Visa gift cards are not cash, but it is possible to turn them into cash using Square, a card reader for small businesses to take credit card charges. Some articles suggest using PayPal, but PayPal doesn't always work since these gift cards can't be verified. Square is another option, but it will cost you a percentage of the amount transferred and the cost of the reader if you purchase one (details in "Tips" section). Please note that some users report Square has started to block Visa gift cards for some users. There is a possible workaround, but there is no guarantee it will work either.
Part One of Three:
Starting the ProcessEdit
1Activate your Visa Gift Card online at the website provided on the card. Many cards come pre-activated, so you don't have to worry about this unless the card says that it has to be activated.
2Check your card balance if you do not know it. This can be done either by going to a website or calling a number (both will be on the card). Remember the balance and minimize the number of balance checks. Some issuers of Visa gift cards charge a fee to check the balance, speak with customers service and just about anything else.
3Transfer the money or spend it quickly. Visa gift cards, along with the similar card from American Express, charge monthly fees just for having a balance. If you plan on spending or trying to get it into your bank account, do it quickly.
4Sign up for Square and enter your information. This can be done either via the app, which is available for both iOS (iPhones/iPads) and Android, or via the website, www.squareup.com. You will need to enter:
- Your name and email
- The name of your business
- The type of business
- How you plan to use Square
- Estimated annual revenue.
- If you are not a business, you will still need to enter information for these fields.
- Confirm your email address.
5Link your bank account to Square. Square will deposit the balance from your gift card or any other transactions into this bank account. This is not typically immediate, and it can take up to two business days according to Square's FAQs. This approach may not work if you need to make the transfer from the gift card quickly.
6Decide if you will use a card reader or manual entry. Square charge different rates to users if you use the card reader or make a manual entry. A reader charges a lower fee of 2.75% versus the 3.5%+$0.15 transaction fee for a manual entry.
- You can buy Square readers at a store like Best Buy, order one from Square for $29.00, or borrow one from a friend. Multiple accounts can share the same reader.
Part Two of Three:
Convincing Square to Accept the Visa Gift CardEdit
1Appear like a merchant. While Square indicates it accepts Visa gift cards, there are mixed reports that Square will reject a Visa gift card if it believes you are using the service once to transfer a balance. In order to avoid this, you need to convince Square that you are a regular merchant or find a friend that is an established merchant to make the transfer for you.
- There is no guarantee this will work, but it will increase the likelihood of success.
- You can skip this part and try to make the gift card transfer following the steps in the next part. Just be aware that it may fail.
2Open the Square app and enter an amount for a transaction. This is a transaction that you create and pay with your own funds or credit card. You are not actually buying or selling anything. This creates a transaction record in Square before trying to transfer the Visa gift card balance. It is recommended that you enter an amount in Square that is not too large since it charges a transaction fee. You will get this money back in the bank account that is linked to Square, it is not disappearing.
3Input the credit card information for the charge. You are not using the Visa gift card yet, so choose another card for this transaction. It does not matter what kind of card you use.
4Conduct a few more small transactions with your own funds. This will make you appear more like a merchant and also serve as a test ahead of a the larger balance transfer.
5Check your bank account linked to Square. The transactions you have made are credited to your bank account within two business days. Square will charge transaction fees, so the amount transferred into your bank account will be the amounts you entered less the fees.Advertisement
Part Three of Three:
Transferring the Gift Card BalanceEdit
1Charge the gift card balance on Square. The gift card will be authorized, the card's balance will fall to zero, and the funds will be deposited by Square into your bank account within one business day.
- If Square does not allow the transfer, you will see a note that it is against their policy to transfer a Visa gift card balance. They will still charge the 3.5% or 2.75% fee to your bank account, and the balance will get credited back to the Visa gift card.
2Check your bank account for the money. It should take just one business day for the money to show up in your account. Allow an extra day if you made the charge later in the day, some banks also take time to process it. The transaction could show up as a pending deposit and may not have immediate availability. Check your bank's policies online or with your branch.
- A bank's stated policy is typically the worst case scenario for your fund availability. It is often faster than the stated time frames.
3Check the Visa gift card balance. The Visa gift card should have a zero balance if you successfully transferred the funds. However, if Square rejected the transaction, you will need to check the balance and make sure the fund were returned to the Visa gift card.Advertisement
How can I check on my gift card balance transfer?Answered by wikiHow Contributor
- 1.) Call the number on the back of the Visa gift card and check the balance. 2.) If there is a website listed on the back of the gift card, you can go there and check the balance online. 3.) Check your bank account to see if the money was deposited.
When will my money be available for withdrawal from my bank?
I have a few gift cards that I want accumulated to one card, how can I do that?
Can I manually enter a check?
How much can I transfer into a square account?
- If you use the Square reader, you will be charged a flat rate of 2.75%. If you manually enter the card number, you will be charged 3.5% + 15¢.
- The very small amount that you lose in processing fees is made up for in the assurance of knowing that you'll be able to use the funds, as Visa gift cards don't always go through when purchasing something.
- Individuals only transferring gift card balances are unlikely to justify cost of reader.
- By following these steps, you may be circumventing the intended use of the card.
- Square may reject the transaction citing that it does not allow you to use the service to just transfer a Visa gift card balance. In this case, you the transaction amount is credited back to the gift card, but Square can still charge you the normal transaction fee.
Things You'll NeedEdit
- Visa gift card
- Square account
- Bank account
- Email address
- Square reader (optional)