Vanilla credit cards have no annual or monthly fees, are simply a basic credit card without any special features or benefits and usually no extra monthly or yearly charges. While the overall benefits of vanilla credit cards are usually the same from one bank to another, the individual credit limit will vary from one card to another. You do have the option of transferring your balance between credit cards but this will usually result in an additional interest charge. Most companies offer zero percent balance transfers but you should always check to see if they have this feature available before you make your transfer.
There are some positives associated with using these types of cards. For starters, they are simple and easy to get approved for. It does not take a great deal of money to get approved for a vanilla credit card and many cards offer free trial periods or even introductory offers that can save you quite a bit of money if you can show them that you can use the credit responsibly. These cards often come with very low fees and low APRs, so it is easy to balance out the cost of the account versus the benefits. They also do not require an annual fee or a grace period before you can begin making purchases. You can even use these cards for money management and for traveling across the globe.
There are some negatives associated with these cards too. Although they are easy to get approved for they might be harder to actually activate. There are only a select few companies who offer these types of cards and they are usually restricted to certain areas or card types. If you happen to move or you become unemployed your credit limit and the ability to use the Vanilla card may be limited. This could cause you to incur an entirely new set of expenses and penalties which could negatively affect your credit score.
With these prepaid debit cards you have the ability to load money into them from an account with a bank. Once loaded, you can use this money virtually anywhere a credit card can. The Vanilla prepaid debit cards do not provide any type of reloads, so you cannot reload them with cash once they have been activated. This is a better option than a traditional credit card because you do not have to have reloaded funds available at all times. When you need cash you just take out more money from your bank account until you have reached your spending limit and you can then make purchases.
These prepaid debit cards usually do not offer rewards, perks or any type of customer assistance. Credit card issuers reward credit cards with frequent flyer miles and other incentives. These types of offers could actually hurt you if you do not use them wisely. With the Vanilla prepaid debit cards you are not going to receive any type of reward programs. They are not like cash back or rebate programs either. The credit card issuers reward credit cards are designed to simply give you the use of your credit cards have to be used.
One of the biggest problems that people run into when using these credit cards is knowing how to cancel them. Most people who have a Vanilla credit card end up paying a fee every month for their services. The problem is this, with most credit cards, you have no way of canceling your account before the grace period ends. If you do not pay your fees then you will be charged late fees which can make it harder to . . . . . . pay down debt and get your credit rating back on track. With the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) in place you are entitled to a 30-day period of notice before being billed.
Most people would think that they would not have to worry about using these prepaid Visa debit cards because they are linked to an actual bank account with funds available. It is possible to transfer money from your Vanilla Visa cards to a regular credit card account but this is actually illegal. The problem is these cards report to the three major credit bureaus and all your activities with them is reported to them. This means your future employer will find out if you are using your credit cards and will make your past due payments if you continue to use them. You may find yourself the target of a discrimination lawsuit because of these reports.
What you need to do if you plan on keeping your Vanilla Visa debit card is cancel them before the 30-day grace period expires. There are many companies online that will help you cancel your account once the fee has been added. These companies will charge a one time fee for the services but in most cases it is nothing compared to what you will pay each year for having the standard credit cards. It is important to note that even though you cannot be charged late fees or charged for cash advances, you will still be charged for the interest. The last thing you want is a huge interest penalty that wipes out any savings you had built up over time with your Vanilla credit cards.
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