Vanilla issues impractical advice about its declined Vanilla gift cards

Many Vanilla gift card users have complained about their cards being declined at various stores. A message on could reveal the reason.


“If you need help due to a declined transaction and have sufficient funds to cover the purchase, your Gift Card was most likely declined due to security and safety measures in place to protect your funds. Use your Card in-person or at a different merchant online and make sure to include the card security code.”


The message suggests that the issuer could have declined a transaction to protect the customer from a potentially fraudulent transaction. While fraud protection is prudent, especially for prepaid instruments, it becomes problematic when the card is declined the very first time that the user attempts to make a purchase. Declines on first-time uses have been the case for most people who have complained about failed transactions.


So, what should you do if your Vanilla gift card is declined? As Vanilla’s warning suggest, you can try using the card at a different merchant or at a different online store. Some users have also had experience trying the card at the same store on the same day. But, even the latter seems like an inconvenience when the card is advertised as being used “everywhere Visa debit cards, Debit Mastercard or Discover cards are accepted.” Some users, not willing to go through the hassle of figuring out when and where their gift card can be used, opt to contact the issuer and get a check mailed to them. 


If you face persistent issues using your Vanilla gift card (or any other gift card) and are unable to resolve the issue with the card issuer, you should consider reporting the incidents to regulatory bodies such as the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and the Better Business Bureau. These organizations can help investigate and address consumer complaints about gift cards.




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