December 5th, 2012 by Dan
In the past I’ve blogged about buying Vanilla Reload (VR) cards (right) .
Another flavor of Vanilla is the My Vanilla Personal Reloadable Prepaid Visa card (left). On DDF it’s simply known as MVD or My Vanilla Debit.
I bought 2 of these with $500 each at CVS today with my credit card. There were $7.90 in fees, but this week they are offering $5 in ExtraBucks to spend in the future at CVS if you buy 2 in one transaction, effectively dropping the cost for 2 cards down to $2.90. The ExtraBucks did not print automatically but I showed the teller the offer in the store circular ad on page 8 and they printed a $5 ExtraBucks voucher for me valid for 30 days.
After that I went online to register the card at myvanilladebitcard.com to activate both cards in my name. Soon they will now mail me a permanent version of the card.
Then I went down the block to Citibank, went to a teller, and took out a cash advance of $500 on each of the cards and was given the money in cash with no fees and no account required.
Other DDF members have reported cash advance success at other banks, like Chase, with no fees. Be sure to sign the back of your card before going to the bank as your name is not
otherwise listed on the temporary card. If your bank needs a name on the card you may need to wait for your permanent card to come in the mail.
So I got $1,000 closer to the $5,000 spend threshold on my Ink Plus to earn 50,000 points and earned 1,000 Chase UR points for under 0.3 cents each. To put that in perspective (completely ignoring getting closer to the signup bonus points) if you were able to earn 22,000 UR points at 0.29 cents you’d be able to stay at the Park Hyatt Paris, Sydney, or Maldives for $69/night instead of the normal $1,000/night rate. 120,000 points would give you a business class ticket to Israel (along with a free stopover in Europe and a free one-way ticket to Hawaii in business class as well good for an entire year if you play your cards right) for just $348.
Vanilla Reload is much easier than MVD, though VR cards can be harder to find. They can be bought with a credit card, and then you can go online to transfer the funds to a free Bluebird card, and then from the Bluebird card you can pay off your credit card bills, your rent or mortgage, or any other bill.
The limit on Bluebird is $1,000 on Vanilla reload funding per day and $5,000 of Vanilla reload funding per month. Always nice to have a spouse for things like this