How To Stay Safe Using Your Debit Card Online
To reduce the likelihood of problems, follow these basic security rules.
- Look for the lock: Make sure youre shopping on a secure website, especially when its time to enter your card number. Look for the locked padlock icon in your browser and pay attention to any security warnings that pop up.
- Monitor your account: Its always a good idea to keep tabs on your money, and its especially important if youre sharing account information online. Check your accounts regularly: once per month at a bare minimum, though more often is better. And set up alerts in your account so you know when money goes out.
- Use secure connections: Mobile devices and free Wi-Fi make it easy to get things done. But you never know how secure a public hotspot is. If youre going to access financial accounts or punch in card numbers, save those tasks for when youre at home or work and know your traffic is safe.
If You Plan To Pay For Something With A Prepaid Debit Gift Card Ask First
A while back, my boyfriend got a prepaid debit card from his aunt and we decided to splurge on a nice brunch for ourselves. When we went to pay, however, we were informed that the restaurant didnt accept those types of cards as payment. Had we known that, we would have probably gotten a drink or two less. Recently, we tried to use a prepaid card at a diner and were also told they didnt accept them. Paying the bill in cash didnt break the bank, but it was frustrating to have the money on the card and not be able to use it.
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Why Is My Gift Card Not Working
If the purchase amount is greater than the card value, a merchant’s point-of-sale system may decline the gift card. Check the card balance and ask the clerk to run the transaction for the exact balance on the gift card. A clerk may be trying to run your transaction as a debit rather than a credit transaction. Although your card may be run as a debit transaction, you will need a PIN. To retrieve your PIN, visit the Activate Card page, Check Balance page, or call 844-234-9660.
If you are experiencing other issues, please call 844-234-9660.
Why Would I Use A Debit Card
- Debit cards let you buy things without carrying cash. You can use your debit card in most stores to pay for something. You just swipe the card and enter your PIN number on a key pad.
- Debit cards take money out of your checking account immediately.
- Debit cards let you get cash quickly. You can use your debit card at an automated teller machine, or ATM, to get money from your checking account. You also can get cash back when you use a debit card to buy something at a store.
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Debit Cards Vs Credit Cards
Debit cards make it easy to spend money. But when it comes to debit cards that are linked to your checking account, there is a significant risk involved: That card pulls funds directly from your bank account.
If your card gets stolen , your checking account could get drained by a thief. You are protectedas long as you report the problem to your bank quickly enoughbut a temporarily empty bank account can cause stress and other problems.
If youre concerned about problems in your checking account, use a credit card for day-to-day spending and online shopping instead of using your debit card. Credit cards have more consumer protections, and, more importantly, the money doesnt leave your bank account before you become aware of any problems.
Pay off your entire credit card balance in full every month , and you can avoid interest charges.
Using Your Debit Card In Other Countries
Whether or not your debit card will work in other countries depends on which ATM networks your financial institution belongs to.
Look to see which ATM network logo appears the back of your debit card. For example, your card may list logos like Plus, Maestro or Cirrus. Youll need to check each foreign ATM machine before using it to see if it’s part of your financial institutions ATM network.
Before travelling, check with your card issuer for more information. The name or logo of the card issuer is usually on the card itself or on the card packaging.
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Possible Reasons Why Your Visa Gift Card Might Not Be Working Online
Although Visa, Mastercard, Discover and AMEX gift cards are accepted online, in stores and just about anywhere these major brand debit cards are accepted, sometimes people have difficulties using their bank-issued gift cards online. If you are entering the gift card into the correct field on the website, then it is possible the gift card is being rejected for another reason.
In addition to this list of things to try if your Visa gift card is not working, the most common reasons gift cards decline online are listed below:
Activating And Using Your Card
Locate the toll-free phone number on the back of the gift card. Call to activate the card. This generally requires entering the gift card number using the buttons on your phone. The card is ready to use following activation.
Use your gift card as payment anywhere that MasterCard is accepted. Tell the cashier that gift card is the form of payment before he swipes the card. If self-swiping the card, press the gift card button. “Gift card” should also be chosen as the payment method for online purchases.
Continue purchasing until you exhaust the prepaid gift card balance. When the balance is not sufficient to complete a purchase, the amount remaining on the gift card will go toward the purchase and leave an outstanding balance to be paid with another method.
Read More:How to Activate a Pre-Paid Debit Card
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Pending Transactions Are Affecting The Balance
Every time you swipe or enter your Visa gift card number into a payment system , the system checks to see if the card has sufficient funds to complete the transaction. During this authorization check, the system will place a hold on the funds needed for the purchase. If the transaction is cancelled or later declined, then the pending amount is released. If the transaction is completed, then the pending amount is finalized and the card balance is reduced by the dollar amount of the final purchase.
