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  • Visit Walgreens and decide whether youd like a Visa or Mastercard prepaid card. The cost for each card is $7.95 per month, but the fee will be waived for any month you load $1,000 or more to the card. Theres no credit check to get the card, no overdraft fees and no purchase transaction fees.

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Tips For Getting The Best Gift Card

There are a handful of things we can count on every holiday season: time off from work and school an overweight, bearded out-of-towner breaking into homes through the chimney tone-deaf neighbors singing at your doorstep overeating and, of course, gift cards. Theyre everywhere this time of year, and for good reason: people generally love them.

But you dont want yours to be just one gift card among many received by your intended recipient this year. Youd probably prefer it to be enjoyed rather than forgotten in a drawer full of clutter. And you certainly want to get a good deal, because who doesnt?

Given that your gift card strategy can make or break the holiday season, particularly the budget part, we compiled a list of 10 great tips for gift card success. You can find them below. Shop wisely!

  • Look for a Discount. You might assume that sales and savings dont apply to the gift card market, since gift cards are more like currency than retail products with traditional product margins. Thats not the case, however, as the best gift cards can usually be bought for less than face value. You can learn where to look for deals from our article on the best gift card exchanges.
  • Resale is Always an Option. If you dont end up using a particular gift card or the recipient doesnt like it, youre not out of luck. You can sell it on a gift card exchange or simply swap gift cards with a friend or family member.
  • Walmart Gift Card Fees Won’t Let You Save Money Or Live Better

    From the retail company that’s all about “saving money and living better,” Walmart has the highest fees associated with its gift cards of any major U.S. retail chain. Walmart’s gift card fees and policies include:

    • Lost or stolen cards will not be replaced.
    • If your card does not have a PIN, you can use it only in a Walmart store or Sam’s Club.
    • Without a PIN, you cannot check the balance of a Walmart Gift Card, but you can trade it in for a new card with a PIN at any local Walmart store or Sam’s Club in the United States.
    • Walmart gift cards and egift cards can be used at Walmart stores, on Walmart.com, at Walmart and Sam’s Club gas stations, in Sam’s Club Stores, at Samsclub.com and on Vudu.com If the gift card user is not a Sam’s Club member, a 10 percent surcharge will be added to all purchases. In order to use the gift card on Vudu.com, the gift card user will have to open a Vudu account. Only physical plastic gift cards can be used at gas stations.
    • Walmart gift cards have no cash value and are not returnable or refundable except where state law requires it.
    • If the Walmart gift cards are purchased in a bulk order of 25 cards or more, or if the total value of the purchaser’s gift card order is more than $250, the purchaser will have to activate each of the gift cards before gifting them or they cannot be used by the gift card recipient.

      Read Also: How To Pay For Apple Music With Apple Gift Card

      An Alternative To A Prepaid Debit Card

      If the reason you want a prepaid debit card is that you have a bad credit history or no credit history and are unable to get a conventional credit card, you might consider a secured credit card instead. Secured cards are easier to qualify for because they require you to put down a refundable security deposit that serves as collateral for the lender.

      The advantage of a secured credit card is that your monthly payments can be reported to the three major credit bureaus and help build your credit history. Debit cards, either prepaid or the regular kind, don’t report transactions to the credit bureaus and will do nothing to improve your credit.

      What Is A Gift Card

      Visa Gift Cards With No Activation Fees

      A gift card is also a type of stored value card loaded with funds for future discretionary use. Only it contains a specific amount of money. Once this sum is spent down, the card can no longer be used. Gift cards also have expiration dates, which are often much shorter than that of prepaid cards.

      Gift cards can be purchased in several different formats. The most familiar type is what’s technically known as a closed loop card: It is good only at a particular merchant or certain retailer and bears that outfit’s name and logo. Some retail groups will allow the same gift card to be used at any of their affiliated stores.

      Gift cards began with specific stores. Now, however, many of the major charge or credit card issuers, like American Express, Visa, Discover, and MasterCard, are also offering gift cards, good anywhere the regular plastic is accepted. Known as open-loop cards, these are most easily confused with prepaid debit cards, especially since some of them are reloadable as well. These cards may carry a one-time activation fee.

      Prepaid vs. Gift Cards

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      How To Cancel A Prepaid Card

      When you decide that you no longer want your prepaid card, whether that’s because you’re opting for credit or debit, you’ll need to take some action. You can’t just forget about the card because you could still incur monthly fees.

