Last week I blogged about the shutdown of using Vanilla One cards to load your Bluebird cards at Walmart. This resulted in a TON of panicked emails. Some of them were something like this:
- I have thousands in AMEX gift cards what do I do?
- I have tons of Vanilla One gift cards what do I do?
- Will Walmart shut down all loading from VDGCs next?
First off, as recently as this Sunday, I have confirmation from a reader that a US Bank VDGCs from Kroger worked just fine loading in. I have no more room to load anything to my or Lisa’s Bluebird so I can test nothing for a while but readers are a great source for data.
So what if you are holding a bunch of AMEX gift cards? Look for MetaBank or other ones but if you are worried test small i.e. say with just one $500 card.
If you are “stuck” with a bunch of VO VDGCs what can you do? First off, these are not worthless; you just spend them. Just pay bills like a normal credit card etc. If you feel you MUST unload them readers are telling me you can buy US Bank VDGCs at Kroger with the VO gift cards but again not the best choice.
Then on to the last one, what if Walmart shuts this down. Do know officially they don’t allow gift cards but we know they work. They could do as many of the Vanilla reload sales places do and just impose the rules and send out a memo and then it would be mostly game over (other than the Money Center Machines one would think). So,making sure you never hold more AMEX gift cards or VDGCs than you can live with spending in other ways is key. I tend to be conservative this way as I never take on more than I can be stuck with.
Always expect things to get harder but as they do, we will do what we can to always find another way! – René
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