Reader reload research


Below is the latest gift card and reload news, with thanks to many readers…

Fee free gift cards… Nope

On Friday, I published a QuickDeal titled: “Fee free $200 Visa gift card at office supply store (unconfirmed).”  I reported that one reader recently was not charged the usual $6.95 fee when buying a $200 Visa gift card at Office Depot.  I asked “Anyone else experience this?”  Quite a few readers rushed out to give it a try and they reported their results in the QuickDeals’ comments section and via Twitter.  All reported results were the same: the $6.95 fee was charged.  The lucky no-fee incident appears to have been a one time or location specific fluke.

Vanilla Reloads and Bluebird reloads

And, on Friday evening, I published “Reload updates” where I detailed recent changes in reload policies at a few different stores.  Again, answers flooded in via reader blog comments and tweets.  Here were the results:

  • The ability to buy Vanilla Reload cards at numerically named convenience store really is dead.  Cash registers no longer allow it even if cashiers are willing to try.
  • The new CVS policy of allowing up to $5K of reload purchases per day, and checking drivers licenses for purchases of $1K or more has been confirmed by most, but not all readers.  It seems that CVS has not yet completely rolled out this change.
  • Walmart results were mixed.  A number of people confirmed that they were told recently by cashiers that they cannot do a Bluebird reload with a gift card.  Others have said that they’ve continued to use gift cards without issue.  One consistent result, though, is that gift cards still work fine if the cashier is willing to try it or if you go to an automated kiosk.  It seems that if a person is involved, your best bet is to use a gift card that doesn’t look like a gift card (see image)


What about PayPal reloads?

On Saturday, I tweeted a question:


And, the answers were as I expected (based on earlier information from readers): even though Vanilla Reload cards are not allowed, PayPal cards are allowed to be purchased by credit card at many stores.  Be careful, though.  Some have reported that PayPal freezes accounts when PayPal reload cards are overused. 

So, there you go.  Lot’s of great info, from you.  Thank you!

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