Where to buy Vanilla Reload Cards

UPDATE 11/26/2012: On the weekend of November 10th 2012, Office Depot stopped selling Vanilla Reload cards.  As a result, most of the information below is now out of date.  See Office Depot discontinues Vanilla Reload cards and The reload game is on.

In recent posts, I’ve shown ways to earn 5X everywhere by buying Vanilla Reload Cards at Office Depot with an Ink Bold card and then loading the money to either an American Express Prepaid card or a reloadable debit card such as the ill fated NetSpend card.’  See ‘€œOne card to rule them all,’€ ‘€œNetSpend challenges the throne,’€ and ‘€œWe’€™re sorry, there is a problem with your account‘€ for details.


For this trick to work, though, it’€™s necessary to find an Office Depot that sells Vanilla Reload cards, has them in stock, and allows you to buy them with a credit card.’  The table below shows what I’ve learned so far from readers regarding each of those points.’  The date shown is not the date of purchase, but rather the date in which the result was reported to me.’  In some cases you’€™ll see multiple entries for the same city because I’ve entered in data from multiple people, dates, or locations (within the city).

Reader input

If you have experience good or bad with buying Vanilla Reload cards, please report it in the comments below, including the location of the store, and I’€™ll do my best to keep this table up to date.’  I’€™m also particularly interested in finding stores other than Office Depot that sell these (or other reload cards) and allow you to use credit cards for the purchase.

UPDATE Nov 8 2012

Ever since Bluebird launched, stores have begun to sell out of inventory more quickly than before.  As a result, it doesn’t make much sense for me to keep updating this table – it’s out of date by the time I do so!  Instead, please continue to report your findings in the comments below, and use your browser’s search feature to find information about stores in your area.

Also note that since this was written, new stores have been found to carry Vanilla Reload cards.  Most notably, some CVS and Walgreens stores carry them and, of those, some allow credit cards.  Also see VanillaReload.com and hover your mouse over “Reload Locations” to get ideas of other places to look.

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  1. The two stores in Raleigh NC have plenty of temporary AMEX cards, no Vanilla Reloads. The other great option though is the Vanilla Visas. There are plenty of those.

  2. purchased some today with non-chase card at OD on W. Fullerton (chicago). They had several cards (excluding the 10 or so I found hidden in a different location). The cashier asked if I was using a chase card. When I said “no” she said okay because they now how to call in all chase purchases for approval (but you can still purchase with chase). Don’t worry if you are the person that “stored” the cards in a different location. I left them where I found them.

  3. OD in West Norriton, PA does not have Vanilla reload cards. Unsure if they sell it and are just out of stock or just don’t sell it. Also means I have no idea if you could use a credit card to buy one.

    I’ll continue to check a few more OD’s in the area and report back.

  4. After striking out at 2 Walgreens, I had success at a 3rd. This purchase was not without drama. First the card reader at the register would not work. I was sent to a different register and swiped my Barclay Mastercard (wanted something non Amex). No go. My card was denied and I came home to a call from fraud protection. Next, I tried my freedom card. Success! I will go back in few days to try out some other cards. Even though I will only get 1x for these purchases, its still better than nothing for bill pay (mortgage, utilities etc).

  5. Frederick, MD – out of stock on 10/25/12
    Sterling, VA – none 10/26/12
    Manassas, VA – 10/26/12 asked if they had any and they went into the back room and brought some out for me. Bought 5, needed to show ID.

  6. Went to OD in Fort Lauderdale and bought the last two they had in stock. Tomorrow will go to the other two locations within the city to check

  7. Went to two different OD’s – Cincinnati, OH (had about a dozen) and Springdale, OH (had several dozen) and both had cards and allowed CC purchases. Bought 2 at the first and one at the second with no problems (used different cards at each). Manager at first went to back to check on if he needed to call in, but for 2 @500 did not apparently.

  8. Sunnyvale, CA, October 28, 29, 31. No vanilla reload cards left in the rack. Then I discovered this blog and guess that there might not be any anywhere. Anybody found a Walgreens in the area that has Vanilla Reload cards and can be bought with a credit card. I have cards that I need a minimum spend on

  9. I purchased the last Vanilla Reload Cards at the Wilmington, DE OD without hassle. Paid it all with credit card. All NJ OD are out of the Vanilla Reloads, and they have no idea when they will be getting more.

  10. @ PirateRadio: which ODs in FLL & MIA did you use?

    I tried the OD at NE 163rd St in Miami, FL, and they wouldn’t allow credit card–only cash or debit card to purchase.

    The OD on Biscayne & NE 172 St, and they allow credit card purchases, but did not have the reload card in stock–only gift cards.

  11. does anybody know if this would work for office depots in other countries? and if they even sell vanilla reloads at ODs in other countries?

  12. Went to all the OD stores in the Charlotte, NC and Rock Hill,SC area today. No vanilla reloads. Per managers, none coming. Called OD stores in Myrtle Beach and Columbia, SC, no cards. Went to several Walgreens in Charlotte area, plenty of Vanilla reloads but wouldn’t accept cc as payment. Has anyone tried to order the cards from the OD web site?

  13. Austin, TX OD which had vanilla 2 days ago pulled the remainder saying they were “expired” and/or were the “referral cards” and would no longer work in the system. Manager would not explain what “referral” meant.

  14. OD Dallas, TX. First one was out but said they were getting more later in the week. Second one had 5 left. grabbed ’em all and ran for the door. heads up: apparently when buying these in dallas with an out of state credit card, a passport is needed. Luckily had mine on hand. Anybody else get that reaction?

