News from the front: TD Go and online Bluebird debit load limits

As I mentioned last week, I am currently traveling, hence the lighter-than-usual posting schedule. But there are two quick hits I want to share with readers before I head to the rodeo.

TD Go (slowly) sloughs off this mortal coil

As my regular readers know, I recently moved from a state where TD Go cards were issued to one where they are not. I conveniently forgot to change the billing address on my linked credit card, which gave me a few more months of cheap manufactured spend, but I'm now seeing reports (apologies to whoever posted it first) that starting September 3, TD Go cards will allow funding only from TD Bank-issued credit cards (which presumably won't award whatever rewards currency TD Bank is issuing these days).

While TD Go's $3,000 monthly load limit was a rounding error of manufactured spend, it was a cheap rounding error, and it will be missed.

Bluebird raises online debit load limits

In addition to a $2,500 daily and $5,000 calendar monthly cash load limits, American Express's Bluebird checking account alternative also allows $1,000 in monthly online debit loads.

Since the product was launched, the only way to reach that $1,000 monthly load limit has been through online loads capped at $100 per calendar day. While painless, those 10 online loads have always a bit of a recurring nuisance.

Responding, no doubt, to the plaintiff cries of travel hackers everywhere, American Express has raised those daily online debit load limits to $200.


Together with PayPal's move to calendar-monthly My Cash load limits and Bluebird's change to $2,500 daily cash load limits (from the previous, $1,000 daily load limit), the working travel hacker's life has been simplified immensely in just the past few weeks.

And the only sacrifice the travel hacking gods demanded was $3,000 in unbonused spend.

I'll take it.

Charlotte preview: Visa Buxx

It's no secret: I love my Visa Buxx cards. While Visa Buxx transactions aren't in any bonus category, they are a cheap and easy way to earn several thousand points or miles each month, as long as you have a non-Citi-issued rewards-earning Visa or MasterCard to use.

Nationwide ($1,000)

While the Nationwide Visa Buxx is the least lucrative of the 3 I carry, it's also the easiest to get, since there are no geographic restrictions and you can sign up for it using the same personal information for the "parent" and the "teen." And $1,000 in spend for $4 a month is nothing to sneeze at! Just keep the 7-day, $800 PIN-based transaction limit in mind.

US Bank ($2,000)

While the signup link for this card is no longer publicly available, those with already-existing accounts can continue to load up to $2,000 per month, per card. Back in October of last year, I ran an experiment to see if it was possible to sign up for more than one US Bank Visa Buxx account. It ended up being a somewhat stressful experience, and although I got my money back I ultimately decided not to color too far outside the lines with this product.

However, many people have reported much success signing up for multiple accounts and ordering multiple "teen" cards per account.

My favorite thing about the US Bank version is the free ATM withdrawals at US Bank ATMs. By avoiding additional unloading costs, you can reduce your cost per dollar of manufactured spend and/or preserve valuable Bluebird load capacity for other, less flexible products.

TD Go ($1,000)

Unfortunately, I was only able to use $1,000 of the $3,000 monthly TD Go load limit for the manufactured spending competition, since my last two loads of the month fell on the 29th and 30th of March – outside the timeframe of the 28-day competition!

Nonetheless, this is an amazing and amazingly cheap product, so if you live in one of the geographic regions served by TD Bank, it's a no-brainer to sign up as soon as possible.

If there's one thing I dislike about the TD Go, it's the rolling 7-day, $2,000 transaction limit. This month I did my first unloading transaction a few days later than usual, and when I went to Walmart for my second round of unloading, I realized I hadn't let the full 7 days elapse!


While they aren't massively scalable (unless you're willing to really work at it), the Visa Buxx line of products is an easy way to get $3,000-6,000 up on the board each month.

Update: TD Go transaction limits

On January 22 I reported that a Flyertalk member had shared a new Visa Buxx card that was superior to the existing Nationwide and US Bank versions. After patiently waiting for my card to arrive, on the 29th I made a horrible realization: the card has an unpublished transaction limit. As I wrote last week,

"The reason to tentatively suspect that it's a 7-day rolling limit is that is the time period for the Nationwide Visa Buxx's $800 transaction limit.

The worst case scenario is that the limit is enforced over a 30-day rolling period, in which case this card is functionally only good for $2,000 in cheap manufactured spend per month, rather than $3,000."

Now that I've had the card for 8 days, I'm pleased to be report that the rolling, $2,000 limit is over 7-days. That means it's possible to manufacture the full $3,000 load limit each month.

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Warning: TD Go transaction limits?

You can file this story under "developing," but I want to immediately alert my readers to a potential problem using the TD Go Visa Buxx card I wrote about last week.

My Experience

When my TD Go card first arrived it was loaded with my initial load of $20 (after my US Bank experience I decided I'd play it safe with this product). After activating the card, I immediately loaded it with $1,000 and headed down to my friendly neighborhood Walmart to make a bill payment, which was successful.

Over the course of a few days I was able to load an additional $1,980, meeting the monthly load limit of $3,000 without exceeding the balance limit of $2,000 described in the TD Go product guide (link not currently working).

Today I went back to the same Walmart and tried to make a bill payment for $1,980, which should have been allowed since it's under the $2,000 published daily transaction limit.

The transaction failed, with the error "debit not allowed" printing out on a slip from the register. Remembering this FlyerTalk post, I feared the worst and immediately called the number on the back of the card.

I was immediately connected to a customer service representative, who saw the declined transaction and set about researching the problem. He said "the limits recently changed," but didn't know the details.

When he came back, he told me that there was a new $1,000 transaction limit, but that I could swipe my card once for $1,000 and then again for the balance of my purchase.

That didn't work either.

When I got home I hopped onto Evolve Money and initiated a $980 bill payment to a 529 College Savings Plan account, which processed successfully and was immediately reflected on my online TD Go balance.

One Hypothesis

At this point, based on the extremely limited data I have, my tentative hypothesis is that the $2,000 transaction limit described in the TD Go product guide is not actually a daily limit, but is rather enforced over some other period. My current purchases are on January 26 and 28, so if it's a 7-day rolling limit I should be able to make another transaction on February 2 or 3. Naturally I will keep my readers updated with that data.

The reason to tentatively suspect that it's a 7-day rolling limit is that is the time period for the Nationwide Visa Buxx's $800 transaction limit.

The worst case scenario is that the limit is enforced over a 30-day rolling period, in which case this card is functionally only good for $2,000 in cheap manufactured spend per month, rather than $3,000.

More Data Needed!

Do you have a TD Go card yet? Have you run into any transaction limits? Have any of your large purchases at Walmart been declined? See you in the comments.

Welcome the newest member of the Buxx family: TD Go Card

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.

I wrote a whole post on the nuances of loading and unloading those two cards, so if you're hazy on the details of Visa Buxx cards, check out that post before reading on.

Signing Up

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!