Despite the fact that Visa gift cards are not cash, it is possible to convert them into cash by using Square, a credit card reader designed specifically for small businesses to accept credit card payments. Some articles recommend using PayPal, but PayPal does not always work because these gift cards are not verifiable by the recipient. The alternative payment processor Square will charge you a percentage of the amount transferred plus the cost of the reader if you choose to purchase one (details in “Tips” section). Please keep in mind that some users have reported that Square has begun to restrict the use of Visa gift cards for some users. An alternative solution exists, but there is no guarantee that it will be successful as well.
Part 1 Starting the Process
1. Activate your Visa Gift Card online by visiting the website listed on the card’s packaging. You won’t have to worry about this unless the card specifies that it must be activated, which is common in the industry.
2. If you do not know your card’s balance, you should check it. This can be accomplished either by visiting a website or by dialling a phone number (both will be on the card). Keep track of your balance and try to reduce the number of times you check it. Some Visa gift card issuers charge a fee to check the balance of the card, speak with customer service, or do just about anything else with the card.
3. Transfer the funds or spend them as soon as possible. Visa gift cards, as well as the American Express card that is similar to it, charge a monthly fee just for having a balance on the card. If you intend to spend the money or if you intend to deposit it into your bank account, act quickly.
4. Sign up for Square and fill out the necessary information. This can be done either through the Squareup app, which is available for both iOS (iPhones/iPads) and Android devices, or through the Squareup website, which can be found at www.squareup.com. You will be required to enter the following information:
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.
5. Set up a link between your bank account and Square. It is this bank account that Square will use to deposit the balance of your gift card or any other transactions that you have made. According to Square’s FAQs, this is not always immediately available and can take up to two business days in some cases. If you need to make a transfer from a gift card as soon as possible, this method may not be suitable.
6. Make a decision on whether you will use a card reader or a manual entry system. Square charges different rates to users depending on whether they use the card reader or enter the information manually. Manual entry costs more, but a reader charges a lower fee of 2.75 percent, compared to the 3.5 percent plus $0.15 transaction fee for a reader.
Square readers are available for purchase at retailers such as Best Buy, or you can order one for $29.00 from Square or borrow one from a friend. A single reader can be shared by multiple accounts.
Part 2 Convincing Square to Accept the Visa Gift Card
1. Make it appear as if you are a merchant. Even though Square advertises that it accepts Visa gift cards, there has been some conflicting information about whether Square will reject a Visa gift card if it believes you are using the service only once to transfer a balance. Instead, you must convince Square that you are an established merchant or find an acquaintance who is an established merchant to make the transfer on your behalf in order to avoid this situation.
However, there is no guarantee that this will be successful; however, it will increase the likelihood of success.
You can skip this section and instead attempt to complete the gift card transfer by following the steps in the following section. Simply be aware that it may not work.
2. Open the Square app and enter the amount of the transaction in the appropriate field. This is a transaction that you create and pay for with your own funds or a credit card, depending on your preference. You are not in the process of purchasing or selling anything. Before attempting to transfer the Visa gift card balance, this creates a transaction record in Square’s database. It is recommended that you do not enter an amount in Square that is too large because Square charges a transaction fee for each transaction. You will receive your money back into the bank account that you have linked to Square; it will not be lost or stolen.
3. Input the credit card information to be used for the transaction. Because you have not yet used the Visa gift card, you will need to use a different card for this transaction. It makes no difference which type of credit card you use.
4. Make a few more small purchases with your own money to round out your day. This will give you the appearance of being a merchant, and it will also serve as a practise run before the larger balance transfer.
5. Check the bank account that you have linked to Square. The funds from your transactions are credited to your bank account within two business days of their completion. As a result of transaction fees charged by Square, the amount transferred into your bank account will be the sum of the amounts you entered less the fees charged.
Part 3 Transferring the Gift Card Balance
1. Charge the remaining balance of the gift card on Square. The gift card will be authorised, the balance on the card will be reduced to zero, and the funds will be deposited into your bank account by Square within one business day.
The transfer will be denied if Square does not allow it, and you will be informed that it is against their policy to transfer a Visa gift card balance. They will continue to charge the 3.5 percent or 2.75 percent fee to your bank account, and the remaining balance will be credited back to your Visa gift card account.
2. Check your bank account to see if you have any money. After that, it should only take one business day for the money to appear in your bank account. Allow an extra day if you charged your card later in the day; some banks may require additional time to process your charge. It is possible that the transaction will appear as a pending deposit and that it will not be immediately available. Check your bank’s policies either online or in person at a branch.
The stated policy of a bank is typically the worst case scenario in terms of your ability to access funds. It is frequently completed in less time than the stated time frames.
3. Check the balance of your Visa gift card. If you were successful in transferring the funds, the Visa gift card should have a balance of zero dollars. If Square, on the other hand, rejects the transaction, you will need to check the balance and ensure that the funds were returned to the Visa gift card in your possession.
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