Sometimes holds are not released immediatelyit can take several hours or several days to remove a pending charge depending on how each merchant system works. During that time, your gift card may decline if pending charges are tying up a portion of the gift card balance that you know should be available.
If your card is not working and pending charges are still affecting the card balance, wait a few days and try again. If you want to understand the process more, heres an article on why it takes so long for charges to clear.
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If You Have A General
If you end up with a small balance on a gift card issued by Visa, Mastercard, or American Express, spending it can be complicated if you’re shopping online because of how checkout works at most retail websites, says Shelley Hunter, a gift card expert with Giftcards.com.
When you purchase a product online, you need to input the Visa or Mastercard gift card number into the debit or credit card field on the websitenot the gift card field, which is reserved for store-branded gift cards, she says. In other words, you can’t pay using both the gift card and your credit or debit card.
“If you have $3.98 on a Visa gift card and you’re purchasing a product for $5, the gift card will be rejected,” says Hunter.
But you do have options.
Buy an e-gift card from an online retailer. Some, such as Amazon and Walmart, allow you to use a general-purpose gift card to buy an e-gift card for use on their sites. There’s no fee and you can apply the e-gift card value to a purchase, then pay the balance with a regular credit or debit card.
It’s a strategy Sam Ochs, a savvy 12-year-old video-game player in northern California, says he uses to keep his Xbox subscription going. “My friends give me gift cards sometimes and if there’s a few dollars left on the card I just apply it toward the cost of the Xbox service, or a game,” he says.
There are restrictions, though. Amazon and Microsoft won’t sell you an e-gift card for amounts of less than a dollar. Other retailers may also set minimum amounts.
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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Hack Away Small Balances
This gift card workaround is also a great way to get rid of a pesky small balance on a gift card. I recently found that I still had a Visa gift card in my mobile wallet with a balance of $4.09. Knowing it would be a challenge to use this exact amount online and would be more of a nuisance to use it in stores, I used the gift card to buy an for exactly $4.09. After completing the transaction, the arrived in my email within seconds. I then logged back into Amazon and applied the dollar amount to my Amazon account. The next time I make a purchase , Ill be able to apply that $4.09 credit to my bill. I would much rather take the time to do this than leave an unused balance on a gift card indefinitely. Using the money took a little effort. Not using it would have been a waste.
Over time, Im hoping online shopping carts will get more sophisticated and customers will have the option to split transactions into multiple forms of paymentperhaps paying half of the bill with a gift card, a quarter of the amount due with PayPal and the final balance with Bitcoin. But until that happens, a few gift card hacks will have to do.
Got any other gift card problems you cant solve? Let me know in the comments below or leave a message for .
Happy Gift Carding!
Insufficient Funds On The Card
At Giftcards.com, the most common reason online transactions decline is that the card does not have enough money on it to cover the purchase. Though people generally understand this concept, online shopping is a little different than in-store shopping. If you handed a Visa gift card to a cashier and knew it did not cover the full amount of the purchase, you could expect the system to use the card balance and then have the cashier ask you for a second form of payment. Since most websites cannot handle a split tender transaction as described above, the gift card is simply declined.
Ill show you my trick for getting a gift card to work in this situation. Read my post on gift card hacks.
If you have a Visa gift card or Mastercard gift card from Giftcards.com, you can check the balance of your Visa gift card and review previous transactions as well.
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Use A Prepaid Debit Card
Prepaid cards are similar to traditional bank-issued debit cards. The main difference is that they dont have a direct link to your bank account. Instead, they spend from a pool of money that you load onto the card before using it. In most cases, you can use a prepaid debit card as if it was any other card. As long as you have sufficient funds available, nobody’s going to care that you have a prepaid card.
You might eventually use up all of the funds available on your prepaid debit card. At that point, some cards allow you to “reload” and add funds to the card. The process for reloading varies from card to card .
If you’re going to use a prepaid debit card, keep an eye on the fees you pay. These cards are typically more expensive than debit cards issued by banks.
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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How To Use A Mastercard Gift Card
A prepaid MasterCard gift card is a convenient gift option for the difficult-to-shop-for friend. Although the gift card funds can be spent like cash, the purchase of a gift card has the presentation of a physical gift instead of transfer of cash from one wallet to another. A MasterCard gift card can be used at many locations, unlike a store-specific gift card that is good at only one location. Using a MasterCard gift card is similar to using a .
How Much Does It Cost To Send Money Using A Debit Card
It is not possible to quote a specific figure as the exact amount of money you can pay as the cost to send money differs due to variation of fees charged by service providers and banks. There are transfer fees, conversion rates, and taxes.
Furthermore, using a credit card to transfer money is cheaper as compared to debit cards. If you transfer money from credit card to prepaid card online, the cost is likely to be lower than when you used a debit card. I am trying to bring the sense that you can also use your credit card to send money online.
The most important thing is to research on the available money transfer service providers before starting the transfer process.
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