Load Vanilla Reload Cards

Update 6/3/14 at 8:00PM PST: Vanilla Reload Cards can no longer be purchased with credit cards at most stores, including CVS.  Please read this post for more information.

VR to BB

Load Bluebird with Vanilla Reload Cards

Go to your local CVS store and purchase 1 or 2 Vanilla Reload Cards with your credit card.  Most CVS stores have a $1,000 daily limit on these cards, so just purchase 2 each visit.  You might have to ask the cashier if they have these cards behind the counter if you do not see them in the gift card rack.

This is the front of the Vanilla Reload Card (VRC).  New designs may vary slightly.

VRC Front V 813

This is the back of the VRC.

VRC Back V 813

This is my CVS receipt after purchasing 2 VRCs.  $500 load value plus a $3.95 activation fee. 2 VRCs plus 2 activation fees = 2 x $500 + 2 x $3.95 = $1,007.90 total.

VR Receipt

Currently, my Bluebird account has a $0.00 balance.

BB Zero Balance 2

Go to www.vanillareload.com (probably smart to bookmark this site too).

VR Home Page

Turn over the VRC and scratch off the silver coating to reveal the PIN, enter the 10 digit PIN online, then click the Load Prepaid Card button.

VR PIN Box

Enter your 15 digit Bluebird account number in the box.  Your account number is the 15 digit number on the front of your Bluebird card.  Check the “I agree to the Vanilla Reload Terms and Conditions” box and click the Apply Reload button.  If nothing happens, you may have to scroll to the bottom of the Terms and Conditions.

Enter BB into Box

Recently, Vanilla Reload added a captcha text box below the terms and conditions box.

VRC Text Box

Verify that the VRC has the correct balance before you click the Yes, I Am Sure button.

VRC Are You Sure Reload

Success!  Your VRC has been successfully transferred to your Bluebird card.  If you have another VRC, please go back to the home page and repeat the above steps.  Vanilla Reload recently added your VRC PIN to the confirmation screen so you can see which card you just loaded.

VRC Confirmation Screen

Bluebird will send you an email after your VRC has been successfully reloaded onto your Bluebird card.

VRC BB Reload Email

I logged into my Bluebird account and see the $500 reload right away.  The transfer is instant from VRC to your Bluebird account.

BB 500 BalanceBluebird has a $1,000 daily reload limit and $5,000 monthly reload limit for loading Vanilla Reload Cards.  The monthly limit resets every first of the month.

VR Spiral

Now for some math.  Each VRC costs $3.95 and you earn 504 miles or points.  That equates to $3.95 / 504 = 0.78 cents per mile or point.

Are you getting an error message?

If you try to enter an invalid PIN, you will get the following message:

Invalid PIN

If you try to enter the same PIN twice, you will get the following message:

PIN Already Redeemed 2

If you have any questions, please leave a comment below.

This entry was posted in Uncategorized.

About Grant

Grant is an expert in frequent flyer miles, hotel loyalty points, credit card rewards, and cash back deals. He also has a pretty cool travel blog. Find him on Twitter @travelwithgrant.

253 thoughts on “Load Vanilla Reload Cards

  1. Pamela

    I saw my local CVS currently has 8 Vanilla Reload cards (last few weeks I have been visiting it and they didn’t have stock, just now they happen to have it in stock), could I buy all of them (pay the $3.95 fee for each card) and save it at home and reload it with my credit card later on next month? because I currently want the companion pass and have to make sure I meet the spending limit after my statement closing date in order for the points to be posted in 2014.

    Reply
  2. Pamela L.

    I saw my local CVS currently has 8 Vanilla Reload cards (they didn’t have it in stock these past few weeks)…… could I buy all of them (pay the $3.95 fee for each card) and save it at home and reload it with my credit card later on next month? because I currently want the companion pass and have to make sure I meet the spending limit after my statement closing date in order for the points to be posted in 2014.

    Reply
        1. xoomoon

          Grant, have you ever use one of your cards at staples and get plink cashback?
          Would this be better than cvs/drugstores? At staples, you pay 3.95 for a $200 visa x2= $408 giftcard -$3 cashback from plink would end up about $4 in fees.
          What are your thoughts?

