So much for my internet fast. Since yesterday, there has been a lot of speculation about CVS adopting a “cash only” policy for Vanilla Reloads, starting March 31. I commented on this possible development and offered some tips on what to do if this does happen.
While I’m not concerned about how this affects manufactured spending, I did have about $6,000 worth of Amex gift cards I needed to cash out as efficiently as possible. So today, I drove 30 minutes out of town to make the rounds at several CVS stores in Davis, CA. There is one particular store that has been good to me in the past. It’s staffed by college students who are generally amiable and don’t make a fuss when you bring too many cards to the register.
The store was busier than usual and when I made it to the gift card rack, there wasn’t a single Vanilla Reload card left. Even the Paypal cards were gone. I ended up getting $3,000 worth of Visa gift cards instead, which I plan on unloading either via Bluebird or money orders. After paying for them, I asked the cashier if they had any Vanilla Reloads in the back. She explained that someone came in before me and bought them all. She also said the man (who, by her description, may have been The Pudding Guy) told her CVS may be going to a cash-only policy tomorrow and he was stocking up just in case. She had not heard anything about this policy from her supervisor, and if it was in fact being implemented tomorrow, the employees would have been notified.
I unloaded another $1,500 in Amex gift cards at this store, separating the transactions to avoid an ID swipe and stay under the $4,000 daily limit. I went to two more stores in Davis as well as Vacaville, which were well stocked. No word from the cashiers about a cash-only policy. I’m going out on a limb here in saying I think the change will be regional only. Eventually, CVS probably will implement a cash-only policy nationwide, like Riteaid and Walgreens seem to have done. I just don’t think that will happen tomorrow. I’ll be making the rounds again tomorrow morning, but I have a feeling I won’t run into any issues buying Vanilla Reloads with a credit card.
If you live in the Boca Raton area, though, you should probably stock up today since the cash-only policy will most likely affect CVS stores in that region.
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