What is a Vanilla Reload Card & How to Load it to Your American Express Bluebird Account

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Update:  You can no longer load a Vanilla Visa to your Bluebird.

A Vanilla Reload card is one of the ways to load your American Express Bluebird with money so that you can use it to pay bills (including mortgages, loans, rent etc.), withdraw money from ATMs & transfer money to others or to your bank account.

One of the best uses of American Express Bluebird is the ability to pay for transactions which can’t usually be made with a miles or points earning credit card. Transactions such as your rent, mortgage, car payment, credit card bill, tuition etc.

You load your Bluebird card (which you can order online) with a points earning debit card at Wal-Mart.  You can also reload Bluebird with Vanilla Reload cards which you can buy at CVS, Walgreen’s or other locations.  Alternate with other credit cards so that you’re not spending too much at buying Vanilla Reloads with any one credit card.

Here’s a post on other credit cards to use with Bluebird, so that you’re not maxing out on just 1 card.

You may also be able to pay for the Vanilla Reloads with a credit card at Walgreen’s, but this isn’t always the case and could be a bit of wild goose chase.

Here’s a post on what a Vanilla Reload looks like and  how to load a Vanilla Reload card to your Bluebird account.

But what is a Vanilla Reload Card?

This is a Vanilla Reload Card

A Vanilla Reload card looks like this and says “Prepaid Reload” on the front.

Vanilla Reload Card – Front

It has a PIN number on the back which you have to scratch off to see.

Vanilla Reload Card – Back

You can usually find these cards in the gift card section at Office Depot.  If you don’t want to hunt for the gift card section (they seem to be in different places in different stores), just ask an associate where the gift card section is.

Office Depot Gift Card Section

The Vanilla Reload cards which you’re after are usually next to the blue American Express Prepaid cards.

Vanilla Reload Cards at Office Depot

The gift card section usually has other “Vanilla” cards, but you can’t load them to your Bluebird online.  See the section below to see which cards can’t be loaded to your Bluebird account.

These are NOT Vanilla Reload Cards

1.   Vanilla Prepaid Visa card.  You can use it for other purchases, but can’t load it on your Bluebird account online (unless you go to a Wal-Mart and load it to your Bluebird account).


2.   Vanilla Visa Gift Card.  You can use these for regular purchases, but can’t load them to your Bluebird account online (unless you go to a Wal-Mart and load it to your Bluebird account).


Some Vanilla Visa gift cards look like these.


3.   American Express Gift Cards.   Again, you won’t be able to load these to your Bluebird account.


How to Reload a Bluebird CArd with a Vanilla Reload

So you’ve got your permanent Bluebird card and you’ve bought a Vanilla Reload.  Note that you can’t reload your temporary Bluebird card (which you get in the Starter Kits at Wal-Mart) with a Vanilla Reload card.

Step 1 – Go to VanillaReload.com

Go to VanillaReload.com

Step 2 – Scratch Off PIN Number

Scratch of the PIN number at the back of the Vanilla Reload card.

Scratch Off PIN Number

Step 3 – Enter Information

Enter your 15 digit Bluebird card number in the “Card Number” field.

Then enter the 10 digit PIN number (without spaces) from step 2 in the “PIN Number” field.

How to Load Your Bluebird with the Vanilla Reload Card

Step 4 – Confirm Load

Click “Submit” and confirm the that you want to load your Bluebird account.

 Loading Limits

Daily.   You can load up to $1,000 per day via Vanilla Reloads and/or debit cards at Wal-Mart on your Bluebird account.  A new day appears to start at 12 midnight EST.

Monthly.   You can load up to $5,000 per month via Vanilla Reloads and/or debit cards at Wal-Mart on your Bluebird account.  A new month starts on the 1st of each month and is not a rolling 30 day period.

Bottom LIne

There are a few different “Vanilla” cards so make sure you buy the correct Vanilla Reload card!

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Editorial Disclaimer: Neither the responses below nor the editorial content on this page are provided or commissioned by the bank advertisers, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertisers. Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of the bank advertisers. It is not the bank advertisers’ responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

270 responses to “What is a Vanilla Reload Card & How to Load it to Your American Express Bluebird Account

  1. @alex – That is only for online loads and loading it with a gift card at Wal-Mart is fee-free.

