Sunday Reader Question: Buying Vanilla Reloads at Walgreens- Worth It?

Nov 18, 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.

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.

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