Miles and points fee free

I’ve written often of ways to earn miles, points, or cash back by buying gift cards and reload cards.  The best opportunities entail earning credit card category bonuses at drug stores, grocery stores, gas stations, and office supply stores.  By earning 2 to 5 points per dollar, the rewards earned often greatly exceed fees incurred when buying these cards.  However, you can profit even more if you find ways to buy reloads and gift cards fee free.  Luckily there are a couple of current opportunities:

PayPower Prepaid Card

As Milenomics discovered earlier this month, PayPower cards are now fee free in at least some locations.  The trick is to find a store that carries them and that is willing to let you pay with a credit card.  You can use this store locator to find them, but you’ll have to do your own legwork to find out if you can pay with a credit card. 

PayPower-Fee-Free

Note that if you do not want to register for a permanent card, you can instead call to setup a PIN on your temporary card. 

Serve swipe reloads

The American Express Serve card is almost identical to the Bluebird card.  It has mostly the same limits and the same bill pay functions, and both can be reloaded with Vanilla Reload cards.  There are a few differences, though.  One huge difference is that while Bluebird can be “swipe reloaded” at Walmart, Serve can be reloaded at CVS and some 7-11 locations (as of late 2013).  I’ve verified in my local CVS stores that I can reload a Serve card up to $500 at a time for no fee.  And, via two transactions its possible to load the card to its $1K per day limit.

ServeFeeFreeAddCash 

Unfortunately, each person can only have one card: either Bluebird or Serve.  Of course, if you have a Bluebird card you can continue to load Bluebird fee-free at Walmart using a debit card.

See also

About Greg The Frequent Miler

Greg is the owner, founder, and primary author of the Frequent Miler. He earns millions of points and miles each year, mostly without flying, and dedicates this blog to teaching others how to do the same.

More articles by Greg The Frequent Miler »

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49 Comments on "Miles and points fee free"

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Corridor!
Guest

What is the monthly load limit for Serve?

anon
Guest

Meijer sells their GCs at 3% discount if you buy $5k worth. You then use those in store to buy BB cards. then goto BB and buy BB VGCs with 3% fee. So now you break even. Then add on your CC rewards and portal (AA portal gives 1 mile/$ at meijer)

steeler59
Guest

What are the different ways to cash out Serve? Are checks available?
Thank you in advance.

Great post, as always!

jan
Guest

There is a $5.95 monthly fee for the Pay Power card. If I purchase $500 and spend the $500 within several days to drain it to zero, can Paypower try to collect the monthly fee from me?

jan
Guest

Thank you. Also, can i have the BB. Can I also have the AMEX Serve card? If so, is it best to buy a temporary card first then register for a permanent card?

ffi
Guest

Freq Miler,
What is the advantage of the Paypower if we are just going to spend it like a visa?
If I use it for purchases, I could have just used my regular rewards card
The only place I can think of is if I can use that to load BB as a debit card using a PIN
or
perhaps pay taxes for 4$ fee

Can I load Serve with CC at CVS

Lynn
Guest

How do I convert my BB to a Serve?

steve
Guest

Lynn,
you have to first cancel Bluebird, then wait some amount of time (the first of the next month) then apply for Serve. you cannot convert/product change, and you have to wait for the old account cancellation to be processed in their systems before getting approved for the other

DonT
Guest

Can the Paypower card be loaded to Bluebird?

captain what's his name
Guest
captain what's his name

What is the monthly allowable swipe cc load at a CVS for a Serve? You can load up to $1,000 on line with a linked CC each month.

Brian
Guest

CVS loads via CC swipe count as a “Cash” load, so it is the $5000/month cash load limit.

hambone47
Guest

so, you can swipe load directly with a CC? Can you loard with a GC being used as a debit card?

DonT
Guest

Of course the answer to my question was in the post and comments section by Milenomics.

Mark
Guest

Anyone have any luck at either a Hess or Albertsons/Shaws location?

Those seem to be the only options in the BOS area. Thanks!

Vadim
Guest

Does anyone know if you get bonus cashback with wellsfargo card or amex blue cash one when doing swipe reloads at CVS?

Sameer
Guest

Has anyone tried loading them to BB ?? I will be trying to purchase with CC this evening and then try to load them onto BB, but just wanted to check if someone has had any luck with it so far..

Glenn
Guest

That would be a negatory.

Glenn
Guest

Oh crap that didn’t post to the right place.

@Sameer, yes I’ve used one to load to BB at WM register with no trouble.

@vadim, you can’t do swipe reloads at CVS

Jessica
Guest

This post is disappointing. I bet this loophole is closed by next month (as soon as everybody had time to cancel their BB).

justSaying
Guest

I’ll be keeping my two Bluebirds………VR cards from Charlie Victor Sierra are like nova cane…….just stick it in and wait for the pain to go away………..and then Freedom does their 5X on gas so that Circle K purchases of VR cards are down to a measly .158 cents…..Sometimes it’s good to pay for something…………….

Yankee79
Guest

If Serve can be swipe loaded with any CC up to $5k a month with no fees, why bother with vanilla reloads and their $4.95 fee with BB anymore? Can you transfer money directly to your bank account the same way BB lets you?

goarmed
Guest

These bums charged the annual fee already, and I just bought the cards this morning!!

Went to try to load these to my BB and charge was not approved. Try another card, same problem. So, I called the number on the back of the card and it says my balance is $494.05. After waiting like 20 minutes to get an operator she tells me that I don’t have $500 on the card because the monthly fee of $5.95 was billed. I litterally had to go through an hour long conversation with her and her supervisor for them to agree to refund the $5.95. However, they disabled the card for this, and said they would have to mail me a check, and took all my information down to do so, even requiring SSN. Worse still, they said they would only do it as a one time courtesy for one of my cards I bought, they didn’t do it for the other!!! The supervisor even smugly went and said that I know guys like you are doing this for credit card miles, and this is not what this card is meant for, we’ve been more than fair in refunding one of the fees, but, we won’t be refunding any more, or something like that. I guess since they have my information for the first refunded card they can make sure of this.

Horrible card, big waste of time, I’m out $6, and had to load an oddball amount to my BB from the other card.

I’m going back to VRs

goarmed
Guest

I mean they charged the monthly fee, not annual fee.

Max
Guest

That sucks. I woud not have given them my SSN for $6 though.

DonT
Guest

Did you register it online or use a temporary PIN?

Lively
Guest

Sorry to hear your trouble goarmed…but you saved a lot of people some trouble. There’s no way I’m buying even though there’s a stack of’em down the road.

Gabriel
Guest

The trick here seems to be unload them as soon as you buy them. Call and set the PIN from the parking lot of the place you’re going to unload them.

Jessica
Guest

@FM the ability to swipe with a CC is a loophole. The advertised feature is to load CASH to serve for free at CVS.

jd
Guest

I search the Paypower website, which lists one of the Giant Eagle around my house has these cards in stock. I went there today, did not find anything :(

trackback

[…] Miles and points fee free […]

misty
Guest

Thanks for the tip on this card.
I was able to buy it in Denver at my local Safeway with an A/E credit card.

trackback

[…] but equal, with one minor difference… the Swipe Reload at CVS, which I first read about on Frequent Miler here, this allows you to reload $500 per transaction (max $1K per day) fee free let’s see what […]

Paul
Guest

I tried to reload my Serve card at CVS, but they said only cash. I guess I don’t understand how this works.

Tay
Guest

Any tips on coaching the cashier at CVS? They only sometimes seems able
to figure out how to process a swipe reload to Serve.