How To Get Cash From A Gift Card
Gift cards have been the preferred present or gift of choice for nearly every occasion, including holidays, birthdays, Valentine’s Day and you get the point.
Gift cards seem to be the king of gifts when you don’t know what to get that special someone.
But what if you don’t get the right gift card?
That money shouldn’t have to go to waste now, should it?
What if I were to tell you that you could get cash off of that gift card? Don’t worry, this is perfectly legal and rather simple.
Get Cash From Your Visa Gift Cards By Buying And Reselling Stuff
I have a tip for you thats a little more unorthodox. It does require a few extra steps and a bit more effort than the options above, but its still one to consider.
Basically, with this method, you use your Visa gift card to purchase stuff. Since Visa cards are accepted at a lot of retailers, you can use them to purchase everything from gift cards for other retailers to furniture to beauty products.
Then, you resell this stuff on websites like eBay, Craigslist, and OfferUp.
You can not only get back what you originally spent with the gift card in cold hard cash, but you can also get extra cash!
Look out for items that are on sale, discounted, or in the clearance section.
Lets say you purchase a bag at TJ MAXX thats worth $100, and its discounted to $70. You use your Visa gift card to purchase it and resell the bag for $90.
The customer still gets a 10% discount since the retail price of the bag was $100, but because you bought it at a discount, you make a $20 profit on the sale. This means that you not only get $70 back in cold hard cash that you can actually spend, which would have otherwise been stuck on a gift card, but you also get an extra $20!
Like I said before, this one does require a little more effort, but you can turn a Visa gift card into cash when you buy and resell items.
Can I Get Cash Back After I Used Most Of The Gift Card
In some states, if the balance of a store-issued gift card falls below a certain threshold, the merchant is required to redeem the gift card for cash upon request. In California, for example, a gift card under $10 can be refunded. In Maine and New Jersey, the limit is only $5. In both cases, the gift card balance must previously have been above the balance threshold.
Please note, the rules do not apply to gift cards that were received via donation or as part of a reward, loyalty or promotional program. These rules do not apply to Visa or Mastercard gift cards either.
How to get the gift card balance back in cash: Use the list belowstate laws that require merchants to cash out gift cardsto find out if your state requires stores and restaurants to give cash back when gift card balances drop. If so, then pay attention to the transaction when you redeem your gift card. If the balance falls below the cut-off line, ask the cashier to pay you the balance of the gift card in cash. Some will do it automatically and others will have to call the store manager to find out how to do it.
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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.
Can I Get Cash Back From A Visa Gift Card
If you have a Visa gift card and are wondering if you can get cash from it, the short answer is probably not. To fully answer the question, however, I need to clarify the difference between a Visa® gift card and a Visa Reloadable Prepaid Card. Both types of plastic may appear to be the sameboth carry the Visa logo and come preloaded with a finite dollar amount to spend. Thanks to a new law that went into effect in 2013, both now also come with a Personal Identification Number so they can be swiped as debit transactions on Point of Sale terminals. Though the two cards are similar, only prepaid cards can be used to get cash from an ATM or to get cash back from a merchant. Gift cards cannot. Read the terms and conditions on the back of your card to know for sure.
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Link Visa Gift Card To Your Paypal Wallet
PayPal allows you to link your Visa gift card to your account just like a credit card or debit card and use it at checkout.
Whats even better is that you can transfer your funds to your PayPal-linked bank account, essentially getting cash out of the card.
So, how do you link your visa gift card to your PayPal wallet? Simple. Log in to your PayPal account and click on the Wallet tab followed by Link a card on the next page.
Itll open a form where you fill in the card details.
You may have to register your billing address with the card issuer in case of an error message when trying to link the card to your wallet, but thats about it. The process should be straightforward.
Withdrawing the funds to your bank account is free for a standard transfer that takes one to three business days which is great if you dont mind the wait.
If youd like to speed up the process, you can opt for an instant transfer that attracts a 1% fee, calculated from the withdrawal value.
