Visa Gift Card
FAQ

FAQ

THE BASICS

What is a Visa Gift card?

The Visa Gift card is a prepaid card welcome everywhere Visa Debit cards are accepted. The Visa Gift card is issued by a bank pursuant to terms and conditions determined by the bank and that create a contract between the cardholder and the bank. The bank that issues the Visa Gift card is referred to as the card issuer. Visa Gift cards are loaded with a set amount of funds on the card and can be used for multiple purchases for as long as value remains on the card. Additional funds cannot be added later if the card is a non-reloadable gift card.

How do I get a Visa Gift card?

There are two easy ways to get a Visa Gift card:

How does my Visa Gift card work?

  • The Visa Gift card is a "non-reloadable prepaid" card, meaning the initial value is set by the person who purchased the card. Additional funds cannot be added later.
  • The Visa Gift card carries the Visa logo like any other Visa card, so it can be used at the millions of places that accept Visa cards.
  • Like a credit card, when you are ready to pay, hand the card to the cashier and sign the purchase receipt.
  • Most Visa Gift cards do not come with a PIN, therefore, you should not push DEBIT, if using a keypad. This will cause your transaction to be declined. Instead, press the CREDIT button and then sign the receipt.
  • Each time you make a purchase, that amount is automatically deducted from the card balance. It is best to personally keep track of your balance, as most merchants will not be able to tell you.
  • The card does not offer a line of credit like a credit card.
  • If your gift card states Valid only in the United Stateson the front, the issuer has issued a Domestic Use Onlycard. Although your gift card will not be accepted at locations outside of the United States, it is welcome at millions of locations within the U.S. where Visa cards are accepted.

Do I need to activate my Visa Gift card?

The activation process is determined by the issuer, so you will need to follow the instructions provided with your card. Many Visa Gift cards are activated automatically upon purchase and may be used immediately. However, some Visa Gift cards must be activated by the recipient before they can be used.

Be sure to sign in the designated area on the back before making your first purchase.

What should I do if my Visa Gift card is lost or stolen?

  • Report a lost or stolen card immediately to the issuer that issued the card. To do so, call the toll-free number listed on the back of the card or in the card documentation.
  • You will need to provide the lost or stolen Visa Gift card number for it to be cancelled and a replacement issued.
  • To ensure authorized use of your Visa Gift card, be sure to sign the back before using.

What do I need to include if giving the Visa Gift card as a present?

  • When giving as a gift, provide the recipient with all materials you received with the card upon purchase, including the issuer's terms and conditions for use.
  • If you are giving the card to a young person who has little card-use experience, you may wish to review the materials together.

CARD VALUE

How do I learn the value of my Visa Gift card?

  • The initial value of your card should be included in the materials that came with your card. Most issuers also offer web site access, a toll-free number, or instructions on the back of the card.
  • It is important to know the remaining balance before making a purchase, as making a purchase for a greater amount greater than your balance could result in a denied transaction.
  • When making a purchase, record the amount and make a note of your new balance.

Is there a limit to the value placed on the Visa Gift card?

Maximum card values vary and are established by the issuers that issue the card. For more information, refer to the list of Visa Gift card providers.

What should I do with my Visa Gift card once the value is depleted?

You should keep your card—even after the balance is depleted—until you know that you will not be returning any of the items purchased with the card. If you do try to return items purchased, the store's policy may require you to present the card used to make the purchase. You should destroy the card once sure there is no further need.

MAKING A PURCHASE

How do I make a purchase with my Visa Gift card?

  • Using your Visa Gift card is similar to using a credit card. When you are ready to pay, give the card to the cashier and ask to sign the purchase receipt.
  • Most Visa Gift cards do not come with a PIN, so you should not push DEBIT. if using a keypad. This will cause your transaction to be declined. Instead, press the CREDITbutton and then sign the receipt.
  • Each time your card is used for a purchase, that amount is automatically deducted from your balance. It is recommended that you know your balance before making a purchase because many merchants will not be able to provide that information.
  • It is important to note that the Visa Gift card is 'non-reloadable', which means that additional money cannot be added to the balance of the card. The card does not offer a line of credit like a credit card. The initial value available for use is determined by the person who purchased the card.
  • If your gift card states Valid only in the United Stateson the front, the issuer has issued a Domestic Use Onlycard. Although your gift card will not be accepted at locations outside of the United States, it's welcome at millions of locations within the United States where Visa Debit cards are accepted.