      In order to cancel a prepaid card, you’ll first need to withdraw all of the money currently in your account. You can typically withdraw money at an ATM, through a transfer to another account or by requesting a check. Once your balance reaches $0, you can call your card issuer to cancel your account.

      Give Out The Visa Gift Card As A Gift

      Sometimes, you may be required to give a gift to a friend or a family member for special occasions such as weddings.

      Since the prepaid Visa gift cards are usually bought in denominations of $100, $200 or $500, it can be an excellent gift and will essentially serve as cash.

      Instead of giving a check, a Visa gift card is just as good.

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      Who Should Get A Prepaid Card

      Prepaid cards are increasingly popular day by day, with the number of U.S. adults who used these products at least once a month increased by 50% from 2012 to 2014, according to a 2015 Pew Trust study. You might encompass them because you cannot land a checking account according to the FDIC, about 8.4 million households b in the U.S. did not have a bank account as of 2017.

      Or perhaps you acknowledge the convenience. One thing we know consumers generally choose prepaid cards to control fees, control spending, or make purchases. A prepaid card may be an especially good choice for a high school or college student, says Industry Analyst Ted Rossman.

      And A parent could load money on to one of these cards to offer their child with spending cash and ease him/her into the method of paying with plastic before transitioning to a real credit card. Besides, prepaid cards are also useful for people who are scared of debt. Be wary of fees, although, and note that you wont form a credit.

      Do Prepaid Cards Come With Fees

      Why Is My Visa Gift Card Being Declined?

      Before you open a prepaid card, it’s important to understand what fees may be associated with them. Most prepaid cards charge monthly maintenance fees around $10, which is similar to checking account fees that can cost up to $15 a month. But you may also pay a fee to open your prepaid card, typically around $5.

      You can also expect to incur an ATM fee, reload fee and foreign transaction fee with many prepaid cards.

      The PayPal Prepaid Mastercard® can cost up to $4.95 to purchase the card and charges you $4.95 a month to use the card. You may also incur ATM withdrawal fees of $2.50, check deposit fees ranging from $0 to 5% of the total check amount and a 4% fee on purchases made outside the U.S.

      There are options out there with minimal fees. Bluebird® by American Express has no card opening fee when you open an account online , no monthly fee and no foreign transaction fees.

      While there’s typically no minimum balance requirement, you could get stuck paying a monthly fee you regardless of your balance. Make sure you’re familiar with your card’s terms of service and reach out directly to your card issuer for more information.

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      How To Buy Visa Gift Cards

      Visa gift cards may be good anywhere Visa is accepted, but you can’t buy them anywhere. The cards, which start with a fixed amount and can’t be reloaded, are available for purchase in person or online. Various financial institutions issue these cards, and they determine the terms and conditions. You’ll get a slightly different product depending on where and how you buy them.

      If credit cards are not your thing, or cannot access credit card because of poor credit ratings, visa gift cards can be ideal position not only for people who dont like credit cards or have poor score, but people who love gift cards. Most Visa gift cards work exactly like a prepaid visa debit or credit card. The good news is that despite working as credit cards, they do not affect your credit score.

      Read More: How Visa Gift Cards Work

      The 9 Best Reloadable Prepaid Cards With No Fees

      A prepaid card is a type of card that requires you to load with money to use it. You can use a prepaid card to purchase goods and services from online stores or at physical shops that accept the card services. Most financial institutions provide reloadable prepaid cards with no fees. You only need to recharge with a certain amount of money, and you are good to go.

      A prepaid card works just like the debit card. However, the two are different in that a prepaid card has no connection with any bank account. You use what you have loaded at any merchant store accepting the card. On the other hand, a debit card links to your bank account. Therefore, when you use the card to buy goods and services, the spend money deducts from your account.

      With a prepaid card, you have no limitation to buying goods and services only. You can as well send money to someone else using a checking account. What you do, you input the card number during checking out and enter the PIN after indicating the amount you wish to send. You can also buy gift cards online with a checking account from stores such as Amazon for anybody.

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      Pin Debit Purchase Transaction Fee Or Signature Purchase Transaction Fee

      Many of the prepaid gift cards are debit cards. If you choose a debit card, look for a PIN Debit or Signature Purchase Transaction Fee. What exactly does this mean? When using a debit card, users can opt to go the debit route and enter their personal identification number when making a transaction. Or, they can decide to use their debit card as they would a credit card and sign for the purchase. Either way, you will be assessed a small bank fee. A typical charge would be $0.95 per transaction.

