Vanilla - Vanilla Visa Gift Card

Posted on Tuesday, June 3rd, 2008 at 1:00pm CDT by af2a3fc3

Product: Visa Gift card

Company: Vanilla

Location: US


Category: Other

Bought a Visa gift card for 50 dollars for my daughter. She tried to use it but the store would not accept it because it was declined.

Called Vanilla Visa and was told that the card was active and had a balance of 50 dollars.

Tried using it again but the store rejected it.

Called Vanilla Visa again and this time tried to talk to customer service. The customer service lady was rude and pretty much told us that the card was active and she could not help us.

Not sure how to resolve this.


Post a Comment

cea56f0a, 2008-06-26, 07:12AM CDT

it not work on any sites

1e9c880a, 2008-07-16, 06:07PM CDT

I've had this same experience. I received a $50 Vanilla Visa gift card as a present. I tried using it at a gas station, convenience store, and restaurant. It didn't work anywhere. I called their customer service and they said it would issue me a new one. They said it would take 7-10 business days to get it. I never received one. I called again and the same thing happened. I am very frustrated!!!

72a31e4f, 2008-07-23, 01:34PM CDT

FWIW I have the same problem with the MasterCard version.

Also with resturants the pre-auth they do stays on for a long time. if you have a $100 one and use $65 for dinner they will pre-auth $65 and then do an actual charge after bill is paid with leaves a negative balance on the card.

I can't believe the FTC is on this

40c59d31, 2008-08-18, 10:10AM CDT

My suggestion is to never buy the cards.

I have had continuous problems with the cards and now have VISA taking 2.50 a month from the balance until the balance is zero. I try to use it and its declined, but they take the money every month. Its a great rip off of your family and friends dollars!!!

e30e537f, 2008-09-04, 09:38PM CDT

I recived a 50 dollars visa gift card.

try to use it at Red Robin and it was

rejected and when i called their was 50

dollars in it. So I had to use another card. I would not give anyone a gift card

for a gift.,and I will tell all my friends

and family also.

4caa8620, 2008-09-12, 04:36PM CDT

I had the same experience. I purchased a $50 Vanilla Visa Gift Card from CVS pharmacy for my nephew. Shortly after he received the card, I sent to him in the mail, he called me stating that he tried to use the card but could not. I went back to CVS and explained what happened and was given a telephone number for Vanilla Visa. My nephew contacted a customer service representative who told him that there was an amount of $50 on the card. My nephew asked what he should do and received absolutely no help whatsoever. He was told that "they" couldn't do anything. I asked him (nephew) to send the card back to me and I took the card back to the place of purchase, CVS. The CVS employee told me they could not do anything, that Visa was responsible. I was irritated and asked the CVS employee to contact the Visa Company, which she did. Vanilla Visa informed the CVS employee that the amount was on the card and basically told the employee that the magnetic strip might be damaged. I will keep the useless card and send my nephew a check. Needless to say, I am very frustrated...what should have been an easy and useful gift has become an expensive inconvenience.

6bdb8d11, 2008-09-23, 11:50AM CDT

I am now having the same problem with this worthless piece of crap gift card. I took it back to CVS and they called the Customer service number because they could not refund my money. Customer service gave me tons of stipulations, this is very frustrating and I WILL NEVER purchase one of these again. What is worse, the manager told me that they, CVS, does not even accept these types of cards!!! Go FIGURE!@!!!!! I'm so frustrated...

06f5e502, 2008-10-09, 03:21PM CDT

i was given a vanilla gift card last

christmas by my daughter and tried to

use it at a gas station, truck stop

and several other places and was told

the card was declined i called the no.

on back of card and was told since i

did not use the card right away there

was a 2.50 month charge debited from

the card. so the card is useless

dd551a16, 2008-10-29, 09:09AM CDT

What a great scam this Vanilla Visa is...

Wait, let me start by saying something two $25 Visa Vanilla cards that I received as a gift worked twice (once each) at Chick-Fil-A. Unfortunately, that's all that I can say positive.

In life you're taught to follow the rules, but not only has Vanilla Visa come up with the perfect way to steal money (and yes, their business model amounts to stealing), but they change the rules at will...

Printed on the back of the card reads "a $1.50 service charge will be charged after the 13th month", so, after the first uses at Chick-Fil-A, I put my card aside, knowing that to get full value I would have to use it up in a year or so. When I was ready to use it again, I checked the balance and $15 of the original $50 had been consumed in fees. On their web site I read that the service charge had increased to $2.50 per month and now it's after the 7th month. When I called, I was told that they can change the rules any time they want.

I don't think of Vanilla Visa as a regular credit card; normally Visa provides the service of lending money. And yes, their rules can change and you can decide whether to continue to use the card subject to the new rules or not. With a prepaid card, the card is backed by prepaid cash and bought on the basis of the rules on the back of the card, no lending involved. As with any contract, Visa should honor their agreement printed on the card but they do not. May be a class action lawsuit here.

If a company could come up with a way for people to buy a prepaid card with real cash, and then not only drain that cash unbeknownst to the card holder (Plan A) but and at the same time limit the places the card could be used (Plan B), they would have created a wealth of free cash. By limiting the places the card can be used keeps the prepaid balance as high as possibly for as long as possible, so that company can use the prepaid funds to lend to others or to just accrue interest. Then by increasing the time that funds are not "in use" by the consumer, they can also continue to drain fees (Plan C). Vanilla Visa has created this exact business model.