          Thanks

          Reply
  3. mike.

    Hey Grant, et al – I’ve had a problem setting up Chase as a payee on my bluebird account. I can get it all in, but when hitting the “save and pay” button, I receive an error that I can’t add or modify that payee. Any thoughts?

    Had some trouble with adding a valid phone number… is this not how you pay your chase bill with bluebird bill pay?

    Reply
    1. Grant

      Send me a screenshot and I will take a look. You might need to call Bluebird and see if there is something wrong with your Bluebird account.

      Reply
      1. mike.

        Got it fixed. Easier to search for “Chase” in existing payees than to enter in unique info as a new payee. Thanks, though!

        Reply
  4. Pamela L.

    Thanks, in other word, I cannot stock up? what about if I need to meet the minimum spending on that month and when I go to CVS all sold out and they don’t have it in stock anymore?

    Reply
  5. Pamela L.

    What kind of gift card that can be loaded into BlueBird? any gift cards will do or it has to be a specific one?

    Reply
  6. Linda

    Thanks Grant. By the way, if I buy 2 VR cards with my Chase SW card at CVS and load it with $500 each on the same transaction on same time, same day….will it raise a flag or suspicion by Chase? I am trying to meet the minimum spending in January in order to get CP status.

    Reply
  7. tonia

    Grant i followed ur instruction and cant log on to this site. My internet works fine but it keeps giving me a gateway timeout.

    Reply
    1. Grant

      The website is working fine now. I used it twice this afternoon and everything worked fine for me. Try to load your Bluebird Card one more time.

      Reply
  8. tiffney smith

    Yes i got one of these cards and was told by some one they could pit 0 behind what i put on the card i put 100 and he said he could male it out to be a thpusand but then he ask for the number of the card that had to be scratch but wasnt fall for that

    Reply
      1. PoloDolo

        She is basically saying that someone was looking to SCAM her by getting her pin number in order for that person to take the funds off her card and transfer it to them

        Reply
  9. lcharm

    its weird…. the back of my vanilla reload says nothing but the scan bar. no pin code or nothing to scratch off. when I tried to do it a the register…my bluebird card said card declined. weird. what’s up with that?

    Reply
      1. Raga

        Today, when I was in Family Dollars, I saw the same thing. In the back of the card, there was no pin but a scan barcode. the cashier told me that for almost 2 month system has been changed and now they directly deposit to bluebird first, then we pay afterwards. I did not have my card with me so I could try. any ideas about this? btw, the front part is exactly same as long as I remember the cards.

        Reply
  10. Raymond

    Thank you so much Grant for your help!! You have the best explanation how this works. But I was wondering is it safe to reload two cards per day or one card per day?

    Reply
      1. Raymond

        Thank you!! I also saw your other post regarding don’t buy too many VRs on single credit card but some credit card that needs to spend 15k or more, how would that be possible?

        Reply
        1. Grant

          What I mean is don’t buy $10,000 of VRCs in a single month. That looks bad. Spread it out over multiple cards from multiple banks over the year, and you will be good. If you need to spend $15,000 over the year, that is only 3 VRCs for 10 months. Not too hard to do.

          Reply
  11. Hendrix

    Hi Grant,

    I want to just say thank you for teaching all of us your awesome ways. I was a little unclear on a few aspects (or maybe I just didn’t read deeply enough).

    After I buy the VRC and load it into my BB acc, what would be the most efficient way to pay off the CC I bought the VRC with? I saw you can transfer your BB balance to a linked CHK account, or do a bill-pay to the CC as well. What would you suggest?

    And for the BB card, I signed up for a free (i think) online with my SSN and info and they said they were going to mail one out to me. Is this the alternative to going to a Wal-Mart and purchasing (how much is it to buy one at Wal-Mart)?

    And, is there a reason why you specifically target VR cards as opposed to just regular Visa/MC gift cards?

