After having a long and fruitful discussion with one of my regular readers, and reading some of the latest information in this Flyertalk thread , I decided I owed it to my readers to figure out once and for all whether it was possible to order multiple US Bank Visa Buxx cards.
There are a number of reasons why this is an interesting question. First of all, the Nationwide Visa Buxx card allows users, without any hacking whatsoever, to order a card with identical "parent" and "teen" information. However, the Nationwide card has a number of drawbacks compared to the US Bank Visa Buxx card: most importantly, a lower monthly load limit ($1,000 vs. $2,000) and a combined weekly purchase and ATM withdrawal limit of $800.
Unlike the Nationwide card, the US Bank Visa Buxx card does not allow accounts to be created with the same information for the parent and the teen. However, as I was the first blogger to report, the US Bank Visa Buxx does not actually verify in any way the information provided for the account's "teen."
This gave rise to the question of whether there was any verification process for the account's "parent." So, I decided to find out, and opened a brand new US Bank Visa Buxx account. At first, all signs were good: the online account was created, my credit card was charged, and I received an e-mail telling me my card would arrive in about 3 days.
Unfortunately, that's when my problems started. One day later, I received a voice message from a "verification department." When I logged into the "parent" account, I saw that the status of the card was "PFRAUD," instead of "ACTIVE" like my first account.
Oddly, a few days later, my new card arrived. However, when I called to activate the card, I was immediately transferred to the Customer Service department, where I was unable to make any headway activating the account. Finally, I asked for my money to be refunded, and was eventually told that it was possible, but that I would receive a check in 15-20 business days.
If you do decide to experiment with multiple US Bank Visa Buxx cards, here are my suggestions:
- Use a real Social Security number for the "parent" account;
- Use a different name for the "teen" account (the similarity of the names may have triggered my fraud alert);
- Make sure you use only "valid" Social Security numbers;
- Make your initial load small (I have $500 locked up in US Bank's coffers for up to month).