How To Convert Visa Gift Cards To Cash
There are a bunch of different ways to get your Visa gift card balance converted to cash. In a few cases, theyll let you end up with actual cash in your hand, while others will let you treat the card as if it were cash in terms of how you use it.
There are a few ways though that involve a transfer of the Visa gift card to your bank account. From there, youll then be able to withdraw the money as cash.
Want to get started with a free $5 Visa gift card? Simply and youll get a free $5 welcome bonus, which you can then convert into a Visa gift card
Whichever option you choose though, the outcome is the same. So it just becomes a question of which one is easier for you.
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Use The Cash App To Send Yourself Money
This option is new and gives you the ability to transfer the full Visa gift card balance. However, it may not work for everyone as the app has caught on and doesnt allow it. But its pretty easy to do, first, download the free Cash app for iOS or Android.
Then you can send yourself money using your Visa gift card as the funding source. In order to receive your money simply add your bank account in order to receive your full balance. Just know that there is a 3% fee when personal payments are sent from a credit card when using the Cash app.
However, thats not that high compared to other options. For example, If you are trying to cash out a $50 gift card, youll only lose $1.50 in fees.
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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Buy A Money Order With The Visa Gift Card
Places such as Walmart let you purchase a money order using a Visa gift card. Keep in mind this can vary depending on the location, so make sure to call the Walmart you are going to visit to make sure this option is available in your area.
Once you receive your money order, you can deposit it into your bank and use it as cash. If you arent sure how a money order works, check out this article by Nerd Wallet. It goes through everything that you may need to know before getting started with getting a money order.
Buy Money Orders With The Visa Gift Card
Another way would be to use your Visa gift card to buy money orders.
There will be a fee of coursewhich will be charged to the card.
Therefore you have to take thatinto account before embarking on this path.
This method depends on whether yourcard will let you buy money orders, some dont.
If it does allow you to do thisthen you cash the money orders or deposit them into your bank account.
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Can You Use A Visa Gift Card At An Atm
Visa gift cards cannot generally be used at an ATM as they do not come with a PIN. That is, ATMs only allow you to withdraw cash if you have a PIN for security reasons. This means that any card that doesnt come with this will not be able to finish the transaction.
There are, of course, other ways to get cash from your Visa gift card, as youve probably seen from all the other options in this article. That said, most of them require a couple of extra steps to get to that point.
While theyre all pretty simple, unfortunately none of them are quite as straight forward as simply withdrawing the balance in cash from an ATM. Dont consider that as too much of a hurdle though, as those extra steps needed to access that cash really arent that difficult to do.
Add The Balance To Your Paypal Wallet
If youre already a PayPal user, then this might be the easiest way for you to cash out a Visa gift card.
PayPal actually lets you transfer the balance of any prepaid gift card to your PayPal wallet.
After you transfer your balance, you can use the funds to checkout at any online retailer that accepts PayPal or you can just transfer them to your bank.
Just keep in mind that you incur a PayPal fee if you want to use your cash immediately once you transfer it to your bank account. However, if youre willing to wait a few days, then you can get it all for free.
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How Do You Get Prepaid Cards
Many businesses offer prepaid cards as incentives to sign up for services, buy products, and refer other customers.
Here are two recent personal examples. I earned three of these cards by signing up for Internet service with AT& T. I also just received one from my web hosting company, HostGator, thanks to their referral program .
In addition to business incentives, other ways you might come across prepaid cards include winning one as a prize or receiving one as a gift. You can even get one for test driving a car!
Where Can I Trade In Gift Cards For Cash
Most of the ways listed in this guide allow you to trade in gift cards for cash. To get cash in your hand, sell them to friends or exchange it at a kiosk. Add the balance to PayPal or cash app and transfer it to your bank account.Sell the gift cards via apps such as Raise and once sold withdraw the balance to your bank account. Visit participating stores and use the gift card to buy a money order which can be deposited into your bank account and you now have the cash to use. Ultimately all methods result in you getting cash, but some will deposit into your bank account rather than cash in hand. Just remember that fees may apply depending on the method you use and to check these before completing any exchange.