    Lastly (sorry for the long questions), I have a Chase Freedom that has the rotating 5% CB on gas stations, if I was to use that card to buy VRC’s for $500 each do you think I would get the 5% CB benefit as well?

    Best regards,
    Hendrix

    Reply
    1. Grant

      Good evening Hendrix, I usually do bill pay to a credit card or another bill. I have a tutorial here: http://travelwithgrant.com/bluebird/bluebird-pay-bills/
      If you get the temporary Bluebird Card at Walmart, you will have to do the still have to register online for a permanent card, so there is really no advantage to buying the temporary card in Walmart. Vanilla Reload Cards have the lowest fee ($3.95) and are the easiest to use. Other gift card have a $4.95, $5.95, or $6.95 fee plus you have to go to Walmart to load them to your Bluebird Card. If you can buy VRCs at a gas station, go for it. That is easy 5% cash back (5% of $503.95 = $25.20 – $3.95 = $21.25 profit).

      Reply
  12. Amir

    So just to make sure..
    I can load my bluebird card with Vanilla reloads as many times as I want?
    Or is there a limit on doing so? I plan on having to upwards of 5k every 5 days back and forth between reloads and my bluebird. Thanks!

    Reply
  13. Liza C. Dizon

    HI Grant…just started reading up on this. I just recently applied for Chase-British Airways card. I also do my shopping at CVS. I don’t have the AMex BlueBird card yet. Can I use my chase-brit card to purchase Vanilla Reload card to meet the spending limit requirement? Then transfer funds to Amex BlueBird to pay for my chase-brit card? Do you know how much points does Chase-Brit card earn? Also, Can u earn mileage by using chase-brit card to pay utility bills/others bills that accept credit card as a means of payment?

    Thanks,

    Liza

    Reply
    1. Grant

      Good morning Liza, yes you can use your Chase British Airways credit card at CVS to buy VRCs. I believe you earn 1.25 Avios per dollar spent. You can pay bills with a credit card too, that would cut out the VRC bill pay steps.

      Reply
  14. mot

    I love in Hawaii the longs by my house sells them. Go to the VR website and load them directly to Bluebird. Then write checks from the bluebird.

    Reply
  15. Grant

    Thanks for the tutorials helped a bunch, plus we have the same name so you’re even cooler in my book haha. Got my first 2 VR today, got them on my bluebird account easily and already paid a few bills. There must not be any churners in my area using these, the gift card rack was full of them and the lady who checked me out thought it was odd that she had to input my id information which I’ve read they have to do when you buy over 1k in VR? I plan on doing the 5k a month and racking up some points!

    Reply
    1. Grant

      Sounds good Grant, if you’re anything like me, you will do great. Try to switch up the credit card you use to buy the vanilla reload cards. Let me know if you have any questions. Have a great weekend.

      Reply
  16. Chris

    Hi Grant,

    Thank you for your guide. I just purchased my first VR today and loaded it to BB. Are there any cards I should avoid using to buy VRs with? Right now I have CSP, Freedom, BCP, Venture and Amex PRG. I know you mentioned someone should not buy more than 1k at a day. What about making purchases in excess of 1k a day using multiple cards and then just waiting to load them to BB. In my market the cards sell out quick so if I limit myself to 2 a day the next day there may be none left. Also, should I avoid paying a credit card with BB if I purchased a VR in the same cycle with that card? When someone has two or more cards with the same lender is it ok to purchase more VRs if I spread it out over the different cards for that lender or will they check and I should only hit each lender once a month? I’m looking to do 5k or less a month (mainly to pay rent via credit card), but do not want to do anything to put my accounts at risk.Sorry for all the questions!

    Chris

    Reply
    1. Grant

      I recommend buying 1 VRC per CC per day. Spread out multiple VRC purchases on several credit cards. I would be the most concerned about AMEX since they might do a Financial Review on your account, which freezes all your cards until the review is over.

