Not everyone can get used to using credit cards, which is why prepaid cards are a great alternative to make purchases online. With your prepaid cards you can shop online, book hotels, or even buy a plane ticket.
Vanilla Prepaid Cards are an easy substitute to traditional credit cards and can keep a check on your overspending. But how can you decide whether this card is the correct fit for you or not? Here at Yore Oyster, we have created a comprehensive list comparing several prepaid cards. Read on and find out whether Vanilla Prepaid Cards serve your purpose or not.
What is the Vanilla Prepaid Card?
- 1 What is the Vanilla Prepaid Card?
- 2 OneVanilla Prepaid MasterCard Versus OneVanilla Prepaid Visa Card
- 2.1 Differences in Limit
- 2.2 Difference in Fee Structure
- 2.3 How to Check Balance on Your Vanilla Prepaid Card?
- 2.4 Drawbacks to the Vanilla Prepaid Card
- 2.5 What are the Benefits?
The Vanilla Card is a prepaid alternative that is accepted in stores and is available in MasterCard and Visa options, both. Any store that accepts a Visa or MasterCard will also take Vanilla Prepaid Card. The OneVanilla Prepaid Card gives you the flexibility to place your order via mail, directly from the point of sale, or even online. The card can be feasibly purchased in grocery stores or gas stations in Canada. It can also be used as a gifting option.
Since this card is not a credit card, debit card, or even a charge card, it will have no impact on your credit score, whatsoever. The Vanilla Prepaid Card can be used to make transactions online or in-store purchases, worldwide. The only drawback is that it cannot be used at regular ATMs and no cash back is provided on this card.
The Vanilla Prepaid Card is available in two different versions, namely MasterCard and Visa editions. The following table enlists the denominations that the Vanilla Card can be purchased in:
|Vanilla Prepaid MasterCard||Vanilla Prepaid Visa|
The balance present on your card does not have an expiry date but the physical card will. You can simply call customer care to request a replacement, which will then be mailed to you. The balance can be transferred to the new card by logging in to your account.
How Do I Use My Vanilla Card?
Vanilla Cards can be purchased at any partner grocery store or gas station. The card becomes active from the moment the first purchase is made. Just like with other Prepaid Cards, you have to sign the back of your Vanilla Prepaid Card, once you buy it. While shopping in-store or online, make payments through your Vanilla Prepaid Card in a manner similar to how you’d use a debit or credit card. The required amount, along with taxes and merchant fees, is automatically reduced from the overall balance. The card can also be used in combination with a secondary form of payment, in case the total amount is greater than the balance available on the card.
One of the most significant benefits that Vanilla Prepaid Card has over traditional debit cards, is that it can be used outside Canada as well. Any establishment that accepts a MasterCard or Visa, will work with Vanilla Card as well. A foreign exchange fee of 2.5% is charged, which is the standard amount for any credit card as well.
Where to Purchase a Vanilla Prepaid Card?
The Vanilla Prepaid Card is available with the following retail partners:
- London Drugs
- Corner Store
- Best Buy
- Express Mart
- Giant Tiger
OneVanilla Prepaid MasterCard Versus OneVanilla Prepaid Visa Card
There are two areas where MasterCard and Visa options differ, namely, maximum transaction limit and the minimum purchase denomination. As mentioned above, the minimum purchase denomination for the MasterCard is $25, while the Visa option is available at $50.
Differences in Limit
The two options differ in their transaction limits in the following ways:
|Card Name||Card Type||Limit|
|Vanilla Prepaid Visa||Can be bought at a partner store and is non-reloadable.||Maximum allowed card balance: $500
Maximum limit for daily spending: $500
Maximum limit for a single transaction: $500
|Vanilla Prepaid MasterCard||Can be bought at a partner store and is non-reloadable.||Maximum allowed card balance: $200
Maximum limit for daily spending: $200
Maximum limit for a single transaction: $200
Difference in Fee Structure
The Vanilla Prepaid Card levies different activation fees, depending on the denomination and the banner it is under.
The following are the activation fee for Vanilla Prepaid MasterCard:
|Gift Card Amount||Activation Fee|
The following are the activation fee for Vanilla Prepaid Visa:
|Gift Card Amount||Activation Fee|
No other fees are charged on your Vanilla Prepaid Card. Foreign transactions carry the customary charge of 2.5%
How to Check Balance on Your Vanilla Prepaid Card?
