Tuesday, July 1, 2014

If you're stuck with useless Vanilla Visa cards, try Evolve Money.

Last week, I discovered that Vanilla Visa debit cards can no longer be loaded at Walmart Money Centers anymore.  If you're familiar with Bluebird and have money "stuck" because you  bought a Vanilla Visa card without knowing these new rules, you might be able to salvage the balance on it by paying some bills using Evolve Money.

Some rules and differences between Evolve and Bluebird:

  • You can only pay the payees listed in their system (usually Utility and Mortgage companies with very few Credit Card issuers.)
  • You can only pay $1000 to a single payee every day and no more than 4 times to the same payee every month.
  • You pay directly with your debit card instead of loading money onto it at a Walmart Money Center.
Some important points to keep in mind about paying your mortgage with Evolve:
  • If using $500 gift cards, you will not be able to use this method to pay a mortgage with a minimum monthly payment over $2000.
  • You will be making partial payments of up to $500 at a time and up to $1000 in a day.  Unless your mortgage payment is under $500, this may cause misunderstanding with your mortgage holder.
  • Assuming they're listed as a valid payee in Evolve, make sure you contact your mortgage issuer and they understand that you will not be paying the minimum payment in a single transaction.  Otherwise, they might count the partial payments towards your principal instead of the monthly payment!
Overall, I still think Evolve is a bit more of a hassle than Bluebird as long as you avoid Vanilla Visa cards from now on.  As of yesterday, I still had no problems purchasing a US Bank card and transferring it at Walmart, but if past experience is any indication, the days are numbered for this method as well.

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