Do Visa Gift Cards Expire
While the funds on the gift card wont expire, its important to know that the plastic card will. If this occurs, the gift card owner will need to ask for a replacement gift card. The remaining balance of the expired gift card will then be transferred to the new gift card. Be mindful that there usually is an additional fee for inactivity this is subtracted from the balance of the card. A fee will occur if the card isnt used a year after activating. Remember to make a purchase within the year of your last purchase since there is a non-use fee as well.
The Gift Card Granny Visa® Gift Card and the Virtual Visa Gift Card are issued by Sutton Bank®, Member FDIC, pursuant to a license from Visa U.S.A. Inc. The Visa Gift Card can be used everywhere Visa debit cards are accepted in the US. No cash or ATM access. The Virtual Visa Gift Card can be redeemed at internet merchants everywhere Visa debit cards are accepted in the US. No cash or ATM access. The Gift Card Granny Mastercard® Gift Card and Mastercard Virtual Gift Card are issued by Sutton Bank, Member FDIC, pursuant to a license by Mastercard International Incorporated. Use your Mastercard Gift Card and Mastercard Virtual Gift Card everywhere Debit Mastercard is accepted in the US. Mastercard is a registered trademark, and the circles design is a trademark of Mastercard International Incorporated.
Some Stores Make Money From Breakage
In the early days of gift cards, a store could issue a $25 gift card, start charging inactivity fees a couple of months later and deplete the value of the gift card before the recipient remembered he had tucked it into his wallet. That cash cow went out to pasture in 2009, however, when the passed.
Federal law now says that closed loop gift cards cannot expire in less than five years and non-use fees may not be charged in less than one year of inactivity. Some states have enacted even tougher restrictions. In California, for example, store issued gift cards never expire and stores may not charge dormancy fees either.
So what happens to the money obtained from gift cards that never get redeemed ?
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, federal law creates a floor for regulation and leaves room for state regulation on redeeming gift cards for cash and unclaimed property provisions.
So despite the notion that stores always profit heavily from unused gift cards, sometimes that breakage goes to the government instead. In Alabama, for example, gift cards are presumed abandoned three years after June 30 of the year in which the gift card was sold and 60 percent of the cards face value must get turned over to the state. Alaska has a similar three year policy , but will happily collect the full purchase price of the gift card. Arizona says gift cards are not considered property and are not subject to the unclaimed property process.
When You Should Get A Prepaid Card
Prepaid cards are a good option for parents who want to give their kids spending money without handing them cash that could potentially get lost. You can request a new prepaid card if it goes missing, and many card issuers allow you to lock your card to prevent unauthorized use.
And since you can incur overdraft fees with a debit card or quickly run up a balance on a credit card, a prepaid card can help you limit your kids spending to the amount loaded on the card.
Choosing a prepaid card could be a good choice for you if you have a history of overspending. A prepaid card might be a better alternative than a debit or credit card, as it can force you to stick to a budget by declining purchases that exceed the balance in your account. But make sure it makes financial sense. Even though you’re saving on potential interest charges or overdraft fees, the monthly fees on a prepaid card can get very expensive, too. If you decide that using a prepaid card makes it easier for you to manage your finances, make sure to sign up for a no-fee card.
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Best Prepaid Debit Cards And Alternatives: Summary
We looked at 40 reloadable prepaid debit cards offered by some of the biggest banks, credit unions and prepaid debit card issuers. Where multiple card plans existed, only the basic monthly fee plan was considered.
We analyzed four categories for each card: general fees and features, purchases and withdrawals, reload fees and options, and other services such as bill pay and savings accounts. The cards that made this list had the best combination of these categories. Some cards in this roundup have nonbank program managers that partner with banks. Regardless, all the cards issuers are banks that insure consumers money through the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. No cards above have overdraft fees.
Prepaid debit cards that we considered included:ACE Elite Visa Prepaid Debit Card, American Express Serve, Bluebird by American Express, Fifth Third Access 360° Reloadable Prepaid Card, Green Dot Prepaid Visa Card, Mango Visa Prepaid Card, Netspend Prepaid Card, PayPal Prepaid Mastercard, RushCardPrepaid Visa Card.