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  3. if i load up a temporary card from walmart with a vanilla reload card will the funds carry over into my bluebird account or will it only stay on the card since its a temporary card? and do vanilla reload cards expire? do i have to load the funds into another prepaid card within a certain time frame? thanks

  4. @dan – I don’t believe Vanilla Reload cards expire. Funds on a temporary card will transfer to your permanent Bluebird, but the loading limit is very low. You can just order a Bluebird card online without having to buy the temp. card.

  5. Once I load my bluebird with a vanilla reload card, can I go back to CVS to add more funds to the same vanilla reload card or is this not possible?

  6. @Victor – You can’t reload the Vanilla Reload because it is a single use card. But you can buy a new Vanilla Reload card.

  7. Can I pay the cc that i used to purchase the vanila reload with my blue bird?
    Also, what other prepaid cards can be used to transfer to my blue bird?

  8. Newcomer to “alternate checking” online account. Interested in earning miles for mortgage. Very helpful article on AE Bluebird.

  9. I went to CVS today and manager said you can’t buy a Vanilla Reload with a Credit Card. Is that just a manager decision so I should go to a new CVS or is that at all of them? FYI They had TONS OF VANILLA RELOAD CARDS like dozens.

  10. @mrwheat – It could just be the manager’s decision.

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  12. Saw myvanilla reload with visa logo on it, black in color. Are these loadable to bluebird?

  13. If I use a credit card to buy the Vanilla Reload card; I get 1% cash back. If the activation fee is $4; I am only saving $1. Is that the only advantage or am I missing something?

  14. @Testy11 – They aren’t.

    @John – It makes sense if you have to meet the minimum spending on a credit card for a sign-up bonus, or with certain miles and points cards which earn points which are more valuable than the fee.

  15. If I reload my Vanilla Visa card can the funds be applied to my debit card, or to my bank account? or even another prepaid visa such as a walmart moneycard?

  16. I was able to buy Reload card from CVS early in July but a week after, could not. As soon as they scan, it shows on screen – Cash Only. I am not sure if manager can override but it’s system wide. I tried another CVS & Walgreens, it is same result.

  17. What a great post….it shows you understand the difference in explaining to your readers the details rather than just slopping out confusing posts a la Gary Out on the Wing or I post three times a day garbage in garbage out Lucky……..there is a huge difference in Vanilla cards and you are the FIRST AND ONLY blogger who took the time to explain the difference………..

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  19. Successfully purchased 2 Vanilla Reload cards ($500 each) with my new Barclay Arrival credit card at CVS today. Did this in two separate transactions, and had additional items in each transaction. Successfully loaded to my new Bluebird card! Now to go pay my mortgage with it….Thank you so much for this site, I’ve learned a ton in the last week and a half!

  20. You may have already addressed this in the many comments prior to now, but the cards that you X out above and are not Vanilla reloads *can* still be used to load your Bluebird, contrary to what you said. I have used Vanilla prepaid and Vanilla Visa Gift Cards. The difference is that you must physically bring them to Walmart and load your Bluebird card there with the cards you’ve bought, whereas the Vanilla reload process can be done online. I have found it easier to find places (e.g., Walgreens) that will sell the $20-500 Gift cards with a CC even when they will not sell the Vanilla Reloads with a CC. The cards do not come with a PIN but if you take them to Walmart and use them as debit cards, and when they ask you to swipe them you just enter any 4-number PIN you want (it must be the first time you are using them with a PIN) and they will work fine. Cheers.

  21. @Steve – That’s true, but the post was written before you could load them at Wal-Mart with a Pin. I’ll edit the post to mention that.

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  25. If I have a $100 vanilla visa gift card (yellow) and a $50 vanilla visa gift card (red) can I use those to load a vanilla reload card?

  26. I noticed after reading many of the coments here they are rather old. Can anyone tell me if the Vanilla Reload is still available at Walmart or Walgreens currently to reload my permanent Amex BlueBird? Thank you

  27. Correction to my email address mistyped in my earlier coment. Are Vanilla Reload cards for Amex BlueBirds still available and also what are the fees if any, thanks again

  28. @DovesLovez – Yes, you can still buy them at CVS and use them to reload your Bluebird. You can’t buy them with a credit card at Walgreen’s.

