What’s Going On With Vanilla Reloads?

It’s been an interesting few days in the world of Vanilla Reloads.  First there were some reports that a CVS in Florida had gotten a memo that credit cards wouldn’t be accepted for Vanilla Reloads starting on March 31st, 2014.

Then, I found the same memo in Richmond, Virginia.

Gary had a more detailed report today on his blog with some notes from some potential CVS employees indicating the changes might be April 4th.  That seems consistent with CVS rolling this out across multiple regions over the course of a week, maybe due to system updates.

I think CVS is on the ball enough from a technology perspective that if this is real it will be a software change to the POS.  If they can automate a requirement for scanning a driver’s license on certain transactions I have confidence they can program to preclude Vanilla Reloads from using credit card as a tender method.

We’re in a bit of a waiting mode now.  If you have any experience over the past few days trying to buy Vanilla Reloads please let me know and I’ll add it to the update list below.  Here’s an update of what people are seeing:

David was in Dallas, TX today and confirmed that a CVS there told him he could no longer use a credit card to pay for Vanilla Reloads at that store.

ncsam is reporting that in central CT CVS has coded the registers to not allow credit cards as a tender type for the purchase of VRs.  He has a bit more info in the comments below.

Updates as of this past Monday:

One reader said they know a CVS manager in Atlanta that hasn’t seen the memo yet.

Reader Nicole is reporting no cards available at all in Fairfield Cty, CT.

Gary of View From The Wing reported his local CVS, presumably somewhere in the DC area, had not received the memo.

A CVS is Florida has seen the memo.

My sister in New Jersey (Toms River area) managed to find a few cards at a store today that let her buy them with credit cards and did not mention the memo. She’s reporting most CVS stores there keep them behind the counter due to some theft issues from local patrons.

JP2 reports availability in Southern metro Atlanta. The CVS said they had not heard of the memo.

Joey says he had no problem buying in NYC and they had not heard of the memo.

Jon reports seeing cards in Groton and Bridgeport, CT.

ncsam is reporting business as usual in central CT and South Florida.

As an aside, on my way back from Richmond I stopped in a Sheetz gas station with the family.  Even Sheetz is in on the VR game, though they’ve already limited it to cash only.

Vanilla Reloads


  1. Central CT is now hard coded to cash only for VRs. The PayPal cards were out of stock so I couldn’t try them, but I was able to purchase VGCs no problem. This does add an extra step to the process though. Now my only question is how long the Walmart Money Center can hold on.

  2. Downtown DC (two different stores, haven’t tried two others yet) were only accepting cash as of yesterday (2 April).

  3. I was able to purchase the visa debit card at CVS store in FL using credicard. THis is my first time buying Vanilla cards.

  4. I was able to purchase a few VRs yesterday (4/2) in the Bay Area, but the register was re-coded by today (4/3) at the same store.

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