Major problems with Vanilla Visa Gift...
Angry Customer

Coosa, GA

#23 Mar 22, 2010
Vanilla Visa Card is a RIP-OFF!!!!! This company is receiving massive numbers of complaints and the Better Business Bureau is getting overwhelmed with complaints about this company. The problems are that even after activation the card is turned down and the value is never retrieved. It is as though the company hopes that you finally give up on trying to use it and they keep YOUR money as profit!

I had to call Vanilla Visa at least one dozen times, sent 3 letters and a dozen emails and only after threatening to go public to the local area TV stations did Vanilla Visa really "ACTIVATE" the card!!!!

If you purchase Vanilla Visa Card you may lose 100% of your investment!





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Donna B

Moscow, Russia

#24 Mar 28, 2010
Reply to WOW - This card is advertised as a gift card in the UK. To your credit you really did go to great lengths to retrieve the value of your card. Most people just want to use the card as they choose. Well done to you for finding a way to spend the money.
Upset in Hershey

Palmyra, PA

#25 Apr 25, 2010
I wish I would have read these comments before I purchased a Vanilla Visa Gift Card for my grandson's birthday gift. I was totally embarrased when his parents tried to use it to shop and was declined!!! How can that be???? I paid in full for the card, even have a receipt. NOw I need to backtrack and try and get my own money back..what a shame Vanilla Visa Gift Card people!!
Pissed in Philly

Philadelphia, PA

#26 May 3, 2010
What's the deal, guys? Don't you make enough money?Have to rip people off with these so-called gift cards to make some easy money. By the time the government gets involved, you'll have already made a good bundle off of the trusting, hard working people who buy them, only to be embarrassed when their family and friends tells them they don't work.
Shame on you!

Coosa, GA

#27 May 3, 2010
Vanilla Visa Cards make an embarrassing gift. When the giftee tries to use it will be declined causing the recipient mush distress and humiliation. Then You the purchaser who gave the card as a gift will be embarrassed that you gave a gift that cannot be used. Beware! Vanilla Visa Cards are a terrible gift to give!

Altoona, PA

#28 May 10, 2010
I have bought about a dozen Vanilla Visa cards (I use it to buy things online because I'm not yet of age to have a real credit card) and have never had a single problem. Make sure the when you buy it they activate the card and then once you have it register it online ("register" is just your name and address).
horrible so far

Birmingham, AL

#29 May 11, 2010
I was given a $100 vanilla gift card for Christmas.

The first week of February 2010, I went to the Vanilla Gift Card website and confirmed the $100 balance.

I created a spreadsheet in google docs so I could track spending and ensure I used the money before they start charging $2.50 beginning the 7th month after activation.

I made one purchase the second week of February for an amount <$10.

I haven't used it since then.

Tonight, I went to to re-check the balance. It said there was < $14 & showed an initial activation credit of $20, in February, even though the gift card was purchased in December of 2009 (which, according to the card agreement, is when the initial activation takes place). Something is fishy here.

I called 1-800-571-1376, worked my way through the menu to speak to a CSR and she said the initial amount was $20 (even though their FAQ at says the only denominations available are $25,$50 & $100) and there wasn't anything she could do.

I explained that I had the card agreement that came with the card in front of me (as well as the card agreement online, which said the same thing) & it said that a $20 card denomination wasn't possible. Plus, I had confirmed & recorded both my initial balance as well as the remaining balance after the single purchase I made.

I asked her if I could send the original purchaser's receipt for the card (or a billing statement showing how much they paid for it) and she said I could. I would need to fax the receipt, the 16 digit card number & my name to 1-800-567-4118. I was also given a reference number.

After reading all the bad stories, this doesn't surprise me. I should've just used it all up as soon as I got it.

A side note to Donna B: you cannot use the card in the U.K. directly at a self service petrol pump, you have to take it in person to the cashier. This is clearly spelled out in the card agreement for those card.(I'm in the U.S.) Your card agreement can be found at
North Georgia

Coosa, GA

#30 May 12, 2010
I bought several Vanilla Visa cards as gifts for nieces and nephews and everyone of them had a nightmare trying to use the cards. It took quite an effort on all of our parts to get Vanilla Visa to straighten out the problem and allow them to use the card. I will never use that incompetent company again!
A advise everyone to never purchase a Vanilla Visa Gift Card! That company is awful!

Norcross, GA

#31 May 14, 2010
My experience with Vanilla Visa was awful and after a month of emails and phone calls I finally got to use the card. I have used cards from other companies with no problem. Vanilla Visa is the only one that proved to be a truly bad experience.

