Prepaid musings



I’m still excited to see what Amex has in store for us regarding the new Bluebird Prepaid product.  Last week, they said that it would be available “next week” (which is now this week).  Has anyone seen one in the wild?  For background, see “Bluebird is coming. The sky isn’t falling.”


In the post “Vanilla Reloadables” I gushed about the Mio card which had no fees for credit transactions.  Just a few days later Mio started charging for credit transactions.  Amex still stands alone as the only no-fee Vanilla reloadable.


The new MyVanilla card has had a rocky start.  People have had all kinds of trouble:

  • A couple of people have reported that they loaded the card, but then found that large debit purchases were declined.
  • One reader reported that he was charged $1.95 (instead of 50 cents) for an in-store debit purchase that included cash back.
  • Similarly, another reader reported being charged $1.95 (instead of 50 cents) for a money order purchase.
  • Another reader reported that the MyVanilla has a $3000 daily spend limit.
  • I’ve had a technical issue with the MyVanilla in which I get an error when I try to setup my online account.  Phone reps haven’t been able to help.  Managing my money and checking fees is going to be a challenge.

Next steps

I need to update the “Vanilla Reloadables” post with new information about fees and other gotchas.  I hope to get to that very soon (maybe even today).  Has anyone experienced other issues with MyVanilla or other reloadables?  Please comment below.

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