Balance can be checked by simply logging into your Vanilla Prepaid account at www.vanillaprepaid.com. You can even call the customer care to discover your existing balance (MasterCard users can call at 1-800-652-9174 and Visa users can call at 1-844-864-6951). One tip to keep in mind before going to shop is to check the balance remaining on your Vanilla Prepaid Card. Since merchants cannot check the balance for you, your card will get declined if your purchase amount exceeds your balance.
Drawbacks to the Vanilla Prepaid Card
Both versions of the Vanilla Prepaid Card- that is the MasterCard and Visa- can be used to carry out everyday shopping. However, there are some disadvantages to prepaid cards.
- The cards are non-reloadable.
- Pay-at-the-pump transactions are not sanctioned on these cards.
- Users cannot pay recurring bills through prepaid cards.
- Prepaid cards cannot be used to withdraw cash from ATMs.
- Once bought, the cards cannot be refunded to demand a cash back.
- Replacement for a lost or stolen card is only possible if you know your card number.
- Since the maximum denomination limit on the card is comparatively low, a secondary form of payment might be required to make purchases that exceed the limit or balance available in your card.
Read: Vanilla Card Alternatives you can Try
What are the Benefits?
While choosing a prepaid card, it is important to understand whether it suits your purpose or not. Here are some benefits to investing in a Vanilla Prepaid Card:
As A Gifting Option
Tired of scratching your brain to find the perfect gift for someone? With prepaid cards like the Vanilla Prepaid Card, you don’t have to worry about gift hunting and then wondering whether they’d like the gift or not. Simply choose the denomination you wish to give them and gift them the prepaid card. The receiver can buy anything according to their taste.
Temporary Mode of Payment
If you are going abroad for a short trip and would prefer to not carry cash, then a prepaid card is perfect to carry out transactions on-the-go. Moreover, you don’t need to fear losing this card, unlike a credit card. The card can be replaced and you’ll only end up losing the amount you paid for the prepaid card. Carrying a prepaid card during your trips is safer than carrying your credit cards around.
As an Allowance Card
The only fees charged on the Vanilla Prepaid Card is foreign exchange fee and the one for activation. Thus, it is perfectly secure in the hands of children. You can use OneVanilla Card as an allowance card for your children, foregoing the fear that they might overdraw the card. You can even unload OneVanilla Card at different places.
Keep Track of Specific Expenditures
The Vanilla Prepaid Card is accepted anywhere that accepts MasterCard or Visa. This allows you to use the Vanilla Card for particular expenditure, such as buying groceries etc. without disturbing your budget. By purchasing one card dedicated to a particular activity you can keep a track of your finances. Having a prepaid card gives you the same option of limited spending, without investing in a credit card.
The Vanilla Prepaid Card can be used to carry out miscellaneous expenses such as buying stationery for the office or gifts for the client. It can also be used as a reward for the top-performer in the year-end review.
The Bottom Line
The Vanilla Prepaid Card is a reloadable card, available under the banner of either MasterCard of Visa. It can easily be purchased at any partner retail store, since there are no background checks required for the purchase. It can be an ideal gifting option, however there are other options in the market, that provide a greater flexibility.
If you are a student looking to buy a card for basic necessities or a parent wishing to provide their child with an allowance, then the CIBC Prepaid Card is the best option. There are no additional fees charged on the card and the user can withdraw cash from any CIBC ATM in Canada as many times as they’d like. Simply top up the card with the amount available with you and use it for everyday transactions.
For travelers wary of carrying cash in a foreign country, investing in the CIBC Smart Travel Prepaid Visa is a good alternative, especially if you are travelling to Europe, UK, USA or Mexico. You can top up the card with the required currency and escape unnecessary exchange or foreign rates.
Both the cards provide an easy mode of payment for carrying out either offline or online transactions. There are no confusing terms and conditions, attached to either of the prepaid cards. If you are keen to buy a gift card for a loved one, you can procure a Vanilla Prepaid Card easily. So, what’s stopping you from buying one today, from your nearest retailer?