Here’s How I Found Vanilla Reloads At Gas Stations


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Once CVS went cash tender only, I realized there was still another work around to use Vanilla Reload cards to load my Bluebird, but it required an extra step that I explained in this previous post.

But I knew from a previous road trip down south from my home town that I could pick up Vanilla Reloads at a very few select gas stations. I’m not part of the manufactured secret handshake club, and I don’t have time to scour the message boards between work and family. So I went about it the old fashioned way, a little work and a little trial and error. But if you look close enough, there are a few clues that you can use to figure out the brand of stations that sell from my experience.

 

Why I Cared To Look

Using Vanilla Reloads to load to your Bluebird account, and then use the spending for every day items like Rent, Mortgage, Car Payments, is a great way to earn bonus points or miles on your credit card. In addition, if you are trying to meet minimum spending requirements to get the signup bonus offers, it can help you get to the spending requirement faster.

Not to mention, that if you purchase Vanilla Reloads at specialty stores you can earn bonus points. For example, the office supply stores used to sell them and you could earn 5x points on particular cards, but that was stopped. Then you could purchase Vanilla Reloads at Drug Stores where you could earn bonuses as well. But as we all know that stopped recently.

Now with Gas Stations, there are plenty of cards that offer bonus spending for purchases at gas stations for example:

Flexible Points

Cash Back

 

How I Researched It

I first went to the Vanilla Reload site and looked at all the places where reloads are sold. There are very few places that take credit cards and they don’t advertise them. So I searched for a few that had locations on this sunny road trip route and set off on our journey. My intention was to not make special stops, but with a baby in the car, it is inevitable that we would make several stops. So my eyes were glued to the gas station advertisement signs during the drive.

 

Where I Found Them

I saw many stores pass by from this brand, but didn’t want to stop unless we had a reason to. Then on our first stop, when Baby Weekly Flyer needed a break I took the opportunity to fill up at the first store. Success! I found that Vanilla Reloads were not dead. I picked up 1 card and loaded it with $500. No problem loading the card at all. Then I went back to the rack, picked up another, and went back to the register saying “I don’t see these often, I think I’ll load another” and with no problem the second one was loaded.

First time I thought I was lucky so I needed a population of stores to sample. At the next stop for lunch, I quickly stopped into the station near our restaurant and found the gift card rack again. This time I tried to pick up 2 at the same time for $1,000. No dice. They have a $800 maximum per purchase. So I dropped one card and loaded the other. Then proceeded to make a separate transaction for the other using the same approach above.

Click on the picture and see if you notice anything that could give away the brand of the store.

Vanilla Reloads At Gas Stations

Bottom Line

Vanilla Reloads are not dead. If you look hard enough, you can find them a several places, just not the three letter drug store that everyone was so used to finding them at.

Good luck!

 

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About The Weekly Flyer

The Weekly Flyer writes about travel from a business traveler perspective. He travels the world every week accumulating points and miles along the way.

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Comments

  1. Very obvious for those who know the brand of gas station. Thanks. Now I need to see if there are any locally.

  2. Was the $800 per purchase at every station or just the one? Wondering if it’s corporate policy.

  3. I have a buddy that owns a Mobil station near my house. He has a prepaid stand so I should definitely check to see what’s there. I know I’ve seen Amazon cards there before. Thanks for the reminder.

  4. Wish it was obvious for me, I don’t have a clue :(. Good on those for those who can tell what it is.

  5. You said it best with “a little work and a little trial and error.” That’s how I tackle MS nowadays in a post-VR world.

  6. Joey – We are more in a local by local VR world. Definitely not in a post Vr world, maybe a post go to the nearest drugstore VR world, but they are out there for grabs with a cc.

  7. Think I got it after revisiting the list of retailers on the VR site. PLEASE, everyone buy responsibly.

  8. I know exactly which chain this is. Tried purchasing VR cards there on multiple occasions with no luck. The register appears hard coded to prevent paying with credit cards.

  9. Clues I picked up:
    1. On most of your trip reports, you fly out of Atlanta. So, your hometown is probably Atlanta or somewhere else in northern GA.
    2. You did a road trip south from your hometown.
    3. The gas station has a solid green roof.
    4. This didn’t help me, but the way the prepaid debit card rack looks can be a clue.

    Based on those clues, especially number 3, my best guess is Valero. Other than that, some gas stations with green in their logo might be Kangaroo Express, TA Petro, and 7-11. However, I’m pretty confident it’s Valero.

  10. Hi Brandon – You’d be wrong in the case of this picture and store type. There is another color in that logo split by a unique object that occurs in nature.

  11. If Brandon is wrong about his best guess, can you give another hint? All research I’ve done put me thinking the same as him. Thanks!

  12. people are silly.
    the unique object in nature is a lighting bolt.
    I’m in the ATL area, and I won’t be touching these with a 10 foot pole. The last 5 times i purchased VRs that weren’t stashed behind the counter, they were defrauded. Those things get snatched up quick by fraudsters off floor racks.

  13. Valero does not sell them here in Northern California nor does anyone else that I have found (not)…….but I had great success on the highway between Miami and Key West………

  14. These stores now limit VR (and other prepaid) card purchases made with a credit card to no more than $100. Still looking for sources in ATL north, but the math doesn’t work for this source any more, IMO.

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