What the ratings mean:
Where To Buy Gift Cards
Before you buy a gift card, ask if there are any restrictions on what you can buy.
Gift cards for various retailers are available:
- at Canada Post outlets
When you buy a gift card, make sure the retailer activates the card.
When you buy a gift card, you dont pay tax on the gift card. The retailer will charge tax when you buy a taxable item with the gift card. For example, you pay tax on a sweater you buy with a gift card, the same as you would when you pay with cash or credit.
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Fees Hiding In Plain Sight
Each prepaid cash card has its own sets of rules and fees unique to them. Some offer a grace period, often of 12 months, before such charges kick in. Charges can include a monthly maintenance fee, a fee to check a card balance or even to make purchases.
Information specific to the card is required by federal legislation to be included in the product packaging. In addition, the card itself must also include how a consumer can access the information electronically or by telephone.
A complete list of fees and rules for prepaid cash cards can be found on the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada website.
While Visa and Mastercard declined to comment for this story, both said that despite having their logo on the card itself, they do not decide the rules and fees for it. They simply provide the network on which the cards are used.
For Moorhouse, it’s an exercise in becoming an informed consumer.
“We’re very used to agreeing to things without fully reading them,” he said. “So just make sure that you’ve read and fully understand the terms and conditions that you’re agreeing to when you activate that card.”
In cases where a business or retail location has closed due to bankruptcy, gift and cash cards often become worthless.
“From a practical perspective, you’re pretty much out of luck because by the time that all the secured creditors get their money there really is nothing left for any unsecured creditors.”
What Are Visa Prepaid Gift Cards
Not everyone understands exactly what a prepaid card is and how they work differently from closed-loop gift cards so lets start with a clear definition of a prepaid or open-looped gift card. According to the Incentive Gift Card Council , an open-loop card or prepaid card is purchased with a set denomination that can be redeemed at any merchant that accepts the credit platform such as Visa, Mastercard, American Express, and Discover. These cards can be debit or credit cards depending on the product and issuer of the card.
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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
Keep Small Portion Of The Activation Fee
In order to issue gift cards to the public under the Visa or Mastercard brand names, an open loop gift card seller must print physical plastics and gift card carriers that clearly explain the terms and conditions associated with the cards. The seller also has to partner with a sponsoring bank as an Independent Sales Organization . The ISO charges the gift card provider a fee every time a gift card is activated through their network. In addition to the ISO, a debit card processor charges another fee for providing card processing services. Lastly, customers pay for gift cards with debit or credit cards which means the seller must also pay a merchant fee which is a percentage of the dollar value of the gift card purchased.
Thus, providing an open loop gift cardone that is flexible enough to be used at nearly any payment processing machine across the countrycosts much more than the face value of the gift card.
Open loop gift card sellers pass this accumulation of fees onto the consumer with one up-charge called an activation fee. Any difference between the activation fee and the accumulated fees, albeit miniscule, would be profit.
Heres a picture that helps explain how Visa gift cards differ from store gift cards.
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Dormancy Inactivity Or Non
According to federal law, both retailers and bank-issued gift card providers can charge a non-use fee against the balance of a gift card if it has been inactive for over a year. Some states, however, say otherwise. In Michigan, post-sale fees are prohibited for retailer gift cards, but are allowed on bank-issued cards. Minnesota has the same laws, but in the Magnolia State, post-sale fees are permissible for both. In all cases and in all states, the fees must clearly be disclosed on the card or the cards packaging prior to purchase.
Just because merchants CAN charge non-use fees, doesnt mean they will. Retailers seldom take advantage of this option, but bank-issued gift card providers have to make money somewhere, so non-use fees is one of those places. Ive heard of providers charging as little as $1.99 per month of inactivity and as much as $25 every 6 months. Since there are no federal or state limits, the amount charged is simply a business decision. Non-use fees may be charged until the value of the card is depleted, the card is used again or the card expires. Legally, only one post-sale fee can be charged each month.
