Old Aug 2, 2013, 7:51 pm
FlyerTalk Forums Expert How-Tos and Guides
Last edit by: CWAL
A new thread was created for the new year in 2017. This is the old thread. For the 2017 on this topic, go here: http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/manufactured-spending/1819562-cvs-master-thread-2017-a.html

CVS is cash only for all Incomm-related reloads and reloadable cards, including Vanilla Reloads and Serve swipe reloads. See memo to stores for complete list. Other cards at CVS can still be bought using credit, but YMMV depending on location, Manager, etc.

New limits rolling out starting 10/20:
Transactions with $300 or more of card face value require ID.
Limit $2000 of card face value per 24 hour rolling period.
Limit of 10 cards per 24 hours.
Cashback posted in 48 hours.

Cash Register Freezing
Multiple reports that the CVS cash register will freeze and lock after scanning the ID when purchasing multiple prepaid cards. Then the register's computer needs to be restarted. Some report that "swiping" the ID instead of "scanning" will avoid the issue.

Limit of 7 tenders (swipes) per transaction. This is most commonly run into when using low-value AGCs. After seven, the transaction must be complete, no cash (or any other payment method) will be accepted to pay the balance.
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CVS master thread(2013-2016)

Old Jul 2, 2013, 11:11 am
  #841  
 
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Originally Posted by craz
Man reading thru all these very long threads are a killer, especially when most of what is written isnt of any help to a person 1st starting out with CVS

I understand that from post #1 to the last post its a few months and things change but Id guess that out of all 56 pgs that it probably could be condensed to 2 max, and save a new person hours of reading everything
Here's my simplified approach:
  1. CVS really wants to sell you VRs so there's no need to sneak around the store or have some made up explanation for your purchase. In fact, there's no more reason to have an explanation for this purchase than for the purchase of toilet paper.
  2. Speaking of toilet paper, if you need to buy something else, why not buy it at CVS that day? CVS really wants to sell VRs, but they really want to sell you other stuff as well. And, occasionally, there's stuff at CVS that you actually need that isn't way overpriced. I see nothing wrong with helping CVS's bottom line by making those additional purchases, and it might even be an incentive for CVSs to keep these cards in inventory.
  3. Max $1000 purchase at a time in many stores. I don't like to call attention to myself so lots of times, I only buy one card at a time.
  4. Not all CVSs stock these cards; of course, not all CVSs stock all of the "made for TV" items you see on some stores' shelves. Sometimes, however, they carry the cards behind the cashier's station rather than on a rack in the store. Ask the clerk.
  5. Some schmoes think they're cool by hiding cards. Don't be a schmoe.
  6. Staff training is uneven and some employees will naturally fear losing their jobs if they were told that certain types of gift, debit, etc. cards can't be purchased with creidt cards. I've had clerks tell me I can't use credit cards to purchase VRs. Sometimes the clerks will try if I mention that I've been able to do so in other stores; sometimes they won't. Look at this as the in person equivalent of "hang up, call again" and head for another store.
  7. Nothing's guaranteed in life. VRs will be in some stores and available for purchase by credit card this week but might not be the next. And may even revert back the following week. See number 6.
  8. Be nice to clerks and managers. They don't have to sell you VRs. Don't give them a reason to refuse you.
  9. Once purchased, understand that the VR card is just like $500 in cash. Drop it, lose it, misplace it, it's just like losing $500 in cash--no customer service department in the world is going to refund $500 to your credit card under those circumstances. Get it loaded to BB ASAP.
I've been buying VRs at CVSs for months now without any of the issues I keep reading about in this thread--except for one bad card that VR customer service took care of in a ten-minute phone call.
lwildernorva is offline  
Old Jul 2, 2013, 11:22 am
  #842  
 
Join Date: May 2013
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Originally Posted by lwildernorva
[*]Some schmoes think they're cool by hiding cards. Don't be a schmoe.
the 3 cvs around my house have dried up, till 3 weeks ago they were very well stocked
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Old Jul 2, 2013, 12:28 pm
  #843  
 