Multiply my $15 by the number of cards sold by Vanilla Visa - all of those people thinking they are giving a gift of $50 are really giving considerably less.

And as a gift you're probably not as "attached" to the money as if you own bank were pulling this scam on your personal debit card, and Vanilla Visa knows this, indeeds relies on thie fact.

Last point, the rep on the phone actually said that I may be able to take the original receipt back to the store where the card was bought to see if the store will reimburse me for the lost fees. I didn't believe her for a second but I'm certain that this line (or some better variation) came directly from their training manual - they know that I probably got the card as a gift and don't have the original receipt and they know that I'm probably not going back to the person who gave the gift to ask for the receipt.

So my conclusion, if you give a Vanilla Visa, know that you're probably giving less that the face value of the card - so don't give a Vanilla Visa just write a check, and if you receive a Vanilla Visa, use it up immediately.

f554278d, 2008-11-20, 09:23PM CST

the thing with gift cards is that they do not have to be excepted every were hint the word gift card weather it says visa or something else try to read the terms of agreement that comes with card or try to find it online before placing money on card.

db2d2c5b, 2008-11-23, 12:59PM CST

Ditto! We tried to use this card multiple times, was sent a new card for a fee so we could use it after it was inactivated, still would not work. Was given a huge run-around by customer service and was finally refunded up to the original $50 amount (which was down to $30). Tried to use it again multiple times without success and called a week later only to be told we had a $30 balance again. With some arguing, we were able to get the full $50 again and were very happy to be done with that. What a headache. And the giver of the gift card will never know.

38fff9c8, 2008-12-03, 09:10AM CST

Been trying to use my card for the last month, was told that I have to have the exact balance of the card (to the penny) in order to use it. When I tried the website, it won't take my card numbers off the card; when I called customer service this morning, the # is disconnected!

So I now have a gift card of $50, of which over $25 has been stolen. Who do we report these thieves to?

dbd5be23, 2008-12-04, 10:03AM CST

Me too! Used the $50.00 card 3 times right before Thanksgiving...still had over $15.00 left on it. Went to the same store I had just used it at a week and 1/2 ago. It was declined. Tried to call the 1800 number on back- no such number. What do you do?

1e833247, 2008-12-26, 12:33PM CST

CALL 1-800-277-2265. The card is actually issued by Silverton Bank of Atlanta Georgia. They pay Visa for the right to use the Visa logo. Anyway, I had the same problem that everyone else is reporting. After several calls to the 800 number on the back of the card, I was never able to speak with anyone. I confirmed a balance of $25 and reconfirmed it on the website, yet I was still unable to use the card. So I called Silverton Bank in Georgia at 1-800-277-2265 and boy did they seem surprised. I asked why my card wouldn't work and the lady seemed speechless. Then she said that they were having "system issues" and took down my card and phone number and said she would call me back. I'll keep you posted.

256be036, 2008-12-29, 11:32AM CST

I (and several other family members) had the exact same problem occur (just after Christmas) with this ripoff card. After calling Vanilla VISA Customer Service and FINALLY getting an actual customer service rep on the line, I was given a little more information explaining the continual card "declines" I was experiencing.

The first time my Visa gift card was declined, the company blamed it on IT technical issues they were apparently experiencing at the time. THEN I found out that if the purchaser is attempting to purchase something that costs more than the value on the card, the store clerk must calculate the cost difference in ADVANCE and collect the difference in cost from the customer BEFORE scanning the Visa gift card. If the store tries to scan the card FIRST (applying it against the total purchase price) and then collect the cost difference from the customer second, the card will be declined. Even though these merchants are supposed to have some kind of contract in place with Visa instructing them as to the exact sequence to process these transactions, the problem is that MOST store clerks are CLUELESS as to how to go through this ridiculous exercise.

Despite several tries to use my card, up to this point I have still been unsuccessful. The process should not be this difficult and the burden should NOT be placed on the customer to have to dole out instructions to store clerks in order to have this stupid card accepted for purchase.

As far as I am concerned, these VISA gift cards (and others like them) are a ripoff and a scam. If the givers of these cards really care about the recipients they are trying to gift, stay away from these cards. Better to give cash or an actual store gift card that will be applied against the purchase price in a NORMAL fashion, without having to go through this ridiculous hassle.

cffb8a9b, 2008-12-30, 11:36AM CST

I was trying to shop in walmart but declined. When i called the # on the back of my vanilla visa gift card It had no help with what was wrong with my card. When i tryed to talk with the customer service line was busy for 30mins, i guess this means my 100$ card is a waste!

695d5a90, 2009-01-05, 07:41PM CST

Same thing happened to us. Just went on line and they charge a monthly service fee on the 7th month after purchase. This is a scam. Anyone know if there is a class action suit against visa> I am certain millions of consumers have had this problem...

4dc78847, 2009-01-09, 10:31AM CST


5e776da6, 2009-01-13, 01:42PM CST

Vanilla Gift card is a complete rip-off.I received a $50 gift card for my birthday. When I tried to use it months later I found that an activiation fee had been applied to the balance and in addition a $2.50 per month fee was charged for each month that I didn't use the card. Bottom line - some one paid $50 for this gift and it ended up being worth practially nothing. I would urge all consumers to spread the word that these are waste of hard earned money.Both VISA and Vanilla Gift Cards should be ashamed of this scam!

