Vanilla Reloads Available at (Some) Seven-Eleven Stores!

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Update:  You can NO longer buy Vanilla Reload cards with a credit card at 7-11.

FlyTheory emailed me to let me know that certain Seven-Eleven stores will let you buy Vanilla Reloads with a credit card.  This could be useful for folks (New Yorkers!) who don’t have access to Office Depot or CVS stores.

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.

Bluebird Bill Pay

Say Hello to Vanilla Reloads at Seven-Eleven

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. can be paid with your Bluebird card (i.e  indirectly with a credit card).

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.

Here’s a post on what a Vanilla Reload looks like.

Seven-Eleven stores have long been listed as a place where you can buy Vanilla Reloads, but I haven’t been able to buy them with a credit card in Kansas.  So this could not work out for you depending on where you live.

You also may be limited to only $500 total in Vanilla Reloads, but I don’t have much data on the purchase limit at Seven-Eleven.

Even better, FlyTheory and Freequentflyerbook report that purchases from Seven-Eleven stores are categorized as gas stations, which means that you will be able to get extra points if you use certain cards which get you extra points for gas station purchases!

How Much Should I Buy?

I can’t tell you how many Vanilla Reloads to buy.  I personally use my Bluebird only to pay legitimate bills – student loans, rent, etc. which I can’t otherwise pay with a credit card.

I also use different cards to buy Vanilla Reloads so that I don’t max out the credit line on any one card and stay below 15% to 20% of the credit line on any one card.

Bottom Line

If you live close to a Seven-Eleven, it doesn’t hurt to see if you can get Vanilla Reloads over there!  It is even better if you can use a card which gets you extra points for gas station purchases!

Please comment with your experience!

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49 responses to “Vanilla Reloads Available at (Some) Seven-Eleven Stores!

  1. Hi, this is a little offtopic but not completely. Do you know which gift cards at OFFICE DEPOT we can buy that also can be used to load bluebird accounts?

  2. goals^n^dreams

    but they accept cash only….

  3. Another bit of info ripped off from FT and then credited to another DB blogger. Give us a break.

  4. Buy Vanilla Reload @ 7-11 is easy to get denied by credit card because of fraud. You can’t buy things @ 7-11 up to $500.

  5. Oh, come on! I’m on FT, and I missed this. It’s good to have information from across the internet aggregated aggregated and distilled somewhere, with a clean interface. Information is information, wherever it comes from – just because the New York Times reported on the George Zimmerman trial doesn’t mean that the LA Times or the Washington Post or even People magazine can’t report on it.

  6. I wrote about the same thing a month ago – from my personal experience at our 7/11’s It’s good to have another source of VR’s

    • @Frank – You can buy Visa gift cards and load to Bluebird at Wal-Mart, but Office Depot only sells low denomination cards which may not be worth it. Office Max sells $200 visa gift cards which could be worth it!

      @Jane – I edited your comment so that the link goes to your blog and not your login page!

  7. I am also in Kansas. Finding vanilla reloads in lots of places but can only buy with cash x at cvs.

  8. @Jaze.. I agree with you:) Snippy little comments made here are annoying..Thanks D for wading through all the info to get it to us.. I had no idea the time this takes!

  9. I will have to check out my local 7/11, wonder if VRC will start showing up at AMPM and other gas station convenience stores. I would use the Ink Bold/Plus is 2x or Blue Cash Preferred is 3% cash back.

  10. Jane are you kidding? a link to a sign in page. …..Lame.

  11. Tried to load $100 at my 7-11 last week and they said cash only.

  12. 7-11’s in Tucson have had both GreenDot and VR for awhile, but cash only.

  13. Just tried a 7 Eleven in NY. Cash only. The cashier said when he tried scanning the bar code, the computer wouldn’t even let him process it unless its cash.

  14. Ummmm. Why is this news? This is common knowledge. Next, you’ll post that gift cards are available at office supply stores.

  15. Another data point: I tried 7 different stores in DFW area and they were all cash only.
    MMS – you mentioned BB can be used for cc bills, do you know of any that could raise red flags? I would be concerned about paying Amx with BB bill pay (due to FRs), or the Chase cc bill with the card used to buy VRs… Would BB checks be “safer” than using bill pay?

