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Update: You can no longer purchase Vanilla Reload cards using a credit card and Vanilla Reloads are no longer available in Office Depot.

TPG reader Ingrid asks:

” I found Vanilla Reloads at Walgreen’s and they let me use a credit card. I used my United card. Is that worth it? It’s my main card and I love United miles.”

First, I also love United miles and have been able to rack up hundreds of thousands of them this year without stepping on a United plane, thanks to Chase Ultimate Rewards, of which United is an instant 1:1 transfer partner. I value United miles at about 2 cents a piece and I would gladly buy them at 1.4 cents or less (like I do with US Airways miles).

Walgreens- Worth It?
I also was able to purchase Vanilla Reload cards at Walgreen’s this weekend, which I promptly loaded into my Bluebird account and then used them to pay my mortgage and other bills.
 These are the same exact Vanilla Reload cards that Office Depot recently stopped carrying. Each reload card costs $3.95 and with it, you get $500 in spend.

Be careful not to accidentally buy Vanilla Visas, which CANNOT be loaded into Bluebird

There are other ways to maximize your spend at Walgreens/CVS and other pharmacies by leveraging Hilton credit cards as well, which I covered in this post. Note: not all Walgreen’s/CVS will let you know purchase these reload cards with a points earning credit card, but I can 100% confirm I was able to do it this past weekend with no questions asked at a suburban Philadelphia Walgreen’s, so if you want to get in on this do your own research and see what works for you.

Chase Sapphire Preferred Card

With great transfer partners like United and Hyatt, 2x points on travel & dining and a 50,000 point sign up bonus, the Chase Sapphire Preferred is a great card for those looking to get into the points and miles game.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $625 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • Named Best Credit Card for Flexible Travel Redemption - Kiplinger's Personal Finance, July 2016
  • 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
  • Earn 5,000 bonus points after you add the first authorized user and make a purchase in the first 3 months from account opening
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 50,000 points are worth $625 toward travel
  • No blackout dates or travel restrictions - as long as there's a seat on the flight, you can book it through Chase Ultimate Rewards
Intro APR on Purchases
N/A
Regular APR
16.49% - 23.49% Variable
Annual Fee
Introductory Annual Fee of $0 the first year, then $95
Balance Transfer Fee
5.00%
Recommended Credit
Excellent Credit

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.