5ff0f6ab, 2009-02-01, 03:45PM CST

vanilla Gift cards are a scam. The card I have says that after 13 months, they charge $1.50 a month. My daughter went to use the card after 8months. It was declined. We called the company and they said that they changed the contract (unilaterally) and now after 7 they are deducting $2.50. The employee number 5154 laughed when I said it was unfair. I asked for her managers ... employee 5086. She said she had credited the $2.50 back but it was only good for a few days and they would take another $2.50 off. When I told her that was impossible. The card had terms when it was bought, she hung up. DON'T BUT VANILLA GIFT CARDS

6a98895d, 2009-02-02, 08:33PM CST

Same story at Chili's tonight. Card came back not valid.......Hopefully Visa will solve this problem.

ecb4531b, 2009-02-10, 01:52PM CST

I received a few of these cards for my birthday and have had nothing but trouble with them. I have some info for everyone trying to resolve conflicts with the Visa Vanilla company.

When calling the number on the back of the card, the only way I've found to get an actual person to speak with is the press option 4 - "reporting a lost or stolen card" (even though that was not my problem.) You will then be given the option to speak with a representative. I believe it's option "3".

Second, in some places such as restaurants and service stations, the amount of your purchase is inflated by as much as 30%. I told the representative that this was outrageous and it was explained to me that this was done to "protect the store." WHAT!?! So, two days ago, my $100 card was declined when I tried to apply it toward an $83 restaurant bill since it automatically added 30% on to the total. That inflated the bill to $107.90. Since that amount is more than the $100 on the card, it was rejected for insufficient funds. What a total rip-off.

I filed a report with the representative stating that the policies of Vanilla Visa were complicated and ridiculous. It is my opinion that this company makes it so difficult to use their card so folks will just give up and not use them to their full value. This would lead to a huge profit for the company. I'm going to try to find out who regulates the debit card industry and file a complaint. This truly borders on criminal behavior.

c154166e, 2009-02-12, 09:13PM CST

Guys, Its not that it doesnt work. You have to go onto and register your card. And after you buy it you have to wait 4 hours to make the transaction.

4a20c50b, 2009-06-27, 04:38PM CDT

Just so everyone knows, the Silverton Bank of Atlanta, Georgia has closed and the FDIC is managing them now.

fcd930f5, 2009-07-08, 12:59AM CDT

Ok, let's just say the Vanilla gift card prepaid is a scam to consumers, My wife and I recieved a $50 gift card for Christmas. I just tried to use it, first time, for a $19 resturant bill and would not go through. The manager checked the balance on the card, at my request, and came up with no response. He suggested to contact or logon to their web-site. I just went on-line and to my surprise found there was only a balance of $20. After further review of the card activity I found that monthly fees totalling $30 was assessed for maintenance. My thougths are, after reading all the complaints, they are robbing the common person again, not at gun point but like a thief in the night. All the hidden agendas that are not fully disclosed at time of purchase to to the purchaser or the recipient of a gift card. Let's just face it, they are no better than your street corner loan sharks. They though are protected to operate this way with all the bureaucratic backing of laws supported by our own elected officials and their special interest groups. So who and what protects us, it's like we have to be our own big brothers and big sisters and warn each other about the lame gooding-for-nothing scum bag big bad wolves out there. As long as they exist they will try to sink their teeth into us, so tell your friends and family not to buy a Vanilla Gift Card to save them the aggravation of what you, I, and others like us have gone through.

0c6b3438, 2009-09-27, 10:42AM CDT

I have the same experience. I got a 50$ vanilla gift card and when i tried to use it , got declined. When i checked the balance online, it had a value of 27.50. They have deducted 22.50 as maintenance fee. This is a day-time robbery. People shoule avoid using their gift card.

a213e87c, 2009-11-09, 03:38PM CST

Virtually the same thing as everyone else, but I got different answwers from customer service folks.

I got $50 gift card Xmas of 08. The front of the card said it is good until 7/10. Went to use it 11/09 and it was declined.

When I called I was told that whomever bought it never "completed the transaction" by having the $50 credited to the account. In a sense, the person paid $50, but somehow, the card doesn't reflect this. In order to clarify the card had to be taken back to the store it was purchased in (out of state) or I could fax the receipt in (why would someone need a receipt on a gift card if they know the amount?

Absolutely horrendous customer service. Why are they making the customers jump through all these hoops? I NEVER had any of the same issues with any other gift card I've bought or used. Pay for it, the card is good to go. Never had to register it or have it declined...whatever.


ad500d79, 2009-12-21, 12:13PM CST

DO NOT purchase Vanilla Gift Cards. I received $50 card and lost it - now only has $15 left due to over $2 per month fees accessed each month. Rip off.

fe261e68, 2009-12-26, 12:07PM CST

Every single person needs to report this to their state attorney general's office. If enough complaints come in, maybe something can be done about this.

f6ef0a14, 2009-12-26, 03:41PM CST

Brought a visa gift card for 50 dollars for my mother. she tried to use it but the store would not accept it because it was declined. called vanilla visa and was told to that card was active and had a balance of $39.51, my mother used before and it was working but not works now, we tried to contact customer service and the call was always hand out, so we couldnt talk to no body and still my mother cant use the card.