      Reply
      1. Chris

        Grant,
        Thanks so much for all the help here. It is awesome. i signed up and received my BB card today. I am ready to go off to CVS to get my VRC. My friend who got me started on this quest, buys 10 $500 cards at a time. I see from your posts on here you are cautioning against this. Can you specifically tell me why? Is it a specific card/bank to avoid doing this with or is it just no bank wants to provide points for VRC’s? I have a Chase United card that I am trying to put points on for UAL miles. I used to travel a ton and with a new job I have dropped to 0 miles/year! so I need a new way of adding miles to my account. :-) Thanks for all the advice on there.

        Reply
        1. Grant

          I know people that have bought $5,000 of Vanilla Reload Cards at once, but you have to scale up to that point. I would start small and slowly ramp up over a couple of weeks. I don’t mind going to CVS a couple times a week, very close to work and the cashier is always friendly.

          Reply
  17. Adam

    Just opened and loaded a Bluebird account after buying multiple visa cards with the OfficeMax deal from last week.

    I want to begin to buy VR cards in order to pay my mortgage and car loan, as well as some manufactured spending.
    There is no CVS in my town, but there is a Walgreens and 7-11. Why does everyone always say to get them at CVS? Are they the only store that accepts credit cards as payment? Will those other stores work? Or am I stopping on my way home from the airport at the nearest CVS store 45 miles away a few times a month?

    Reply
    1. Grant

      CVS generally is the only merchant that lets you use a credit card to buy VRCs. If you can buy VRCs with a credit card at Walgreens or 7-11, go for it. They will be exactly the same.

      Reply
  18. Gary

    Hi Grant,
    why would Bluebird sometimes only take 4,500 and then stop and give you the Error 180 code. You have exceeded the limit? I notice others have hit this inaccurate wall as well.

    Gary

    Reply
  19. David

    Hi Grant,
    Thank you for the great information you provided on this site. It helped me to do my first VRC-BB transaction. Do you by any chance know if I can also use My Vanilla Debit Visa card to load the funds to Blue Bird? If so, would you please instruct how to proceed?
    Thanks,
    David

    Reply
    1. Grant

      You can use VRCs to load to Bluebird and My Vanilla. You can load gift cards with a PIN to Bluebird at Walmart. I wouldn’t use My Vanilla since Bluebird is better.

      Reply
  20. Scott

    I’m wondering if this tactic is working for people who are trying to meet the $25,000 spending requirement on Delta Airlines co-branded Amex cards in an effort to get around the Medallion Qualifying Dollar rules imposed by Delta this year. It used to be that miles and/or segments were the only thing that mattered to get Medallion Status but no longer.

    Reply
  21. Fabs

    Any thoughts about paying off your credit card entirely with Bluebird funds ? Basically charge the $500, then pay that charge directly from BB ? Have read about flags going up if you use BB entirely for that purpose.

    Reply
  22. RB

    Hi
    Trying to understand as i am first time user of VRC
    When i go to vanilla reload , trying to load to my blue bird , on screen i see only PIN and button not the Blue Bird Card number as shown in your article
    What is wrong ??

    Reply
    1. Grant

      There are two separate screens. The first screen you enter the 10 digit PIN from the back of the VRC. The second screen you enter your 15 digit Bluebird Card number.

      Reply
  23. Taylor M.

    Hi Grant, I’m new to MS and your site has been very helpful. I have a question regarding the upload cap on Bluebird. Is $5000 the maximum on every type of Bluebird reload or just on VR? For example if I purchase and upload $5000 in VR to my Bluebird in one month could I then purchase $5000 in GC’s and load my Bluebird at a WM money center kiosk, making it a total of $10,000 loaded to Bluebird in the same month?

    Reply
  24. Jordan

    I did this today to give it a try, and it was so easy! I did $20.00. My just verified my CC, and I was done in 2min. In the past when I needed cash I will withdraw from my CC, this kind of help avoid the fee as a cash advance. How do you withdraw cash from Blue bird? If you wanted to do that? Or Transfer to your Bank Account

    Reply
  25. Scott

    Any luck buying VRC’s at Valero (gas station) with a revolving credit card that has gas stations as one of its categories (like the Chase Freedom now I think?)?

