Little has been written about the T-mobile Prepaid Visa Card. I think this is due one of the following two reasons.
- This is only a useful tool if you have access to buying Reloadit cards using a credit card.
- People who use this tool want to keep it under the radar.
Regardless, I am going to write a quick post about this powerful tool.
I originally got the T-Mobile Prepaid Visa Card about 9 months ago. It looked great and since I am a T-mobile customer, all fees surrounding the card were waived. Once I received the card, I decided not to bother activating it because of various reports of easy shutdowns on this flyertalk thread and the fact that I’m relatively new to this game and would be uncomfortable walking up to a register and asking to load a Reloadit card with $500 dollars. However, Q1 2015 came around and I did not yet have a plan on how I was going to maximize the Freedom Q1 category bonus of grocery stores. It was time to try buying a Reloadit card at a grocery store.
The grocery store I went to was Hy-vee. These stores are mainly in the midwest and they allow you to load Reloadit cards with a credit card. I found the Reloadit cards near the front of the store. I picked one up, did some grocery shopping, and headed up to the cash register. The second the cashier noticed the Reloadit pack, they signaled for a manager to come over. The manager asked me how much I would like to load, asked me if I was going to use a card to load it, and then asked to see my driver’s license (to confirm the name on the credit card was actually me). SUCCESS! Since then, I’ve found this to be the same process at all 3 local Hy-vee’s in my area. It seems that the manager gets called over regardless of the value of the load, so you might as well load the maximum amount of $500.
The best part of the T-mobile Prepaid Visa Card is that if you reload the card with a Reloadit, they will reimburse the $3.95 fee it costs to purchase the Reloadit (as long as you load $300 or more onto the Reloadit card). Once home with my new Reloadit card, I activated my T-Mobile Prepaid Visa Card. I then loaded the card via the website (I have since found that loading via the mobile app is even easier). The next day I saw $3.95 credited to my account (as expected) to cover the cost I paid for the Reloadit card.
This is where things are less convenient than other means of manufacturing spend. Various people have reported being shut down for using the bill pay feature of the card. My solution (there may be better a one) is to take the card to my local Wal-Mart and use it to reload my American Express Serve Card. I then use the Bill Pay feature on my American Express Serve Card to pay off my credit card bills. The extra step is unfortunate, but I figure it is safer to be be cautious and not risk losing this powerful tool. One option that seems viable that I haven’t tried yet is to slowly withdraw cash at in-network ATM’s and then to deposit that money into your Serve card or bank account.
With the Q1 2015 Freedom category bonus, I netted an easy 7,500 UR points.
I do not have a good consistent credit card that rewards bonus points at grocery stores. This will make the T-Mobile Prepaid Visa Card less valuable to me. I have my eye on the American Express Premier Rewards Gold and American Express Everyday Preferred credit cards. I am waiting on an increased offer for either because American Express limits bonuses for all of their cards to once in a lifetime. In the meantime, I plan on using my Barclays US Airways card to purchase Reloadits as Barclays is offering a 50% bonus on all purchases through June 30, 2015.
Since there have been many shutdowns reported for abusing this card, I would not push the limits with this card. Personally, I’m running about $2000 a month through the card. I plan on ramping this up a bit and will report back if this results in any negative consequences. Also, you should not purchase too many Reloadits at any particular grocery store. To get around this, I diversify by rotating between the 3 grocery stores in my area that sell these cards. I also make an effort to purchase a few grocery items I need every time I go get a Reloadit card to not raise any suspicion about my behavior. I also suggest reading through much of the flyertalk thread I posted above to get more of a background on the card and what you should and should not do.
If you have any comments/questions feel free to leave them below!