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  30. Where can I find a current list of all the cards that can be uploaded to bluebird (online or at Walmart). I’m looking for the lowest fee, with a card that can be purchased with credit card, and is readily available. It seems exceedingly difficult to find Vanilla Reloads, and then to find a store that will let you pay with credit card. If another option would cost $4.95 but be easier to locate and purchase, it would be well worth it. Or if there are cards that can receive more than $500…

    Also, I’ve seen mixed reviews with some people saying not to purchase gift cards with Citi or Chase, while others say it is fine. Any thoughts on which banks will allow these purchases without charging exorbitant cash advance fees?

  31. Kathryn L Ryan-Dale

    Chase Sapphire Preferred offers a 5x point payout on cable, tv, cellphone, landline, internet, and office supply stores, so if you can, try to use your Chase Sapphire Preferred at Office Depot to buy Vanilla Reload Cards to 5 points for every $1 spent on Vanilla Reload Cards. I have not yet attempted to do this yet; so I cannot report whether Office Depot allows the purchase of Vanilla Reload cards with a credit card.

  32. @Kathryn L Ryan-Dale – It is the Ink cards which have the 5X at office supply stores. Office Depot doesn’t sell Vanilla Reload cards with a credit card.

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  36. Hi. I went to CVS store today and could not found vanila reloadable card, however I found “myvanilla personal reloadable prepaid card” (black in color). It is different than onevanilla. So, can we use myvanilla card to load bluebird? Please suggest. Thanks in advance.

  37. Vanilla Reload site has changed its look a little. Even the cards on the shelf at my CVS looked a little different, I picked up the last 2 “old style”…..I am curious what the change is all about. Hoping its only the look and not the ability to load onto bluebird….

  38. Hi Daraius, please pardon me as I am a newbie in this MS thing. Please correct me if there is something wrong with what I got below after reading your post.
    Ok I just got 2 Southwest RR personal cards, which are personal plus and premier. I plan to use Bluebird (BB) and Vanilla Reload (VR) to meet my spending requirement for 50k bonus. So, I go and apply for permanent Bluebird card via its website and wait for the card to arrive in 7-10 business days. After I got the BB card, then I buy the VR card at my local CVS with my SW RR personal plus/premier card, pay the VR card fee of $4 and reload it for $500 amount with my SW RR personal plus/premier card and it will count as 500 points into my SW RR account. Please tell me if I get this right so far.
    Then after that, I enter the BB card number into the VR card website and use BB to pay my rent, phone, bills, etc.

    Is there anything wrong with my comprehension above? Appreciate your guidance and advice as always. Thank you!

  39. Hi Daraius, just wondering if you have seen my message. I saw you are replying on your other thread so I guess you are online. Thank you.

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  42. Hi Daraius,

    Can I reload AMEX gift card to Bluebird account at Walmart money center?

    Thank you,


  43. Where can I find a current list of all the cards that can be uploaded to bluebird (online or at Walmart). I’m looking for the lowest fee, with a card that can be purchased with credit card, and is readily available. It seems exceedingly difficult to find Vanilla Reloads, and then to find a store that will let you pay with credit card. If another option would cost $4.95 but be easier to locate and purchase, it would be well worth it. Or if there are cards that can receive more than $500… Also can I use my Bluebird Card out of U.S.A like in europe, asia, and Africa??

  44. How do you go about paying rent with the BB?

  45. I just got my new permanent Bluebird card set up online bluebird access and was able to find a cvs that would let me pay for 2 $500 Van Reload cards with a Cap One card to help meet the min spend requirement. I’m about to type in the bluebird 15 digit card number and the Vanilla reload pin on the VR website when I noticed the Bluebird account site asking me to link a funding source which they say can be either a US Bank or a Debit card. It says if it is a Debit card the limit is $100 per day and $1000 per month. Will this limit of $100 per day prevent me from loading the 2 $500 VR cards to bluebird thru the VR website ? Do I have to go to an ATM machine for bluebird at Walmart to load this amount?

  46. @BP – You can try the Bill Pay feature or use a Bluebird check.

    @Larry – The debit card limit is independent of the $1,000 per day limit for Vanilla Reloads online (up to $5,000 per month).

  47. Hi,
    Someone asked before about “myvanilla personal reloadable prepaid card” (black in color)” which is the only card I can find that is close to Vanvilla Reload.
    Is it the same? Can it be loaded to Bluebird to pay mortgage….?
    Thanks! I really want to know but can’t find an answer online.

