Gift cards are a common present, but they're not always the most welcome one. If you've been given a Vanilla Visa gift card that might have seemed like a good present at the time, but there are a lot of reasons you might rather have cash instead of a more limited card.
If you'd rather get the balance out of your visa gift card and into your bank account, there are a few options. Even if you want to get physical cash, not just a number in the bank account, you can probably get good value from your gift card.
Here's what you need to know about turning your gift card into cash, and why you might rather have cash or a bank account balance instead of a gift card.
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What Is Gift Card Liquidation?
In simple terms, gift card liquidation is the process of taking a gift card and getting cash out. Sometimes that means literally selling the gift card for cash, but most often this process involves transferring the balance on the card into your bank account.
If you have a vanilla visa gift card you can probably just transfer the balance directly into your bank account, but transferring it that way will come with a fee.
If you want to save money and keep more of the gift card balance for yourself, you might have to get a little more creative to liquidate visa gift cards.
There are a lot of different options that we'll talk about later. But just about any way you turn your visa gift card to cash counts as visa gift card liquidation.
Can You Convert Visa Gift Cards To Cash?
There are a lot of people who think it's impossible to convert your visa gift card to cash. The truth is that it can be done, but a lot of the most common methods aren't very effective or are more expensive than they're worth.
The good news is that converting your visa gift card to cash is a lot easier these days, and there are more ways to convert your gift card to cash than there used to be.
With a little creativity, you can even make money converting your unwanted visa gift cards to cash.
We'll talk more about the ways you can exchange visa gift cards and turn gift cards into cash a little later. First, there are a few more questions you should think about before you commit to converting your visa gift cards to cash.
Should You Just Stick To The Visa Gift Card?
Before you've started turning your visa gift card to cash, let's talk about why you might want to keep the visa gift card itself instead.
For one thing, visa gift cards usually don't count as taxable income. They're trackable, but the money has already been taxed by the person who bought the card. That means that it's pretty much free money.
Plus, since visa gift cards are treated just like visa debit cards they're incredibly versatile. You can use your gift card online, to pay bills, at grocery stores, even shopping malls.
It's a little harder to withdraw money from a visa gift card compared with withdrawing from your bank account, but that's a relatively minor inconvenience for most people. Visa gift cards can even be a great option for shopping online, especially if you don' want to save your credit card or another high-limit card to your account.
Some people even keep vanilla visa gift cards to help budget and control spending. After all, if you transfer your budgeted money to a visa gift card, and only use the card for the purpose, it's a lot easier to stick to your budget.
That said, there are still some things that can only be bought with cash, or reasons you might want to add visa gift cards to your bank account instead of keeping the balance on the card. After all, your bank account is included in your financial assets, a visa gift card is not.
Why You Might Want To Liquidate Visa Gift Cards
Just like there are a lot of reasons to keep a visa gift card, there are also a lot of reasons to liquidate visa gift cards.
For one thing, visa gift cards still have to pay credit card fees with most retailers, which means that a lot of goods and services are slightly more expensive when you pay with a credit card, debit card, or gift card.
The number of services that serve credit card fees is going down, they're getting baked into prices and everyone is paying the same fee, but you still might want to liquidate your visa gift card.
You also might want to liquidate your gift card if you have a credit check coming up, or if there are any reasons why having more money in your bank account might be helpful.
Your gift card doesn't count toward the money in your bank account, which can be important for some bank calculations, including your debt-to-assets ratio. Those bank calculations can impact your eligibility for loans, credit cards, and other financial opportunities.
There are also a lot of businesses that only accept cash payments, especially small businesses, craft businesses, and startups that can't afford to pay credit card fees. Even farmer's markets and artisan fairs often have a cash-only requirement.
Transferring the money from your gift card to your bank account is often more efficient than converting your gift cards to cash, especially if you can use a linked bank account or a direct deposit from another service.
Once the money is in your account you can withdraw money directly without having to worry about credit card fees, where credit cards are accepted, or not being able to get cash immediately from the card.
Different Ways To Convert Visa Gift Cards To Cash
There are a lot of ways to turn a vanilla gift card into cash, but these are some of the best ways. If you want to convert visa gift cards to cash, these options will help give you more financial freedom and make it easier to pay large bills and avoid getting stuck with store credit or limited gift cards instead of real cash.
Use It To Buy Other Gift Cards
Sometimes turning a visa gift card to cash isn't the best option. Turning your visa gift card to cash gives you free-to-use money, but Visa gift cards are fairly flexible themselves.
