The many flavors of Vanilla


I write a lot about Vanilla.  In the post “Almost too good to be true” I wrote about the Vanilla Prepaid Visa card.  The trick was to use a Chase Ink credit card to buy this Vanilla card at Office Depot in order to earn 5 points per dollar.  Then, in the post “One card to rule them all” I wrote about the Vanilla Prepaid Reload card.  There, the trick was to similar: buy the cards at Office Depot using your Ink card in order to earn 5 points per dollar.  In many other posts, I’ve written about these or other Vanilla cards.  As a result, I’ve left some readers understandably confused.

To help clear some of the confusion (I hope), here is a guide to the many flavors of Vanilla:


Vanilla Prepaid Visa: Use this card just like a credit card wherever you shop. It has a hard limit of $500 that can be loaded onto it one time only. You can register your zip code with the card so that the card will work in places that require zip code verification, but it won’t work with web sites that require your full address for verification.

Vanilla Gift Card: This card functions very similarly to the Vanilla Prepaid Visa card.
a close up of a card

Vanilla Prepaid Reload: You can buy these in-store, but then the money from the card must be loaded onto a reloadable prepaid card such as the American Express Prepaid card, NetSpend card, or Mio card. Your prepaid card can then be used anywhere just like a credit card. Since your full address is registered with the reloadable card, it is generally accepted everywhere. Additionally, most reloadable prepaid cards allow ATM withdrawals which is a great way to turn your balance into cash (when done in moderation).  See “Vanilla Reloadables” for more information.
image MyVanilla Reloadable card: This is a permanent reloadable card.  One way to load money to this card is by buying and applying Vanilla Reload cards (above).  For more information, see “MyVanilla finally appears.”


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[…] Vanilla flavors: For more information about Vanilla Visa cards, please see “The many flavors of Vanilla”. […]

[…] Note: If you don’t understand the difference between Vanilla Reload cards and Vanilla Visa cards, please see the post “The many flavors of Vanilla.” […]


Will it be possible to have an update of this post?
I keep getting confused between one vanilla and the other cards.
What is the difference between OneVanilla and Vanilla Gift Cards? Is it that with One Vanilla we can do a cash advance? The One Vanilla’s are not reloadable, correct?


That’s a good idea. There’s no practical difference between OneVanilla and other Vanilla gift cards except that it doesn’t say on the card that it is a gift card so it can work as a debit card at places like Walmart even if the cashier says “no gift cards”. Correct, it is not reloadable.


I have a question regarding the 1st one (vanilla prepaid visa). Can I set a pin for that and use it to load BB?


somy: Yes. You don’t even have to set a pin. Just wait an hour or more after purchasing the card and then use any 4 digits you want at Walmart to load BB. I usually use the last four digits on the card in case I every need to know the PIN again.

Sang Babat

I am no longer positive where you’re getting your info, but good topic. I must spend a while learning much more or figuring out more. Thanks for excellent info I was on the lookout for this information for my mission.

[…] Find the Vanilla Reload cards that look exactly like the one above.  Don’t buy anything that says Vanilla but doesn’t look the same (Frequent Miler has a great round up of all the Vanilla cards). […]

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Same here dealseeker, I needed to add an address to an online payment but it went through without a call so this may be opening up in a good way!


Finally got hold of the reloadable Vanilla cards.
Frequentmiler – You can use the Vanilla Gift Card if they ask for an address. They just place the order on hold until they receive a confirmation from you. I usually get an email requesting me to call in. This has happened to me many times.

Tyler Miler

Hey dad

Grant Thomas

@Preacher, are there any other local ODs you can go to? Can you call and ask if they have them in stock (granted that the employees know what the cards look like).


Well, my OD has now been out of stock for over a week after I bought out all the remaining ones. Concerned. Now I’m buying the $500 Prepaids.


I was at my local OD yesterday and they mentioned the fraud issue…I asked them how could this be different than any other card they sell but the manager stated she had no idea – she was told that at a meeting with people from corporate. It puzzles me how this can be pulled off easier than with other gift cards (which you can sell at a discount on line-I bought one from cardpool, checked the balance over the phone and it was correct,went to the store after a week and the card had a $0 value as it was sut down. Called the issuer and was told the buyer/credit card user had called in the purchase as a fraud- cardpool quickly refunded me)when this is easily trackable via your Amex…SSN and a real address is required…but who knows…I’m not a crook…

Grant Thomas

That seems like a lot of work to set up a card with amex, give them ur ssn and then wait to reload it. It seems like a continuous processes of refilling the cards and taking the money out of ATMs. There has got to be easier ways to commit fraud that dont involve my beloved amex reloadable card.