Types Of Visa Gift Cards
Visa offers seven different gift cards, each of which you can buy on their main website. These are similar to a Visa debit card in that you can transfer money onto individual cards.
You use these instead of cash just like you would a debit or credit card, but you dont have to link the card to your bank account. A Visa gift card is already preloaded with money.
Once you buy the gift card, you must determine the amount the maximum tends to be around $500.
Keep in mind third parties provide you more specific information on these gift cards Visa works directly with these companies.
The Visa gift cards available are as follows:
- Vanilla Gift Card
- Navy Federal Credit Union
The Vanilla Gift Card is one of the most common ones. You can use this card for non-contact transactions, which include orders over a website, phone, and mail.
The card only works with any store that accepts Visa cards, mainly based in the United States.
Can You Transfer Money From A Gift Card To A Debit Card
While you cant directly transfer money from a gift card to a debit card, there are ways to achieve this with a few extra steps. For example, if you add your Visa gift card to your PayPal wallet and then transfer that money to your own account, youll have access to that cash via your debit card.
Similarly, by selling the card through an app or a website, the company that buys it from you will either transfer the money that you make to your bank account or may send you a check. Either way, the money will then be in your account and ready to be used by your debit card.
This means that while its not strictly the case that you can transfer money from a gift card to a debit card, the workarounds are super straightforward to do.
Gift Card Sales Create A Positive Cash Flow
When a gift card is first sold, the merchant receives money from the customer and essentially gives either a plastic or digital I owe you for service or merchandise in return. Money comes in, but inventory doesnt leave the shelves. Unless store policy allows for it , the consumer cannot return the gift card for a refund resulting in a positive cash flow for the business.
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Best Options For Buying Visa And Mastercard Gift Cards
A common practice for increasing credit card rewards is to use a credit card to buy PIN-enabled Visa or Mastercard gift cards, and then liquidate those cards by using them to reload prepaid cards, buy money orders, or pay bills.
The first step is to find PIN-enabled Visa or Mastercard gift cards that can be bought with a credit card, with low fees, and without risk of incurring cash advance fees. Thats where this post can help. Note that this post focuses on options available within the United States only. Within the US, options vary by region, by county, by store, and even from one cashier to another.
You can often find promotions to save on the activation fees. Current and recently expired promotions are listed here:
Tips On Obtaining Selecting Prepaid Debit Cards
Prepaid debit cards are easy to get. All you need is cash to meet the minimum load requirement. If you decide to purchase a prepaid debit card, keep these tips in mind:
Look for a card that provides you with a lot of benefits and options. Examples include the ability to receive direct deposits, reload funds from your bank account and make ATM withdrawals.
Inquire about fees. Some companies will charge you a fee to activate the card, a fee to use the card, a monthly fee, and ATM fees. These fees are deducted from your balance. For example if you get a prepaid VISA card for $250 and have an activation fee of $10, your available balance will be reduced to $240.
Check with the Better Business Bureau to verify if the card issuer is reputable. Remember, the store that sells the prepaid card is not the issuer of the card. You will find the name of the issuing financial institution on the card itself.
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How To Find A Sale On Gift Cards
It used to be that gift cards only sold for face value, and you would rarely find a sale of any kind on a gift card. But merchants have figured out that customers who come into their stores to redeem gift cards are profitable customers because they are more likely to buy full-priced merchandise than customers spending their own money, will likely overspend the value of their gift cards, and/or will make multiple trips into the store to redeem their gift cards.
So now I see more and more merchants offering gift card deals to get you big spenders into the store!
So where can you find great deals and savings on gift cards? Well, youve got several choices, but first let me clarify the difference between two types of gift cards that sell for less than face value. First, there are pre-owned discount gift cards that are sold through gift card resellers. And secondly, there are new gift cards for sale at a variety of physical and digital locations.
Here is a little bit more info:
Shopping Gift Cards Sold By Dollar General
Shopping with gift cards is the best way to shop with control over how much you plan to spend. You can set aside a budget for your shopping through prepaid cards and allocate enough funds for it.
