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.
OneVanilla Frequently Asked Questions
- – How do I use my OneVanilla Prepaid Card?
- Simply present the Card at the time of payment, and sign the receipt. If you wish to use your card for a debit transaction, you will need to select a PIN of your choice for your Card. See below to learn more about selecting your PIN. As you use the Card, the balance will be reduced by the full amount of each purchase including taxes, charges and other fees, if any. The Card can be used to pay the full amount of the purchase and applicable taxes, so long as the balance remaining on the Card is sufficient. If you want to make a purchase for an amount greater than the remaining balance, you must notify the merchant before completing the transaction.
- – Where can I use my Prepaid Card?
- You may use your OneVanilla Card anywhere Visa debit cards, PULSE cards or Debit MasterCard is accepted within the fifty United States and District of Columbia; however, it does not include the territories of Puerto Rico, U.S. Virgin Islands, and Guam. The OneVanilla Prepaid Card cannot be used at merchants outside of the United States, including the Internet and mail order/telephone order merchants outside of the United States.
- – How do I activate my Prepaid Card?
- The Card is activated by the cashier at the time of purchase. Sign the back of the Card immediately where indicated. We recommend that you write down the Card number and the customer service number on a separate piece of paper in case the Card is lost or stolen.
- – Can I reload my Prepaid Card?
- The OneVanilla Card is not reloadable or returnable. If you are interested in a Prepaid card that is reloadable visit www.myvanilladebitcard.com and learn how to sign up for a MyVanilla Prepaid Card.
- – What billing address do I use for online and phone transactions?
- Your personal information is not associated with the Card therefore you should use your mailing address. This will ensure that if a problem arises you are able to be contacted by the merchant.
- – Why is the merchant charging me for more than what I signed on my receipt?
- Some purchases require a preauthorization. This is where the merchant sends in a transaction for a higher amount than the purchase. For example a $40 purchase at a restaurant is typically sent by the restaurant as $48 as they want to allow for a tip. We are required to approve and hold funds based on the $48 until the merchant finalizes the transaction which can take up to 10 days.
- – Where do I find the serial number on my Card?
- The serial number is the 9 digit number on the back of the Card in the bottom left corner.
- – How are merchandise returns processed?
- If you are entitled to a refund for goods or services obtained with your Card, you agree to accept credits to the Balance on your Card in place of cash. The credit will reflect on the Card within 30 days.
- – What are the fees associated with the Card?
- No fees other than the initial activation fee will be applied to the Card.
- – Can I share the balance or funds from one OneVanilla Card to another OneVanilla Card?
- No, you may not.
- – If I lose my Card or my Card gets stolen how do I get a refund or a replacement Card?
- If you believe that your Card has been lost or stolen you need to notify us IMMEDIATELY. You can do this by going to www.OneVanilla.com and clicking on the “”Contact us”” section, or by calling us at 1-877-770-6408. You will be asked to provide us with the Card number and other identifying information. We cannot provide a replacement Card unless you provide your Card number and all other requested identifying information. If our records show that a balance still remains on the Card, we will cancel the Card and, upon your request, issue a replacement Card to you in an amount equal to the remaining balance less any applicable fee (see below).
- – How do I select a PIN for the Card?
- While a PIN is not required to use your Card, for your convenience, you may add a PIN to your Card. Simply Select 4-digit PIN of your choice during your first debit or PIN transaction. The PIN that you enter at the register at that time will be your PIN for all future PIN transactions.
- – What do I do if I forget my PIN?
- Don’t worry; your Card can always be used for credit transactions without a PIN. But, if you would like to clear your PIN, you may do so by calling the customer service number on the back of your Card or by logging into this website with your Card number and choosing “Manage PIN”. Once you have cleared your PIN, you will need to select a new 4-digit PIN of your choice during the next use of your card for a PIN transaction.
- – Why was my Card declined at the pump?
- When using pay at the pump a preauthorization is processed that could be greater than your Card balance to compensate for not knowing the final purchase amount. To avoid a decline, it is recommended you go inside and tell the attendant exactly how much you want to pay.
- – When can I start using my OneVanilla Card?
- You can start using your OneVanilla Card at the time of purchase. The OneVanilla Card is activated at the store. Note: Some retailers may hold funds for up to 24 hours after time of purchase.
- – What denominations can I purchase a OneVanilla Card for?
- The OneVanilla Prepaid Card is a Variable Load Card, which means, you can load any amount between $20 and $500.
- – Can I get cash with my OneVanilla Card?
- The Card cannot be used at ATMs. If you are interested in using your Prepaid Card at an ATM you may like the reloadable MyVanilla Prepaid Card – learn more at www.myvanilladebitcard.com. You may not use your card to get cash back at the point of sale.
- – How do I dispute a OneVanilla Card transaction?
- If there are any disputes in regard to purchases you make using the Card, you agree to settle such disputes with the merchant from whom the purchase was made.
- – Can I use my Prepaid Card for reoccurring billing?
- No, your OneVanilla Prepaid Card cannot be used for this purpose.
- – Can I use my OneVanilla Card at gas stations?
- Yes. If you pay at the pump for gas, the pump terminal may check to see if you have funds to pay for up to $125 worth of gas because the station doesn’t know how much you are going to buy. If you do not have $125 available on your Card, your transaction may be declined. If you plan to buy less than $125 worth of gas, it is recommended that you give your Card to the station attendant and state exactly how much gas you want to purchase, instead of swiping your Card at the pump.”