9299b765, 2009-12-26, 03:59PM CST

My dad had bought my boyfriend a $25 vanilla visa gift card for Christmas and he went to use it the next day and the cashier at Rite Aid (which is the place it was bought) said the card was declined. So, we came home and called the Costumer Servive number on the back of the card and it told me the balance was $25 so i was confused on why it didnt work. So i tried to talk to a representative and they kept hanging up on me. So now the card is worthless. DONT BYE THESE CARDS. THEY ARE A JOKE..

2a042dd4, 2009-12-26, 04:45PM CST

Got a Vanilla Visa gift card and it does not work! Called the number which confirmed I have a $25.00 balance. Also the 800 number gives you no option to speak with a live person, and their web site does not work.

6a70966c, 2009-12-28, 09:52AM CST

Same thing happened to me. I bought my son a $50 one and a $100 for Christmas. Everytime he tried to use it, it was declined BUT, Vanilla said that it came through to them as approved so they did not believe me when I said it was declined, therefore, it ate up the money everytime my son tried to use it and it got declined. NOW, I can't get through to ANYONE at Vanilla as the phone just hangs up when it transfers you to customer service. HOW can a company be in business like this? I will NEVER buy their cards ever again!

9d0976a1, 2009-12-28, 04:13PM CST

Oh My Lord why did I buy these for Gifts.

It is the Dumbest thing I have ever done in my life.

Forgive me but I am ready to kill myself over this.

(trying to get info is like pulling teeth)

Why oh why did I buy the Vanilla Visa cards.

Dont buy these cards or your begging for a "NIGHTMARE" !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

13ac3400, 2009-12-28, 10:25PM CST

Vanilla Visa sucks!! I also gave it as a gift to someone and it dosen't work. I tried calling their customer service and was put on hold for over 20 minutes. I'm taking my receipt and gift card back to CVS (where I bought it) and see if they can help me out. This truly is a scam.

abde76ac, 2010-01-04, 03:14PM CST

I received a gift card for $50.00 for my birthday-the writing on the reverse side was too small to make out. When I called the Vanilla Visa Card company I was told that a maintenance fee was deducted from the card, which resulted in a Zero balance. I informed the consumer service representatie that I would tell everyone that this is truly a scam and request that I receive no more cards.

8dd3492a, 2010-01-07, 11:23AM CST

i recieved two gift cards and have never been able to use them every place says declined when in fact i checked the balances before leaving home. No luck in trying to reach the customer service this is a ripe off and the attorney General office should investigate this company

75668c1d, 2010-01-12, 07:20AM CST

I bought a card to use while traveling ($100) and used like $60 keepin all receipts and should still have a $40 balance but i went to get gas and coffee for my trip home and it was declined. Went to website and says invalid card.

371c8046, 2010-01-24, 12:40PM CST

I have had trouble with 3 of this cards recently. Two $25 cards would only work for $20 purchases - saying they were accessing the activation fee when both were activated when purchases & the activation fee paid then.

Now I have a $100 card that says it isn't activated when I know it was.

I will never buy Visa Vanilla cards again & will let everyone I know the trouble to prevent them from dealing with the issue in the future.

4c8193df, 2010-02-13, 05:26PM CST

registration and waiting 24 hours doesn't work either; to those that try to find a means to make it work I have tried them all. I got scammed, by a bank institution again, but atleast this bank isn't taking my house like they are doing all over the country to others. Banks are criminals protected by law, reliant on our money to survive, and we keep giving it to them. NO to direct deposit for convenience, no to cards, and no to keeping our money in their banks. Only way it will ever get fixed.

7ff54250, 2010-03-19, 12:03PM CDT

you all just need to watch it with those cards well any gift cards in genmeral there are people who write down the numbers from the cards and keep track of em online to see if it is being used when they see it is active they drain it online the stories have been all over the news

f5f1b8d5, 2010-03-19, 06:51PM CDT

I just bought a card for 180.00 , and its saying declined as well . DID you ever come up with a solution ?

2aae5179, 2010-03-19, 07:51PM CDT

I had purchased a Vanilla Visa Gift Card to play at the on line Casinos, their add said can be used for purchases on the internet, well every casino purchase was rejected. I contacted Vanilla Visa and was told if I would have read the fine print, it says can't be used for unmoral activities. Who is this company to say how and where I can spend my own money they get their cut!

abec4ead, 2010-03-26, 07:50AM CDT

I had the same problem, actually I still have the same problem. I purchased a gift card, put 130 bucks on it, tried to use it online, and it was declined. The package it came in stated that it may take 24 hours to use, even though I was frustrated because I bought it WITH CASH to use it immediately, I waited and tried again the next day and the same thing occured. The customer hotline is useless b/c you cannot speak to a live person. This will be the LAST time I ever purchase a VISA card.

d1c84a82, 2010-04-11, 02:34PM CDT

I Tried the same thing I was Given a gift card of a 100 and it also was declind i called to confirm if it still had money in it and my balance was still

at 100 does this card ony work in limeted stores I am a deticated visa card holder but this is verry disterbing how costermer service reacted

c2c658f7, 2010-04-13, 05:40PM CDT

I just filed a complaint with the BBB, they seem to have an A+ rating with them somehow, so here's the link, we'll see what happens...

here's the link to Vanilla aka Mio Card

Anonymous, 2010-04-16, 01:43PM CDT

Even i am going complaint about charges. I also got same issue. I would suggest don't buy vanilla gift cards.

