Vanilla Reloads Potentially at Wal-Mart & Other Locations

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Some folks find it hard to locate an Office Depot which is stocked with Vanilla Reload cards with which to load their American Express Bluebird cards.

See this post for more information on what a Vanilla Reload card looks like and how to load your Bluebird card with a Vanilla Reload.

liw5215 posted on FlyerTalk that the list of places which sell Vanilla Reloads has been expanded to include more gas stations, convenience stores and pharmacies.

Vanilla Reloads Soon to be at Wal-Mart?

Wal-Mart is now listed at that TOP of the list!

It does make sense to place Wal-Mart at the top of the list, because it is very likely that Wal-Mart could be the number one distributor of Vanilla Reload cards.  This is because Vanilla Reload cards can be used to reload a Bluebird pre-paid card.  And Bluebird is a partnership between Wal-Mart and American Express.

I immediately drove to the closest Wal-Mart and Valero gas station but couldn’t find any Vanilla Reloads stocked.  I suspect it could take time for stock to reach locations, and I also suspect that many gas stations and convenience stores choose which prepaid cards to stock.  This means that some gas stations and convenience stores could stock Vanilla Reloads while others don’t.

But I do hope that Wal-Mart will start to stock Vanilla Reloads soon!


Unfortunately, some of these stores aren’t in Kansas so I can’t check them all out to see if they sell Vanilla Reloads with a  credit card.  But please comment with your experience!

I wasn’t able to load my American Express Bluebird with a Vanilla Reload at Family Dollard & General Dollar, but perhaps that will change.

Here’s the list of stores from the Vanilla Reload website.  Note that not all of them will stock Vanilla Reloads, and you may not be able to use a credit card at some locations.

Bottom Line

I don’t know if all these locations will eventually carry Vanilla Reloads, but I sure would be happy if Wal-Mart did!

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78 responses to “Vanilla Reloads Potentially at Wal-Mart & Other Locations

  1. So funny you posted this, I saw these reload cards yesterday at my local walmart. Since I don’t get 5x or even 2x there I prefer my local OD that has never been low on reloads.

    If you have $500 dollars in cash I sure you can take one home with you.

  2. Doesn’t this defeat the purpose of buying the card at an Office Depot to count as earning 5 points per dollar at office supply stores (Ink)

  3. Do you know if you can pay with your credit card at Walmart for the Vanilla Reload cards?

  4. If you are trying to meet a credit card signup bonus spending amount you can buy a vanlla reload with that credit card then it’s still a good deal. You don’t have to use an ink bold card to make this a good proposition depending on your situation. I am currently trying to reach my spending amount on a new SPG AMEX card so buying these reloads with that card to be used to pay my mortgage and other categories I couldn’t normally use my AMEX card for is a good deal to me.

  5. I didn’t take a picture so I have no proof (and my memory isn’t perfect) but I could swear that the first time I saw a BB display it had Vanilla cards hanging from the bottom two rows of hooks.

  6. Anybody know which of these locations lets you buy with credit card? I live 2.5 hours away from the nearest OD, so am restricted to using vanilla reloads for meeting signup bonuses.

  7. I saw on a different forum that OD might shut down the Vanilla Reloads and pull all of them. Not sure it is true but the gravy train at OD might end so any new stores are a welcome addition.

  8. Folks on Fatwallet are saying that Office Depot is pulling Vanilla Reload cards and won’t be selling them.

  9. I wonder if all the merchants sell $500 reloadable cards? And do they sell the cards at the same $3.95 price?

  10. The problem is going to be that Walmart does allow CC or Walmart GCs for the purchase of “variable gift cards” of any kind. So there will be a ton out there just cash only.

  11. I tried buying the reloads at Walgreens a few days ago, but a message pops up saying that they can only be purchased with cash.

    • @Kelly @GBM -Earning even 1X points is useful for folks who want to pay their mortgage via Bluebird or to help meet minimum spending requirements.

      @Maury @MileageUpdate – I haven’t seen them at my Wal-Mart so I haven’t tried as yet to buy them with a credit card.

      @scott – I agree. There are many uses besides the 5X category bonuses.

      @Adam K. – I’ll check again in a few days.

      @tyler – It will vary by location so you’ve got to go to the stores to see.

      @German Expat @Devin– Thanks for the update, but I hope that’s not true.

      @allen – They are variable load cards, so you could load up to $500.

      @AndrewC – Some Walgreen’s let you buy them with credit cards while others don’t.

  12. I believe the VR cards sold at OD and slightly different than those sold at CVS or Walgreens. On the back upper right corner, there is a a barcode, but the barcode does not show up on the OD VR cards. Would be interesting, if you can take the cards from WM and load them up at OD…

  13. Hey, you missed an equally important change to the list of outlets selling Vanilla Reloads. Sure, new places were added. But you failed to mention that some other vendors were removed from the list.

