Vanilla Visa Gift Card – Review

What is the Vanilla Visa Gift Card?

The Vanilla Visa Gift Card is a prepaid Visa card that comes in denominations of $25, $50 and $100. It acts the same way any debit card would and is accepted anywhere that Visa Debit is. It can be purchased at most convenience and department stores in the United States.

Are there any fees?

To activate your card you must pay for the value on the card plus an activation fee of anywhere from $4.95 to $6.95. The activation fee varies depending on the total balance you’re looking to put on the card. So if you’re only activating it with $25 then you would only have to pay $4.95 for a total of $29.95.

There are also service fees associated with the card. After the seventh month post activation you will be charged $2.50 each month until the balance of the card reaches zero. So if you do not use it or forget about it somewhere instead of discovering a gem with a $100 balance your Vanilla Visa may be left with nothing.

How do I check the balance of my Vanilla Visa?

This is a relatively simple process. You can visit their homepage or call customer service at 1-800-571-1376 to get the most accurate and up to date statement on the balance of your card.

Positives

The Vanilla Visa gift card is accepted anywhere that Visa Debit is. This is virtually everywhere in the United States so the card has a very high value simply because of this. One of the main substitute goods for this product is the American Express gift card. The downfall to American Express is that it is not as widely accepted as Visa.

Just recently I tried to pay for my pizza at a smaller size mom & pop style shop. I was very disappointed that I could can you use a visa gift card on steam not use my American Express card there. That’s why I recommend using this product as a gift for a child or teen who does not carry additional credit or debit cards.

The replacement policy with this company is great. You can call their customer service line at any time and as long as you have proper proof of purchase and the serial number you can have the card re-issued. They will charge you a $5.95 re-issuance fee, but this is much better then having the balance on the card lost forever.

Negatives

You cannot register the card which means, you absolutely cannot use the Vanilla Visa Gift Card to shop online. I don’t care about what you’ve read on the web or Yahoo answers, it’s simply not possible.

Here’s why: When you purchase something online the merchant provider will verify the name, billing address, and phone number associated with the credit card. Because you are unable to register with Vanilla Visa you will not be able to shop online anywhere.

The inability to register the card really hinders the things that you can do with it online. If you’re a fan of eBay or PayPal you may want to look into other options like the Greendot MoneyPak which will allow you to add funds to your account.

Final Review

The Vanilla Visa gift card does not come with the same flexibility as seen with its competitors offered by other banks as well as American Express and MasterCard. The best perks of the card would be the replacement feature and that it doesn’t require any sort of activation. The perks however don’t outweigh the negatives brought on by the inability to register the card.

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