Sometimes, using your visa gift to buy other gift cards is a better option, either because it's a good way to budget your spending, or because you can give those gift cards as gifts.
In some cases, you may even be able to re-sell gift cards to make more money than the original Visa gift card had to begin with.
Even if you don't convert gift cards to cash, you can still make a profit by buying gift cards when they're on sale, or when there's a promotion to increase your gift card balances.
Sure, a gift card isn't the same as hard cash, but this method can still be a good option to increase how much money you get from a visa card.
If you really need cold hard cash though, there are other ways to turn your visa gift card to cash.
Use Gift Card Granny
Gift Card Granny is an online site that can be used to sell or purchase gift cards at a discounted rate. That's great for converting visa gift cards to other kinds of gift cards or making a little cash by selling your gift cards without buying any.
The main problem with Gift Card Granny is that you have to sell your gift cards at a discount, which means that you're not going to get as much money out of them. It's a good way to convert visa gift cards to cash, but it's not the most efficient way to convert visa gift cards.
It's also important to note that sites like this one are always looking for the cheapest possible price for a gift card, partially because lower prices will help them sell the gift card for less.
So, this option might be easy, but that doesn't mean it's the best option.
Add It To Your PayPal Account
If you want to convert a visa gift card to cash, adding the money to your PayPal account is often one of the best ways to do it.
PayPal lets users convert almost all pre-paid cards into their account balance, including visa gift cards. They also don't charge a fee for this service, they get paid by visa gift card so this method preserves your balance so you can convert your visa gift card directly to cash.
There are a couple more steps though between your visa gift card and having physical cash in your hand. Most importantly, you'll probably need to transfer the money from your PayPal account to your bank account, and then withdraw cash from your bank account at an ATM.
Or, if you don't want to transfer money around, you can leave it in your PayPal wallet and use it like a regular account. Plus, with more and more retailers and service providers accepting payments from PayPal wallet, that method is almost as good as getting cash out of your account.
Better yet, you can use this method to convert almost all prepaid gift cards to cash. PayPal doesn't have many limitations on their gift card exchange program, which makes sense since they also sell their own PayPal gift card.
This method also tends to be more effective than selling gift cards since you get to keep the whole balance instead of losing some.
Transfer Money To Your Venmo Account
If you don't have a PayPal account, or would rather use a different service, you can also exchange visa gift cards for cash using your Venmo account.
Venmo can actually be an even better option because Venmo doesn't charge you for transferring money from your Venmo account to your bank account, while PayPal does have a fee if you need to get your direct deposit quickly and use their instant transfer option.
The process is very similar to add your Visa gift card balance to PayPal or Venmo, so you can use either option is equally effective. It is important to note that not as many retailers will let you pay directly from your Venmo account as your PayPal account though. Venmo might be better if you want to send money to a family member.
Save Money, Pay Your Bills With Your Visa Gift Card
Another great use for a visa gift card is to pay your bills with your gift card. This is a good option because you get to keep more money in your bank account, get rid of the prepaid card, and don't have to figure out how to convert visa gift cards to cash.
That means that, even though you won't actually get cash out of your gift card with this method, you will save money, keep more of your money in your existing accounts, and avoid any fees or depreciation of your visa gift card.
Buy Flippable Products With Your Gift Card Balance
Another good way to turn your visa gift card to cash, if a more complicated method, is to buy products and other things that you can easily turn around and sell. Exactly what products you decide to buy is up to you and what options you have for selling.
This method of turning your visa gift card into cash doesn't come without some risk. Anytime you're planning to sell something to make money, you might not be able to get the money you were expecting. So, if you decide to buy flippable products you need to know that you might lose the money from your visa gift cards and may only make some of that money back.
But, since you can use your Visa gift card anywhere you can use your debit card, there is a wide range of products you can choose from.
Purchase Supplies For Your Home Business
Another option for using your vanilla visa gift card to make money is to buy the supplies you need for your home business. This method is a lot more round about than taking your gift card to a gift card exchange kiosk, but can also be a good way to make more profit from your visa gift cards than when you convert visa gift cards to cash a more traditional way.
That's because, depending on what kind of business you have and what supplies you need, you might be able to make more money from the finished product that you spent buying the supplies.
It will usually take longer to turn your gif card into cash this way, but it's also one of the most effective ways of making more off your gift card than you were originally given.
Sell Your Visa Gift Cards Online
We've already talked about one of the ways you can sell your gif cards online, but there are plenty of other places and ways you can sell your gift cards online. For one thing, you can even sell to friends or family, or host a gift card exchange online, if you're looking to turn your gift card into cash.
