It is all too easy for the average person with a low balance checking account to use their debit card, accidentally overspend, and get hit with overdraft fees. Other people, the “unbanked”, cannot have a checking account at all due to a negative Chexsystems score.
OneVanilla is a reloadable prepaid Visa or MasterCard debit card which is one partial solution for someone with these personal finance problems. Instead of using money from a checking account, the user loads funds onto the prepaid card ahead of time.
Since it is not a credit card, you don’t need to submit any personal information. No credit checks or background checks are needed. The collateral for the card is the money you deposit to load the card
The OneVanilla card is a limited alternative to a checking account because it does not come with checkwriting privileges or ATM access. However, it is still a good way to budget your money so that you don’t overspend.
What to Know About Your Card
OneVanilla prepaid debit cards are sold in big retail stores and supermarkets. You will usually find these cards labeled as being between $20 and $500. That doesn’t mean it costs $20 to $500 to purchase the card. This means you can load the card with a minimum of $20 and up to a maximum of $500.
Remember, this is not a credit card where you are borrowing money and paying interest on that money. Prepaid debit cards only have the money that you deposit into them. When you take the card to the cashier at the checkout line, they will ask you how much you want to load on the card. Whatever the amount is, you will pay them this amount during checkout plus whatever extra fees there are for the card itself.
When you initially load money onto the OneVanilla card, there is a $3.95 fee. There are no fees when you actually use it to make purchases or get cash back from the cashier.
How to Use Your Card
The card can be used any physical location that accepts Visa/MasterCard debit cards, such as WalMart and Walgreens.
It can also be used to buy products or services online at Amazon.com, eBay.com, and most other online stores.
How to Check Your Balance
After purchasing a OneVanilla prepaid card, you can login to your account through their website. You can use this online account to check your account balance, reload your card with additional funds, and assign a zip code for online purchases.
With your card in hand, proceed with the following steps to check your balance:
- Whenever you want to manage your account and check your remaining balance, you visit their website.
- On the homepage, you will see a box with the header “Manage Your OneVanilla Card.”
- Fill out the requested information about your debit card. No username or password is needed.
- First, input your card number. It is 16 numbers long. There are no letters or spaces.
- Next, enter in the 2-digit expiration date month and 2-digit year. For example: Type “01” and “22” for January 2022.
- Lastly, provide the 3-digit CVV number from the back of the card.
- Once you enter this information, you simply click the Sign In button.
- You will immediately be taken to your account dashboard where the balance of your card will be visible. From there, you can choose to reload the card if you want to.
Other Ways to Check the Balance
Alternatively, there is a customer service phone number on the back of the OneVanilla card. You can call this number to find out your card balance. If you are having troubling logging in using the steps mentioned above, you should also call this number.
When you call, the prerecorded voice will ask you to enter your 16-digit debit card number. You can also choose to speak with a customer service representative if you have specific questions about your account or its balance.
If you’re at a participating retailer that sells OneVanilla cards, take your existing card to a cashier. They can check the balance as well.
How to Activate
OneVanilla Visa and MasterCard prepaid cards are activated automatically when purchased. There is no need to call an activation number like you would if it were a regular credit card. You can start using your prepaid card immediately. There is no card activation process you need to go through.
However for some online purchases, the store may require a zip code. To assign a zip code to your card, visit their website and follow the same instructions above as if you were checking your balance. You will see an option called “Assign ZIP Code”.
If you wish to use your card for debit transactions, you will need to set a PIN (personal identification number). Again, follow the steps previously outlined for managing your card. There will be an option to set a new PIN or change the existing PIN.