This article also appeared in the December issue of Consumer Reports magazine.
You now have access to benefits that can help you choose right, be safe and stay informed. Cash may be king, but other options could be even better. Sharing is Nice Yes, send me a copy of this email. Send We respect your privacy. Oops, we messed up. Just grab merchant cards or payment network cards American Express, Discover, MasterCard, and Visa at a drugstore, retailer, or supermarket. They can also be purchased online and sent to you or your giftee by mail. Federal law prevents cards from expiring for at least five years from the purchase date or from the last date any additional money was loaded onto them.
State laws often provide additional protections. Also, the recipient can add money to a card and continue using it to pay for purchases. The cards are also a good money-management tool. Make sure you give cards with low or no monthly fees or other user charges. Cons Merchant cards can be used only at the walk-in or online store of the issuing retailer. If the company goes out of business, the recipient might not get the full value of the card, or it might become worthless.
And the merchant might not be a favorite of your intended recipient. If you're sending a gift card to someone in a different region of the U. There might be a small fee to buy and activate network cards. You'll usually pay a few dollars for a prepaid card at a store or online. And not all prepaid cards are a good deal. Some have fees that can eat up the balance. Security Some issuers won't replace a lost or stolen gift card, the Federal Trade Commission says.
Others will—with proof of purchase and the card's ID number—so give the receipt along with the card. But don't expect to get back any value stolen before you report the loss. Scammers can also copy gift card codes while they're still on a rack, then steal whatever money a gift-giver loads onto the card. Before you buy a gift card, inspect its protective stickers or coating for tampering, and don't buy it if the PIN has been revealed or the sticker seems to have been replaced.
Prepaid cards with the MasterCard and Visa brands go further by providing zero liability for transactions that occur over their networks. Not Helpful 0 Helpful 0. What does it cost to get a visa gift card? Answer this question Flag as Where do I go to activate a visa gift card online? Can you have a visa gift card as a kid? Can you use a credit card to buy a visa gift card. Include your email address to get a message when this question is answered.
Already answered Not a question Bad question Other. Tips Most Visa gift cards are automatically activated for in-person purchases once you buy them. However, some card issuers might require you to follow other steps before you can use the card. Visa gift cards don't come with a PIN number, so always run gift card transactions as a credit card transaction. You can use your Visa gift card for in-person, online or telephone purchases. However, before you can make online or phone purchases you must register the card by either calling the issuer, or visiting their website.
Although many Visa gift cards are accepted worldwide, cards that state "Valid only in the United States" on the front cannot be used in other countries. The merchant will then prompt you to provide additional payment. At merchants without this capability, you'll have to know your gift card balance so you can tell the merchant how much to apply to the gift card, and then provide payment for the rest.
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24 Cute And Clever Ways To Give A Gift Card. Gift cards rule, but they're not the most exciting presents to open. Put in some thoughtful effort with one of these creative gift card holders. With some of the same flexibility of plastic Visa gift cards, the recipient can use the value to shop ONLINE or OVER THE PHONE wherever Visa is accepted. The two main differences between plastic and virtual Visa gift cards is that the egift card arrives via email so the card number will most likely have to be manually entered in order to be redeemed and the Visa eGift Card is only usable online. Apr 05, · If you're not a fan of credit cards, can't get credit cards because of poor credit, or just want to give a versatile, useful present, Visa gift cards may be the ideal solution. Most Visa gift cards work exactly like a prepaid Visa debit or credit card, except that Visa gift cards don't affect your credit score and cannot be reloaded with more money later on%(66).