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Add A Visa Gift Card To Your Amazon Account
So many of us shop on Amazon, right? In fact, in June 2021, it was reported that Amazon was the most visited eCommerce site with about 2.45 billion monthly visits to Amazon.com!
Thats pretty impressive!
Since most of us do shop on Amazon, funding our gift card balance can be such a good idea. Its basically free money to spend on the platform.
You can use your prepaid Visa gift card to .
Sure, its not cash that you can spend anywhere or withdraw from an ATM. It is, however, money to spend on Amazon, which frees up the money in your bank account that you would have otherwise spent.
Lets say you want to buy something for $30 on Amazon. Instead of using your debit card, you use a Visa gift card to cover the cost. This means youve gotten $30 cash freed up in your bank account.
Which States Require Merchants To Give Cash Back For Gift Cards
Im not a lawyer, so dont take this as legal advice, but from my research, the states below require merchants to give cash back upon request if the gift card value falls below the state-mandated amount. Links to each states gift card laws are provided so you can study the state gift card laws in your own state to be sure.
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Use It To Buy A Money Order
Stores like Walmart as well as certain grocery stores will let you buy money orders using your Visa gift card. That said, the availability of this can vary, so check if this is an option in your area.
But once youve done this, the money order can then be deposited into your bank account to be used as straight up cash.
One thing you should keep in mind, however, is that some banks have had a habit of shutting down accounts if too many money orders are deposited. As such if you do choose to do this, perhaps combine it with some of the other options on this list.
Buy Something And Flip It Online
Another great way to convert your Visa gift card into cash is to get into flipping!
This is the most time consuming way to get cash for your Visa gift card, but its also the only one that can actually make you a profit.
To start, purchase a highly discounted item or something youve purchased below value at a thrift store or online retailer than accepts Visa gift cards.
Afterwards, list that product on an online resale marketplace like eBay or Mercari for more than you paid.
Make sure to list the product below retail so its an enticing offer for potential buyers, but still high enough that youre making back more than you spent.
Some popular resale websites and apps you can try include:
- Poshmark Ideal for selling apparel and accessories.
- Mercari A general resale marketplace thats very easy to use for sellers.
- Depop A vintage and trending fashion marketplace thats great for content creators and influencers.
- SidelineSwap The best marketplace for selling sports apparel and equipment.
Again, this option for turning your Visa gift card into cash takes the most time, but it also lets you start making money online if you get into flipping, which is a plus.
Extra Reading The Best Websites & Apps Like Poshmark.
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What Other Gift Card Hacks Can I Try
If you really feel stuck with a gift card that has almost no money on it, dont give up hope or just throw the card away. Try this list below to see if one of the suggestions is a better fit for you:
Ask the Cashier While your state may not require merchants to cash out gift cards, some stores have adopted the policy anyway. When using a gift card, ask the cashier if you can have the balance in cash. You might be surprised.
Buy something more. This isnt my favorite choice, but I would rather spend a few extra dollars than hold onto a bothersome balance that I may forget to use or get tired of carrying in my wallet. When at the cash register, throw a pack of gum on the conveyor belt or add a candy bar to the total. Spend as little as possible to get above the gift card balance so the card will be fully redeemed.
Apply it to your account. If the merchant allows you to add a gift card to your online account before redeeming it, then simply redeem the card, add the balance, and apply it to a future purchase. Amazon and iTunes both work this way. You can redeem a gift card and then just chip away at the balance every time you make a purchase until the money is gone.
Buy a Store gift card with a Visa gift card. Though many retailers will not allow you to buy a store gift card with a store gift card, they may allow you to buy a store gift card with a Visa gift card. Ive done this both online and in stores.
Happy Gift Carding!
~Shelley Hunter, Gift Card Girlfriend