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The Oink card is a very new contender to the prepaid world. It works similar to Visa Buxx, since it’s a prepaid card designed for teens. However it’s a Discover card instead of Visa, which makes it a bit harder to use.
I signed up for the card about a week ago to test the waters and get a free $10 (after paying the annual fee). On my original post, there was a lot of speculation about this card. Would it work at an ATM? What are the limits? Ect. Well, I’ve found the answers to pretty much all of those questions. Take a look…
Update: Oink can be used on Evolve with no fee.
There’s only one way to load this card; Online. And because of that, to make this a useful manufactured spending tool, it needs to be loadable with a points earning card, which it is. Good news right? Yes and no.
This card can be loaded with a credit card online $250 at a time, however, there is supposed to be a $1 fee for every credit card load. That being said, in my experience, the $1 fee has not been charged.
What’s even weirder is that the loads I have done on this card haven’t even shown up on my credit card account. It’s odd. The charges have shown up as of today (2/16/15), but the $1 load fee has not been charged.
Note: I had the same experience with my PPBMC.
As for gift cards, I tried two different ones (an OV and a MetaBank) and neither of them could be used to load. I received errors from both cards when I tried to add them. If you have any other data points on this, please let us know in the comments.
I tried buying a $20 money order twice with this card and both times I was declined. The first time I used the regular ol’ method, but the “Debit or Credit?” option never came up. The second time I tried the cancel button before swiping trick to no avail. Sadly, money orders are not possible with this card.
After failing to purchase a money order, I went to the self checkout to buy myself a soda and try out the cash back feature. I first tried receiving $100 cash back to see if it would work. It didn’t. So, I then tried $10 to see if there was simply a limit on the amount of cash back you could receive and that didn’t work either. Cash back is out.
Finally, I tried a Chase ATM that happened to be near by. When I swiped my card, I was given a few withdrawal options. I could withdraw from “Checking,” “Savings,” or “Credit Card.” I started with “Checking”, it didn’t work. Then, “Savings”. It didn’t work either. Finally, I tried “Credit Card” and guess what!? It didn’t work… 🙁
I didn’t give up, though. I drove to a different Chase ATM and a LMCU ATM to try all three options again. Nothing worked. ATMs are out of the question also.
After testing multiple liquidation methods and purchases, I would say no. The card has a PIN, but I honestly don’t know what it’s used for. Every time I tried making a purchase or withdrawing money the “Debit or Credit?” option wouldn’t appear and I was never asked for my PIN except for at the ATM, which didn’t let me get money out. Because of all that, I would say no, this is not a debit card unfortunately.
Since all of the normal debit card liquidation methods are out (ATM, MO, cash back, cash advance, ect.), I see no way to liquidate this card other than normal credit card liquidation methods. At that point, what’s the use of this card? The best you can do with it is 2X or 2% (depending on your card), so you’re better off buying gift cards or using other techniques with your CC and avoiding Oink all together.
What we’ve figured out about this card is a bit disappointing, but not every manufactured spending opportunity is a winner. That being said, this card is still very new and there’s always a chance it could change in the future for the better. For example, in Oink’s FAQs, they mention the following (bolding is mine), “Oink Cards are not currently authorized for ATM withdrawals.” Not currently you say? Hopefully that changes!
Despite not being a good tool for manufactured spending, I still suggest signing up for the card. They are offering a $20 sign-up bonus until March 5, 2015, which is really only $10 in free money since they have a $10 annual fee that must be paid when you sign-up. But, $10 is $10, so why not make some free money?