. I’ll be back there today to wrap up the puirchase of the remaining reloads needed to pay my mortgage.

  • Tracy February 1, 2013, 6:42 am

    Iv’e never had trouble at any of my three CVS around me, always tons in stock and no issue paying with credit.

  • dave February 1, 2013, 7:05 am

    Walgreens has backed off from CC. 2 stores that took CC in Jan had stopped since then. sigh.

  • Ddawg February 1, 2013, 7:49 am

    Do you think chase will have a problem with people spending so much in cvs?

  • FreeTravelGuys February 1, 2013, 7:55 am

    No problems at some of our local CVS stores up to a few days ago, and you can even pay for them using the automatic checkout machines, although some other CVS stores in our city don’t take the credit cards. It’s just a matter of finding one that does.

  • autolycus February 1, 2013, 8:06 am

    ATL area still seems pretty easy to find and buy with CC. The one location with self-checkout lets you do it there, but one of the staff has to scan their badge several times and verify the last 4 digits of the CC.

  • Gene February 1, 2013, 8:32 am

    @autolycus — Beware of fraudulent VR cards at ATL CVS stores. There are several reports of people buying cards that have been tampered with, only to find their loaded funds stolen shortly after purchase.

  • dave February 1, 2013, 9:40 am

    @Gene – thanks. never thot to look at the silver area to see if it’s intact. good point!

  • applezz13 February 1, 2013, 10:13 am

    I am in Macon, GA working this week. Every CVS I have been in has lots of cards and they all have taken my credit card with no problems.

  • jp February 1, 2013, 11:01 am

    Thanks for the post. Still new to all this, so always helpful. I’ll check our area and let the group know.

  • autolycus February 1, 2013, 11:03 am

    @Gene, thanks for the warning. I saw the first report of that on Flyertalk and have been making sure to check the cards as soon as they’re activated so I can try to take action quickly if there’s a problem. So far I have not had any problems. I’m also not one to stockpile the VRs ahead of time. I buy to reload immediately and do so within an hour of buying the VR.

  • nickfromct February 1, 2013, 12:22 pm

    So, I go into CVS today to buy the remaining vanilla reloads I need for my mortgage (see post #1)and I see there is a guy kneeling at the gift card rack. As I approach and he is getting up I notice he has the entire inventory of vanilla reloads in his hand. I said to him ” You’re not taking all of those are you”? He looks at me kind of strangly and says we’ll how many do you need? I said just give me two. I said to him ” Well it looks like you’re going to score alot of frequent flyer miles with those and he just smiles and tell me they not selling any more in new york where his son lives. We talk for a few more minutes and I thank him for giving up part of his stash.

  • Geoff February 1, 2013, 1:23 pm

    @nick: That is PRECISELY the behavior that might cause CVS et al to pull the deal.
    It looks like laundering. Did the cashier ask the manager to stop by for this guy’s purchase?
    Running multiple cards for several thousands of $$ in reloadable gift cards is bad form(and kharma).
    Oh well, on a related note, just got $1000 of beans a few minutes ago.

  • nickfromct February 1, 2013, 1:41 pm

    @Geoff He didn’t have all that many probably 6 or so. The cashier didn’t give him a hard time and he was on his way in a few minutes. Anyway, I was mostly concerned with getting my two cards.

  • Chris D. February 1, 2013, 2:12 pm

    It’s not a foolproof method, but try looking for a CVS that looks old. All of the newer fancy ones on corner lots have brand new equipment. No problems yet at the old one near me.

  • Dan February 3, 2013, 5:28 pm

    @Geoff

    It only looks like laundering when you are paying via cash as if you’re paying via credit card, it will reflect in your statement and is easier to track than cash.

    Which is why I don’t understand why stores accept cash.

  • Tyler April 13, 2013, 2:27 pm

    Interesting, I thought I was buying the Vanilla Reload but I purchased the MyVanilla Debit instead by accident. I have it loaded with $500 so I guess even at worst case I could go to a Wal-Mart and add $500 to my BlueBird using my PIN? I could not link my debit card to my BB account after many attempts.

    Any help? I rather not have to go to CVS make a the purchase then have to go to Wal-Mart each month to make the mortgage payments if I can help it. Any help would be great to make this process easier. Thanks guys!

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