There are posts flying all over the blogs and forums about the memo that has been seen at various CVS stores. This memo says that, as of March 31, all prepaid cards will only be able to purchased with cash. Seeing words like that is enough to send disappointment through anyone who has relied on the Vanilla/Bluebird combo to meet minimum spending and manufacture points.
CVS has widely been the only national store for a while to allow the purchase of Vanilla reload cards (with which we load our Bluebird checking accounts and then pay bills, like the credit card used to buy the cards). Within the last year, they changed to begin allowing purchases up to $5,000 per day of those cards (and that could all be done in one transaction)! That was a very credit card friendly rule! However, with that rule came the requirement to swipe ID with transactions over $1,000. My guess is that this was to help them cover themselves in case of fraud but may have also been useful to them to begin taking closer analysis of prepaid transactions. I am sure they saw a surge of $5,000 transactions, and obviously that was for prepaid cards. After months of allowing that, they must have been able to pinpoint some numbers that did not make them feel comfortable from a cost-benefit position.
So, it appears that tomorrow will be the day of cash-only for Vanilla at CVS. Will this affect you much? Get out today to get what you need, but don’t be surprised if the shelves are already cleaned out! My big questions is – what is the transaction sheet going to look like at CVS for the month of April? How many millions of dollars less will it show then from March? 🙂
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