Friday, May 31, 2013

Vanilla Reloads - Buy less than $500 - Be safe

Cashing out Vanilla Reload cards via a Bluebird prepaid card is the new cool kid in town.  You can effectively spend over $500 on a credit card while really only spending $4.  There is just about only one way to buy them and that is from CVS.  Also, most CVS's allow you to buy only 2 at a time.

What do you think it looks like to a credit card company when the following on a statement?

Vanilla reloads are so well known that I am sure Chase, Citibank, American Express etc. all know that $1007.90 is two $503.95 vanilla reloads.

Take a look at this Flyer Talk thread where Citibank has been closing people's accounts for "perk abuse."

At some point credit card companies are going to do something about this situation, sign up bonuses are too easy to hit with this tool.  They will likely look for CVS purchases of $1007.90 or above or near $503.95.

Do yourself a favor, don't put $500 on your vanilla reload.  You will still pay the $3.95 fee even if you only add $495 which makes it not as good of a deal, but it will be just as good for hitting spending thresholds and you probably won't get the scrutiny of credit card companies.  There are going to be many people who still put the full $500 on that you will probably go under the radar.  There will be enough people who will get their accounts closed that if you put $495, you might go right through the filter.  Nothing is fool proof so be vigilant and protect yourself when necessary.


LA2NYC said...

Any tips getting VR in the NYC/NJ area?


Oren said...

I wish I knew. Moving to Teaneck in a couple weeks. Stay tuned, we'll see what we come up with!

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