This option works either because you've been directly paid for your gift card, or because you got a gift card that was more valuable to you than the one you got rid of.
For example, if you have a lot of MasterCard gift cards, but tend to shop places that only accept cash apps, cash, or Visa, you might have to exchange your gift card for a more valuable alternative.
Sell Your Gift Card In Person
Plenty of people are happy to buy gift cards in person, either because they'll use the card or because they have their own way of turning a gift card into cash. While we wouldn't recommend selling your gift card to a total stranger in person, if you have interested friends or family members you might be able to get a good price for your card.
You can list your Visa gift card on sites like Facebook Marketplace to sell it quickly. You can then directly transfer money into your bank account.
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Use A Gift Card Exchange Kiosk
Gift card exchange kiosks are another good way to turn your gift card into cash if you want to get money quickly. Most malls have gift card exchange kiosks, and some other locations use them as well.
Basically, a gift card exchange kiosk charges a small fee to use your gift card and either return cash or let you exchange it for a different kind of gift card in one location.
That way you have the option of turning a vanilla gift card into a more valuable gift card or get money out for your monthly bills and other expenses.
Send Your Visa Gift Cards To A Gift Card Conversion Site
Gift card conversion sites are essentially the online equivalent of a gift card exchange kiosk. They're a great way to get a wider selection of gift cards, including gift cards to grocery stores, Disney locations, and other retailers. You can even get gift cards for playing games or to load money onto your favorite streaming account.
These services usually have a small fee for converting gift cards, including visa cards, into an alternative gift card of your choice. But, if the other gift card is more valuable to you, it might be worth it.
Buy A Money Order With Your Visa Gift Card
One of the most effective ways to convert a visa gift card to cash is to buy a money order. A money order is just a way of telling the bank to move money around, but they're more secure than checks since the money has to be available when the money order is created.
That's part of why some rental places ask for a money order for your first month's rent instead of a check. They're a more secure option than a check, and good for first-time payments until a direct deposit can be set up.
But, as long as your prepaid card has the money available, you can also use a money order to put that balance in your checking account. It's almost like when you transfer money to one account from another, you just have to get the money order receipt and deposit it into your account instead of just transferring money directly.
Just be careful you don't turn a lot of prepaid cards into too many money orders at once. Money orders can look suspicious in some cases, and you don't want to have a delayed payment because of a slow money order.
Instead, try to only do a few money orders a quarter, or save up prepaid cards to make one big money order instead of several smaller ones.
Not sure where to purchase money orders? Most grocery stores can process money orders at their customer service desk.
Give Your Gift Card As A Gift
This option is less about getting cash out of your visa card, and more about making the most of your visa card to keep your money. If you were given a gift card you don't want, you can also turn that visa gift card into a gift for someone else.
You can also use this method in combination with exchanging your visa gift cards for other prepaid cards by getting more specialized gift cards to give as gifts. That way you can give people presents that feel a little more personal than cash or an everything card, while still helping their finances.
You might not love gift cards, but plenty of people think that they are a fantastic gift and are happy to receive them. Rather than taking a lot of time to transfer your gift card to cash, this is a good option to save money and get use out of your card at the same time.
Just Keep The Gift Card?
When it comes to gift cards there really aren't any options that are more flexible and easy to use as a visa gift card.
Visa gift cards are usually accepted anywhere that accepts visa debit cards. Since Visa is one of the most widely accepted card brands, that means that you can use your visa gift card just about anywhere, just like a visa debit card.
It's also fairly easy to check your visa gift card balance, and you can use the card to do anything, including funding a vacation or to pay bills at home.
The main downside of using a Visa gift card as-is is that you'll still have to pay credit card fees when you're making purchases. They're more versatile and effective than MasterCard gift cards, and can even be better than PayPal gift cards.
So, if turning your visa gift card to cash sounds like too much work to you, you're not alone. Visa gift cards are popular gifts and can be incredibly useful. If you don't need cold hard cash, keeping your visa gift card can be a good option.
Is Converting Visa Gift Cards To Cash Worth It?
This question is a little harder to answer because the truth is that not everyone should convert visa gift cards to cash. For plenty of people, the process to transfer money out of a gift card and into their bank or into cash is too time-consuming and work-intensive to be worth it.
But, for other people, converting your visa gift card to cash might be an important way to make bill payments and catch up on expenses that can't be paid with a prepaid card.
It's all a matter of what your goals are and why you're considering converting your visa gift cards.