You Can No Longer Load Vanilla Visa Cards to Bluebird at Walmart

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You Can No Longer Load Vanilla Visa Cards to Bluebird at Walmart

Million Mile SecretsYou Can No Longer Load Vanilla Visa Cards to Bluebird at WalmartMillion Mile Secrets Team

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Via Million Mile Secrets’ readers and Flyertalk, it appears you can NO LONGER load Vanilla Visa & OneVanilla gift cards to your Bluebird account at Walmart.

Vanilla Visas Don’t Work Anymore at Walmart to Load Bluebird

Folks began reporting that they weren’t able to load any type of Vanilla Visa or OneVanilla gift card to their Bluebird account.  When you try to load the card (either at the kiosk or with a cashier), the register declines the transaction and says “alternate tender required.”

What’s Changed?

Link:   How to Load Bluebird With Gift Cards at Walmart

Link:   Can You Still Load Your Bluebird at Walmart?

I wrote recently about changes to how you load Vanilla Visa gift cards to Bluebird at Walmart.  For the past several weeks, the cards would load, but you’d have to be fast with your fingers to change the payment method after swiping the card.

As of yesterday, it seems like that workaround is NOT working anymore.  Million Mile Secrets reader Liz reports:

Vanilla gift cards are not longer working to load BB at WM.  I plan to try out Metabank and US Bank gift cards and see if they work.

Reader Chaz follows up:

Loaded 2 $500 Vanilla Visa Debit Gift Cards Monday 6/16/14 at WM, using the ‘change payment type’ workaround.  Failed today 6/19/14 at 5 different terminals in a different Walmart.

And readers KC and Keith confirm:

Just recently returned from 3 different Walmarts and all 3 times it failed.  I was unaware of “fast finger” but had already been doing that, maybe slow and methodical, not fast.  Each time the transaction was cancelled at the end with a receipt print out declaring “debit not approved, call authorizer.”  I was using the silver/purple Visa debit gift cards.

I had trouble yesterday and today as well with Vanilla cards.

So it looks like Walmarts all over the US have been affected by this change.

What Do You Do Now?

Change is part of the miles and points game, and I’ve written before that we have to adapt!

So far, it sounds like gift cards issued by other banks (like US Bank Simon Mall Visa Gift cards and Metabank) are NOT affected by this change.  These cards are less convenient because you have to set the PIN prior to using them.

Earlier this week, I loaded my Bluebird at a Walmart kiosk with Visa and MasterCard debit gift cards.  The Visa is issued by Metabank, but it’s not obvious – it’s in the small print on the back.  The initial PIN is the last 4 digits of the card number, although I always set the PIN by calling.

Metabank MasterCard Gift Cards Come in This Packaging

The MasterCard debit gift card comes with a pre-printed PIN inside the packaging.  This is a US Bank card, but again it’s not obvious to folks because it’s printed on the back.

The MasterCard Debit Gift Card Conveniently Comes With a PIN Inside the Package so You Can Load It to Bluebird Immediately

It’s still easy to find these cards in many stores.  And so far, they still work to load Bluebird at Walmart.

That said, I don’t know how long that will last.  So I wouldn’t buy more than a couple at a time.

You don’t want to be left holding thousands of dollars in gift cards which you can’t load to your Bluebird!

US Bank and Metabank Gift Cards Still Appear to Work to Load Bluebird at Walmart

If you already have Vanilla Visa or OneVanilla gift cards you need to use, you could try using them to buy money orders at a local grocery store.  They do NOT appear to work at Walmart for money orders anymore.

Or you could use them if you need to send someone money via Amazon Payments.  You can only send $1,000 per month, so if you have a lot of cards it might take some time. [Expired]

Worst case, you could use the cards for regular spending.  They still work just fine as a debit card for normal purchases.

Bottom Line

You can NO LONGER load Vanilla Visa gift cards to your Bluebird account at Walmart.

I suspected this change was coming, since in the past few weeks they’ve made it more difficult (but not impossible) to load the cards.  Now, it looks like there’s no longer a workaround.

As with everything in the miles and points hobby, changes happen.  And there’ll always be something new to help us meet credit card minimum spending requirements and get Big Travel with Small Money.


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David Higginbotham

It’s gonna be great

I think bluebird should have (in each Walmart) the ability to deposit cash and checks ….I cannot get the check photo thing to work, so I would say I love the card, but when it has a check involved its a pain in the ass.

I have had Bluebird for years and have never paid a dime to use it. I am grateful for it and hope it continues the way it has for a long time to come. It allowed my two teenagers the ability to have their own cards with their own names and for me to transfer money instantly to them anytime for free and loading my card is free. I was able to transfer money to another BB member, for free. I love my BB and can’t say enough good things about them. And things in life that are free in life can be very good to a point you don’t abuse it and ruin it for everyone else. I’m sure it won’t long now because of the greed you people are all about will suck it dry just like everything else good, thanks.

So I just came back from a Walmart here in Northern California, with my newly acquired Bluebird card and some VISA Vanilla ($200) GCs. No Money Center machine in this location. Person at money center desk said no to generic debt card loads just ones with your name on it; supervisor reiterated the no load as well. (She actually said that they NEVER allowed those ever before). Got her supervisor to come out-she seemed to actually know about the situation and have info. What she told me was that an audit was conducted last month and since then communication is being rolled out for them to NOT accept generic Debit cards (e.g. Vanilla) to load BlueBirds; only those with your name on it. Anyone getting it processed at a register is likely because the sales person isn’t aware/heard/see the new directive. As they don’t have a kiosk in this specific store, she couldn’t comment as to whether those (machines) would be affected as well.

So is this now official? If so, I need to find a way/place to use my Visa GCs. I loved the idea of using Bluebird CHECKS to pay for things where credit cards aren’t accepted.

Do you have any suggestions for people trying to meet minimum spending requirements? Can we use cards to buy vanilla reload cards and load them onto the bluebird card?

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