Buy MasterCard gift cards and Stand Up To Cancer

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A new Vanilla branded MasterCard gift card has appeared:

MasterCard gift card

I found the above card at my local CVS store.  I find it noteworthy because of the promise to donate $1 to Stand Up To Cancer for every card sold.  I tend to buy a lot of gift cards like these anyway, so I’m thrilled to be able to support a good cause at the same time.

This is a Vanilla branded gift card, so it should work well as a debit card at many grocery stores, Target, Family Dollar, etc.  One likely exception: don’t expect it to work as a debit card at Walmart (Walmart doesn’t seem to like Vanilla cards).

I used the card yesterday afternoon at Target to reload REDbird as a debit card, and it worked without a hitch.  As with all Vanilla brand gift cards, you can use any 4 digits as the PIN upon first use (from then on, the PIN will be set to those 4 digits).  I always use the last 4 digits of the card number since that approach works for many types of gift cards (examples found here).

One downside to this card is that the word “Gift” is displayed prominently on the front.  Some stores have policies against letting customers use gift cards as debit cards, so this is unfortunate.  In contrast, One Vanilla Visa cards do not show the word “Gift” anywhere on the card.  On the plus side, the word “debit” is prominent as well.  Also, the card lists the same low activation fee as One Vanilla cards ($4.95).  Many of the other new Vanilla cards have a $5.95 activation fee.

MasterCard gift card

I think its great to be able to contribute to a good cause while paying less of an activation fee.  I love the idea of doing good in the process of earning points, miles, and cash back!

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