Update: JH Preferred spending limits

Background: Alert: JH Preferred limitations and shutdown reports
Background: JH Preferred cash advances: your miles may vary
Background: Update: JH Preferred

As you can see from the above background reports, the JH Preferred card is one that I've looked into in some depth. It's also a card about which there isn't a lot of information publicly available online.

Over the course of this month I've been using my own JH Preferred card fairly aggressively in order to manufacture as much spend as possible for the #milemadness manufactured spending competition. And that's caused me to run into one additional limitation of the card, in addition to those mentioned in the posts above.

Limitations on PIN-based debit card transactions

Between March 1 and March 13, 2014, I loaded $10,000 in Vanilla Reload Network reload cards to my JH Preferred account, unloading the same amount using PIN-based debit transactions at Walmart.

Today, I loaded an additional $1,000 without any problem, but was unable to make any PIN-based purchases at Walmart. Immediately fearing the worst, I made a signature-based "credit" transaction that was approved.

I ended up successfully unloading the remainder of my balance using a (credit) Amazon Payments transaction.

I dug up my cardholder agreement and found neatly filed with it an "Important Notice Regarding Changes to your JH Preferred Prepaid Visa Card:"

"The maximum amount that can be spent on your Card per month is $10,000.00."

From my experience, it appears that limit is enforced on PIN-based debit transactions, but not on signature or online credit transactions.


While I consider the above information valuable in its own right, for those seeking to take maximum advantage of the JH Preferred card, I also want to suggest that when your JH Preferred card is declined for the first time, don't panic. You may not have been shut down; you may simply have run up against the $10,000 monthly PIN-based debit transaction limit.

The next question I intend to investigate and report back on: is the $10,000 purchase limit based on the calendar month or a rolling 28-, 30-, or 31- day period?