If you read my 1st quarter churn post, you already know that I have a massive amount of spending required in order to get the full bonus miles and points from the 8 new credit cards that were approved a couple of weeks ago. Between my wife and I there is a grand total of $21,000 in spending that I have to run through credit cards in the next 4 months, an impossible task without manufacturing the majority of that spending! I am finding that the Wells Fargo Prepaid Visa is quickly becoming my new best friend!
I gave a little more detail on how I was going to generate $21,000 in spending in this prior post, which also has more detail on the fee’s and requirements of this card. But I thought I could give you a follow-up post or two as I start using it more and let you know anything new that I learn in the process.
I figured I would start off right away churning out the $10,000 in minimum spend on our two new Chase Ink Plus cards first. I loaded $2,500 on 1/14 since that is the most you can load at one time. Right away, I noticed that I was not charged the stated $5 fee to load the WF card from a credit card. After looking into it further I found that the fee is waived for your first load! That was a pleasant surprise.
The terms of the card say that you cannot load more than a max of $2,500 in 24 hrs, $3,500 in 15 days, and $4,500 in 30 days. So I marked my schedule out 16 days from the first load to go back in and do another load for $2,000. But I had heard reports of people claiming to be able to load more than the stated amounts in shorter time-frames so I decided to try loading another $2,000 on the card 5 days later. As you can see in the screenshot below, it was successful! $4,500 in 5 days! I like it!
The 2nd thing that I have noticed is that I have yet to be charged the $3 for the monthly account fee even though I have had the card for just over a month now. Maybe they don’t start the clock until after you load the card for the first time.? I’m not sure but that is the only thing I can think of.
How to get the money out of the prepaid card:
The prepaid card would go from being a sweet way to meet spending requirements to a crummy deal pretty fast if there wasn’t a way to get my money back out of the card fast enough to pay the credit card back in time to avoid interest! Like I’ve said before, if you cannot pay the card in full every month there you should NOT be using it. Otherwise what you earn will be completely erased by the interest charges.
I had a couple of ways that I initially planned on pulling money out of the account.
First, I was going to use Venmo to pull money out of my account and then transfer it from there into my bank account. Venmo states that they will allow you to deposit money into your online Venmo account for free from a debit card from most large banks but will charge you 3% for smaller banks. I guess I shouldn’t have assumed, but last I checked Wells Fargo was the 4th largest bank by assets in the US. I figured as a result Venmo would allow me to use the WF prepaid card for free. To my surprise, when I tried using the card Venmo told me that there would be a 3% fee! No dice with Venmo.
The second method I intend to use was Bluebird from American Express. The reason for loading money onto Bluebird is to be able to take advantage of the free bill pay service they provide in order to get points for paying my mortgage, utilities, etc.
The key to pulling money from the prepaid onto the Bluebird prepaid card is to do it at Wal-Mart. Wal-Mart is the only place where you can load your Bluebird card with NO fee. The Wells Fargo Prepaid has a limit of $600 per transaction so I figured I would do more than 1 transaction, no big deal. The gal at the register wasn’t entirely sure what to do but she managed to sputter through the deal and I got $600 off of WF and onto Bluebird. Then I tried to do a 2nd transaction, again for $600 and the WF card came back denied! I had forgotten that Bluebird has a limit that you can load of $1,000 per day. That’s not a big deal since I can just do 2 transactions for $500 each or $600 & $400. The only bad thing is that I have to go into Wal-Mart more often…
The third method happens to be the most simple for removing money from the WF Prepaid card. Simply withdraw money at a WF ATM which you are allowed to do 2 withdrawals per month for up to $500 each.
I also decided to get a WF Prepaid for my wife as well in order to meet spending requirements more quickly!