240323b0, 2010-04-17, 07:09AM CDT

I did this and it still doesn't work. I was given a $50.00 gift card from my youth group and I've never bought anything with it, yet it's showing a $7.00 transaction that I didn't make. Everytime I try to use it, it gets declined.

412731a8, 2010-06-22, 09:22PM CDT

I think Peoples NO Trust is just ripping people off with these prepaid cards. I have never been so embarassed in my whole life.

Today I tried to use one of these $50.00 prepaid visa cards by Peoples Trust, while out with my wife and senior employees from work I tried using this card.

What a shock I got when they declined it. Not because there wasn't $50.00 on the card but because the establishment may add a tip to the bill at a later date?

Apparently the think they have the ability to with hold 15% of your bill just in case the establishment adds 15% later on.

Say what, no where in the documentation nor their website do they say that, in fact quoted right from their site "When using your Visa Prepaid Card at a restaurant or bar, they will traditionally process a preauthorization that is 20% higher than the bill in anticipation of a tip. In other words, if the bill is $50, they will process a preauthorization for $60. If you have a $50 card, this purchase would be declined." it clearly states what the restaurant or bar may do so be prepared for it! I was standing right beside the waitress along with a few fellow employees when she submitted the $50.00 payment, clearly the machine asked if you wanted to add a tip, I said no as I paid the tip in cash, she submitted it and DECLINE!!!!!

When I spoke to an agent on the phone about it I was told they with hold 15% due to the tip? I said what on earth are you talking about, the card is only good for $5.00 if they try for more then that it would be declined. They said NO they have every right to with hold the 15%. I said show me where... I was told to sign up to their website and see, I did I got the above statement verbatum from it, no where does it mention 15% being with held at bars and resturants.

I think they are just trying to rip people off knowing that a large percentage of the public would probably never use the remaining 15% and it would get eaten up with their fees down the road, what a sweet deal they have if they can get away with it.

79d2b521, 2010-07-02, 10:58PM CDT

well i bought a $25 one online one time i spent $20 and then i tried to spend the $5 and it didnt work

4976f2b5, 2010-07-07, 01:13PM CDT

say you were at chili' should have bought a $50 gift card for the amount of your bill with your visa gift card and then used that to pay your bill.....i know it sucks but its just an idea in case it happens to someone else

3c1a735c, 2010-07-12, 12:53PM CDT

I agree, I will never buy a vanilla visa card again, I have been trying to use it for Skype credit and other things but it wont work

f43f5305, 2010-07-12, 05:27PM CDT

im not sure how this couldnt get solved by the lady at the customer service place but i get the gift cards all the time and never got declined til i got one the other day. they say you can buy things off the internet and i usually do this is get a card so that no one could steal the numbers and run up a huge bill so i get the prepaid cards so that i could do this. i tryed to use the card on line and was denied after trying to buy something that was almost the amount on the 100.00 card. but they with held the amount that it was even though the card was declined which is pure b.s. they shouldnt be allowed by law to do this all to us here.

1b53d70c, 2010-08-03, 07:20AM CDT

I, too, bought a Vanilla Visa GAS card for my daughter so she would have reserve funds while traveling. Since it was labeled GAS card, she went to a Sunoco and attempted to use it at the pump. Seems logical, right? Well it was declined and immediately $75.00 was put on hold as a pending transaction that never went through because they'd failed to register the zip code of the card? They went inside and tried to pre-pay with the card and the remaining funds were then declined and put on hold. After several futile attempts to get someone in customer service, I did finally reach someone. I was told all of this information was available on their website. Of course, none of this information is given with the card. Now it will take 5-7 days for these funds to be released and she will be home from vacation. Another point to realize is this card can not be used at an ATM for cash - only for purchases. I should have known better, as this happened once before to my son with a Vanilla Visa card but I forgot. They are a RIP OFF and I intend on going to CVS where I purchased it to complain. With all the new banking regulations, someone should have addressed this situation. BEWARE

8c7a5e00, 2010-08-31, 05:40PM CDT

I have the same problem. I got one of these gift cards and I can't use it anywhere. I tried two gas stations, walmart, Burger King and even tried an internet purchase with no luck and I can't get anyone from customer service I just get an automated thing. Very annoying. BAD BUSINESS!

6e93bacf, 2010-09-16, 05:34PM CDT


6e93bacf, 2010-09-16, 05:36PM CDT

This card suxs big time. I hope I never see another one

2623859e, 2010-09-19, 09:18PM CDT

I have a Vanilla Visa Gift card ($25.00) I used it at a restaurant but they would only give me credit for $20.00. I have since tried numerous timesto use the remaining $5.00 but it is rejected every time.

This is nothing more than a rip-off on the part of Vanilla Visa!

085bab49, 2010-09-21, 04:30PM CDT

It is a scam! I just bought one two wks ago and it didn't I basically gave $50 away for free.I'm extremely upset

0ba3a3b0, 2010-10-20, 04:10PM CDT

They have fine print that states very clearly on the back of the card admin fees they charge on a monthly basis. I have 20/20 vision and could not read it. $17 worth of fees for a $25 gift card says they are a scam. Band together and shut down this business practice.