      Gift Card Sales Create A Positive Cash Flow

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      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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      Chase Liquid Prepaid Card

      The card is easy to load. You can use paper cheques, make direct deposit, or do bank to bank transfer at any Chase Bank branch. The best way to load the card is by direct deposit to get the card faster. Again, you pay zero charges on PIN and signature transactions.

      However, unlike others, you pay a monthly fee of $4.95. Additional benefits include using Chase Bank ATMs free across the country. There are no charges on withdrawals you make. After all, adding money to the card is free.

      Having the card is very economical as it saves you unnecessary expenditures. Download the Chase Mobile app in the Google play store or at the app store and enjoy the convenient operation of the account on the go. See more details here.

      Understanding Denominations And Activation Costs

      The available denominations for Visa gift cards vary with the issuer but typically begin at $20 or $25. You can also “create your own” and have blank cards loaded in even dollar amounts up to $500 or more.

      Most also require an activation fee, which is approximately $4 for most cards. You can compare terms and fees on Visa and other gift cards online.

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      Shop Around For Lowest Total Cost

      Before I became the spokesperson for Giftcards.com, I was a customer. Wanting to make a personalized gift card for my sons baseball coach, I looked online for various places to make custom gift cards and compared the cost of each. Giftcards.com had the lowest activation rate and personalization charges I could find.

      I havent compared websites recently, but I still believe that is the case. At just $3.95 for a $100 Visa gift card plus $1 to upload my own photo, the total purchase charge came to $4.95. Because the card is sold online, however, I had to pay shipping charges of $1.99. Still, when I compared the total above the value of the gift card amount to in-store options, I paid a little less and got a fully custom gift card PLUS it came in a free custom greeting card.

      Some gift cards charge variable activation fees based on the dollar amount loaded onto the card. For example, at Giftcards.com, the activation fee is currently $2.95 for a custom Visa gift card with a balance of up to $74.99. It costs $3.95 to get a gift card in the dollar amount of $75 to $149.99. The basic shipping charge is $1.99.

      If you go to the grocery store , then gift cards with a $5.95 activation charge cost about the same as the custom optionsyou just dont get to put a picture on the card or write a personal message.

      Prepaid Visa Activation Fees

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      A prepaid Visa activation fee is a fee that is charged to the buyer of the prepaid card to put value onto the card. It occurs when you first purchase the card. At grocery stores, it is typically a $4.95 fee on top of the amount on the gift cards. An example would be $25 + $4.95 activation fee. Its a one-time fee and once it is paid you never need to do it again. Not all cards charge an activation fee but many of them do. This fee can range from $1.00 to $9.95.

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      Understanding Prepaid Debit Cards

      A prepaid debit card is as good as cashand sometimes better:

      • It is a safe way to carry money aroundunlike, say, a wad of paper money. Prepaid cards also come with certain consumer protections, while cash does not.
      • A prepaid debit card can be used for online purchases.
      • It can make a more attractive gift than cash.

      Anyone who wants to stick to a strict budget, or who has had trouble managing credit cards, could also consider using a prepaid debit card.

      You can use a prepaid debit card for any transaction that you might otherwise use a credit card or regular debit card for. In many instances, the recipient of your payment may even be unaware that the card is prepaid.

      Some employers pay their workers with prepaid debit cards called payroll cards . Many government benefits are also available via prepaid debit cards, including Social Security.

      Visa Egift Cards Are Also Sold Online

      If you need to send a Visa gift card quickly, the fastest way to do it is to send an electronic Visa gift card.

      In most cases, the activation fee structure is similar to plastic so you wont necessarily save money in the purchase price of the gift, but you will likely get customization and shipping for free.

      For example, If you want to personalize a plastic gift card and send it quickly, then you would have to pay extra for the customization and for rush delivery. But with digital gift cards, the customization is free and so is the shippingwhether you ask for the gift card to be sent immediately or schedule future delivery.

      Ordering digital Visa gift cards is fast, convenient and cost-effective.

      One thing to be aware of in sending a digital Visa gift card is that the cards are typically not usable in stores. Plan to use Visa egift cards online, over the phone, and anywhere else that a card not present transaction is allowed.

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