Starting March 31, 2014 Vanilla Reloads Can’t be Purchased with a Credit Card at CVS

For a little over a year Vanilla Reloads have been one of the most popular methods of manufacture spend to earn miles and points. The method was simple: purchase Vanilla Reload cards at a CVS and load them onto your Bluebird/Amex Serve account to pay your bills. This method allowed for you to earn miles and points on charges that you would normally not be able to by using a credit card.

Being that I live in the Pacific NW which is a CVS desert, I rarely had an opportunity to hop on the VR bandwagon. For anyone that has used these prepaid cards in the past to meet minimum spending requirements or to earn extra miles and points—things are changing on March 31, 2014. This change probably came sooner than expected, but it was anticipated by everyone in the game.

Hack My Trip was the first to report on the chatter going on over a memo that was sent out stating that Vanilla Reloads and other reloadable cards will be only be purchasable with cash starting Monday, March 31, 2014. Time will tell if this is a nation-wide change, but as more reports and comments come in it seems this is a widespread change and is real (sorry, it’s probably not an April fool’s joke).

Image from @Ringsthecaddy on Twitter

Interestingly enough, Visa and MasterCard gift cards were left off the list of cards changing to cash only.

“As of 3/31, the acceptable form of payment for all Reloadable Debit Cards will be cash only.

The following cards are moving to cash only:

  • Amex Serve
  • MyVanilla VL $20-$500
  • NetSpend $20-$500
  • PayPal $20-$500
  • Vanilla Reload Network (n.b. – this is likely what we refer to as “Vanilla Reloads”)
  • Amex Swipe Reload
  • Netspend Reload
  • Paypal Reload
  • Jackson Hewitt Classic Reload
  • Momentum Reload
  • Mio Reload
  • My Vanilla Reload
  • First Data Money Network Reload”

The memo states that a hard stop at the register will not allow any non-cash transactions to be made when purchasing these gift cards. It will be interesting to see how fast CVS is to adopt this and if it is a store-by-store changeover, or system wide starting tomorrow.

If you head to your local CVS on Monday let us know if the change went into effect. In the meantime, today might be the last day to load up with Vanilla Reloads at your local CVS.

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