Good and Bad News

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Let’s start with the good news. This past week my website traffic has boomed. That is very exciting for me! The only problem is that some of you may have had issues accessing my site. I have been working on updating a few things on the back-end to hopefully speed up the load times and prevent any more issues. Unfortunately I am using a shared hosting plan, which is all my budget says I can afford right now, so the load times are not great. I am, however, optimizing my site to make the speeds a bit better. So, please bear with me as I update my website and hopefully make the user experience better for everyone.

The bad news is twofold. First, last Saturday I had an issue buying a money order at Meijer with a PIN based gift card (debit card). I have never had an issue like this before and I have done multiple money orders there in the past.

I bought 10 – $200 Staples Visa gift cards to get 5X points on my Chase Ink Bold, 1% cash back via the Visa Savings Edge program, and to get 3000 Plink points.

(Quick side note: The Visa Savings Edge program is only Visa business cards. Plink is a great way to get some extra cash back at Staples. If you sign up through this link you get 300 Plink points worth $3 and they have a contest going on where you can win a Xbox One. I will be going over both of these programs in-depth later on.)

After I bought the gift cards, I went home and put PINs on them. After a delicious dinner made by my beautiful wife (I hope she is reading this), I headed off to Meijer. I did my normal money order routine, by asking for two $499.35 money orders and one $199.35 on 12 cards – $200 each. The cashier entered the information as normal and I swiped the first card. The cashier told me there was an error and asked me to do it again. I did and she said they only accept debit cards not credit cards. I explained to her that they were indeed debit cards and I was surprised it wasn’t working. We tried it one last time, to no avail. I have never had any issues with these Visa gift cards at Meijer, so I was a little worried.

I then went to a different Meijer and tried the same process with a smaller money order of $199.35 on one card. Still no luck. I then waited a day and tried again at a third Meijer. I had the same problems as before. Finally, I went to Walmart and had no issues buying a money order.

This has me worried for my future Meijer money order purchases. I plan on trying multiple kinds of gift cards to see if they might be only blocking one or two kinds, either this weekend or next. For now, stay away from Meijer if you have $200 Staples Visa gift cards. The money orders will not work.

The second piece of bad news is this Flyertalk thread. It appears that Speedway is pulling the OneVanilla gift cards off of the racks. I checked my local Speedway today and the OneVanilla spot on the gift card rack was vacant. This was my go to 5% cash back gas station. I am hoping they are just taking them off the rack temporarily to update the graphics on the card, however I have my doubts.

These two events are very disappointing, however in the world of manufactured spending things are going to break. Our tricks and schemes will always be discovered and most likely shut down after time. The one positive thing to take from this is that when one MS method fails, more start showing up. On to the next method!

Have you been able to find any OneVanilla cards at Speedway?

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