Update: JH Preferred

Back on January 31, I shared some of my preliminary impressions of the JH Preferred prepaid Visa card. An Incomm product like MyVanilla Debit cards, the JH Preferred card was also "Vanilla-reloadable," but with no monthly fee and no transaction fee, which I argued made it the perfect candidate for Evolve Money liquidation. I also shared several posts from Flyertalk about account shutdowns after what seemed like pretty typical usage of the card.

On February 16, I related my experience unsuccessfully trying to get a $4,995 cash advance at my trustworthy local bank branch.

As I said in that post:

"I was ultimately able to liquidate my $5,000 JH Preferred balance by making 3 Walmart PIN-based debit transactions."

More information on load limits

Now that I'm entering my second calendar month with the card, I'm able to report some very interesting news: I loaded $1,000 in Vanilla Reload Network reload cards to my JH Preferred card on March 1, and was able to load an additional $1,000 each day thereafter. In other words, it appears that the $5,000 monthly load limit is based on the calendar month, not a rolling 30-day period.

Additionally, I was able to load $1,000 on March 6, 2014, even though that brought my total calendar month loads to $6,000. An additional load on March 7 was unsuccessful, so it's not clear whether the actual load limit is $6,000, or if there was some kind of technical error that allowed me to load an additional $1,000 this calendar month.

What is the shutdown risk?

I ask this not because I have an answer, but because I don't know. It certainly seems like the kind of activity I've had with the card – large loads and immediate unloads – is the kind of behavior that would attract shutdown risk. But my account is still open.

I've mentioned before that it's best not to take Flyertalk reports at face value, because there are certainly members there who have a vested interest in discouraging people from taking advantage of their preferred hacking techniques.

I'm not saying that's what happened here. But I am saying that – for now – it appears that JH Preferred cards have a slightly longer shelf life than I initially suggested.

I know my readers will share their own experiences in the comments.