Prepaid debit gift cards like the Vanilla Visa Gift card are more difficult to use than you might think.
I recently purchased one from Walmart and there are a number of steps you have to take.
In order to use it, you need two things.
1. Register the Zip code. vanillavisa.com
2. Call in and activate it.
I jumped through several hoops and removed that journey from this text. Hopefully you will ignore any Walmart stickers or instructions that come with the card.
Registering your card
If you received the card as a gift, or purchased the card at the store or online, you still need to register it
- Go to vanillavisa.com
- Enter your card info and check your balance
- There is a link on the side for Registering your card. After you enter your zip code, the link becomes “Edit your card”
- Now that it is registered to your zip code, you still need to activate it.
- Find the cardholder agreement link, or the number on the back of the card packaging and call the toll-free number to activate your card. You will be prompted by an automated message to enter the card number.
These steps are probably the same for Vanilla Master card.
At the Store
If you use the card in a store, you have to choose “credit” if you are swiping the card yourself in a scanner.
If you don’t have the card registered and activated, expect your purchases to be declined. If your card is declined, a $1 hold may be placed on your account until the store voids the charge (usually 7-10 days).
If the activation fee is not applied to your card, see the cardholder fee table on vanillavisa.com for the fee amount.
If you are making a purchase online, the cardholder name will be the name you registered at the store you purchased the card from. Or check the card for text where the name would be printed, like “A GIFT FOR YOU“.
The google search for: cardholder name for vanilla visa found a number (400) of
silly people calling the card a scam and a rip-off on a topix forum. Oh, to be a young teenager again. :)
Upon a second look at that topix forum, there seem to be numerous reports of issues with the card. Without digger deeper to see what’s going on, this is something to consider before spending a lot of money on these cards. I was able to use a $50 card with some difficulty, but my purchase did go through.
A link from vanillavisa.com for Tips for Using Your Gift Card -> to Shop Online , links to a useless Youtube video that speaks like an advertisement. No wonder all the kiddies down-voted it.
What do you do when it’s not as easy as Point, Click and Buy? #FAIL