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The death of Vanilla Reloads at CVS is approaching fast. However, there is still time to get vanilla reloads and/or reload your Serve card at CVS! According to this memo, the chain rollout will not be complete until 4/4/14. So, get them while you can!
For many people vanilla reloads at CVS were the way to go. They were cheap, easy, and fast. You could grab $5,000 in a quick trip to CVS and have your whole month of Bluebird/Serve/JH Preferred loading done! Unfortunately, nothing this good lasts in the points and miles world, so it’s time to move on.
Here are some other methods of manufactured spending that can hopefully fill the void.
Load Bluebird at Walmart
You can still load Bluebird without vanilla reloads! All you need is a gift card with a pin or a points earning debit card to load Bluebird at Walmart. This is not ideal, since it requires more steps than vanilla reloads, but this is one of the best alternatives. Some Walmart stores are picky and require your name to be on the debit card that you use to load Bluebird. I have not encountered this, but I have heard many reports of this happening on Flyertalk. If that does happen to you, try a different Walmart or a different cashier.
Bill Pay at Walmart
I have never used Walmart’s bill pay system. I tried to once, but the cashier required that I had a copy of my credit card bill, which I didn’t. Walmart has a CheckFreePay system that is very affordable. The idea is to use a gift card with a pin or a points earning debit card to pay your credit card bill at Walmart.
Pay Bills with Evolve Money
Evolve Money is a free online bill pay service. The manufactured spend part of Evolve Money is that you can use a gift card to pay your bills. They do not allow you to pay credit cards off, but they have 1,000s of other companies you can pay. I am able to pay my utilities, internet, and mortgage through Evolve Money, so I am sure you can find at least one or two of your utility companies on there.
Many supermarkets, gas stations, and pharmacies sell money orders. The fee varies from place to place, but the general consensus is that Walmart is the cheapest at $0.70 per $1,000 money order. You can use gift cards with a pin or point earning debit cards to purchase them at most stores.
By now I’m sure you have heard of Amazon Payments. It is by far the easiest way to MS, but it’s limited to $1,000 in and $1,000 out a month.
Load Bluebird and Serve Online
You can still load Bluebird and Serve online using a debit (and credit card on Serve). Bluebird is limited to $1,000 a month via a debit card. Serve is limited to $1,000 a month via a debit card and $1,000 a month via a credit card. If you have ISIS, you can load an extra $500 via debit and $500 via credit a month. This is not much compared to the $5,000 worth of VRs that you could load monthly, but at least it is something.
Visa Buxx allows you to load up to $5,000 a month via a credit card. You only get 1X points with this method, but the fee is less than a vanilla reload. I would suggest getting a Visa Buxx, at least as a backup plan.
Paypal: You can load Paypal with $20-$500 cash cards. They have $500/daily and $4,000/monthly limits, however this method has a high shut down rate.
Account Now: You can load AccountNow with MoneyPaks and ReloadIts if you can find somewhere to purchase them with a credit card.
There are many other manufactured spending methods available, some that I don’t even know of. The best suggestion I can give is to read Flyertalk…a lot. People are constantly sharing new methods and updated ways to MS.
What is your favorite way to manufacture?