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.
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).
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.
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!