If you have purchased Vanilla reloads to earn miles and points, chances are you have heard that, as of tomorrow, all CVS stores will no longer allow Vanilla reload cards to be purchased using a credit card.  Many CVS stores already implemented this policy earlier this week but as of tomorrow there will be no CVS stores that allow Vanilla reloads to be purchased using a credit card.

So some of you may be wondering what to do now that you can no longer buy Vanilla reloads at CVS.  Following are some of our suggestions:

Buy Visa or Mastercard Gift Cards and Load Them to Bluebird at Walmart

Our first suggestion for those that purchased Vanilla reloads is to buy Visa and Mastercard gift cards.  These gift cards can be assigned a PIN number making them work like a debit card. You can then use the gift cards at Walmart as a debit card to load them into your American Express Bluebird account.  If you purchased Vanilla reloads, then you already have a Bluebird account so you might as well use it.  We’ve personally done this many times and it is not too difficult but it involves the extra step of going into Walmart.  See How to Manufacture Spend by Loading Bluebird With Gift Cards at Walmart for a step by step guide.

What If You Don’t Live Near a Walmart? Find Other Ways To Manufacture Spend

If you don’t live near a Walmart then you might have to find other ways to manufacture spend.  While there are several methods, many of them require more steps than Vanilla reloads or have higher fees.

There are a lot more ways to manufacture spend including buying and selling products. In future posts we’ll get into more detail on various methods for manufactured spending.

Other Easy Ways to Meet Minimum Spending Requirements

If you were using Vanilla reloads to meet your minimum spend requirements on new credit cards here are some suggestions:

•Prepay your bills (such as cable bills, internet or telephone bills). This is an easy, quick and free way to spend money quickly.  Just go online into your account and make a big payment on your cable or phone bill and you will have a credit in your account that will be applied towards your bill in the next few months.

•Buy gift cards.  Amazon gift cards are great because they are free and applied to your Amazon account and there is no expiration date. Another suggestion is buying gift cards for places (such as restaurants, clothing stores, hardware stores, etc.) you normally shop at. You can also buy Visa, Mastercard or American Express gift cards and use them anywhere but there is usually a small fee for those. We don’t particularly like buying gift cards unless we plan to use them in the next month or so or load them into Bluebird because it is easy to forget or lose them.

•Assuming you trust them to repay you, buy stuff for your friends and relatives or make them an authorized user on your credit card and pay have them pay you back.

•If you have really large spending requirements, you can pay your taxes using a credit card.  These services charge a 2-3% fee so it would only be worth it to earn a large sign up bonus rather than as an ongoing method for generating miles.

There are definitely a lot more ways to meet minimum spending requirements but these are the easiest.  Stay tuned for our future post on more ways to meet your minimum spending requirements.

Apply for Credit Cards With Low or No Minimum Spending Requirements

In the future, if you are having a hard time meeting minimum spending requirements or just don’t want to bother with them, another option is to apply for credit cards with low or no minimum spending requirements.  We plan to publish a post on credit cards with low or no minimum spending requirements next week but in the meanwhile these cards include the Chase Freedom card (which is currently earning 5X on restaurants), the US Airways Premier World MasterCard (which is going away in the next year or so) or two new cards introduced by American Express.

We are definitely bummed that we are no longer able to buy Vanilla reloads using our credit cards.  It was definitely our favorite method to meet our spending requirements and manufacture spend because it was very simple. But now we will move onto other methods.

Readers any other suggestions? Let us know in the comments below.


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