7fb53a15, 2010-10-23, 12:31PM CDT

Vanilla Gift Cards are a total scam. I tried using my $50 card on numerous occasions at stores such as: Dollar General, Amazon,, and yes Wal-Mart where the card was purchased. All rejected the card. I contacted and they only have an 800 number or a physical address (no email for complaints). After speaking to the idiot that worked there and tried to defend the company practices they then informed me my card no longer had any funds on it, because I was chaged the activation fee of $3.59 plus $2.50 per month and it used up all my funds and they refused to give me my funds back. I told them that I would file a complaint with the proper federal agency and post on my facebook and everywhere online I could find about the scam with these cards. I will also tell everyone I know. There are millions of dollars every year purchased on gift cards that are unredeemed and these companies should be illegal. The American consumer should not be ripped off by these "so called gift card" which are not useable at many businesses at all. The U.S.A. regulating organization responsible for this should band and make all these cards illegal. Like I said, I tried to use mine, called Vanilla, spoke to customer service. They do not have an email address where you can file a complaint or speak with someone. They are just ripping people off.

80833e09, 2010-10-27, 12:28PM CDT

I received a vanilla $50 gift card a week ago. I tried to use it towards a hair salon bill. It was declined twice.... then i called the convoluted phone tree to finally speak with someone.

Follow this logic, if you will...

My bill was $130. I wanted to use my $50 gift card in full, then pay the difference with my debit. The gift card was declined twice (hello? embarrassing) I called the convoluted phone tree and this was their reasoning....

At salons and restaurants, they automatically only let you use 20% less than the amount of the card. So, they decided that i was going to tip 20% of the $50. Okkkk..... that makes no freakin' sense. I told the woman that my bill exceeded $50, and that I wanted to use the full amount. So... I could only use $41.67 of my $50. The remaining amount has to be used elsewhere.

Such a freakin' scam. So I have $8.33 on this card, that I can't use at a restaurant or salon... or anywhere that is a service based business, or else I would go through the same thing.

I will find a way to use every last cent of the card..... and tell everyone i know NOT to buy these for gifts.

172b404f, 2010-11-02, 02:41PM CDT

I bet the link to BBB will be much more accessible than reaching anyone at vanillavisa. I will try your link to bbb. Thanks!

dfeb54aa, 2010-11-15, 08:22PM CST

Got a 75 dollar Visa. Rejected everywhere. Went to Peoples site the same day I bought it and they said the number didn't exist. Went to 7/11 where I bought it and they said no refunds.

275a5ae9, 2010-11-16, 01:12PM CST

I recieved two 20$ Visa gift cards for my daughters' birthdays from my husband's aunt. (He said she sends those instead of cash so we can't try and steal the kids' money, as if we do that all the time) I thought it was just like any gift card and took our girls to Walmart so they could pick out a toy. They were so excited and I thought it was good because we were tight on money. I got to the registar and the cashier kept telling me the card was declined! I read the fine print saying they had to key in the amount. I went back and told the lady this and she looks at the card and very disgusted said they don't accept Vanilla Cards. Yet I read they're accepted anywhere Visa is!!! I ended up paying for the toys out of pocket and have tried to use it to pay my cell phone bill. We shall see if it works, but if not then I am even more disappointed in these "gift cards" that just rip you off!!!

2973e4cf, 2010-11-18, 05:42AM CST

The card has to be used as credit since it has no pin code access the same thing happen to me in walmart and thankfully a cashier knew about this in the next aisle

but i hope this helps

cd624c39, 2010-12-07, 03:33PM CST

TRY THIS EVERYBODY. I checked their web site. Every transaction must be entered as a CREDIT transaction, even though the card says it's a debit card. I hope this solves your problems. BUT, THANK YOU FOR THE INPUT, I WILL NOT BE BUYING THESE FOR CHRISTMAS GIFTS.

385aa068, 2010-12-22, 02:26PM CST

Put the card as credit! it's so wierd but if u dont it's denied >:D

ae9be2c8, 2010-12-24, 05:02PM CST

I was given a vanilla visa gift card for $100.00 and I have been embarrased like three times when I went to use it and was declined. This card is rip off. I bought a manicure and pedicure at a nail salon and the charge was only $65.00 and the amount it showed on the card purchase was $78.00. I did not sign the receipt for $78.00 I signed for only $65.00 and gave the lady cash for my tip. Where are my remaining $13.00 going to??? NEVER AGAIN WOULD I BUY OR RECOMMEND THIS GIFT CARD!!!! LOOK AT ALL THE COMPLAINTS HERE!!!!

5d5cc37e, 2010-12-27, 11:59AM CST

I too tried to use the card with a $25 "gift balance" only to find it was only good for $20!!

febb6e6c, 2011-01-13, 11:42AM CST

We had two brand new $100 gift cards that we tried to use at the Ritz Carlton Spa. They tried to put through $100 for services, and voila it didnt work. couldn't understand since it was never used before..The woman in customer service is trying to explain to me that they take a 20% service fee, so I said no the charge was put through at $100 and we were paying gratuity out of our own pocket. She was so lost, she never heard of Ritz Carlton - too bad for her. Will never purchase these cards again, and they have nerve to charge a service fee when you buy the card initially. Either give cash as a gift or go to Chase or American Express they work much better~~~ even the name is silly - Vanilla Visa??

442e78ee, 2011-02-09, 07:48PM CST

I too have tried this card at three vendors and it has been rejected every time. I hope that others read this before they are duped by this company too. I will never buy these cards again...end of discussion...period!

