Cash or credit? Either way, watch out for tax.

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After reading my earlier post “One card to rule them all” many people ran out to their local Office Depot stores to buy Vanilla Reload cards with their Ink Bold credit cards.  This is a brief follow up…

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Cash or credit?

So far, most people (with a couple of exceptions) have reported success in buying reload cards with their credit cards (I’ve done it 3 times now). However, many people have mentioned the fact that the reload website (vanillareload.com) is pretty specific about using cash.  Here’s a screenshot for example (the same image is on the back of each reload card):

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I haven’t found any place that specifically says “credit is not allowed”, but that is a reasonable assumption given the text on both this site and the American Express Prepaid site.

So, one question now is whether “cash only” is really a rule, or more of a recommendation.  It’s possible that it is up to each merchant (like Office Depot) to determine the rules.  I was able to find out that InComm (the company behind the reload cards) specifically supplies technology to merchants that supports credit card processing (see this page, for example).  So, it’s safe to say that InComm specifically allows credit card purchasing of some of their products, but it doesn’t tell us anything about the rules for this one product.

When I first purchased one of these cards using my Ink Bold, I was sure it was a fluke.  However, I then talked to an industry insider who promised me that these cards are different from others (Green Dot MoneyPaks, for example) and that the ability to use credit cards won’t go away.  Was he right?  We’ll see.  A number of commenters on my previous posts are betting against him.

Say no to taxes!

A couple of people have reported being charged sales tax for purchases of these reload cards (and for Vanilla Visa cards).  Don’t do it!  Sales tax should not be charged.  If you do pay sales tax, it will wipe out the benefit of using these cards.  Argue or walk away… just don’t pay.

Chase fear away

I do want to remind people about my post “Why Chase cancels accounts (and how to protect yourself).”  This will probably scare you.  Good.  Read the post and specifically read the “do” and “don’t” section for some help in how best to proceed.

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