Dow, IL

#32 May 17, 2010
They have non-existent customer service almost impossible to get a live person to talk to. And then you will be on hold forever! Over 20 minutes. They may say that they will send a replacement but I never got it. Then it will take another 7-14 days. If I don't get it this second time then they will see if they can escalate it. Where is customer service? Not here. Thanks for taking money and a fee and providing NO SERVICE! I was previously refused my first card 3 times. Even though there was money on it. DO NOT BUY THESE!

Los Angeles, CA

#33 May 21, 2010
Vanilla wrote:
People need to learn how to use a bank issued giftcard. For one the card is not meant to be spent for more than the value. Pay whatever is over on your transaction. If people would stop being so damn lazy and learn math and how to use a card, you would have no problem. I've called Customer service plenty of times and they've assisted me very good. People need to grow up, learn how to use a bank issued gift card and quit posting crap online. Maybe go back to highschool??
Oh you must be an employee or affiliated
with them. These cards suck balls and customer service is unreachable. you yak!lol

Dow, IL

#34 May 28, 2010
I have called customer service plenty of times. Only to be disconnected, left on hold for a long time or hung up by the phone system because my card number doesn't work! Again Horrible lack of customer service. Two actual speaking calls and still not resolved. This problem is NOW TAKING MONTHS TO RESOLVE. They got the money and the service fee. All I have is a lot of time lost and looking like over $200 lost. How can this go on without someone stopping this RIP OFF! This is a MAJOR SCAM. Run from this company. Do not use this company? Give CASH. It will save the recipient time and trouble and they can actually use it! Now third call talking to a supervisor only to tell me that I was put in the WRONG FILE. REALLY??? Who are we kidding????????? Now I am told I should have it by the end of next week. Will I get it after the third request??????

Smyrna, GA

#35 Jun 4, 2010
I just bought this card yesterday so i could buy music for my zune online without using my debit card... I am so pissed they really need to be reported this was my hard earned money I am so upset I'm writting a letter to walgreens for selling such a shitty card and I am writting a letter to this shitty company! They are going down big time! I just wonder how many people they have ripped off? and how much money they have collected?
Vanilla Visa SUCKS

Coosa, GA

#36 Jun 7, 2010
Tell everyone you know how much a Vanilla Visa Card is a RIP-OFF!!!!!!
Upset Gift Card Recipient

Bremerton, WA

#37 Jul 5, 2010
I received a Vanilla Visa Gift Card as a gift. Not knowing the purchase date, I didn't realize my gift was dwindling away for "Monthly Maintenance Fees." I did not appreciate the embarrassment of being declined at the register. The store cashier suggested checking the website for the amount of money available on the card. I could have chewed nails when I saw the number of service fees taken. The gift giver was not aware of this practice or she would NEVER have bought this "gift" card. This is a rip off and I feel cheated out of my gift. I would enjoy seeing this company go out of business and I believe many would agree with me when I say this company should refund the money taken for service fees because they got their money when the cards were first purchased. We have extended overdraft protection; now we need gift card fraud protection.
WOW is an idiot

Norcross, GA

#38 Jul 9, 2010
WOW are you really that stupid? These people are complaining because Vanilla Visa sells cards that are turned down for making purchases for no good reason. Vanilla Visa is not activating the cards in hope that the customer will eventually give up and Vanilla Visa pockets that much more extra profit. Vanilla Visa is an awful company that needs to be investigated by the federal government and charged with racketeering! The Vanilla Visa Card customer service department is a joke. They rarely even answer the phone and they do not return emails.

I purchased Vanilla Visa as a gift card and the recipients could not make purchases with them. It took over a month, dozens of phone calls and even more emails to and threats to go to TV News investigative teams to get Vanilla Visa to finally and correctly activate the cards so they could be used. They told lie after lie in the process. VANILLA VISA SUCKS!!!!!

Des Plaines, IL

#39 Aug 10, 2010
I received vanilla visa card for my birthday. When I tried to register it online, it gives a message "INVALID CARD NUMBER".

It's a ripp off.....Vanilla Visa is disgusting!!!
Vanilla Visa is a Rip Off

Coosa, GA

#40 Aug 12, 2010
Clarke Howard should do an expose on Vanilla Visa card. Vanilla Visa is the worst company supplying pre-paid debit cards in America, quite possibly the entire world. This company SUCKS! Buyer Beware!!!!

I urge all consumers to complain to the stores that supply Vanilla Visa cards. Vanilla Visa deserves to be put out of business for the way they treat customers and rip-off buyers!

Waterbury, CT

#41 Aug 15, 2010
y'all stupid? im 15 and i understand it. its not that difficult of a concept

United States

#42 Aug 24, 2010
These cards are a scam. First, they expire, unlike virtually any other giftcard. Secondly, they charge a "service fee" starting the seventh month that there is a remaining balance. Basically, if you don't use the card within six months the company literally takes away your gift money. In what way is this fair or legal? I doubt that the people who buy these cards are away of the limits put on the card. People should avoid buying these at all costs.

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