Earning Points and Miles Using the Other Vanilla Reloadable Card

| Updated: November 16, 2013
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By now, everyone knows about using Vanilla Reloads to earn some extra miles and points, but what if you can’t find these cards? Or if you can’t purchase them with a credit card?

MyVanilla Reloadable Prepaid Cards are another simple way to earn rewards. Since Vanilla Reload cards, the ones that can be used on the reload network to reload Bluebird and other cards, are hard to find and near impossible to purchase using a credit card in some states, there is another option out there.

The MyVanilla Reloadable Prepaid Cards (see right photo below) can earn you the same rewards, you just have to retrieve your cash through a cash advance with you card.

MyVanilla Prepaid Debit Card
Vanilla Prepaid Reload
Vanilla Reload
MyVanilla Reloadable Prepaid Card












I purchased a MyVanilla Reloadable Prepaid Visa at a Rays Foodplace and loaded an initial amount of $500.00. This card is basically a starter kit for the MyVanilla reloadable card; you just load it the first time at the store for a $3.95 fee and are expected to use it as a prepaid debit card (with various fees).

Don’t use it as a debit card unless you want to eat tons of fees. Based on the terms and conditions of the card, there is a $1.95 fee to get your money off of the card using an ATM and potentially another fee from the ATM itself. There is a way around this.

After buying the card, go online to register the card at myvanilladebitcard.com to activate card in your name. You have to enter some personal information as well as you social security number. You will now be mailed a permanent version of the card as well.

Register your card before you use it
Register your card before you use it

After your card is registered and you see your balance on your account online, go to a Citibank, Wells Fargo, Chase, or other bank for that matter and tell the teller you want a cash advance for $500.00. When I did this as Well Fargo, I was given the money in cash (5x$100) with no fees and no account required.

There have been reports of cash advance success without fees at Chase and Citibank. Make sure to sign the back of your card and take a photo ID if you are using the temporary card. This way you avoid the $1.95 fee and you get your balance off of your card.

The best way to maximize MyVanilla reloadable debit cards is by using cards that earn you 3-5x points such as the Chase Ink, Chase Freedom, Discover it, or Club Carlson Premier card.
Some of these cards have rotating cash back categories that will allow you to earn 5x points at grocery stores.

This card CANNOT be used to reload other cards such as Bluebird, so this card is a little less work than using the VR cards that you can just use to reload other cards with. But if you cannot find VR cards or purchase them with a credit card this may be an easier option.

With either manufacture spend strategy you’re going to have to do some of your own investigations to make it work.

You might need to try several banks, so personally I’d buy one MyVanilla Debit card and experiment. You don’t have to go to your bank, so you can try any bank near you. If I couldn’t ever find a bank willing to give me a $499.50 cash advance for my $500 card, I always have the option of liquidating the card through Amazon payments or fund my Kiva account with it.

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11 thoughts on “Earning Points and Miles Using the Other Vanilla Reloadable Card”

  1. you mentioned this card can’t be used to reload cards such as bluebird, but it’s effectively a debit card, right? doesn’t that mean you can load bluebird at walmart via a swipe reload the same way you can with the onevanilla cards? i ask this because i have a local 7-11 that sells these with a $2.95 activation fee instead of the usual $3.95 and i was hoping to unload these onto bluebird using the temporary cards with swipe reloads

    • I’ve only tested out using them for a cash advance and unless is changed the MyVanilla card isn’t reloadable in the same way.

  2. I bought a My Vanilla Debit card $500 at CVS today and brought it to PNC bank to cash advance. The teller said they can only cash advance on credit card, not debit card. What will you suggest? Thank you.

    • You might have to try several banks, there is no sure way of knowing what banks it will work at and often just depends on the teller you get. If all else fails, you can always cash out the card through Amazon Payments or load you Kiva account with it.

  3. Does using your CC to purchase initial card and load with $500 count as a cash advance on the CC, versus a purchase with FF points?
    And to add to that, when you go to reload it with your CC, is that considered a cash advance by the CC company or a purchase?

    this makes a BIG difference if I am trying to get miles form my Chase SW Premium CC.

    • @ John – When you purchase the MyVanilla from the store it will show up as a sale from the store of purchase, so it should not post as a cash advance. I have not used every credit card, but I have yet to have one post it as a cash advance. You are spot on about that making a huge difference when you are trying to earn Rapid Rewards points on you Southwest card, obviously if posted as a cash advance it would negate most of the value of your points earned.

    • @ Ivan – You can either go buy another card, or just reload your card at a store that allows you to reload it by credit card.

      • Rand,

        After you register the temporary card, they will send home a permanent card. If there’s no place allowing reload by CC, basically you have to buy another temporary card, but how many temporary cards do they allow you to have under your name?

        • @ Don – I have ran into that same problem–if you can’t find a store that will reload your card with CC then you can always buy another temporary card. I havent tested the limits as to how many you can have under your name. Please provide an update if you end up getting multiple temp cards and how it went!

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