4fc229f2, 2011-02-11, 10:32PM CST

This card along with MOST MC, Amex or Visa cards is a BAD DEAL ALL the way around. If you purchase an item that does not use the ENTIRE BALANCE, there will be a hold for the entire amount up to $75.00, and my hold lasted over 1 week, for a $3.00 purchase. Word to the wise, avoid these cards, and do not give them as gifts. PS. Good Luck with customer service.

cf2c778d, 2011-02-15, 11:36AM CST

I have also had the same problem with a card that I bought. I have called them numerous times and have been told to take the card back to the store to have it activated. I just recently took it back to the store where I bought it and my manager watched me activate it. Still nothing. I have also been told that I can fax a copy of the receipt to them and they will make it right. Why don't I believe that? I even went as far as telling the customer service rep that I talked to that this card thing is all a scam. I have even look it up on the BBB site and they have had over 150 complaints about this card. Can anyone please tell me how I can go about fixing this or getting my money back if you have done the same thing

091279ae, 2011-02-19, 03:59PM CST

Bought a $100.00 Vanilla Gift Card for my daughter but when she and I tried to use it several times I was told there was only $25.00 on the card. Wrote to the address on the back twice but no reply. What a scam! What can I do???

7eb0c312, 2011-02-20, 07:51AM CST

I am contacting all of the authorities I can contact in regards to this unscrupulous company. The have put me through two days of pure hell. This company has unethical as well as what I believe to be illegal practices. I am going to make sure their product is never sold in my state again. They will pay for the harm and anguish they have caused me.

7fd4740e, 2011-02-24, 02:05PM CST

i also bought my daughter 175 of credit on vanilla. when she came to use it 100 had been bought a just an extact year so was told was of no use and the other was such a nightmare to use no store wanted to scept them i would never buy them again.

4f0dd77d, 2011-03-08, 03:38PM CST

Twice I have had problems with vanilla visa. Purchased a card for $100 and tried to use it store rejected. When I called they told me it was ok. Just purchased one more by mistake didn't notice it was a vanilla visa card. And tried using it too make reservations company wouldn't take because it did not have the same billing address, but Vanilla visa posted the charges even though vendor was not paid. And now I'm out 165.00 They told me transaction was posted even though the vendor told me they did not accept payment. Will never use them again.

f48e22fd, 2011-04-24, 01:25PM CDT

that isn't even true there are far more complaints for american express

c014422b, 2011-05-26, 12:06PM CDT

everything im reading about this company is true. my wife purchased me a 200.00 debit card on 5-26-11. i went to use it the same day andfor the first 3 purchases ok. then i went to get fuel for my truck,i had over 100.00 dollars left and went to the pump and as you sayvoila! it was gone. i called and got customer service and spoke to someone and they said the funds would be returned in 5 days. bullshit! its a debit card! this company is up to something foul. i am heading to my attorney.

45420336, 2011-08-09, 02:14PM CDT

Shoppers drug mart in Canada used to be reputable and now I am shocked that they are continuing to sell cards that are known to be invalid. The cashier properly activated my card, but Vanilla says the number is unissued and is obstructing all attempts at a refund. Its intentional fraud. They are aware that many people will give up or will not have kept the packaging, receipt and such.

Shopper's Drug Mart and other legitimate stores need to pull cards that come from companies with history of this fraud.

4afc677c, 2011-08-19, 05:39PM CDT

I got a Visa Vanilla for Christmas 2009. January 2010 bought i-Tunes music with it, using most of money, with little change left.

About a week later i-Tunes said I had a negative balance!

VisaVanilla said I had $0.00 and had i-Tunes transaction in history.

To this day i am in the red with i-Tunes. I wasn't sure who to be upset with, but seeing these complaints I would say Visa is probly the issue here.

72fc4ce2, 2011-08-27, 03:34PM CDT

I have had the exact same problem. Visiting the account records verfied money for face value was available. Acceptable no place, constant decline. I am out no money since it was a gift but I can assure you the Texas Attorney General and local business will get a copy of my complaint

b3fa5f1f, 2011-09-06, 03:10PM CDT

I just paid for a $500.00 card to purchase of the Internet and it got denied twice I went to log in on the website to check my balance it is no longer there w.t.f is going on im ready to pull my hair out fighting with these people please give me info if you have any.

a6464647, 2011-09-14, 10:25AM CDT

Yes, these gift cards, rebate cards, and even state unemployment cards are Very user unfriendly! Someone is making BIG BUCKS off of the average man/ woman. One thing I learned the hard way... if the card has an $25 balance and the purchase is $30, have the cashier do the $25 as a charge first. Then it can be paid for with cash for the rest. Hope it still works this way. Too many calls to check the balance on an unemployment money card get charged 50 cents a call for over 3calls in a month even when the first funds have not been deposited yet! Again some one is making BIG Bucks on the back of poor people. I have a college degree and it's still a pain.

