Reload updates

Quick weekend news about Walmart, the three letter drug store, and the numerically named convenience store… 

The numerically named convenience store

While I haven’t had a chance recently to revisit my local convenience store, I’ve heard report after report from readers that these stores are no longer allowing Vanilla Reload purchases with credit cards.  Apparently there was a memo.  Also, even when cashiers are willing to let people use a credit card, they have found that the rule is hard coded into the register.  I don’t know if this change is localized or across the nation.  What has your experience been (and in what town/city)?


Numerous reports have come in of people being turned away when they try to reload Bluebird with a debit gift card.  Apparently Walmart issued a memo (I’m beginning to hate memos).  Luckily, if a cashier is willing to try it anyway, it still works.  Also, so far the automated kiosks appear to be a still-working alternative.

The three letter drug store

CVS stores received a very different type of memo.  Now, instead of allowing each person to purchase only $1000 in reload cards at a time, they allow up to $5000 per day.  When you purchase over $1000, though, they will scan your drivers license.  No word on what exactly they’ll do with that info.  If you’re the type to worry about a big corporation’s sinister intentions, you might want to avoid that.

Reader experiences

Have your recent experiences matched the experiences reported above?  If not, what has your experience been?

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  1. Having no problems with Walmart and GC; ran 6k though of $500 gift cards. Just did another 1k today, in fact.

    With the kiosks, I am getting locked out after doing $1500; employee needs to put in their code and it has am mumbo jumbo on the screen about limits.

  2. Three letter drugstores in San Francisco Bay area have took of deer in headlights when you ask where these cards are and even a color printout of what they look like……..say they have never seen them……they certainly are not on the racks anywhere and I pressed them as whether they were hiding them in the safe and they just sighed…….so I need to do a Vanilla reload run but to where?

  3. I did $1K on each of two BB at Walmart yesterday at the kiosk. The older one of the BB that has been loaded quite a bit at the kiosk ($5K per month for a few months now) is tagged though. I can do the first $500 no problem, the last 3 trips in the second $500 card results in an associate needing to come over, log in and verify that I am not trying to load more than the limit. The first time they sent me to the money center to load the second card. The other 2 times I have just stated, I haven’t loaded the limit for the day and the associate clicks continue. I load the second card no problem.

  4. Slurpee Marts from South Lake Tahoe CA to Minden NV are a no go since a few weeks ago. Nice while it lasted (2X on Ink and Amex Gold).

  5. No success at several 7-11 locations in North Jersey- 1&9 and Manhattan Ave, Route 139(Valero and 7-11 in one location), Main St in Wallington

  6. Last week , two visits to two diff. VII-XI both times clerk ran credit card and both times the transaction was accepted but then the register rejected the transaction. Will keep trying but this may be hard coded into the register.

  7. I wonder if blog posts on Frequent Miler and other blogs about Vanilla Reloads at 7-11 might be partially responsible for its demise. Maybe it would have ended even without those blog posts. Anyway, I have a couple questions. What about purchases of Greendot MoneyPaks, PayPal reload cards, or OneVanilla Visa prepaid cards at 7-11; have any of those been successful? Also, at those places that do accept credit cards for purchasing those products, has anyone been able to split the transaction among multiple credit cards (so that you can have random amounts such as 338.29 on the credit card instead of 503.95 or 1007.90)?

  8. One numerical convenience store did not have them and another refused to sell them with a CC. On the other hand, the 3 letter drugstore sold me $1k worth with no problem after a DL scan.

  9. Interesting to hear that others have had trouble at WM kiosk after adding $1500 to BB also. I generally load my card and my husband’s in the same trip (duh) and starting having this issue 4-6 weeks ago.

    Lately, however, the kiosk has been out of service and I’ve gone to the customer service counter. They process all four without any issue.

  10. No VII-XI here, so can’t comment, and also haven’t purchased any beans in quite awhile. Visited WM yesterday for BB load. Kiosk STILL down but no problem at service desk, other than a wait in line.

