Prepaid Visa gift cards can be an excellent gift for friends and family of all ages. They are widely available and can be used wherever a Visa debit card is accepted.
Gift Card Pros and Cons
Gift cards can be the perfect gift solution. You load the card with funds and the recipient can make their own decision about what they want to purchase. You don't need to know their preferences or their size. Gift cards are easy to gift wrap and, if necessary, they are convenient to mail. Gift cards can turn a sometimes-frustrating situation of finding a gift into the pleasurable occurrence gift giving is meant to be.
Credit card laws passed in 2009 provided several changes to the gift card industry as of February 2010. With the new laws gift card recipients no longer have to rush to use their cards. For example, with the new laws:
- Gift cards remain valid for at least five years after the card is purchased.
- Gift card issuers cannot charge the recipients an inactivity fee during the first year.
But not all gift cards are the same. Giving the wrong gift card can sometimes end up being the wrong gift if not chosen carefully:
- Wrong retailer - Some gift cards are designed to be used only at one retailer. For example, a Starbucks gift card would probably be a very welcome gift to a Starbuck's customer but it could be relatively useless to recipients who don't drink coffee, tea or hot chocolate or if they don't have a nearby Starbucks.
- Big fees - Unfortunately some gift cards come with big activation fees which must be paid by the recipient before they use the card for the first time. The big activation fee can quickly use up the funds which the gift provider had loaded onto the card.
you are looking for versatility when purchasing a gift card, consider a prepaid Visa gift card.
Prepaid Visa Gift Cards
The prepaid Visa gift card is easy to purchase and can be used wherever Visa debit cards are accepted. It is offered by many card issuers, each with their own card design. You make sure it is a "Visa" gift card by checking for the Visa logo on the front of the card.
Not all card issuers provide the same features and pricing. For example, some card issuers charge the gift recipient an activation fee while others provide automatic activation the first time the card is used. Be sure to check the details of the specific card you purchase.
Regardless of the card issuer, prepaid Visa gift cards all have the same basic features:
- Acceptance - The card is accepted by millions of retailers, wherever Visa debit cards are accepted.
- Safety - It is usually safer to give a gift card than to give cash. The card can be replaced if it is lost or stolen.
- Ease of purchase - It can be purchased at many banks and retailers and, depending on the card issuer, it can also be purchased by phone or online.
- Ease of use - The balance remaining on the card can be checked by phone.
- No overdraft - Only the funds remaining on the card can be used. There is no overdraft or overdraft fee.
How It Works
Giving and using a Visa gift card is very easy. The gift giver purchases the card by having a financial institution or retailer load the card with a specific amount of funds. The gift receiver uses the card for purchases at a cash register or keypad, the purchase amount is entered by the retailer and the value of the card diminishes until all the funds are depleated.