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.
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.
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.
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.