A Different Type of Vanilla Reload Experience

by Adam

I wasn’t all that excited heading to Topeka, Kansas for work on Thursday, though sadly I was sort of looking forward to visiting a CVS that potentially stocked plenty of Vanilla Reload cards…the ones in New York City have been severely lacking lately. I located a CVS that was located within five minutes of the hotel and I visited there this afternoon.

At the CVS, I found a Vanilla Reload card but this is what it looked like:


To the register I went, but I didn’t receive good news. The cashier told me there were none remaining behind the counter. She asked if my prepaid card was severely lacking funds as several other customers were having problems refilling their cards due to a lack of Vanilla Reload cards at local CVS stores. There was supposed to be a delivery on Thursday which was delayed due to a winter storm and then a delivery today was delayed due to another storm we had last night. A woman behind me overheard the conversation and broke in to confirm that there were no more VR cards. She said she needed to refill her card right away.

Wait what??? People in Kansas are actually using the VR cards to load their prepaid cards which they then use as credit cards…the intended purpose! The woman behind me even got into a conversation with the clerk about how she cannot get approved for any credit cards (don’t worry I gave her some tips and the reconsideration numbers).  Sort of puts things in perspective right? Here we are using our approved credit cards to purchase Vanilla Reload cards for the sole purpose of earning points or miles, which in many cases are then used for ultra luxury travel. In any case, I was assured that the delivery on Tuesday would have 100 or more cards at each of the CVS locations. The customer behind me recommended trying out Dollar General and Family Dollar, she mentioned that they were about 10 minutes away but “always had cards in stock”. Anyone reading know if they accept credit cards for payment of VRs?

Anyway, it was quite an interesting trip to CVS with my colleagues. Prior to CVS we hit up the one other tourist attraction I was interested in visiting while in Topeka…

Brown v. Board of Education National Historic Site

Confused as to what we are talking about? Vanilla Reload details – Earning easy points and miles with Vanilla Reload cards


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Richklhs January 5, 2014 - 5:35 pm

Dollar general accepts credit card for paypal reloads, however the vanilla reload experience there is different as well. There are cardboard VR you take up to the cashier, and they load your prepaid card there in store by swiping on the register. In my experience at Dollar General’s in Georgia, they have not been able to load my bluebird card, so I just buy $10k in paypal reloads and go on my way. BTW, if you’ve never spent $10k in a dollar general, its an experience in and of itself.

Lea January 5, 2014 - 5:40 pm

The Family Dollar stores in my area only have the VRs that must be loaded directly at the register (don’t have a scratch off panel) – and those don’t seem to work with BB.

Leslie January 5, 2014 - 6:50 pm


justSaying January 5, 2014 - 7:06 pm

Cape Cod has plenty…….

Tammy January 5, 2014 - 10:09 pm

Topeka! My birthplace. I actually went to the school that sparked that landmark ruling! 🙂 I am currently happily residing in Oregon with no plans to ever return to the Land of Oz!

Erndog January 5, 2014 - 10:41 pm

Are you trying to meet a credit card spend with a new card or are you just churning the VR’s for the point-per-dollar plus the $3.95 charge? Other than the Chase Freedom category, it seems like an awful lot of trouble to go through for the point-per-dollar the VR’s have to offer.

ChasingThePoints January 6, 2014 - 8:52 am

My experience in NYC is if it’s not on the shelves, you have to ask a cashier and they’re more than happy to sell it to you

Carla January 6, 2014 - 8:00 pm

I am really not understanding this vanilla reload thing. Or the connection to it with the bluebird card, although I did order a bluebird card today…..hoping to figure out this whole thing. I am all over earning faster, bigger miles, but will someone kindly explain how this happens.

Can’t wait to hear from you!

P. January 7, 2014 - 1:05 pm

I just bought two from CVS with a credit card in Maryland the other week and had no issues.

Liz T February 21, 2014 - 12:03 pm

Where in Maryland???

Red January 17, 2014 - 1:28 pm

I’m in NYC as well and been trying to find some vanilla reloads to meet initial spend/pay rent etc if I can get pointed in a direction of a location that will sell them to me if I use my CCs.

justSaying January 18, 2014 - 11:47 am

Cape Cod has them right off the highway exit to Dennis


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