Prepaid Cards Vs Gift Cards: An Overview
Prepaid cards and gift cards are both pieces of plastic that can be used to make purchases. They make popular presents as well: A versatile way to give a recipient the funds to buy whatever they like that seems safer and a touch classier than a wad of cash, and more convenient than a personal check. The biggest difference between the two reflects their permanence: prepaid cards can be reloaded and used indefinitely, while gift cards can generally only be used until the dollar amount on them is exhausted.
What You Can Learn About Visa Gift Cards Here
In the post below, Ill talk to you about the following three things.
Though Visa, Mastercard and other bank-issued gift cards work online quite well, there are certainly a few things to know that can make for a more positive experience.
Heres The Trick: Make Partial Payment With A Visa Gift Card
Perhaps in the future, shopping cart developers will create a new field for open-loop gift cards or they will allow shoppers to enter more than one bank card, specifying how much to charge to each one. Until then, we have to work around the problem of how to use a Visa gift card online when the transaction amount exceeds the balance of the card.
Heres how to use a Visa gift card online, no matter what the balance is:
1. If the Visa gift card balance is greater than the transaction total, then simply enter the Visa gift card number into the credit or debit card field on the checkout form and complete the transaction.
2. If the Visa gift card balance is less than the transaction total, then first use the Visa egift card to buy a store egift card for the same amount. When the stores egift card arrives, return to your original transaction and apply the stores egift card to your purchase. Pay any remaining balance due with a debit or credit card.
Although this solution requires an extra step, it is one way Visa gift cards can be used when the balance of the card is less than the total amount due.
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Make Sure Your Visa Gift Card Is Activated And Ready
First, make sure the gift card has been activated . You might have received a gift receipt or a card holder confirming its activated status, but you can also just call the phone number on the back of the card.
Next, check the card’s balance. This is especially important if you have already used it, but as gift cards often have activation fees, that $50 card may actually have a $49 balance. You’ll need to know the exact dollar and cent number, so don’t skip this step.
Give The Visa Gift Card Away As A Gift
Another great way to convert Visa gift cards to cash is by giving them away as a gift. One of the great things about Visa gift cards is that they can serve as a cash gift. If you are attending a special occasion such as a birthday or baby shower, you can give a Visa gift card to the person.
The person will be able to use the gift cards like cash to purchase the items of their choice. This is a great way to give someone a gift that is similar to money. Instead of giving someone something like cash in a card, you can simply put the Visa gift card in a special card and give it to them as a gift.
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What Is A Gift Card
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|
Sell It On The Raise App
Another way to convert a Visa gift card into cash is by selling it on an app called Raise. Raiseis a site where you can sell your unwanted gift cards with ease.
Its really simple! All you have to do is find all your unwanted gift cards then list them to sell on the platform. Lastly, you will get paid either via Check, PayPal, or by direct deposit when someone buys the gift card.
Raise is an amazing site if you have unwanted Visa gift cards or any other gift cards from stores such as Target, Amazon, and Walmart. In addition to selling unwanted gift cards on the site, you can save money when you buy other gift cards on their site.
You can also check out their coupon section to find some of the latest deals on popular stores and brands.
Why Cant I Use My Prepaid Visa Online
There are a variety of reasons why a purchase may be rejected, including the following: You dont have enough money on your credit card at the moment. Neither your card nor its associated account has been activated or registered. The address you provided when making a transaction over the phone or online differs from the address on file with your prepaid card issuer.
Visa Gift Card Payments Faq
Giftcards.com accepts Visa, Mastercard®, Discover®, and American Express® credit and debit cards registered to U.S. addresses. Gift Cards cannot be used to purchase additional gift cards. We dont presently accept international orders.
eGifts are delivered electronically and can only be used for online or over the phone purchases. There are no shipping fees for eGift cards. Refer to our Purchasing Fee Schedule page for more information.
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What Visa Gift Cards Can Be Used At An Atm
If you currently have a Visa gift card and want to know if you can use it directly at an ATM, the short answer is no. Because these types of gift cards are coded to be used in stores or at restaurants, you cant directly get money from an ATM from them.
You can, however, use some of the methods listed in this post such as selling the gift cards for cash on places such as Facebook Marketplace or Gift Card Granny.
Making A Purchase With Your Visa Gift Card
- What if I change my mind and want to cancel a purchase?
If a merchant cancels a purchase transaction for you, it may take three to seven business days for the cancellation to show up on your Visa Gift card record and for the funds to be credited to your card and available for use. Check the balance on your card, either online or by phone, to see when your cancelled purchase transaction has been processed. Refer to the back of your card for the web site address/phone number of the financial institution that issued your card.
- Why was my Visa Gift card declined?
- Your card may have expired. Check the expiry date printed on the front of your card. In this case, let the merchant know how much remaining balance you have on your card. The merchant may split the transaction and allow you to pay for part of your purchase with the Gift card, and then the remaining part of your purchase with another form of payment, such as a credit, debit or cash.
- Your remaining card balance may be less than the value of the item you wish to purchase.
- Merchants who only possess a manual imprint machine cannot accept Gift cards which have the phrase “ELECTRONIC USE ONLY” printed on the front of the card.
- Some internet merchants use fraud protection software that may decline a Gift card purchase transaction.
- Your card may not be activated or registered yet. Follow the activation and registration instructions that came with the card, or contact the card issuer
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Problem #: Not Always Easy To Use
Clarks second problem with Visa gift cards is that a lot of people say its difficult to use up the entire balance on the card, especially when theres only $5 or $10 left.
Although the cards can be used at millions of retailers where Visa debit cards are accepted, both online and offline, there are times when purchases are declined.