What if I want to purchase an item that costs more than the balance on my Visa Gift card?

  • To make a purchase in an amount greater than the available balance, you will need to use a second form of payment (credit card, debit card, cash or check) to cover the difference.
  • When ready to make your purchase, tell the cashier in advance the amount you would like applied to your Visa Gift card. The balance will then need to be paid with the second payment method.

What should I do if my Visa Gift card is declined?

  • Verify there are sufficient funds on the card prior to making a purchase.
  • If your purchase is declined and you believe the card has sufficient funds, please contact the card issuer at the toll-free number listed on the back of the card.

What if I change my mind and want to cancel a purchase?

Let the cashier know that you have decided not to complete the purchase. If the merchant cancels a transaction after it processed, it will take three to seven days for the authorization hold to be removed from your card and the money replaced.

What if I need to return an item that I purchased with my Visa Gift card?

  • If you decide to return merchandise purchased with your Visa Gift card, you may be asked to present the card to process that return. Be sure to hold onto your purchase receipts and your card—even after the balance is depleted.
  • If store policy is to credit the card used to make a purchase (rather than providing you cash or store credit) it will take three to seven days to be added back to the available balance on the card.
  • When returning an item purchased online, you may need to provide your gift card number in order to process the return.

How long can I use my Visa Gift card?

You can make purchases using your Visa Gift card until either you surpass the expiration date set by the issuer shown on the card or you have used the full value of the card.

USING THE VISA GIFT CARD

Where can I use my Visa Gift card?

  • You can use your card at millions of places that accept Visa Debit cards, including both retail stores and online merchants.
  • For bill payment transactions, we recommend using a Visa credit or debit card.

Can I use my Visa Gift card at more than one merchant?

Yes. You can use your Visa Gift card anywhere Visa Debit cards are accepted. Just always ensure that the remaining balance on your card will cover the amount of your planned purchase.

Can I use my Visa Gift card at gas stations?

Yes. When paying at the pump, simply insert your card and follow the instructions. If the transaction is not completed, you may need to go inside and pay the attendant prior to pumping.

Can I use my Visa Gift card at merchants where a tip may be appropriate?

  • Yes. When using your Visa Gift card somewhere a tip may be appropriate (such as restaurants, bars, taxis, salons, barbershops, or health and beauty spas) the merchant or issuer may decide to authorize your transaction for an additional 20% above your total bill. The actual tip amount is your choice.
  • Be sure that the balance on your card is sufficient to cover the cost of the bill plus the tip added. If not, the transaction will be declined.

Can I use my Visa Gift card at hotels or car rental companies?

Yes. You can use your Visa Gift card for the final payment for both hotels and car rentals. However, some car rental companies and hotels may require a credit card to make a reservation. At check-in, hotels will put a HOLD on the estimated amount of your stay, making those funds unavailable for purchase for a period of time. You can avoid a HOLD being placed on your gift card by checking in with a Visa credit card, and then using your Visa Gift card for final payment when you return the car or at the end of your hotel stay.

Can I use my Visa Gift card for online or phone purchases?

  • Yes. However, to make an online or phone purchase, you will need to register your card. You can do this by either calling the issuer, or by visiting their web site.
  • When you make an online or phone purchase, the name, address, and phone number you use will need to be exactly the same as the information you provided when registering your card. If the information is different, the transaction may be declined.
  • You can verify or update your information by visiting the card provider's web site, or by contacting them using the toll-free number provided in your card documentation.

Can I use my Visa Gift card outside of the United States?

If your gift card states Valid only in the United Stateson the front, your issuer has issued a Domestic Use Onlycard. Although your gift card will not be accepted at locations outside of the United States, it's welcome at millions of locations within the U.S. where Visa Debit cards are accepted.

What about Visa Gift cards for my business?

If you'd like to offer Visa Gift cards to reward your employees or customers, bulk purchase options are available via by phone, online, or in-store.