MSing w/ Nationwide Visa Buxx

UPDATE: This deal is dead as of February 2017.

I first found out about Nationwide Visa Buxx (NW Buxx) from a blog post at MilesPerDay.

Nationwide has a prepaid debit card program that allows “parents” to load these prepaid cards for the “teens”. It is all done through an online system, which allows you to load these prepaid cards with a Visa or Mastercard credit card. Therefore, it won’t work for manufacturing spend on an American Express card.

To create a new teen, you have to add all of their information (name, DOB, SSN, etc). I was able to create teens in multiple variations of my name and one in my wife’s name. I did all this using our actual SSNs (warning: if you use fake SSNs your application will most likely get shut down). I ended added a total of 5 “teens” over the span of a few months. After 5 teens, it has given me an error message that I cannot add anymore.

Prior to January 2016, you were able to load $500 on each teen card for $2. This was a great way to get points for cheap and to meet minimum spending for sign up bonuses. However, as of January 2016, you can only to an initial load of $100 and all subsequent loads can only be for $200. This means you’re spending $2 for every $200 of spend. This is 1%, which is still pretty good and helpful if you’re trying to meet a minimum spend. However, it is probably not worth it just for manufacturing points.

Other tips/tricks when using NW Buxx:
  • With Chase credit cards, I’ve noticed that while the transaction is pending it reduces your cash advance limit. When the transaction actually posts it codes as a purchase. This means if your cash advance limit is lower than $200, the transaction won’t go through.
  • You can only load $200 per week per teen card.
  • You can set your “teens” to allow ATM withdrawals of up to $200/week.
  • When withdrawing money at AllPoint ATMs, if it asks if you want to check your balances, click no/cancel. Otherwise you’ll get charged another $1 fee.
  • With Citi credit cards, you are able to pay your credit card bill over the phone using these prepaid debit cards.
  • There is a $1,000 balance limit and a $800 weekly spending limit per card.
  • It is worth keeping an excel sheet of when you load/unload since there are all the weird weekly/daily limits.
My current strategy

Since the recent change of only being able to load $200/week, I have only really been using NW Buxx to meet the minimum spending. Typically, I load my teen cards on Monday/Tuesday. Then, I go to an Allpoint ATM that doesn’t have withdrawal fees. I withdraw the $200 and deposit into my bank account. It is a pretty easy process and helped me easily meet the spending needed to get the SW Companion Pass. I also use one of my NW Buxx cards to pay my rent on RadPad (since there are no fees with debit cards). Overall, when you used to be able to load $500 it was much more lucrative to use NW Buxx. The $200 makes it not quite as profitable unless you’re looking for an easy way to meet a minimum spending bonus.