    Now notably absent: Kum & Go

    I was kind of looking forward to my wife’s reaction when she noticed a string of regular, $500 charges at “Kum & Go” on my Ink Bold statement every month…

  14. went to my local OD today (in Michigan) and there were a handful of VRs for sale. When I went to the register, the cashier refused to accept CCs for it, saying that they have a new policy of only accepting debit or cash. Have traditionally never had a problem at this location, so not sure if I got a rogue cashier (she did confirm with the asst manager) – in any case, time to check another location – hoping this is not a new systemwide policy.

  15. I was wondering if anyone knows if the Vanilla Reloads bought at a gas station/convenient store such as Valero or QuickTrip will be coded as GAS for getting 5X points using Chase INK.

  16. Gas only earns 2X using INK.

  17. I just got back from my OD that usually had several left. They only had 3 in stock but when I went to checkout they said it was cash only. Has anyone had that happen..I’ve bought them there before with no issue…Last time I tried was in October.

  18. MarkF, I had the same problem today (see comment above). Check FM’s post today for his response.

  19. Dariaius,
    Ok, after reading all the blogs regarding Bluebird, visiting all the office supply stores in NYC, searching, calling Chase and asking about 5x restrictions in NYC, I am
    officially frustrated.In my experience, merchants in NYC (all those listed on your list and those listed on the Vanilla reload network) are:
    a: not allowing loading roloadable or gift cards with a credit card
    b: there are a few companies that actually carry these Vanilla reloads, which DO NOT ALLOW CREDIT CARD LOADING
    Can you please notify readers, myself include, in your blog where you are getting this illusive 5x per office supply and where (City) you are able to load with a credit card. I’ve seached for weeks . If this offer exists, which I’m starting to doubt, please instruct.


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  21. OD not selling card on Credit Card depends not how big of a jerk is the store manager. I went to OD close to my house on Wed, the checkout clerk said Cash or Debit only, I said other OD sells on Credit Card, then she called the store manager on phone (he is back in the office) then she asked me how much i want to load I saw $1000 in two card, then the manager confirmed Cash and Debit only, then I called other OD in the area, one store said they take CC, the other store said Cash or Debit (after asking the manager). I went to the store, an hour before the store closed that took CC but they ran out, so I rushed to the store that took Cash or Debit (taking a chance) 20 min before store closed, and I was able to purchase 4K worth of card on 3 different credit card. So what i understand you can purchase on CC depending on store manager, but their system lets you buy it on CC.

  22. Here is a non-troll follow up to OD:

    Went there a few days ago and the manager told me they had to destroy all the VBean cards due to FRAUD. I asked when they would be getting more and he said he didnt know. I asked what the fraud was and he said he couldnt tell me.

    so there you go.

  23. What’s up with people CALLING?!?!? Geez. Rookie.

    That’s exactly what you’re NOT supposed to do.

    Daraius if you’re going to blog this stuff to the masses you should at least walk them through the basics. If your blog doesn’t kill it your adoring fans will (and likely have). Calling managers?? Calling Chase??? I just…. Gah!

  24. Kum & Go in Colorado only accepted cash or debit for Vanilla reload as of Oct 31.

  25. KMahadeo,
    I went to 5 OD in my area. None of them take CC payment for Vanilla Reload. Their system do NOT allow CC and managers were NOT able to override. How does MMS profit from the scam?

  26. I live outside of Washington, DC in Maryland. Today at OD the guy told me that they have been hit really hard by fraud and that’s why they don’t have any. I asked what kind of fraud and he said that people have been buying them with fake credit cards. The cards work in the swipers, or somehow fool the swipers, but aren’t really attached to any account. Then the user loads up the AmEx with the fraudulently purchased Vanilla reloads and OD is out the money. He said he didn’t know if they were going to get more, but he doubts they will be accepting credit cards for the purchase. Serious bummer!!!

  27. @Jason

    You tried to get the manager to over-ride?

  28. Yep, Office Depots around here stopped accepting credit cards for them too. I had previously purchased probably 10 $500 Vanilla cards from them in the last couple months.

  29. @TMA I suspect thats what was happening at my OD as well.

  30. It seems if the cards can’t be reloaded using a credit card at all i.e. Walgreens, then the Bluebird and Vanilla cards are useless for miles earning or meeting minimum spend.

    The one last possibility being the mile-earning debit cards which seem to be disappearing across the board. I don’t frequent Delta or the minor players that remain with debit cards so it’s a done deal if credit card loading is out.

    I think I’ll take a trip to OD tomorrow to see if the store that allowed the reloads previously has stopped the practice.