  16. Please do not go overboard and kill this!!!

  17. @Mon: I pay all my Chase cards with BB.

  18. I haven’t seen VRs at 7-11s near me, and they are not gas/convenience stores, so I doubt they would be coded as gas. Might vary by store.

    RNP – you can buy $500 gift cards! Which is not illegal.

  19. report from Florida. Purchased $500 reload card using a credit card with no issues here! I’m in east central Florida.
    Thanks for the tip!!

  20. Tried 4 different 7-11s in San Diego – Cash Only. 🙁

  21. Tried buying a single $500 VR at local 7-11 using Chase Freedom (VISA). Cashier asked for CC and Driver’s license, but transaction was denied although signature pad said approved.

    Cashier printed me a receipt:
    Incomm Universal Rel 500.00
    GiftCardFe 3.95
    Incomm Universal Rel -500.00
    GiftCardFe -3.95

    Anyone else have a similar experience?

  22. Had the same experience as Fred. Transaction was actually approved but voided by the 7-eleven register. Not sure why, but cashier speculated it might be trouble connecting with Incomm network to add the value. VR customer service hadn’t heard of that. Returned the next day and it worked fine.

  23. What makes your tip so superior is how your photo of the card that shows what is a VR reload card and what is not…………

    I made a run today and hit Office Depot…cash only……..Staples….no cards……7-11 3 out of 5 visits…….two of the five visits were to same store and one was a hit and the other was cash only…… I think it is wise to smile and say thank you and move on and then wait for the shift change……… sad…..maybe I’ll go to sleeping in my car at 7-11 and waiting for the shift change……LOL!

  24. Oh and all my transactions at 7-11 were just over 1k………..the suspense is seeing if the Chase Freedom transaction comes back as 5 to 1 or 1 to 1………

  25. Dear Darius,

    I’m new to this amazing ways to travel using points. Your blog is so interesting, informative that got me inspired to explore ways to earn, accumulate points for travels. Thank you for sharing wealth of information. Here’s my question. I intend to apply for Chase Ink & Chase Sapphire card, and would like to open Bluebird American Express. I’ve tried to register numerous times, but after completing or filling out all the information required when I push submit or continue nothing happens. I use your link or perhaps from another blog to get to their website. What is going on? I’m worried for I have provided all the infos including giving out my social security number (I made sure it’s a secure site..https). Could you please let me know how to go about opening such an account. I’m hoping to use it to meet minimum spend for opening theres 2 credit cards. Thank you.

  26. Hi, recently I found that purchases from some 7-11 stores are viewed as “gas”.
    Can somebody verify if Penfed or Fort Knox 5% credit card also view 7-11 purchases as “gas”?

  27. I’ve now seen 2 credible reports on Twitter and another travel website – plus my own experience yesterday – revealing that 7-Eleven cash registers now “auto-refund” any VR purchases made with a Chase MasterCard or Visa (AFTER the card approves!). A very new development, because I had no problem on Tuesday. One shopper (MilesPointsMaiTais) just had her Chase Ink fail in this way, then took out her Amex and it went through; I went the other route, rather than switch credit card, I switched out VR to buying a Vanilla Gift Card ($4.95), and that also worked – with the very same Chase Freedom I initially tried to use for VR.

    tl;dr – 7-Eleven now appears to block VR purchases using either any Chase CC, or all Visa/MCs — while Amex works fine and Vanilla Gift Cards also work fine.

    I’m sure we’ll be able to flesh things out in the next few days as more mile hunters hit the same “auto-refund” snag.

  28. Don’t know if this is the case at 7-11 but it’s worth the shot. Try to find an older store with an older type register. It’s a little secret I learned as to why, in some cases, you are not able to purchase VRs with CCs. If the store has the updated technology, i.e newer registers, it is able to recognize and block pre-paid and loadable cards as cash items only. If the store has the older registers, like most CVS stores do, you have no problem, (except for the clerks who may flat out refused to even try). At Walgreens, forget it, most of their registers are upgraded, at least I’ve found them to be. So even if the clerk wants to do it, they can’t.

    Every time I succeed in getting my stash of VRs I am grateful because we don’t know how long it will last.

