January is the month that keeps on giving.
Flyertalk member and American Hero BarnyardRomeo on Monday brought the community's attention to the existence of a new member of the Visa Buxx family of prepaid cards: the TD Go Card. I ordered my card immediately, and while it hasn't arrived yet, I want to share what I know so those of my readers who are interested can get their orders in as soon as possible.
Background: Visa Buxx
The Visa Buxx family of cards are PIN-enabled, reloadable prepaid Visa debit cards. While there are a fair number of these cards, the two that have traditionally been of interest to the travel hacking community are the Nationwide Visa Buxx and US Bank Visa Buxx (and the similar, since-discontinued Wells Fargo Prepaid Card), since they can be reloaded using third-party Visa and MasterCard credit cards. Most – but not all – credit card companies award miles and points for these transactions, and the money can be easily liquidated using any of the PIN-based debit techniques we have available.
Like the Nationwide Visa Buxx – but unlike the US Bank card – it's possible to sign up for a TD Go card using the same personal information for the "parent" and the "teen." That means it's not necessary to fudge your data or "swap places" with a partner in order to register. I did leave my middle initial out in the "teen" information section, purely from an overabundance of caution.
You can make an initial load of $20 to $1,000 using any Visa or MasterCard credit or debit card, and you'll pay a $4.95 enrollment fee.
Here's where this card gets really exciting: it's superior to the Nationwide and Visa Buxx cards in every way. From the terms and conditions, here are the limits on loads:
Limitations on Dollar Amount of Loads. The initial minimum load is twenty dollars ($20.00) and the maximum is one thousand dollars ($1,000). You may load up to one thousand ($1,000.00) per day on Your Card, not to exceed three thousand dollars ($3,000.00) per thirty (30) days. Your maximum Card value at any time is two thousand dollars ($2,000.00).
Even better, instead of $2.50 (for the US Bank card) or $2 (for Nationwide), each load of up to $1,000 costs just $1.
Now, before you try to load $3,000 over three days and make a single Walmart bill payment, keep in mind that the maximum balance on the card at any one time is $2,000, and (not surprisingly) the card has a daily purchase limit of $2,000. You can find additional information in the terms and conditions and in this handy TD Go product guide. You should read both thoroughly.
I've already ordered my card, and I strongly recommend you think about ordering one for yourself as well. It's impossible to say how long this opportunity will last: the US Bank and Nationwide Visa Buxx are going strong with nary a whimper, while the highly-lucrative Well Fargo Prepaid Card was discontinued, presumably because it wasn't profitable enough for the issuing bank.
Here's hoping January has even more pleasant surprises in store for us!