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  1. #1
    Centurion Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    NY
    Posts
    795

    Default Amex Prepaid. Same as gift cards, only easier...

    For anyone currently using the $500 gift card method like I am, this may be an easier alternative. It's the same cash back, but it's only one card so it's easier to keep track of.

    Here is the card. All you have to do is buy $500 reload packs and load it onto the prepaid Amex. You can buy $500 MoneyPaks or $500 Vanilla Reload packs.

    They sell the reload packs at many retailers that get 5% cash back. Ones that caught my eye were:

    Office Depot (Chase Ink)
    Gas Stations (Any gas card)
    Drug Stores (Dividend, Freedom, etc)
    Radio Shack (Cash+)

    Im not sure if inside sales at gas stations get the 5% back. Any confirmation on this would help out, but the other ones I'm pretty positive would work, just like $500 gift cards currently do.

    Just thought I'd put this idea out there. Seems like this would be easier than managing 2-6 new gift cards every month.
    Credit Cards
    Amex BCE 25K ---- PenFed Platinum Rewards 15.5K --- US Bank Cash+ 12K --- Discover IT 6K --- Citi Dividend 5K --- Chase Freedom 12.5K --- Amex SPG 6K --- Citi Thank You Preferred 15K

    Not Used
    Citi Simplicity - 5K, Sam's Club Discover - 10K

    Future Cards
    Sallie Mae World Mastercard

    FICOs
    Exp 772 - TU 781 - Equ 781
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  2. #2
    Centurion Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    NY
    Posts
    795

    Default

    Doing some reading online and some people are saying the Vanilla Reload packs work with Amex Blue Bird as well. This could be really cool. Anyone on here have Blue Bird yet?
    Credit Cards
    Amex BCE 25K ---- PenFed Platinum Rewards 15.5K --- US Bank Cash+ 12K --- Discover IT 6K --- Citi Dividend 5K --- Chase Freedom 12.5K --- Amex SPG 6K --- Citi Thank You Preferred 15K

    Not Used
    Citi Simplicity - 5K, Sam's Club Discover - 10K

    Future Cards
    Sallie Mae World Mastercard

    FICOs
    Exp 772 - TU 781 - Equ 781
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  3. #3
    Gold Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    MI
    Posts
    37

    Default

    I have purchased two Vanilla Reload cards at CVS with my freedom card so far. I have them loaded on a Bluebird card which has already been used at several retail locations and used to send a bill pay payment for my car insurance. So far so good. It took about a week to get the card from bluebird.

    I also have a regular American Express prepaid which I would rather use since it can be tracked via Mint but it does not offer the bill pay feature from what I can see.
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  4. Platinum Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    NYC
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    56

    Default

    I have this card but I really don't understand the benefits you are referring to. My card is linked to my bank account. I wasn't aware of any cash back or other benefits from loading this card. Is it based on the type of reload packs you purchase?
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  5. #5
    Centurion Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Down South
    Posts
    1,582

    Default

    The Discover card works inside gas stations. The Penfed cards do not. I'm not sure if it will work with Citi.
    Gas: Discover It, Penfed Platinum Rewards x2, Chase freedom, Citi TYP
    Plane tickets: CSP
    Groceries: AMEX BCP, Penfed Platinum Rewards,Citi TYP
    Clothes: Express, Amex BCP, Discover IT
    Amazon: Citi Forward, Cash +
    Restaurants: Citi Forward, Chase Freedom, Discover IT, CSP
    Hotels and other travel: Discover Escape, CSP
    Movies: BofA travel rewards visa signature(fandango), Discover IT, Citi Forward, Freedom
    Bars, clubs, tomfoolery: CSP, Citi Forward, Discover IT, Freedom
    Balance transfers: Kroger 123 rewards
    Bill Pay: Chase Ink Plus, Citi Forward
    Everyday spending: Bofa Accelerated cash rewards amex, Discover Escape
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  6. #6
    Green Member
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    Jan 2013
    Location
    US
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    6

    Default

    So, the benefit would be that you get the 5% off when you are buying a $500 reload with Vanilla Reload Network(+$3.95) fee or MoneyPak(+$4.95 fee)? When you are using a credit card that gives you the 5% cash-back at the store you are purchasing this?

    Has anyone tried this yet? does it work?
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  7. #7
    Green Member
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    Jan 2013
    Location
    US
    Posts
    6

    Default

    do they even accept credit cards as a method of payment for these reloads? or just cash, debit, or checks?
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  8. Platinum Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Los Angeles, CA
    Posts
    71

    Default

    I've had a heck of a time trying to find stores that accept credit cards as payment for the Vanilla Reloads. It appears to me that they are supposed to only accept cash or debit, but if the cashier doesn't know then he/she will ring you up with a card.

    The Walgreens systems flash on the screen "credit card only" so the clerks can't swipe it. I went to about 4 CVSs in my area before I found a clerk that didn't tell me outright that they didn't accept cards for them. Most of them were educated about the VRs and told me cash or debit before they rung me up. I had read somewhere to try the self check outs at CVS, but when I did that, it basically just flashed and said I needed an override to buy prepaid cards at self check out.

    This was kind of a huge pain and I don't plan on trying to do this again in the future.

    I do have the Bluebird Card, which I think is great, though.
    AMEX: Blue Cash Preferred (6% on groceries, 3% gas & dept stores)
    Capital One: Venture (2 points per $1, equivalent to 2%)
    Chase: Freedom (rotating 5% categories), Disney Rewards (1 point per $1, Disney benefits)
    US Bank: Cash+ (5% bookstores / 5% Electronic Stores)
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  9. #9
    Centurion Member
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    Jun 2011
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    Down South
    Posts
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    Default

    This sounds like a pretty big pain. It seems like department stores and grocery stores are the best places to get the gift cards.
    Gas: Discover It, Penfed Platinum Rewards x2, Chase freedom, Citi TYP
    Plane tickets: CSP
    Groceries: AMEX BCP, Penfed Platinum Rewards,Citi TYP
    Clothes: Express, Amex BCP, Discover IT
    Amazon: Citi Forward, Cash +
    Restaurants: Citi Forward, Chase Freedom, Discover IT, CSP
    Hotels and other travel: Discover Escape, CSP
    Movies: BofA travel rewards visa signature(fandango), Discover IT, Citi Forward, Freedom
    Bars, clubs, tomfoolery: CSP, Citi Forward, Discover IT, Freedom
    Balance transfers: Kroger 123 rewards
    Bill Pay: Chase Ink Plus, Citi Forward
    Everyday spending: Bofa Accelerated cash rewards amex, Discover Escape
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  10. #10
    Gold Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    MI
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    Default

    Both purchases of mine had the teller confused on what it even was since no one else has purchased them before from what I understood. The second time I made a purchase I was asked what it was for and I told her to load a prepaid so I can use it for bill pay and she thought that sounded like a good idea. I do have the benefit of living in a very small area just big enough to have a CVS built about 1.5 years ago so they haven't been bombarded with buyers wielding Freedom or AE Hilton Honors card buying them all out.
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