A gift card looks just like a credit card and is used to purchase gifts and other items by means of a preloaded amount on the card. It is a convenient alternative to gifting cash, very much like a gift voucher.
Vanilla Visa is one such gift card that is highly popular, very convenient for online purchase and available in two or three variants. The following paragraphs will answer some of your questions related to the Vanilla Visa gift cards.
- These cards were issued by The Bancorp Bank and carry the official, registered Visa logo.
- Initially, a fixed amount needs to be loaded on the card, and depending on the amount, there is a spending limit.
- It works very much like a Visa debit card, and is accepted wherever the Visa debit card is accepted.
- It is available in the cash limits of USD 25, USD 50, and USD 100. Thus, you can choose a card that suits your budget.
- It can be gifted for weddings, birthdays, and graduation parties.
How to Use the Card Online?
- The card is normally used for gift purchases at different stores and shopping outlets. All you need to do is swipe it and push the credit key on the keypad.
- However, it is widely used for online shopping as well.
- Since it is a prepaid card, you know exactly how much you can buy even at online stores.
- Also, it works similar to a debit card or MasterCard credit card, therefore you need to follow the same procedure as you would normally do for online shopping.
- If you select these cards as your payment mode, you may encounter certain transaction errors.
- One of these errors is that the card does not get authenticated. This is because a regular credit card has a valid, registered address associated with it, while a gift card does not.
- For this, you need to first register your card with the site. Enter the name, address, ZIP code, and other information, and confirm the same with the site.
- After this, you can make your purchase and payment.
- Another issue that users come across is that if you have less money on the card, your order will not be processed, since some amount is added as shipping charges.
- In spite of these glitches, a gift card is very convenient and easy to use for online shopping, according to reviews.
Where to Buy?
This card can be purchased at leading retail stores across the U.S. A list of places where you can buy the card are given below:
- CVS Pharmacy
- Dollar General
- Rite AID
- Associated Food Stores
How to Activate?
- You can activate your card at the place where you bought it.
- If you have purchased it at a retail store, your card can be activated at the cash register by the cashier.
- You may also register and activate your card at the VanillaVisa website.
- On purchase, do not forget to sign behind the card immediately.
Balance and Account History
- You can check your account balance by logging in at the VanillaVisa website.
- Here, you can enter the details of your card, security code, date of expiry, etc., and you will be directed to your account.
- You will find your current balance as well as your transaction history.
- Though, this feature is not available on all gift cards.
Are the Cards Reloadable?
- In plain words, 'NO'. These cards are not reloadable, you have to get a new one.
- Though the card works like a credit card, no credit or additional balance can be added to it.
What if the Card is Lost?
- Your card can be lost, stolen, and can be vulnerable to online frauds as well.
- If and when this happens, you can go to the site and click on the 'Contact Us' section.
- You will need to enter all the details of your card here. Also, you will find a number there on which you can call and notify the authorities.
- Once this is done, your card will be canceled immediately.
- If any balance remains on the card, you will be issued a new card with the remaining balance.
- If no balance exists, you will be issued a replacement card.
- You will be required to pay a fee of USD 5.95 in order to activate the replacement card.
Purchasing Gas and Fuel
- This is an additional advantage that this card has. You can use it to buy gas at gas stations.
- However, since this is a gift card and not an actual credit card, it functions differently.
- Normally, most gas stations verify your card for balance. This is ensured by pre-authorizing a tiny amount of USD 1.
- The underlying fact is, even if your card has insufficient balance, the transaction takes place, since your account will credit the balance later.
- However, with a gift card, no extra credit can be loaded, and therefore, you will be required to have a minimum balance of USD 75 before stopping for gas. And, make sure you notify the person at the gas station, regarding this.
- If you do not have the required balance, you will have to pay additional cash.
- Therefore, check the balance at the pump terminal before swiping the card.
Other Important Points to Remember
- A PIN is not required to use this card; however, if you need one, you can go to their website and click on 'Manage PIN', through which, you can select a 4-digit PIN of your choice.
- Mostly, you can start using your card immediately after activation. However, some retailers might ask you to wait for 24 hours.
- While swiping the card, please select the 'Credit' option and not the 'Debit' option. If you fail to do so, your card may not be accepted, and you will not be able to make a purchase.
- There is an initial activation fee associated with each denomination.
- Some cards may have a monthly service fee deduction.
- The card cannot be used at ATM machines.
- It also cannot be used for recurring bills.
- You cannot transfer remaining balance from one card to another.
- The card cannot be used outside the United States.