Earning 5x Points on Everyday Spend With Visa and Amex Prepaid Cards

Nov 8, 2012

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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.

There’s currently a shortage of Vanilla reloadable cards on the market- many TPG readers are reporting their Office Depots are either sold out or no longer offering the card.  This is causing a lot of frustration for those looking to leverage Bluebird to earn miles and points by paying everyday bills with extremely low fees and I’ve gotten a lot of emails asking whether there’s an angle without Vanilla reloadable cards.

And the answer is YES, there are still ways to maximize your point earning at Office Depot by buying non-reloadable cards for nominal fees. You still get the 5x points for shopping at Office Depot, but you lose the flexibility to reload in larger quantities or to use Bluebird to pay any bill or make free ATM transactions. However, at the end of the day you can still convert more of your regular spend to earning 5x points, which is great.

Amex Prepaid cards are often next to the Vanilla Reload cards

One option is to buy a OneVanilla Prepaid Visa cards at $500 intervals with a $5.95 fee. Since they aren’t registered to your address you may have an issue shopping online where you need to verify your address, but for simple purchases at retail stores and restaurants you should have no issues.

The angle here is that  you earn 5x points when purchasing these pre-paid cards so even though you don’t earn base points when using them, it doesn’t matter because you’ve already banked the 5x points for purchasing them on the front-end. This is not a new concept- my friend and fellow blogger Frequent Miler pioneered the Prepaid/Vanilla movement and has been blogging about this technique all year- especially with his “award winning” post “One Card to Rule Them All” on May 1.

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

WELCOME OFFER: 80,000 Points


CARD HIGHLIGHTS: 3X points on dining and 2x points on travel, points transferrable to over a dozen travel partners

*Bonus value is an estimated value calculated by TPG and not the card issuer. View our latest valuations here.

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More Things to Know
  • Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,000 when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
  • Enjoy benefits such as a $50 annual Ultimate Rewards Hotel Credit, 5x on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, 3x on dining and 2x on all other travel purchases, plus more.
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 80,000 points are worth $1,000 toward travel.
  • With Pay Yourself Back℠, your points are worth 25% more during the current offer when you redeem them for statement credits against existing purchases in select, rotating categories
  • Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more.
Regular APR
16.24% - 23.24% Variable
Annual Fee
Balance Transfer Fee
Either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
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Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the 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.

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