After all, its prepaid, and whatever you put in your account comes from your funds but you have sufficient time to think about and plan your purchases beforehand rather than do impulsive and compulsive shopping on the fly.
Here are some shopping cards you can buy at Dollar General.
- Amazon. You can buy Amazon gift cards and use them to purchase Amazon products. If youre out of cash, you can use Amazon Reload to top up your balance instantly.
- Home Depot. If you have home renovations or projects, you can use Home Depot cards. These cards can be plastic cards or eGift cards. You can also reload them online or in-store.
- Lowes. You can use this card to pay your bills. These cards are reloadable.
- Bed, Bath & Beyond. These cards have a Mastercard logo, and you can use them within the U.S. or abroad.
- Dollar General. And yes, Dollar General has its own gift card as well. According to Dollar General gift card policy, their cards are reloadable and have no expiration dates.
How Do You Reload These Cards?
You may visit the card issuers website or physical store to top up your balance. However, check first if the card is reloadable.
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Can I Sell Used Gift Cards Or Get Cash Back
Yes! Even if you used a gift card to purchase an item or two, you can sell it for cash, especially if there is still a lot of money on the cards balance.
If the remaining balance is only a few dollars and you cant purchase anything else with it, you probably wont be able to sell it. You should contact the store and request cash back instead.
The law in some states dictates that retailers must give back the money when a gift card thats under a certain balance. The balance limit varies from state to state. California currently has the highest limit$10 per gift card.
Both The Giver And The Receiver Visit The Store Or Website
Although gift cards can be purchased in a number of locations , many people still prefer to buy gift cards at the stores in which they will be redeemed.
Martha Weaver, former Director of The Gift Card Network in 2014, said that in-store were up slightly and still generally the biggest channel for card distribution among big box retailers, grocery stores, gas stations and department stores. Thus, by having an in-store gift card available, the store creates an opportunity for gift-givers to venture in and possibly buy more than just a gift card. The second shopper is, of course, the person who receives the gift cardunless the person buying gift cards is only doing it to earn gas points.
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Can You Get Cash From A Vanilla Visa Gift Card
The short answer is not exactly, but the longer answer is it depends on the method you use. Vanilla Visa gift cards are the more popular choice for consumers since its easy to use.
There is a difference between a Vanilla gift card and a prepaid reloadable one. The former cannot get cashback from local ATMs, while the latter does.
What you can do is use a Vanilla card to transfer to PayPal or Venmo. Remember they take any prepaid card from Visa, which includes these gift cards.
You can always check the balance to make sure everything is correct. Its as good a method as any to ensure you can cash from a gift card without having to use the gift card itself.
You can also use exchange kiosks, although these might be in rare locations. The kiosks do take a fair amount of money from the fees, but they are the easiest method to get your cashback from the gift cards.
If you can find any nearby grocery store with this machine, I highly recommend doing so. Its arguably one of the most dependable methods to transfer any Visa gift card to cash.
You can even sell to any merchant in the local market but beware of transaction fees. If you plan on selling a smaller card, the costs dont really add up to anything noticeable.
Visa gift cards with more considerable sums lose a good chunk through fees, so be careful when you consider this option. These fees vary depending on the vendors themselves. If they are too expensive, I suggest not going through with it and choosing another method.
Where Can You Buy Visa Gift Cards
Though Costco does not stock or sell them, if you want to buy Visa gift cards, you can find them directly on Visas website in various value amounts.
Additionally, many othe retailer across the U.S. sell Visa gift cards including:
To learn more, you can also see our other guide on whether or not Home Depot sells Visa gift cards, if Kohls sells Visa gift cards, and where to buy Costco gift cards besides Costco!
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Can You Receive Money Through Amazon
With Amazon Payments, users can send and receive up to $1,000 each calendar month using a credit card without being charged any fees, creating the opportunity to earn credit card points for expenses that might otherwise be paid in cash or by check, like a house cleaner, piano lessons, loans between friends, etc.
Where To Buy Visa Gift Cards In
If you dont want to buy Visa gift cards online, here is a list of retail stores, supermarkets, drug stores, gas stations, banks, and payday loan and check cashing businesses in the U.S. where you can walk in and buy a Visa gift card.