How Much Is A Visa Gift Card At Walgreens
- 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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Where Are Visa Gift Cards Sold
With gift cards widely available online, in third-party stores, at banks and in a variety of other places, it would almost be easier for me to explain where you cant buy Visa® gift cards. But there are differences in the cards themselves and especially in the purchase price of each.
If you want a personalized Visa gift card, for example, youll have to order it online. If you want a Visa gift card quickly, youll need to buy it at a grocery store or send an electronic gift card instead. If you want to pay a low activation fee, then the gift cards at GiftCards.com are some of the lowest Ive found.
Of course, Im not a lawyer so I cant give legal advice, but I can speak from my own experiences. Below, Ill share the most common places Visa gift cards are sold and the benefits of each.
General Purpose Gift Cards
Often referred to as open loop gift cards, general purpose gift cards are typically issued by the four major credit card networks: American Express, Visa, Discover and MasterCard. They can be used anywhere for almost anything. Thats what makes them a popular choice for people who want to give a gift but arent sure exactly what store the recipient likes. These types of gift cards tend to charge fees for use. The fees include an activation fee that typically costs a minimum of $3.95, followed by a $2.50 monthly inactivity fee if the card isnt use within 12 months.
What you have to remember is that general purpose cards are never worth the money you pay for them. When you put $100 dollars on a card youre paying $104.95 so youre paying more than the what the card is worth, says Harzog. She recommends reminding your recipient of the inactivity fees, so they get their moneys worth.
However, the convenience of being able to use the cards anywhere is an upside that many people are willing to pay a bit extra for.
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Compare Top Selling Gift Cards
Looking for the perfect gift this holiday season? Look no further than a gift card. Not only are gift cards the perfect size and color, they take away the stress and insecurity of finding the perfect gift. The recipient can pick out exactly what they want when they want.
How times have changed! It wasnt too long ago that gift cards were viewed as impersonal, last minute buys. But today, they are the most coveted gift for almost everyone.
In fact, a survey by The National Retail Federation found that gift cards remain the most popular items on wish lists throughout the year not just the Christmas holiday season.
Youre giving someone the option to buy exactly the things they want and need. Lets face it, it also makes it a lot easier on you during the gift searching process, says Beverly Harzog, .
But before we get ahead of ourselves on the many benefits of gift cards, its important to know that not all of them are created equal. Lets look at the different types of gift cards available.
Can I Get An Overdraft With A Prepaid Card
Most service providers allow you to use what you have on the card. Upon exhausting the previously loaded money, you then need to reload again to continue enjoying the service. Some companies allow you to recharge your card online while others require you to visit their offices physically.
However, there can be a specific agreement with your service provider to allow you to borrow money and pay later. That is possible if you have a good record of paying debts.
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Get A Visa Gift Card With Rewards
Buy a Five Back Visa Card now.
Visa just launched a new gift card that gives you 5% money back when you use the gift card at participating merchants. The gift card is called Five Back Visa and its available in stores and online for $6.95 plus the dollar value of the card.
When you use the Five Back Visa gift card to make a purchase at a growing list of merchants, youll get 5% of the transaction amount loaded back onto your card. So, for example, if you use the gift card to make a $20 purchase at CVS, youll get $1 loaded back onto the card after the transaction is complete. That seems simple enough.
The savings, however, stack up further if you get strategic with the gift card using the following tricks:
Shop at Participating Merchants.
The Five Back Visa gift card is usable wherever Visa debit cards are accepted, but you can reduce the overall cost to purchase the gift card by using it at merchants listed on the Five Back Visa website. If you buy a $100 Five Back Visa gift card, youll pay $6.95 to activate it. If you only use the card at participating merchants, youll get $5 back on the initial purchase and an extra 5% on the $5 you earn for a total of $5.26 back by the time the gift card is fully redeemed. That makes the total cost of the gift card just $1.69. Not a bad deal. If you give the gift card to someone else, then thats an additional $5.26 the recipient has to enjoy.
Stack onto other Deals.
Load the Card with More than $140.