    Reply
  26. Scott

    Also, I bought these at CVS twice so far this month – each time bought 2 cards for $1000 total. Both times they ran them thru as a single transaction. Today I went to buy 2 more (different CVS) and the lady said she would run them as 2 separate transactions so she wouldn’t need to enter Drivers license info and such (which happened the first 2 times) The first one ran thru fine, but the second one was denied. Is that my CC blocking it because it was 2 transactions? Are they on to me already? It couldn’t be a money limit since the other $1000 ones went thru.

    Reply
      1. Scott

        No call or email. I’ll have to check online for any messages. It wasn’t Chase – it was the Citi Dividend. Trying to get that $252 before the end of March.

        Reply
        1. Grant

          Hmm I haven’t had any problems using my Citi Dividend at CVS the last 2 months. I guess just try again tomorrow. See if anything strange happens.

          Reply
          1. Scott

            Ok – problem was they had a fraud alert on my card. Had to call and get it taken care of.

  27. KDY

    is it a good idea when you transfer the VR to Bluebird and after like 2-3 month then transfer the fund in BB back to your bank account? would that raise a flag?

    Reply
      1. KDY

        thanks for the advice grant, i just have a dumb question. when you setup bill payment back to a credit company i assume you just search the company and your credit card # in the account # in bluebird and the amount…which bluebird will send the money to that credit card account which I provided??

        Reply
        1. Grant

          Exactly. It is that simple. Just make sure you type the right account (credit card) number into Bluebird, otherwise you will be paying someone else’s bills.

          Reply
  28. Scott

    How is the MyVanilla Personal Reloadable Prepaid Card different than either a VRC or a OneVanilla card? I have 4 CVS’s in my area that I check semi-regularly and VRC’s are very scarce. 1 of them has these MyVanilla PRPC’s. Bought my first OneVanilla cards today so I hope the Walmart portion of that process goes smoothly. On a related note, my local 7-11 had a ton of VRC’s but I tried to buy with credit today (Chase Freedom) but was denied. It’s my understanding though that people have been successful with buying OneVanilla’s at 7-11 w/credit – I’ll be trying that soon.

    Reply
    1. Grant

      MyVanilla Personal Reloadable Prepaid Card are just gift cards that you can load to your Bluebird Card at Walmart, but you have to set a PIN first. It seems like each 7-11 has their own policy, some accept credit cards and some are cash only. I have given up trying to max out my Chase Freedom quarterly cash back bonus.

      Reply
  29. mike

    Hi Grant,
    Sorry I am new to this. Just a few questions:

    – Do you just setup payments to certain expenses (i.e monthly credit card bills) using the VRC?
    – How do you earn miles points? Is it through vanillareload.com? How do you use them?

    Thanks !

    Reply
    1. Grant

      Good evening Mike, the only step that you will earn miles/points on is the actual purchase of a VRC. You will not earn miles/points on any other step. Yes, I mainly pay credit card bills and other bills from Bluebird.

      Reply
  30. Peter

    I’ve already bought $5000 VR this month, I was wondering as an authorized user on my wife CC if I buy more VRs will I go over my BB limit for month? I ask because they swipe my ID at CVS.
    Thank!

    Reply
      1. Peter

        I didn’t know you could pre-buy & hold on to VRCs like that. Is it okay to buy more and load immediately to my wife’s BB(I manage her account & very lazy)? Thanks grant you rock!

        Reply
        1. Grant

          Yes, you can only load $1,000 per day per card, but you can pre-purchase as many as you want. You just float the money for a few weeks.

          Reply
  31. michelle

    I tried to add cash to my bluebird card today at the local walmart and the cashier was unable to for some reason. Is it possible for me to buy a vrc and just put $80 on it to transfer to my bluebird acct.? And do I have to purchase the local vrc with a credit card or can i use cash?

    Reply
    1. Grant

      I’ve been able to load cash to my Bluebird Card. I think you just found an inexperienced cashier. Try again and you should be fine. It doesn’t make sense to buy VRCs for less than $5, your fee on an $80 card is 5%, much too high for buying points.

