What are we to do now that Vanilla Reload cards are cash only at CVS? Personally I’ve moved on to buying Visa gift cards where you can set a pin to use the card as a debit card. This is not a new way to manufacture spend. It’s actually been covered by other blogs quite extensively and I’m not sure why everyone is freaking out about Vanilla Reloads and cash only.

My local grocery store sells racks of gift cards to Starbucks, Home Depot, etc. They also sell Visa gift cards where you can load $20 – $500. Obviously I’m going to reload the maximum of $500 to make the most out of my manufactured spending. I do have to pay a $5.95 activation fee on the card, but this is still manageable considering the number of miles I receive in return. I picked up two gift cards tonight on my way into work for $500 each. Of course the lady asked for my ID.  I stopped in after 10:00 pm and there’s a winter storm going on outside. Suspicious looking?

Wal-Mart is less than 2 minutes away. So I drove on down there after buying my gift cards and  I was able to successfully load the money on to my BlueBird account after setting a pin! This is pretty much the same concept as the Vanilla Reload cards except that you have to stop at Wal-Mart to unload the money. What I like about this method is that we’re not relying on CVS only and there are plenty of stores that sell Visa gift cards where you can set a pin. You should find a store that sells Visa prepaid cards that will maximize your miles/points. For instance, if you have a credit card that gives you 3x the points at supermarkets, then you should be searching your supermarkets for Visa gift cards. The grocery store I’m buying my gift cards at also has a points system to get free things. Granted I don’t buy my groceries from this store, but if I did I would basically be recouping the $5.95 activation fee in rewards points from this particular store. (P.S. – If you’re wondering why I don’t shop at this store, it’s because I eat organic and shop at Whole Foods.)

Now that Vanilla Reloads are done at CVS, what ways are you manufacture spending on you favorite credit cards?