As noted in this article, several weeks ago, CVS disallowed the purchase of Vanilla Reload cards with credit cards. This sent a huge ripple through the travel hacking sphere as the gravy train of easy manufactured spending at CVS had pretty much ended… or has it?
Despite the list above of all the cards that are currently cash only, there is one glaring exception: One Vanilla Cards. Although they are $1.00 more expensive than Vanilla Reload cards at $4.95, I think that's a small price to pay to be able to continue earning miles and points through a relatively easy manufactured spend.
Unfortunately, these aren't as easy to liquidate as My Vanilla cards, but there are several ways you can exchange these for money:
1. Load your Bluebird or Serve card at Walmart – Walmart allows you to load $1000 a day to your Bluebird or Serve card with a debit card in-store. This is great if you have a Walmart location nearby, otherwise you might have to rely on the other methods below.
2. Buy money orders with your One Vanilla Cards – Many grocery stores and certain retailers will allow you to purchase money orders with prepaid debit cards. Don't worry about the PIN number – just type in any four numbers and it will work.
3. Amazon Payments – This is another way to unload cards, but you can only do $1,000 a month. There are some added strategies that you have to do such as registering the card to your home billing address, but again this is a solid way of redeeming $1,000 of OV's.
4. Spend them on regular spend – Self explanatory.
Travel hacking is a cat and mouse game much of the time. When certain fantastic deals like the US Mint coins or the Vanilla Reload cards are taken away, we have to adapt and try new strategies such as the One Vanilla card.
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About the author: Torsten is a serial entrepreneur who started almost a dozen ventures on four continents. Torsten's love for travel has brought him to 130+ countries and travel with most of the world's airlines. You can reach Torsten at [email protected]
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