  31. @JC
    Yep, store managers tried to override. But system rejected it. It kept popping up cash only. I told them I didn’t carry so much $$. CC was what I like to pay and left.

  32. @JC
    There are a lot of scammers in this operation. Even though they let me purchase with CC, I may not go forward unless they reload BB onsite. By the time you get home to reload, the cards may become obsolete. The risk is too high, much higher than owning Google and Apple stocks.

  33. I just stopped by my local OD (within the past hour) and had no trouble at all buying a vanilla reload card there and paying with my credit card. No hassles, no managers, no overrides, no cash-only, no problem. No kidding.

  34. Does anyone know if wal-mart purchase qualify for the 6x points bonus with the Hilton Amex card or Citi Hilton Reserve?

  35. Looks like with OD it is beginning to vary by store like at Walgreens. The closest OD to me quit even carrying the cards very early on due to fraud, at least that was what I was told when I asked if they were going to get anymore. So I don’t think it is a national OD policy but more something that is implemented at the store level like the “cash only” on most but not all of the Walgreens registers.

  36. I don’t understand how it is useful to pay your mortgage if you don’t have an ink plus/ink bold. If your mortgage is $1000 a month, you purchase $1000 of vanilla reload cards on your chase sapphire, you can pay your mortgage, but you still have a $1000 credit card bill to chase. So you might as well pay off that credit card bill instead?

  37. @Kenny: Exactly. Without the Ink or something like Amex Hilton for Walgreens (who don’t take CC anywhere near here) it’s useless.

    Go to Texas – they take CCs for Vanillas.

  38. I will check my walmart tomorrow if i can find them and see if they take CC or gift card. If not i don’t see much value here unless i get a debit card with miles.

  39. @ Mathew – I plan to do the same. Report results back here?

  40. I went to 2 CVS and 3 Walgreen today to check if they carry Vanilla reload. Both CVS stores have an empty place labelled Vanilla Reload but no cards. 1 Walgreen has them but asking for cash, 1 walgreen doesn’t carry them, and the very last one I visited has them and the girl let me buy one with my chase Sapphire. I agree with MMS, it very much depends on who is checking you out at the counter in Walgreen.

  41. OD in Dale City VA is accepting CC’s but now charging 5% sales tax. Just last week I picked up a whole bunch from the same store, no problems. This time it kept popping up with 5% sales tax no matter how many times we tried to scan/rescan/different counter. Needless to say, I didn’t go through with the transaction

  42. Can anyone tell me where I can get these in NYC. I can’t find them anywhere. Thanks for all your help.

    • @jomama – I noticed that Kum & Go was off the list (hard to miss that name!), but I’ve never actually been to one of their stores.

      @Folks in NYC – Reports are that most Office Depots in NYC don’t have Vanilla Reloads. You may need to get them outside NYC.

      @Kenny @Frank – You earn points for payments which you otherwise couldn’t make, you can complete minimum spending requirements quicker, and hit credit card spending targets.

      @General Observation
      – I just checked 2 Office Depots and they were stocked with the reloads and too my credit card! There seems to lots of posts here and elsewhere that Office Depot is not carrying them, that it is cash only, that they are being destroyed for fraud etc Some stores will insist on cash, but the manager could override that. I haven’t had an issue and other readers haven’t had an issue purchasing as well. Some locations (notably NYC) seems to be always out-of-stock. Good luck!

  43. Cards were flagged today at an OD in Portland, OR. Manager said help desk had put a freeze on them, and there was no work-around.

  44. I just bought 2 Vanillas at an Office Depot in Savannah, GA and paid with my credit card. By the way they had plenty in least 75 to 100.

  45. Checked three OD in Houston, TX this afternoon. Failed to Find VR in all these stores. One of these stores had them in stock during the week but now they are gone.

  46. No Vanilla cards at my local WalMart – I checked today. They did have signage everywhere for Bluebird.

  47. I just came back from 3 OD in Boca Raton, FL. All of them have lots of Vanilla Reload card. I picked up 25 cards and paid with 3 CC without problem. They verified ID and CC. I am going back to pick up another 25 tomorrow. Reloading BB is a pain. They only allow 2 cards/d, 10/mon.

  48. went to two OD in Missouri and both had the Vanilla cards but were unable to load any amount on them (and this had nothing to do with use of credit card or other). Error message came up when attempting to load any amount (I originally suggested 500.00, but even tried 400.00 thinking that might help). Manager at both stores was unable to override and could not load any amount (so could not sell any cards). Noticed that the manager at first store collected all the remaining cards on display (there were about 40 cards still). Second store manager said that it might be a system error and to try back later. Anybody else having this same problem?

  49. Jenni,

    Not for nothing, but when you buy 25 cards each, you screw it up for everyone else. Finding these cards is incredibly hard and I have to imagine its because people like you are using the Chase trick to build up tens of thousands of miles a month. The system will get triggered by this. Not from me buying 4-5 cards a month which I’d like to keep doing.


