Small balance on the gift card. We'll tell you how to use it

It often happens that unspent funds remain on your gift card, but there are too few of them to buy something else in the retail chain. Or you do not know what you can spend this little money on. In this article, we will talk about the possible options that you have to attach the rest of the prepaid certificate somewhere.

We will answer the most frequently asked questions so that you no longer have any doubts about how you can fully use a gift card of any kind, including Visa.

If I have not used the card at all, can I return it to the seller?

Unfortunately, this issue is not regulated at the legislative level. Each large company or small store with its own gift cards is free to decide whether it is possible to return money to the client for previously purchased prepaid certificates.

If you own the card for a short time and have not made a single purchase with it, then some of the sellers will agree to take it back, returning the money to you. However, not everyone does this. You can read about the operating conditions of this specific product on the website of the company that released it. The terms of use are also often printed on the plastic itself.

Unfortunately, in most cases, buyers are unable to get refunds for purchased gift cards. If you have not been able to return the product to the seller in any way (go to the website and write an appeal/return to the physical store), then you can sell it using special online platforms where your card will be bought with pleasure. The loss from the face value, in this case, will be minimal.

Is it possible to receive the balance in cash or on a bank card?

In some states, including California, customers of shops and other companies can only return a small amount of cash, even bank plastic, if the amount does not exceed ten dollars, and the face value of the prepaid certificate was much more than this amount.

Unfortunately, you will not be able to receive a single cent if this card was received as a lottery/raffle win from a merchant, as a charitable donation, or as part of a store promotion. Refunds do not apply to cards from issuers such as Visa or Mastercard.

In all other cases, the procedure for returning the remainder looks like this:

  • study of state legislation on the return of the balance of the deposit from prepaid cards;

  • tracking transactions when paying with a certificate;

  • balance drop below the legal mark,

  • contacting the cashier to receive money from the gift card;

  • a possible request for a manager's consultation by an employee;

  • receiving cash directly at the checkout.

Depending on the type of system installed in the store where you came for the return, the time for receiving cash can vary from a few minutes to several days. Study your state's laws on this matter and calmly go get the rest.

Other ways to use the remainder

Unfortunately, not all states allow you to use the refund from a prepaid certificate. Therefore, there are several other ways to spend the remaining funds to good use.

Our advice: it is better to spend the entire face value immediately after receiving the gift card. If you have already bought everything you wanted, but the allowable limit for withdrawing the balance has not yet been reached, then pay attention to the checkout area. There are plenty of goods that are inexpensive but can be quite useful.

Another recommendation is to use a gift card as soon as possible. Do not store it in a drawer or a closet. Place the certificate next to bank cards and then you will always know that it will come in handy in one place or another for payment.

I have a Visa gift certificate with a small balance. Can it be cashed out?

The above are general rules for all modern prepaid certificates. Basically, even such a large company refuses to pay out cash for their gift products. However, you have the option to use them in the same cases as other certificates.

How do I return an unused gift card?

As a rule, the answer to this question does not console our readers. Only a few sellers agree to take back these products with a certain denomination. And only if the certificates have intact packaging and have not been used in any way. But such a possibility is rather an exception to the rule.

We studied the data of many large sellers of prepaid certificates. All of them deny the possibility of returning a product you do not need.

In any case, you should study the conditions written on the back of the plastic or card packaging in person to check the possibility of receiving a refund in cash or to bank details.

What if I sell a gift card for real money?

On the Internet, you can find sites that offer you to get money for such products. But these resources do not belong to large reputable companies, so you should be extremely careful not to fall for scammers.

The best option is to sell such a gift card to your friends. But there is another undeniable way to benefit. Put the prepaid certificate next to the credit cards in the wallet compartment and use it as soon as possible. Shopping for groceries, paying for dinner at a restaurant, paying off bills - all this can be done with a gift card. Just spend the entire deposit, gradually delighting yourself with purchases or visits to various places.

Thus, you do not use funds from your debit or credit card in the calculations. And how is that different from giving you cash for a gift of plastic?

What other options do I have?

First of all - do not think that the card is not useful to you at all and you need to immediately throw it away! Many people make this mistake today, and they will regret it very much in the future. Here are a lot of options for how you can use a prepaid certificate.

  1. Make sure that it is really impossible to get the balance in cash from the seller. Even though state laws do not require gift card money to be given out, some businesses support this policy. This increases the level of customer loyalty and is not a significant cost for the seller. Suddenly you are lucky with this product?

  2. Buy some additional items at the checkout. A package of chewing gum or a chocolate bar, batteries for your gadget - there are plenty of options for using a small balance on a gift card. It is better to spend those few dollars that prevent you from parting with a spent certificate with peace of mind than to carry it with you for a long time or completely forget it for a long time.

  3. If you shop online, you can activate the card in your account and pay for goods and services. So you will be able to fully spend the funds, paying for the necessary things over and over again.

  4. Sometimes gift cards with low balances are poorly processed by outdated terminals in small local shops or restaurants. If this happens and the transaction is denied, go to a major retailer. In such companies, the most advanced equipment for reading any plastic cards is installed and there will be no problems - that's for sure.

  5. Buy another gift card (only works for MasterCard and Visa). After you receive your purchase, you can fund your account on the seller's website and use it to pay for the purchases you need. The benefit is that the products of these companies are correlated with their "colleagues" one to one (provided that the purchase is made on the website of this online store).

  6. Become a philanthropist and donate the rest to charity. Although the unspent amount is small, it will be part of a great good cause, because you can help someone. And it doesn't matter who you donate to a non-profit organization, a foundation, or a school.

Is it possible to cash out a Visa gift card through an ATM or cashier?

These tricks won't work today. If earlier there were stories on the Web that using different transfer systems it was possible to send money from a gift card to yourself, then at present all these tricks and tricks have already been discovered by the security services of these large companies. You will not be able to get cash at any bank or ATM, as the certificate will simply be blocked.

The easiest and most convenient way is to use up the entire deposit of a gift card the first time you use it. This will save you from thinking about how to deal with the rest of the funds, especially those not so significant. But if nevertheless, a couple of dollars are stuck on the deposit, you can quite easily find a way to use them properly.