For example, a member of Team Clark received a Visa gift card that was disabled at gas pumps and had to go inside the station to use it.
Restaurants can also be tricky. Some of them authorize an additional temporary 20% gratuity charge to your bill, but the actual charge is the price of the meal plus any gratuity you add.
If your bill is $50 before tip, your $50 gift card may be declined due to the preauthorization hold.
Hotels and car rental companies also place preauthorization holds. You must always make sure you have enough money on the card to cover the purchase amount and the hold.
Explanation of pre-authorization holds from the terms and conditions:
When making a purchase at a merchant that provides certain services or accepts tips, a preauthorization hold may be placed on your card for the estimated total price of your transaction.
This estimated total price will be for an amount greater than the initial purchase, 20% or more, to allow for tips, incidentals or additional services and will reduce your available balance.
How To Activate Your Card
Visa Gift cards can be used for purchases just like you use your other cards. Many Visa Gift cards are activated automatically upon purchase and may be used immediately. However, some cards must be activated before they can be used. Follow the activation instructions provided by the issuer with your card.
Sign within the designated area on the back before making your first purchase to help prevent someone else from using the card. Keep a record of your card number and the issuer contact information in a safe place, separate from the card in case of loss or theft.
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Can You Transfer Money From A Gift Card To A Debit Card
The short answer is no, you cant directly transfer money from a gift card to a debit card.However, you can add to your PayPal balance using Card Cash. Remember to take a look earlier in this post for full instructions on how to achieve this.
Additionally, you can also look into selling the gift cards on places such as Gift Card Granny to get cash for the gift cards.
How To Use A Prepaid Credit Card
This article was co-authored by Michael R. Lewis. Michael R. Lewis is a retired corporate executive, entrepreneur, and investment advisor in Texas. He has over 40 years of experience in business and finance, including as a Vice President for Blue Cross Blue Shield of Texas. He has a BBA in Industrial Management from the University of Texas at Austin.There are 13 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page. This article has been viewed 113,319 times.
With a prepaid credit card, you deposit money onto the card, and then use it to purchase goods or services at any retailer that accepts credit cards. Prepaid cards work much like debit cards, except that the fees for using them are typically higher and more complex. For those who dont have or cannot acquire bank accounts, they can be a way to manage money and do things like make hotel and rental car reservations, but youll need to use your card wisely to avoid costly fees.
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Why Online Payments Are Different
Electronic gift cards are easy to use online because you dont have to print out a paper copy of the gift card or enter the number into a mobile wallet or gift card app in order to take the gift card to the store. You simply type the gift card or egift card number into the websites shopping cart and complete the transaction. Whether the gift card is plastic or electronic, using it online is especially easy if you have a store gift card, also known as a closed loop gift card.
When you have an open loop gift card such as a Visa® Gift Card or Visa egift card, however, being able to use it online sometimes requires knowing a few tricks.
Are There Any Fees When Using A Prepaid Visa Gift Card
When making a purchase outside the United States, a foreign transaction fee of up to 2% will be added to the purchase amount. In addition, some merchants may charge a small transaction fee, conversion fee , or holding/authorization fee. Be sure your balance can cover any possible fees to avoid declined payments.
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Can I Create A Pin
Yes – you can create a pin on the Gift Card website by selecting “My Pin” under the My Settings tab.
You can also request one at the time you activate your card using the toll-free number on the sticker. There is no charge for using the voice response system. If you activate your card on the website, you will need to call to request a PIN.
Use A Debit Card Online
If you’re paying for something online, you can typically use your debit card just like a credit card. You don’t need to specify that you want to use a debit card . Start by indicating the type of card you haveVisa or MasterCard, for example. Then, type in the 16-digit number on the front of your debit card. You usually also have to enter the expiration date, which you can find after the words “good through” or “valid through.”
You may also need to provide a CCD, CVV, or similar security code. Those three- or four-digit codes help to prove that you are authorized to use the card. Those codes can be found on the back of most cards toward the far right . On American Express cards, the code is on the front of the card .
To use a debit card online, you often need to know the billing address linked to that card. With most debit cards, this is your home address. However, you may have difficulty using prepaid debit cards if you do not know which address to use.
If you plan to make payments online, be sure that your computer will keep thieves from stealing your card information. Keep your security software up to date, and only use your card on sites that you trust. Verify that your card information goes through a secure connection when shopping online .
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Where To Buy Online Gift Cards
Plenty of stores sell online gift cards, and if you know that special someones favorite store, you can probably get them some credit to spend online. If you want a range of digital cards, available to buy in minutes, try a big-name retailer like the Kroger Family of Stores.
With more than 200 gift cards available to buy online, from clothing stores to restaurant chains, you can buy one specific card or cards for multiple brands in just a few clicks of a button. You can also buy gift cards in store while youre picking up groceries, which can be used both in person or online.
Online shopping is so easy, and so is spending your gift cards online. Now all you need to do is fill up your cart and click buy!
The Kroger Family of Stores has a huge range of online gift cards. Browse our full gift card range online and treat someone special today.
Use A Debit Card At An Atm
You can use debit cards to withdraw cash from your checking account at an automated teller machine . To do so, insert your card into the ATM’s card reader. If you’re not sure how the card goes in, look for a diagram that appears similar to your card. It should indicate which side goes up and which side should face left or right .
After the ATM reads your card, it will ask you to enter your personal identification number . Type in your PIN while blocking your hand from view . Then, follow the instructions on the screen to make withdrawals, view your balance, or transfer money. If you had to insert your card into the machine and the machine keeps the card, contact the bank that owns the ATM as soon as you’re able to.
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