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:
- U.S. Bank FlexPerks® Business Cash Rewards Visa® Card earns 3x cash back on gas
- Discover it® earns 5x bonus cash back on rotating categories (gas is a bonus category from July to September) on only up to $1,500 in purchases
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 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.
- Vanilla Reloads Are NOT Dead
- How To Load Bluebird With Gift Cards
- Major Change to Vanilla Reloads at CVS- Cash Only
- Vanilla Reload Update- Now Going to Cash Only on April 4th