    Once tried to load BB at register with cashier, but she had no clue. Are others having any success with this?

  11. Makes sense that pharmacy would swipe DL. Seems stolen credit cards are the reason for their squeamishness. Also, when I told wm CUST Svc to swipe one $500 at a time, her boss said, That’s because she doesn’t want to be tracked. What?

    • I believe credit card fraud is the only reason we see places taking cash only or requiring ID swipes. I have talked to numerous people at numerous merchants and each state stolen credit cards are why they no longer take credit cards. I also had an interesting call from Capital One, they didn’t care that I wash buying gift cards, what they were worried about was that I was being scammed by someone and buying gift cards for someone else expecting to be paid via a money transfer from someone in Jamaica or Nigeria. I even had one clerk tell me that the owner of a 711 was seeing someone come in every day, buying some cards and immediately going to the back of the store and using the ATM to cash out the cards. He said he never had a fraud complaint but even so just thought something odd must be going on so move to a cash only policy

  12. Just went to two reliable 3 letter stores and the first one told me cash only and the register wouldn’t allow her run the transaction anyway…Ah, OK thanks. Next store, two cards, had to scan DL, but no problem with cc…..

  13. Denied this morning at SF Bay Area Walmart MoneyCenter when trying to get MOs. The scanner accepted them, but after the second gift debit card the suspicious clerk asked to see the card, which had a small gift card reference in addition to debit. She voided the transaction, telling me they’d been told not to accept gift cards because Walmart isn’t making any money on them.

    • No problems today at WM, SE MI for $10k in MO’s at customer service desk. Purchased $5k of bean reloads at three letter drug store, no issues. Though I Did have a 711 register deny a specific card, other three cards I used for bean GC’s worked ok. Called the card and they said they said the transaction never made it to them. This is a card I have used to purchase ~$6k from 711, so maybe they are starting to tag cards? will try tomorrow. CArd deined at 711 worked for $7k of other transaction 30 minutes later.

  14. Call me paranoid but if WM is rejecting BB load w/gc in person (CSR’s) our precious kiosk maybe found reprogrammed pretty soon. Lucky for churners, this isnt like HIGC, as these gc are still liquid (via M.O. or by buying reloads at an additional cost).

  15. my CVS nw has reload cards for the first time in months. 5000 limit per day, swipe drivers license if you go over 500. they said this is new corp policy. no other issues than they do fly off the shelf.

    myu question is i have quite a few cards , which is the best for use at CVS, I do not need to use reload csrds to meet minimum spends as i charge quite a bit each month.

  16. david: There are only a few cards that offer bonus points at drug stores (see: If you don’t have one of those, best bet is to use a card that offers great everyday rewards or great big-spend bonuses. See:

    Big spend bonuses:

    Best everyday rewards:

  17. 3 Walmarts in my area (Northern California). Had been doing BB loads with GCs with no problem. Did one on Tuesday, no issues, but went in today and got refused. Employee said they were not accepting gift cards for the last two weeks, wouldn’t even attempt it. (Seems like WM will be very YMMV). Went to another and loaded BB and GoBank with kiosk, no issues.

    I guess it me back to Vanilla Prepaid if I run out of beans in the area. If it looks like a debit card instead of a gift card they’ll probably accept it if you are forced to use the Money Center.

  18. I just happen on 09/18/13 to be at a 3 lettred drug store here in IL to buy vanilla reload, and all have disappeared from the rack.
    Asked the manager and she said seems they were not working so they took it off. Asked if they gonna comeback and she said not sure.

    Are others seeing the same around in their area too?

    Are they taking them off the shelves.

    • For months my Charlie Victor Sierra store in multiple NoCal locations didn’t have them EVER……..I carried a color photo and showed a couple of managers who swore they had never seen them…….they said if I had an old one they could get the UPC? code and search in the system and let me know when they were coming……….then one day SHAZAM they had thirty cards and have had a good supply ever since……I honestly don’t think they have a plan one way or the other………..

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