New Vanilla Reloads location (but not so fast!)

Most of you know that my wife and I recently moved to San Antonio, so we’ve been doing our grocery shopping at H.E.B. If you’ve never heard of H.E.B., they are a pretty large regional grocery chain. They are actually the 25th largest retailer in the U.S., with $18 billion in revenues in 2012, but they are only located in Texas and have a handful of stores in Mexico.

As I was getting ready to pay, I took a quick peak at their gift cards rack, which by now is my favorite place at any store. This is what I saw:


I thought this would be a good location to buy a Vanilla Reload card every now and then so I’m not doing all my spending at CVS, but when I tried to purchase the card and swiped my credit card, the register wouldn’t take it. The cashier didn’t seem to know why (only if she really knew), and of course, “neither did I”. She called a manager, who tried to override it to no avail. Then the manager transferred the purchase to the customer service desk and tried there, but no-go. She said there was a problem with my form of payment (of course I knew what the problem was). She said that the register showed an invalid tender (that would be the credit card payment), so I would probably need to pay with cash or debit. I thanked her for trying and for her trouble and left.

In the next couple of days I will try to buy it at a different store and see if I have better luck, but I don’t have my hopes too high.

If you happen to live in Texas or are in the area, you might want to try a store and see if you have a different result. If so, by all means feel free to report it here. I will update this post after I’m able to visit another store.


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2 Responses to New Vanilla Reloads location (but not so fast!)

  1. MattK says:

    Welcome to San Antonio! I’m in Houston but San Antonio has always been second home. HEB only really entered Houston about five years ago whereas they’ve been a major chain everywhere else in Texas for as long as I can remember. Not sure why they took so long but I’m really glad they’re here! I’ve been searching all over for the Vanilla Reloads, including HEB and have not seen them at any grocery chain.

    I have been able to find them at a CVS but am not sure which card would be best there; any ideas? I also see them a lot at OD again but, like everyone else, it appears to be cash only. The stores want to sell them to me via cc but they just can’t do it.

    • travelguys says:

      Thx MK. CVS is my go-to place right now, but you might want to try Valero corner store shops and 7-11s as those seem to be popping up now as accepting credit cards for the reloads. I personally use any credit cards that I might be working on minimum spending, and if not, the SPG Amex for me is good since the points are so valuable. I always also try to mix up between different credit card issuers and buy them in moderation so I’m not perceived as someone abusing the benefits.

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