2691fb9d, 2011-11-30, 10:59PM CST


4edbdd74, 2011-12-20, 06:28PM CST

I too bought a $150 card through Shopper's Drug Mart (downtown Toronto). Card doesn't work. Faxed all the info and receipt to Visa Vanilla over a month ago and still haven't received a replacement card. Vanilla people keep giving me the run-around, stating they are unable to tell if the card distribution centre has sent it or not, even though they have numerously requested an update from the distribution office. I tried to escalate it, but escalations only go to the call-centre's floor Supervisors who repeat the same thing "we have no answers for you, you will just have to wait (for an indefinite amount of time)". It's disgusting and goes against their own Agreement Policies to act "in good faith". If anyone knows of any class-action suits filed, please let me know.

aab06718, 2011-12-20, 11:44PM CST

I too bought a vanilla gift card for 50 dollars.cvs said it would take 24 hrs to activate.3 days later, still not activated.I emailed cvs told them i was contacting a attorney and had one hundred people for class action and i also sent these one hundred people to the justice dept.10 minutes later i get an e-mail saying the card is activated.When i checked it on the auto phone number viola, "your card is ready to use".Get tough and if you buy on line you must call vinalla first and hear your balance,then wait for the 2 min. recording to end and speak to coustomer service and register your zip code that you use for shipping.Also if using amazon call amazon coustomer service and have them register your shipping zip code with them.It will work.I have never had a card that was activated not work if i follow these steps.

0079a68c, 2011-12-23, 05:05PM CST

Had the same experience, but my balance was $25.00.

27509e11, 2011-12-26, 08:28PM CST

Just bought vanilla visa at Shoppers Drug Mart on Queensway by Humber River, Etobicoke (Toronto) and does not work as well. Called Vanilla Visa (held 25 mins) and they said no record of card activation. Tried to register card online 1st, would not work either. Vanilla Visa Support wants me to fax receipt with packaging and card (front and back) and fax to them, no email. But they want your contact info and email address, funny, you must fax your info to them but they need your email. Told me they are told to tell me it will take 7-10days to investigate. Unacceptable. I will be returning to Shoppers Drug Mart to demand a refund for selling worthless plastic as a visa gift card.

Priceless and unbelievable!!!

7a0289e0, 2012-01-22, 10:46PM CST

Yes had problems with this card too we should sue its really hard to use. It sucks never buy ever again!!

Miriam R., 2012-12-24, 02:59AM CST

I'm having the same problem. I have purchased Vanilla Visa cards several times before and have never had a problem using them, but this time nobody will accept it. What can I do about this?

a5a06724, 2012-12-28, 10:47PM CST

SMH brought this card for an X-mas gift for my daughter

( $30), this card is a total rip off, every time I try to used the card it was invalid. I call the customer service number on the back of the card. They gave me the run around ask me to email a pic of the front and the back of the card and also the receipt. For three days I send the email over and over, they claim they didn't see a pic on the email. I would never buy a pre-paid card again !!!!!!!

24bd412c, 2013-12-21, 06:46PM CST

Just purchased $ 150 card for my elderly mom so she could finish her Christmas shopping and hot have to carry cash. What a mistake. The card doesn't work and we have been on the phone for hours trying to resolve the issue. They wanted every piece of information on the receipts , packaging, card itself etc. I was told it will take 5 business days to resolve but when I went into shoppers they said it could take months. Also shoppers doesn't point any signage saying they aren't responsible for cards declined nor do their staff mention this at check out. Thanks shoppers and Vanilla visa for running my elderly moms Christmas. based on what I read above it doesn't seem like she will ever get to use the card and I am out $ 150 .

Magali D., 2014-03-25, 01:53PM CDT

Compre una tarjeta Visa Vanilla de regalo en CVS para mi nieta de $200.00 y solo pudo comprar $5.30 porque la tarjeta no pasa en ningun lugar. Por favor CVS dice que ellos no son responsables y cuando los llamo a ustedes me dicen que esa tarjeta es invalida. Soy retirada y me costo mucho ahorrar ese dinero

Magali D., 2014-04-23, 08:34AM CDT

Just purchased $200.00 card and only was able to by $5.25 because declining it in all place. This is muy second complaint for you

C Beaudry, 2014-08-30, 11:27PM CDT

J'ai achete a la Pharmacie Phamaprix de Magog au Quebec, Canada quelques cartes prepayes de $250 dollars de VISA Vanilla. Je viens de realiser que je me suis fais ARNAQUER. Je ne suis pas capable de voir combien il me reste sur mes cartes VISA VANILLA prepayes. Apres m'avoir fait refuser une transaction lors d'un achat dans une pharmacie de la Floride, USA, ma carte a ete DECLINE a cause de frais Exhorbitant de plus de 50% avec l'echange USA-CAN en dollars canadien. Cette compagnie est une entreprise qui utilise les Pharmacies et les revendeurs de leurs cartes pour ARNAQUER les gens. Si vous avez eu des mauvaises experience avec VANILLA VISA, je vous suggere TOUS d'ecrire au President du commerce (Ex: Pharmaprix)ou vous avez achete votre carte Vanilla Prepaye, au president de VISA et a la protection du consommateur de Quebec pour reclamer vos pertes suite a leur participation directe ou indirecte a cette fraude. Toute action de votre part lettre de plainte envoye aidera une action commune a reclame un remboursement complet envers les responsable de cette fraude immense.

3054eedc, 2015-02-02, 04:19AM CST

I was given 2 vanilla visa cards both ?50 each in May 2014 and have great difficulty in finding a shop that accepts them! Most people have never heard of them. The only shop I have found who accepts them is Boots chemist. But the main problem now is trying to find how to see what my balance is on both cards!!! Nothing on the internet helps. Thwarted all the time. Finally got a phone number for help desk. Didn't work. The whole thing seems to be a scam.

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