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Originally Posted by oohaahouch
the 3 cvs around my house have dried up, till 3 weeks ago they were very well stocked
if this game makes you angry you might consider looking for a new game. life is to short to get mad about something like this,
in the words of the great philosopher jimmy buffett "breath in, breath out, move on"
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Old Jul 2, 2013, 12:29 pm
  #844  
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Originally Posted by lwildernorva
Here's my simplified approach:
  1. CVS really wants to sell you VRs so there's no need to sneak around the store or have some made up explanation for your purchase. In fact, there's no more reason to have an explanation for this purchase than for the purchase of toilet paper.
  2. Speaking of toilet paper, if you need to buy something else, why not buy it at CVS that day? CVS really wants to sell VRs, but they really want to sell you other stuff as well. And, occasionally, there's stuff at CVS that you actually need that isn't way overpriced. I see nothing wrong with helping CVS's bottom line by making those additional purchases, and it might even be an incentive for CVSs to keep these cards in inventory.
  3. Max $1000 purchase at a time in many stores. I don't like to call attention to myself so lots of times, I only buy one card at a time.
  4. Not all CVSs stock these cards; of course, not all CVSs stock all of the "made for TV" items you see on some stores' shelves. Sometimes, however, they carry the cards behind the cashier's station rather than on a rack in the store. Ask the clerk.
  5. Some schmoes think they're cool by hiding cards. Don't be a schmoe.
  6. Staff training is uneven and some employees will naturally fear losing their jobs if they were told that certain types of gift, debit, etc. cards can't be purchased with creidt cards. I've had clerks tell me I can't use credit cards to purchase VRs. Sometimes the clerks will try if I mention that I've been able to do so in other stores; sometimes they won't. Look at this as the in person equivalent of "hang up, call again" and head for another store.
  7. Nothing's guaranteed in life. VRs will be in some stores and available for purchase by credit card this week but might not be the next. And may even revert back the following week. See number 6.
  8. Be nice to clerks and managers. They don't have to sell you VRs. Don't give them a reason to refuse you.
  9. Once purchased, understand that the VR card is just like $500 in cash. Drop it, lose it, misplace it, it's just like losing $500 in cash--no customer service department in the world is going to refund $500 to your credit card under those circumstances. Get it loaded to BB ASAP.
I've been buying VRs at CVSs for months now without any of the issues I keep reading about in this thread--except for one bad card that VR customer service took care of in a ten-minute phone call.
Thanks, I just edited my last post to reflect that Indeed I read all 56 pgs and all the posts. No choice as Ive gotten on others for not having done so and by simply asking for a summary and details how to proceed w/o taking the time and 1st reading the thread from post#1 to the last one

I have no problems helping someone who at least read everything and still needs help, which is way different from a person saying Im not gonna waste my time and read xx pgs would someone please walk me thru it, when had they read it all alot if not all of their questions would have been answered

I had a ton of questions I wrote down before I started reading the thread Id say 99% of them were answered simply by reading the thread. The remaining questions I PMed someone

So I will say to anyone else 1st starting out, do as I did write your questions on a piece of paper then settle back and read the thread and you too should end up with just a couple of unanswered questions, which either post on the thread or PM someone about. Its alot different seeing 2-4 questions then 100,and when the other person sees you put the time in they Im sure will be glad to help you out. Had everyone done that this thread would have been less then 2/3 its size
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Old Jul 2, 2013, 12:32 pm
  #845  
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Originally Posted by particlemn
if this game makes you angry you might consider looking for a new game. life is to short to get mad about something like this,
in the words of the great philosopher jimmy buffett "breath in, breath out, move on"
he also said if we couldn't laugh we'd all go insane
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Old Jul 2, 2013, 12:42 pm
  #846  
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Los Angles
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Originally Posted by Marathon Man
We are trying to confuse any cvs trolls
have success? I don't think..... just the opposite
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Old Jul 2, 2013, 12:55 pm
  #847  
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Posts: 580
Just some data here. I have a card that I have put over 100K of purchases on over the last 2.5 months...about 80K of them at CVS never with any issues (this is a 3 month promo I'm doing). Today at two different CVSs my transaction was declined. I did not try again on the same card, but I was able to get with a different card (only my one card makes sense though). One was beans, one vanillas visas, both 1K+.

