Over the last few years a few things have caused me to wonder; selling bottled water, the ridiculous popularity of text messaging, and the abundance of gift cards.
I don’t have a problem with gift cards – in fact I think they are kind of convenient. But I am just a little surprised at how popular they have become the last five years. It seems that any business not offering gift cards or gift certificates of some sort is “out of it”. It comes as no surprise that the credit card companies got into the game as well. So now Visa offers gift cards – all the other ones probably do as well.
I got to thinking about them because my wife recently received a Visa gift card as a thank you from a friend. In theory they offer some of the benefits of cash and some of the benefits of credit cards. They can be used just about everywhere a credit card can be used. So they are very convenient in that sense.
The obvious other benefit is that they have a specific dollar limit. So you don’t have to worry about digging yourself out of debt after you use it!
Here are a few more questions and answers I found about Visa gift cards…
Can you use a Visa gift card for travel?
According to the Visa Gift Card page, the gift cards might not work at Hotels and Car Rental Companies. Car rental companies still might fight to get a credit card from you.
What if you lose the card?
The first thing to do is to call the provider with the number listed on the back of the card to let them know that it has been lost or stolen. You also must have the card number in order to get a replacement copy of the card. So, the suggestion is to write down the provider phone number and card number when you receive a gift card.
What about returns?
If you are returning an item, the transaction will work similar to that of credit or debit cards. You just provide the merchant with the card and the funds will be credited back to the card.
Who sells Visa gift cards?
It seems that just about any major bank sells Visa gift cards. So you can likely stop by your local bank to purchase one.