As per this NYTimes article, Green Dot will stop selling MoneyPak reload cards, and the cards are expected to be out of stores by the end of March. While these cards haven’t often been used in MS schemes given the stringent cash-only requirements for loading, I think this is a good reminder that there are many forces beyond miles/points enthusiasts that lead to product shutdowns.
The article discusses the use of MoneyPak cards in scams–for example, Green Dot MoneyPaks (and bitcoin) are often the preferred sources of payment to ransomware–given that the cards are anonymous and allow for quick transfer of funds. This is one of the cited reasons why Green Dot is discontinuing the cards.
As much as people like to blame bloggers for revealing secrets, here’s an example of a product that is in many ways similar to Vanilla Reloads and is also being shut down, in spite of having no real value to MS. Fraud and money laundering are much bigger concerns for these products than people trying to get points (albeit some aspects of MS can look like money laundering, but using credit cards is not particularly useful for introducing dirty money into the financial system).