    • Better luck today. I am finding plenty of Vanilla Reloads at Dollar General Stores. Granted, no 5X miles, but 1X is better than nothing for my mortgage and car loan.

      • Bob: At my local Dollar General, they have a different kind of Vanilla Reload card. These cards are scanned at the register and used right there to move money to a reloadable debit card (not Bluebird). It works with MyVanilla and Mio, for example. They don’t allow credit cards. Is your Dollar General different?

        • My Dollar General sold me the last of their Vanilla’s with a scratch off pin number on the card and somehow they accepted a credit card. Went back today and they now have only the reload display card and will not accept credit cards. Store manager said the system is being converted over to not accept CC. I stopped at a CVS and the manager assured me that they would accept a CC with two forms of i.d. But they are out of Vanilla reloads.

  15. I have had three different experiences trying to purchase a VR at Walgreens. At one, I was able to purchase cards without any problem. At another, I was sternly told by the cashier that it can only be paid with cash. At the third, I was able to convince them to let me purchase it with a CC but my Hawaiian Airlines visa only rang up the 3.95 charge. They said “Sorry. See? Only cash”. I asked if I could try a different card but they wouldn’t do it.

  16. I’ve had pretty good luck until this week in San Diego. But this week all of the Office Depots are out of stock. I can only hope they plan to get more.

  17. Boca Raton, FL today: Bought 4 Vanilla Reload Cashier asked if I was paying cash, said no and then she called Chase. Took a long time to finally get the ok. While I was waiting I heard the “manager” on a call telling someone they were out of Vanilla Reload cards. I was looking at some on the rack as he was speaking. Wish the load limit was higher than $5000 per month per card. Property tax bills are in. Have Bluebird for me and my husband and enjoyed paying bills today. Had to remember to stop automatic bank payments when paying with Bluebird. Going to hate paying bills from bank accounts now.

  18. Fort Worth, TX. Dollar General – cashier and manager rang up VR, got “invalid merchant” error on cash register – no chance to purchase with a credit card.

  19. In Atlanta ga went to 5 OD stores,they dont stock it anymore….went to walgreens,they dont accept CC…..went to couple of gas stations they would need only cash…..went to Dollar general and Family dollar,they had these cards without pin number abd the guys at the register have no idea how to reload!!!!!

    I have not yet used bluebird and i dont plan on using it unless i get a reload with a CC

    Has anybody had luck in any part of Atlanta buying vanilla reload with a CC.

    • Ajay, Just north of you in South Carolina CVS is now starting to stock the reloads and the store I visited near Charlotte, accepted CCards. It may spread your way.

  20. I believe OD has discontinued. I went last week to verify that my OD carried them. There were plenty in stock. I received my BlueBird yesterday so I went today to actually purchase some VR’s and they aren’t there at all. That section had been replaced with Amex prepaid cards. It looked like they were phased out; went to another OD a few miles away and same story. They’re no there and there was no display showing where they would be stocked. Called the 3rd OD in town and was told that they didn’t have the VR, only pre-paids.

  21. i had the same experience at family dollar as Ajay. the guys at the register had no clue how to use the vanilla reload card and just said “it doesn’t work”

    they do have to load up the card right away so i had my bluebird card with me, but they couldn’t get it to load properly. fail.

  22. Checked an OD in Berlin, NJ – all out. Found ample supplies at both CVS and Walgreen in Mt Ephraim, NJ, but neither would allow credit card to purchase – both stated cash only

  23. I went to my OD store and was told the cards were killed Nov. 10th. with a memo to remove them from the racks.

    I spoke with an OD dude. I have no idea if any of this is true, but he suspected new OD investors who own 12% of the company didn’t like the VR cards. He also said people were buying stacks of them at a time. Noted that people were using them somehow to get cash in areas affected by NY area superstorm Sandy. (I find the last tidbit odd but who knows.)

    The cards are gone, they even taken out of the POS system so you can’t load up with blanks at CVS and drive over expecting to use them, LOL. He said the VR cards came up as a ‘sale’ in the OD POS system rather than a ‘gift card’ so they may have been the cause of some accounting confusion.

    All the other Vanilla products are there and he said the VR cards may return in the future.

    So we shall see. For now I’m buying OneVanilla Visa cards there.

  24. Can confirm VR is dead at OD. Two DC locations today told me so. I had a blank VR I had saved and it wouldn’t load. Plus they say OD has pulled all VR’s.

  25. Today I went to the OD at 5300 Peachtree Industrial Blvd, Atlanta GA and I was told that this type of cards have been pulled permanently. bummer!

  26. All the Walgreen’s in Grand Junction and Fruita, CO are no goes! They only take cash, not even debit! Office Depot is a no as well! They pulled all the cards a couple of weeks ago!

    I went to the dollar general here and you can but vanilla reloads with a credit card (I’m not concerned as much with points as I am with meeting my spend) but the cashier and manager both could not figure out how to do the transaction. The register kept telling them to swipe the card, but there is nothing to swipe! They tried entering the bar code number manually, but it gave them a declined message. Any advice on what either they or I are doing wrong?

  27. This is just too much nuisance to get the lousy 60,000 points. OK, so you have enough points for perhaps 2 round trip tickets, but how much time was wasted. You could have taken the time to investigate some good stock investments instead of working with this petty stuff. You have to consider how you are using your time.

  28. @Glenn,
    Hi Glenn,
    Are you referring to Vanilla Reload Cards?
    Did you make this purchase in Norcal or Socal?

    Thanks in advance for your inputs.

  29. That’s Bay Area, NoCal only, right? Still not much luck outside of the 3-letter pharmacy down in SoCal. Local 7-11s only accept debit.

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