      Reply
  32. Melissa Marketti

    Grant!!! HELP! CVS has just implemented a new policy across the board, according to two stores in SoCal that I have talked to. Thursday was officially the last day to purchase VRC’s via credit. CVS is only accepting cash for these cards now. My friend just got her Sapphire and was able to get two $500 cards, but now has $2,000 to go. Wouldn’t be a problem if VISA was accepted for most of her bills. But since that isn’t he case we are in a crunch…

    Have you heard this yet? Is there any other place to buy them that may take cash?

    Reply
  33. Daniel

    My local CVS has stopped accepting credit cards for the purchase of vanilla reloads. Is anyone else experiencing this? Where else can I buy them with a credit card?

    Reply
  34. Dave

    Is the $5k Bluebird limit per calendar month or a rolling 30 days? Also People seem to be look at you weird at both CVS and Walmart this is completely legal right

    Reply
  35. Will

    Hi Grant. Little fyi, I’ve been startled to see that my favorite gas station spots for buying vanilla reload cards here in central Virginia are AGAIN stocking the VRL cards — AND permitting me to buy them with cc. At some spots, they have a new version of the card, with more “green” on the cover — but it’s still the same product. But it; load it to bluebird. (no need to go to WMT)

    Reply
    1. Will

      typo, that’s “buy it, then load it” to bluebird. (and if I’m buying at gas station/convenience stores, via Chase Freedom, that 5x points too through end of September, up to 1.5K)

      Reply
    2. Grant

      Would you be able to send me a picture of the front and back of the card? I’m curious if they changed any text on the back of the card. I kind of feel bad for VRCs since they used to be so popular and now they are ignored.

      Reply
      1. will

        About the picture, you can see what the newer, “greener” vrc’s look like via this link: https://www.vanillareload.com/ One key difference between new card and the old seems to be the open printing of the 10 digit pin on the back of the card. (It’s not hidden behind rub off cover) The display says something about getting a “Pin package” with the card. Yet the manager of my supplier (local gas/foodmart) told me today that he’s able to load the VRL cards directly to my bluebird card (or other participating cards), at the register. (no need then even to take back to computer and load via web site) Haven’t actually tested this yet….. but so very intrigued. Any other reports of this out there yet? (of how to use the “new” VRL cards?)

        Reply
        1. Grant

          Sounds similar to the way you load Serve at Dollar Tree. You just bring your Serve/Bluebird Card to the store, grab one of the green VRCs and take it to the checkout counter. That is where the clerk swipes your Serve/Bluebird Card, tell them you want to load with a VRC and then you can use your credit card to pay. That is how I think it works.

          Reply
  36. Daniel

    Is anyone having problems reloading their bb or serve cards? I just tried at walmart and was denied. I even tried to change the payment type. I was using us bank cards. Let me know.

    Reply
    1. Grant

      Hmm that is strange. I would try again this week. Sometimes gift cards just don’t work the first time. Have you maxed out on your $5,000 monthly load limit?

      Reply
  37. lily

    Any other cards work the same? can I buy any card, register, and load it with vanilla reload? can I also use any vanilla visa gift card to reload my AMEX Serve card?

    Reply
    1. Grant

      Don’t buy an Vanilla issued Visa Gift Card. They are very difficult to load to Bluebird/Serve. Vanilla Reload Cards are almost impossible to buy with credit cards.

      Reply
  38. lily

    Thank you Grant. What about those paypal cards? I’m an international student and don’t have a SSN, I find getting a card to start with difficult and need to knwo which card accepts prepaid loads when I get $ sent to me

    Reply
  39. lily

    I don’t have a CC that’s why I was looking at other options. It’s so confusing but I guess I’m limited not having a SSN

    Reply
  40. Ken

    why would you use to charge card to buy another pre-paid card – and have to pay for the privilege of buying the card. I will stick with my Sam’s Club MasterCard and I get back 2% on all purchases. And it a place doesn’t take master card then I use my Capital 1 Visa card and it pays me back 1.5% on all purchases.

    Reply

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