Visa gift cards are widely available, but which ones are best and where should you buy them?
Where are Visa® gift cards sold? With gift cards widely available online, in third-party stores, at banks and in a variety of other places, it would almost be easier for me to explain where you can’t buy Visa gift cards. Below, I’ll share the most common places Visa gift cards are sold and where I’ve shopped for them.
Visa Gift Cards Online
Before I became the spokesperson for GiftCards.com, I was a customer. As my son wrapped up another baseball season a few years ago, I wanted to buy a personalized Visa gift card as a thank you gift for the coach. I researched all of the online options that would allow me to add a photo to the card at a reasonable price–including activation fees, shipping fees and personalization fees. Most custom gift card websites wanted a bulk order, but I found both GiftCards.com and GiftCardLab.com would allow me to purchase a single gift card with my own photo. (GiftCardMall.com sells single cards with custom embossing, but you can’t add your own image.) Although they had similar pricing, GiftCards.com had the faster turnaround time. For a $100 Visa gift card, I paid $3.95 for activation, $1 for customization and $1.99 for next day processing and shipping within 7 to 10 business days. Compared to in-store options that don’t allow any personalization, this product is a steal! (And it arrived earlier than promised.)
See the Visa card I bought and the thank you gift I made for the coach.
Visa Gift Cards In Person
Walk into any major grocery store, drug store or gas station and you will likely find a rack of gift cards. Amongst the cards for stores and restaurants, you’ll also see general purpose gift cards powered by major credit card companies. Though you can’t personalize these gift cards, you can buy them off the rack in various denominations. Activation rates I’ve seen for a $100 Visa gift card range right around $6. (Depending on the store, you may be able to order these generic gift cards from the store’s website as well. Walmart, for example, will ship Visa gift cards to your home, but Walgreen’s will not.)
Visa Gift Cards from Banks
Another place to buy Visa gift cards is from your bank. Not all banks sell them, but those that do typically sell cards to existing customers at a competitive rate–around $4 for any load value. The primary benefit of buying gift cards from a bank is that you may be granted additional security features such as the same protection that comes with the bank’s check or debit cards. Check your bank to see if you can buy gift cards and what additional benefits are given to existing customers.
Read the Fine Print
Regardless of where Visa gift cards are sold, there will be expiration dates and post-sale fees to additionally consider. Read the fine print on the back of the card or the card’s packaging before making a purchase. By law, the terms must be clearly disclosed. Read more about gift card fees and expiration dates.
If you have other gift card questions, add a note in the comments below or leave a message for @GCGirlfriend on Twitter.
Happy Gift Carding!
~Shelley Hunter, Gift Card Girlfriend