  50. Graham,
    The OD nearby have lots of cards. I called each CC banks before I swiped the card. CS put me on hold and informed me it’s good to go as long as I didn’t go over credit limit which is large. Where is trigger? I have been buying for over a year. OD still have unlimit supply. Before BB, I reloaded to all other cards. I don’t understand why people who can’t find the card locally can’t use some miles to fly down and buy, buy, buy.
    Now I have to ask MMS, can you come up with solution to by pass BB monthly loading limit? I promise I will pay you Vanilla reload.

  51. I just went to OD (Sunday around 1:00) and had no problem buying two with my Ink Bold. Fully stocked racks of cards.

    Maybe my store didn’t get the memo to pull them. Loading to my Bluebird now for a mortgage payment.

  52. TimeForSomeCheese

    I tried today, and one OD near me was completely out, and another had tons. I was able to use a credit card to purchase the reloads.
    Walgreens is NOT letting anyone use a credit card for these. It’s coded in the computers to not allow it.
    Family Dollar does have them, but I haven’t tried using a credit card there yet.

  53. Jenni and others reading this– as another blogger likes to say– pigs get fat, hogs get slaughtered. Don’t screw this up for everyone by being greedy. And never, never call your cc company! Are you stupid??

  54. JB,
    You have to call the CC banks before making large purchase. Your card would be declined. All CS I talked to didn’t care what I was buying as long as I am account owner and credit limit is within. Now OD don’t even verify my ID, they know my cards are good. This deal has been going on for a year, do you think the banks do not know what’s going? How long have you known the deal?

  55. JB, to answer your question – apparently so.

  56. wait to see Jenni blaming MMS for getting shut down by Chase.

    Great job MMS for spoon feeding newbies who don’t understand what moderation means.

  57. I went to 6 Walgreens today. All had the Vanilla Reloads but none accepted credit cards. When the cashier rang it up at each location I saw it appear on the screen, cash or debit only. This was in Houston.

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  59. Does anyone know the answer to the question posted earlier re: bonus points earned at gas stations? Is Chase ink the best cc to use for this purpose?

    raj m | November 2, 2012 at 10:07 am |
    I was wondering if anyone knows if the Vanilla Reloads bought at a gas station/convenient store such as Valero or QuickTrip will be coded as GAS for getting 5X points using Chase INK

    • @Denise – The Chase Ink Bold/Plus and the AMEX Business Rewards Gold both offer 2X points at gas stations. The AMEX Blue Cash Preferred gets you 3% cash back at gas stations and the Penfed Visa Platinum gets 5% cash back at gas stations.

  60. In the Baltimore area, 4 OD’s were out Vanilla. Two Walgreens & a CVS had never had them. Next stop for me is Walmart to see if they carry Vanilla & if they will take a CC.

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  63. I found the Vanilla reloads at four Walgreens here in WI – first two would take only cash – the third took my CC – the fourth only cash – so I hurried back to the one that would take my CC and bought a second one – both for $500.

  64. Why the fuk buy a Vanilla card at Walmart and pay $3.95 to load a Blue Bird card when you can load the card at Walmart for free. Few people use the points anyway. Stupid I think.

  65. @carlP — if you don’t want points then why bother getting bluebird card in the first place? cheaper to just use bank account

  66. @Carl P – Someone doesn’t understand.

  67. WOW just what I was looking for. Came here by searching for
    vanilla reloads wal mart

  68. I went to the CVS store around the corner from my house, and they have every imaginable gift or other cards. Yet the Vanilla Reload rows were completely empty!!! I did not know that we had people with the same hobby in my neighborhood … but we also have a Westin, Hilton, CP, Wyndham, and other major hotels within walking distance from here … go figure! 🙂

    • @Kalboz – They are a hot commodity! The store may get restocked and you could try looking in other CVS store. It really is disappointing when every other card is stocked to the gills except the Vanilla Reload.

  69. Went to 3 Walgreens around my home and all of them only accept cash. Bummer.
    Will be going NYC tomorrow, will look out for OD, CVS or Walgreens there.

  70. You can also buy stamps at most CVS/Walgreens in addition to the office stores, as well as grocery stores. So if you have a 5% regular or temporary bonus at one of those categories it is a better place to purchase than the post office.

  71. I honestly think this deal is finished. I personally visited half a dozen of the locations on this list, in southwest Ohio, including Wal-Mart and CVS, not one had Vanilla Reload Cards. Then I called 2 other Wal-Marts and a CVS. Only the CVS had them in stock. The manager told me they only accepted cash and he was “pretty certain” the same rule applied at all CVSs. Not sure I want to spend more time on this.

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