Here are some of the most popular supermarkets you can get Visa gift cards:
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Visa Gift Cards Are Sold In Stores
Walk into any major grocery store, drug store or gas station and you will likely find a rack of gift cards. Among the cards for stores and restaurants, youll also see general purpose gift cards powered by major credit card companies.
Though you cant personalize these gift cards, you can buy them off the rack in various denominations. Activation rates Ive seen for a $100 Visa gift card range right around $6.
Add Your Visa Gift Card To Your Paypal Wallet
If you dont want to spend money on fees, I suggest you try PayPal. Once you sign up with the website and link your bank account, you can transfer your gift card funds into PayPal.
It usually takes five business days to transfer everything, but you incur no fees if you choose the standard transfer option. Keep an eye on it though because certain transfer methods can cost you up to 3% of your balance.
Always check with your bank and make sure they dont charge you extra.
Steps for Transferring a Gift Card Balance to PayPal Account
Heres what you need to do to get your gift card balance loaded into PayPal:
If you reach an error message, the most common issue is that the card first needs to be registered through the issuer. The issuer can be found on the back of the gift card.
Go to the website listed, and register the card with them first. Then come back and repeat the steps above in Paypal. That shouldve fixed it.
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Sell Your Visa Gift Card To Other People
Another option you could consider is to sell your Visa gift card to other people. While this can be one of the quickest ways to access that balance, just keep in mind that youre probably going to have to accept less money than the balance on the card to make it worth the other persons while to buy it from you.
That is, most people will only pay a portion of the balance when theyre buying a gift card from someone else. This is because they know that its convenient for you to offload the card like this and theres also a small element of risk on their part.
Sites like eBay or Craigslist will work perfectly for these kinds of arrangements. Make sure you keep in mind shipping costs if youre selling a physical card and, as always on these kinds of sites, keep an eye out for any scams. If something sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
Gift Cards Sold At Lowes Summary
Lowes carries a wide range of third-party gift cards. Some of the gift cards you can purchase at Lowes include Apple, Applebees, Cracker Barrel, Macys, Lululemon, Pottery Barn, Southwest Airlines, Fortnite, and Starbucks.
Additionally, Lowes also sells prepaid debit cards like Visa and Mastercard.
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Consider Marketing Them To People Outside Your Target Clientele
When marketing and advertising gift cards, dont just think about your target customers also consider the people who would be buying gifts for them. For example, if you own a spa, then you might consider targeting husbands looking to purchase gifts for their wives.
This is a great tip to put to work when youre running ads. Say youre advertising on Facebook. Instead of just focusing users who belong in your usual customer demographic, think of people outside that group who may be gift shopping, and then target them. Run a few tests on this approach and see what works for your business.
Gift Cards From Shopping Malls
Special rules apply to shopping mall gift cards. These are cards sold by the mall and can be used at stores in the mall.
The shopping mall can charge an activation fee up to $1.50 at the time the card is purchased.
Shopping mall gift cards keep their value for 15 months from the date of purchase. The mall can apply a dormancy fee after 15 months up to a maximum amount of $2.50 per month.
You can request a 3-month extension before dormancy fees are charged, by contacting the shopping mall card supplier during the 15th month after purchase of the shopping mall gift card. If you get an extension, dormancy fees cant be charged for an additional 3 months.
The fees and conditions must be clearly printed on the shopping mall gift card. Read and understand the terms and conditions before you purchase a shopping mall gift card.
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Final Thoughts On Converting Visa Gift Cards To Cash
Visa gift cards are pretty flexible in terms of how you can use them. Given that theyre accepted anywhere that also takes Visa credit cards, you already have a huge array of options on where to spend the balance on your gift card.
But its true that sometimes having cold, hard cash is preferable. Its easier to track as part of your overall liquid net worth, for example, and youre not limited in case you plan to use the money somewhere that a Visa credit card wouldnt work.
In those cases, one of the options on this list will definitely help you out. Just keep an eye on the fees to make sure theres not a more affordable option for what you intend to do with the money.
But once youve decided how to proceed, in only a few clicks, that money will be yours!
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