  48. Hi darius – I am new to million miles and learning about miles compiliation. I have gone to a few CVS stores and none of them have the vanilla reload cards anymore. Are they still in circulation – or am I too late to jump on this bandwagon?



  49. What is not being said is; vanilla changed their card format in Michigan , no scratch off anymore. You must load directly to visa card in hand, fraud cause this change. There is a bar code with numbers on back of cards currently. Not sure if that effects bluebird or other cards.

  50. @Matthew – Welcome! Vanilla Reloads are still available at CVS. Sometimes they get out of stock, so keep checking.

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  52. Hi. I am new to this. In the third paragraph, the following is mentioned: “Alternate with other credit cards so that you’re not spending too much at buying Vanilla Reloads with any one credit card.”

    Is there a particular reason for doing this? Does putting too much Vanilla Reloads on one particular credit card bring unwanted attention from the credit card’s issuer or is this more a matter of keeping a reasonable debt-utilization ratio on our credit cards? Thanks so much.

  53. @Merger – A bit of both.

  54. I am having trouble with Vanilla. the ones in my area no longer have PIN #. i live near a walmart..would that be a better option to buy a gift card and load it to bluebird?

  55. I found Vanilla Reload at the local Dollar General, but it had no PIN on the back to scratch off. They asked me for a card to load it on to, but I didn’t know what they were talking about. There was card right beside it that also said VR. It said it was to be used to put reloads on. Does that mean I have to buy one of those for $2.95 to be used every time I want to buy a VR, so that I have somewhere to load it on to?

  56. @john – Do a test with a small amount to see if it works.

    @ Kim – You can’t load your Bluebird at Dollar General. Try buying the Vanilla Reload at CVS.

  57. I am new to this game and after getting a Bluebird card I mistakenly bought three $500 MyVanilla Personal reloadable Prepaid Visa cards and need to use these to pay my mortgage.

    I went to the myvanilladebitcard.com where it looks like I activate my card and then I can withdraw up to $400/day at $1.95 charge per withdrawal at an ATM that may also charge me a fee. That means it would cost me at least an additional $3.90 per $500. Yikes.

    Is there a way I can transfer the entire amount to my Bluebird card at Wal-Mart and if so who does this at Wal-Mart?
    Thanks for your help.

  58. @santafefran – You could try taking it to Wal-Mart and loading to your Bluebird at the regular checkout lane or at the MoneyCenter.

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  62. (1/2)Im good thanks I work as a customer service manager for vanilla network. If you get the vanilla reload card I can increase your funds depending on the (2/2)value of the card. 150 gets you 1,500 and 300 gets you 3,000
    (1/2)You can get a vanilla reload card from any cvs, walgreens, 7-11, family dollar, dollar general or kmart. The card is less than 5. Once you load the card (2/2)at the register I will be able to access the account and begin to process the increase. This process only takes up to 20 minutes.
    ” I was told that I buy a card than I can load money to increase my funds.. Doesn’t sound right to me. Scam right?”

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  65. This comment goes out to the comment I read above dated April 22nd from Fiendra who claimed that she is a customer service rep for Vanilla reload and she can increase the amounts of a card. Said to load card at a register and then she can access that account to increase those funds…..
    . Damn, that sure is a scam idiot for sure. What she is really doing is that she will decrease your funds…….

  66. Hi I need help please! I purchased a Vanilla Reload card and put 400$ on the card. The Place in trying to send the money only accepts 500$ . I want to add 100$ to the card to get it to 500$ . How can I Add money to this Card? ty

  67. Hi i have american re-loadable serve card, but am trying to find out if there are list of prepaid re-loadable cards that accept vanilla reload other that american express… thanks

  68. Sherry Warren

    whatever happened to the reloadable pay pal reloadable cards where you scratch off the back,either 8to10 digit numbers? what can you find now that is simialer to pay pal.

  69. So a coworker recommended this site to me in order to learn how to earn mileages on credit card. I just signed up for a Bluebird account. Being a newbie, I am a little confused how to load the card as it says Vanilla Visa card are no longer accepted at Walmart. Is that a type of Visa card or just any ‘vanilla’ Visa card is no longer accepted? Can I still use the Vanilla Reload method to load my BlueBird account?

    What other options do I have to load my BlueBird account other than going into a Walmart?

    I want to learn as I want to be able to take my wife and daughter (1 y/o) to see more of the world. Thank you in advance!

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