I was able to use that card at a Rite-Aid in between for $500+. Also I stopped at a new CVS several days before where they did record my info on a pad for the first time. Going to try and do a test to determine if CVS is blocking that card from all purchases.
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Old Jul 2, 2013, 1:32 pm
  #848  
 
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Originally Posted by zeppoloveskafka
Going to try and do a test to determine if CVS is blocking that card from all purchases.
Every card decline I've had has come from the bank, not CVS. It could be CVS blocking, but I'd start with the bank. Have you used the "declined" card elsewhere? Maybe a test that way, or buy a non-VR/GC/etc at CVS and see what happens.
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Old Jul 2, 2013, 5:24 pm
  #849  
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I hope ya'll like my song by The Verve Points:

The FTer

When I was young I charged everything
And she, a punk who rarely ever took mileage advice
Now I'm debt-stricken, sobbin' with my head on the floor
Stopped at cvs and bought a shoe box full of VRs, oh

Can't be held responsible
She was swipin gcs
I won't be held responsible
She charged em up in the first place

For the life of me
I can not remember
What made us think that we were wise and we'd never lose miles
For the life of me
I can not believe we'd ever die
For these sins
We were merely FTers

Last edited by Marathon Man; Jul 2, 2013 at 7:56 pm
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Old Jul 2, 2013, 7:54 pm
  #850  
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
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Excellent alteration to the greatest song ever!
redhurdler is offline  
Old Jul 2, 2013, 9:50 pm
  #851  
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Originally Posted by zeppoloveskafka
Just some data here. I have a card that I have put over 100K of purchases on over the last 2.5 months...about 80K of them at CVS never with any issues (this is a 3 month promo I'm doing). Today at two different CVSs my transaction was declined. I did not try again on the same card, but I was able to get with a different card (only my one card makes sense though). One was beans, one vanillas visas, both 1K+.

I was able to use that card at a Rite-Aid in between for $500+. Also I stopped at a new CVS several days before where they did record my info on a pad for the first time. Going to try and do a test to determine if CVS is blocking that card from all purchases.
Originally Posted by ctbarron
Every card decline I've had has come from the bank, not CVS. It could be CVS blocking, but I'd start with the bank. Have you used the "declined" card elsewhere? Maybe a test that way, or buy a non-VR/GC/etc at CVS and see what happens.
He already did. He said so in his post to which you replied.
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Old Jul 3, 2013, 3:24 am
  #852  
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Originally Posted by redhurdler
Excellent alteration to the greatest song ever!
thanks!

As a side note, I just had a CC declined at CVS. Clerk got a note to call issuer so she did and then they said to have me call my card. I was using a Chase Hyatt, which I actually never use 9save some Chase GCs every month) and so when Chase told me this was because my activity was out of pattern they were right. I never charge up say, $1k at a CVS and then another and then a 3rd all in a 2 day period. Chase released the hold and did not care what I was buying. (I was doing $3k in spend on the card to meet a promo I got mailed (targeted) to me for the Hyatt card. (lesson: Dont use your CCs and they will send ya stuff to make you use it lol. Has happened with US Air, Hawaiian, etc lol)

Anyway I have not seen a store block me--other than the $1k limit, for which I now simply bring out my ID every time and slide it to the clerks when asking for the VRs to be purchased at $500 each plus fee, and my cards nearly always go through without issue. If there is a block it's usually because of something like having used that same card all over town for big spend that day. With my Citi card, this is easily and very quickly rectified as they tend to send a text after the 3rd or 4th big purchase if they decline me, and as soon as I respond to it with YES or OK, the hold is released and I can instantly use the card. No calls or waiting! it's the one thing Citi has right and better over the others!
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Old Jul 3, 2013, 3:23 pm
  #853  
 
Join Date: May 2013
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Originally Posted by particlemn
if this game makes you angry you might consider looking for a new game. life is to short to get mad about something like this,
in the words of the great philosopher jimmy buffett "breath in, breath out, move on"
The game doesnt make me angry, hiding the pie so that no one else takes it ... makes me angry at times.
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Old Jul 5, 2013, 5:23 pm
  #854  
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
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Ah, seems like VRs are getting hard to find now in LA/OC area..and 2 stores tried to use "cash only" where I've bought using my cc for the last 6 mos with no issues. I really hope we are not in the beginning stages of this new policy.
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Old Jul 6, 2013, 2:02 am
  #855  
 
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Originally Posted by tsmith12
Ah, seems like VRs are getting hard to find now in LA/OC area..and 2 stores tried to use "cash only" where I've bought using my cc for the last 6 mos with no issues. I really hope we are not in the beginning stages of this new policy.
The valley is the worst - I found 2 CVSs in close proximity to one another, both laden with beans......and with good reason....cash only. I talked to managers, explained how they were out of sync with other stores and just got given the run around. One manager even suggested that the till wouldn't let him ring it up with a CC but when I asked him to "try anyway" he refused. It does get a bit annoying sometimes.
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