As many of you know, CVS stores recently decided to stop allowing customers to buy Vanilla Reloads with a credit card. At first, I was disappointed because I literally have eight CVS stores within 5 minutes of my house, and all of them were Vanilla Reload goldmines. On the other hand, life goes on. Most good things do come to an end, and the fact that some people were buying 5K per day probably wasn’t helping matters. The good thing is, I was only using Vanilla Reloads to meet the minimum spending requirement on a specific card. Now that that’s done, I couldn’t care less about Vanilla Reloads. Here’s why:
Other Manufactured Spending Methods
If you’re still looking for other ways to manufacture points and miles, you’re in luck. My friend The Point Chaser highlights them on her blog all the time. I won’t get into every method she uses, but you can manufacture spending by buying One Vanilla Gift cards or Visa Gift cards and using them to buy money orders. There are also Reloadit cards, MoneyPaks, and Paypal Reload cards. But don’t take my word for it. Check out her best blog post on the topic, “How to Meet $40,000 in Spending Requirements Next Month.”
I’m Still Earning Plenty of Rewards
Vanilla Reloads were an attractive option for me since I’m practically surrounded by CVS stores. Visa gift cards, on the other hand, not so much. Even if I didn’t mind going to the Walmart Money Center to buy money orders (I do mind), I don’t have the time to do it very often.
The good news is that I’m still earning plenty of rewards with my regular spending. Including groceries ($500), gas and miscellaneous ($200), and health insurance ($393), we’re able to put almost $1,100 per month on credit. That’s enough to meet almost any sign-up bonus requirement without doing anything drastic or crazy.
I’m Keeping It Simple
I have to be honest, it was a hassle to constantly buy Vanilla Reloads, transfer them into my Bluebird account, then pay my credit card balance. Now that Vanilla Reloads are dead, I am no longer spending time doing any of those things. Sure, my ability to earn credit card rewards has been compromised, but I don’t mind not having to move money around all the time. The truth: It was a pain.
My New Credit Card Rewards Strategy
My new credit card rewards strategy is much like my old one, just at a slower pace. We signed up for a Citi Aadvantage Executive card and a Marriott Rewards Visa card last month, so we’re taking things slow for the moment. So far this year, I’ve already booked an entire trip to Europe, flights for four to Las Vegas, and flights for two to New Orleans for FinCon, all with points. For the rest of this year, I plan to continue building up my reserve of points for 2015. I haven’t made any plans yet, but I want to be prepared when I do. My goal is to take Greg, my two children, and my parents on an overseas trip for Spring Break, all with points. We’ll see what happens.
Were you upset when CVS quit letting people buy Vanilla Reloads with credit? If so, what’s your new credit card rewards strategy?