  29. I went to the same two 7-11 stores that I purchased vanilla reload cards a couple days ago. I used a Freedom and a Discover card. Both cards went through just fine. However, on June 30th, the same two stores denied the Discover card. I didn’t try a different card. I ended up purchasing a paypal cash card which went through just fine using the Discover card.

  30. So the stores around Seattle, the POS system won’t let me check out w/ a credit card. The clerk called his manager and they ok’d it but the system wouldn’t let it go through. I guess we’re out of luck here?

  31. I read some of the comments. I used a chase card so that might be why..Ill try again w/ Amex.

  32. In Dallas area, 7-11 worked fine with Chase Sapphire Preferred, Discover and Chase Freedom until end of last month. Beginning 8/1, I am not having any success with Visa/Discover. This happened at 5 different 7-11 stores where I had successfully bought with a CC in July.

  33. As always a very informative, excellent post providing valuable information. The whiners who moan about it being it other places first, I say who cares, Darius many posts take you step-by-step through the process with visuals.
    I was in Maine and found vanilla reloads cards at CVS. I loaded 4 cards $500 each with Ink Bold. No problems all they asked was for was a drivers lic for ID.

  34. Pingback: mile tweets | 8.7.13

  35. I have been using 7-11 for VR and today the registry rejected it…..which sux

  36. I visited 2 7-Elevens in New Haven and Hamden, CT. Both rejected payment. I called Chase and the rep told me that they did not see any rejection on their side, that the rejection had to come from the 7-11 system. Here, it seems, they only accept cash and debit.

  37. Today I tried to buy the Vanilla Reload at both Walgreens and CVS in Phoenix – cash only.

  38. Thanks for your great website and your joie de vivre. I was really looking forward to being able to make my mortgage and car payment using my new Barclaycard with the vanilla-Bluebird combo to earn many more points than I normally could with my regular purchases, but I’m seriously stuck. The only vanilla “reload” cards sold in my area are starter cards–the “brand” is MyVanilla, issued by Bancorp Bank. My first time out I was able to buy one loaded with $500 with a credit card. but I then had to register the card online to get a PIN, and then wait for a permanent, re-loadable card. When I received the permanent card, I found I could not load new funds using a CC–cash only. The only way to purchase an additional MyVanilla card is to cancel the permanent cards as they arrive… a week or so later. Worst of all, when I tried to link the card (as a debit card) to a new Bluebird account, I failed miserably. Bluebird shut me down before I even had a dime in the account 🙁 I now have to send Bluebird all sorts of identity docs to get my account unfrozen. So, now I’ve locked up funds for no good reason, no Bluebird account to use even if I can figure out the right Vanilla card to buy, and a place to buy it with a CC, and now the feds are on my trail. I can deal with a visit from the feds, maybe a couple of years in the slammer, but I can’t deal with getting cash tied up in multiple purchase-only cards, and miss out on the opportunity to get to Rome for my honeymoon courtesy Vanilla-Bluebird-Barclay. Please help!

  39. @Andre – You should be looking for Vanilla Reload cards to load to Bluebird, not MyVanilla Debit cards. There’s a post here with pictures of all the different cards showing you which ones to buy.

  40. I live in NY and was able to buy VR cards at 7-11 and this month denied, and told cash only. I guess when they are not able to move the VR cards they might reconsider their policy; just a thought.

  41. It appears purchase VR’s at 7-11 is hit or miss. Anyone tried purchasing a regular 500 visa gift card with chase credit card ? Please share your experience.
    (I am content with 2x points on my chase ink)

  42. @slumdog007 – I’m only able to buy a Visa GC from some 7-11 stores with a CC, but most are cash only. It seems more and more are going cash only too. Better get them while you can!

  43. Thank you for posting. I tried to buy a vanilla reload today from 7-11 and Walgreens, but neither accepted credit card. Do you have any suggestions? I would really appreciate it. I’m in northern NJ.

  44. Can you use a 7 11 gift card to buy a vanilla reload from there? (and then use credit card to buy the 7 11 gift card?)

  45. Appears CVS is shutting down purchasing VR with a credit card…tried today at several Virginia Beach/Norfolk stores and was denied.