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Emily and I are visiting family in Michigan and Ohio.
I’m always excited to check out new shops (but not actually buy anything!) when we travel because I’m a marketing nerd and I like seeing how products are merchandised (displayed) in different stores. And to check-out what’s on the gift card rack!
We were able to buy Vanilla Reload cards with a credit card at different Family Fare supermarkets in Michigan!
What is a Vanilla Reload?
One of the best uses of American Express Bluebird is 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 can also load your Bluebird card (which you can order online) with a points earning debit card at Wal-Mart or with a gift card (with a PIN) which you bought with a credit card.
We saw Vanilla Reloads at a Family Fare shop in Michigan and we asked the cashier to load $500 on each card. But the register asked the cashier to get a manager to approve the transaction. And the manager asked for our ID to match it to the name on the credit card!
We’ve just moved from Kansas to Texas, and we had a temporary Texas Driver’s License which was folded up in our wallets. The Texas temporary Driver’s License looks like something you can print out at home and doesn’t look very official, so we were a little concerned that she’d just laugh us out of the store!
But this was small-town Michigan (everyone seems to know everyone!), so we chatted with the manager and explained that we were visiting family. The manager checked our ID and we were able to complete the purchase with a miles and point earning credit card!
Unfortunately, we didn’t have a miles and point card which earns a category bonus or extra points at grocery stores. But we were thrilled to find a new place which sells Vanilla Reloads with a credit card.
Spartan Stores has shops mostly in Michigan and Northern Ohio.
I was curious to see if other shops in the Spartan chain such as Oleson’s Foods & Tom’s Food Market (which were nearby) would sell Vanilla Reloads with a credit card. You can see if there is a Spartan Store near you via the Spartan Stores Store Locator.
We went to Oleson’s Foods, but they didn’t sell ANY gift cards!
Tom’s Food Market didn’t have any gift cards as well.
We then went to another Family Fare store and bought $100 on each Vanilla Reload. This time the cashier didn’t need to get a manager to approve the transaction. But she did look closely at our temporary Texas licenses!
We didn’t check out other Spartan Store shops such as Forest Hills Foods, Glenn’s Market, VG’s, & Valu Land because they weren’t nearby. But they could potentially sell Vanilla Reloads.
You can now buy Vanilla Reloads at Family Fare stores with a credit card. And you will earn miles and points when you buy the Vanilla Reloads with a credit card.
You can can then use American Express Bluebird to pay your bills such as rent, mortgage and student loans which you otherwise couldn’t pay with a credit card!