How to use up a gift card balance (Visa gift cards)

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I have received a few Visa gift cards from various sources (rebates, MaxPerks redemptions, gifts). If I don't use up the full balance in one purchase, I need to keep track of the remaining balance. Occasionally I'll lose track of the balance. I know I can go online to get a balance but this isn't always convienent.

Others may already know this method, but I found a way to easily use up the balance on a Visa gift card. My card had just over $2.50 on it and asked the clerk at CVS if she could put part of the payment on the card and let me pay cash for the rest. She ran the card as a credit card and the system found the balance, applied the balance, and let me pay the rest with cash. I thought the balance was 2 cents different so I was happy that CVS and Visa used the full balance. This might work elsewhere but I can only report on my experience with CVS.

If you have experience with this working at other stores or with other gift cards (AMEX, etc.), please post your experience.

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I use them to pay my verizon bill, but I do have to go to the store to do it, if done online I can't get the max value as it puts a $1 hold before doing the charge....

My best advice would be to take the card and buy a GC at a store you know you will shop at. Generally then you won't have to worry about inactivity fees or expiration, like you would with many of the credit card gift cards....

This also works at WalMart and Target. Didn't know about CVS. Thanks for sharing. I know it doesn't work at all stores as others have complained before of declined transactions. Easiest of course is to use up the card for online bill payment of phone, cable or other utility companies that let you make partial payments.

Go to the bank and take a cash advance against them. It takes less than a few minutes and so far I have never paid any fees to take cash advance against visa gift cards (mostly from rebates offers).

This does not work for AMEX gift cards.

I would like to know the solution as well. I have quite a few AMEX GC and don't like to keep tracking the balances. Thank you.

pay utility (cell phone, landline, ...) bill

In the past I have used them to pay my Time Warner Cable bill (online). It lets you enter any amount when you go to pay. It will even let you have a credit balance.

Here's what I always do
1) Rent Movies from Redbox using Breakroom, Dvdonme, Dvdatwag(Walgreens only), DVDkrog(Kroger only)
2) Buy gas by going inside and tell the clerk "$20 on pump 10"

I always get $3 more of a value from the movies(no Kroger nearby). I always use all of my card balances.

In Houston I use gift cards in HEB grocery stores. I just swipe the gift ward as credit and their system takes what ever amount in the gift card and asks me to swipe other card for remaining balance. I do not even ask the cashier to do this.

In fiesta this does not work. System declines the gift card if there is not enough balance to cover my purchase. I need to ask the cashier to split the charge.

I use at Target, WalMart or to buy gas. I just swipe the card and it takes the balance and tells the cashier what is left owed. I used several at one time for gas, just swipe each one and it deducts as I go.

I don't see the problem with these visa gift card. I use multiple visa gift cards in a single transaction in safeway before. It just keeps deducting the balance from the total.

Just buy gas. Don't pay at pump. Run card first. Tell clerk you want "$2.52" or whatever on pump #1.

briankh said: Just buy gas. Don't pay at pump. Run card first. Tell clerk you want "$2.52" or whatever on pump #1.

Exactly what I do. I also use them up at Stapples. You just have to tell cashier how much is left on the card. If I have a high value card I put a blank sticker on it and every time I use the card I write down how much I spent so I can get a quick balance if needed. Yes, I know you can check on line but I'm in the boonies some areas have neither wireless access nor cell phone service.

ETA: Most of these cards say that they cannot be used for cash advances. My electric company charges $3 if you use a credit card of any type to pay your bill.

Dry cleaner. They are fine w multiple payments or prepayments and I'm not holding up the line.

Buy Amazon gift cards.

I use the visa gift card to buy target or WalMart or whatever store card because they have no problems using up the card and paying the balance with some other form of payment.

Besides breaking up a payment at a store paying part charge, part cash, buy stamps with the balance or pay for postal services at the Post Office, which will also accept part chash, part charge for payments.

The idea was not "how to spend the pennies left" but "how to spend the pennies left without going to the bother of checking to see exactly HOW MANY pennies are left". In other words, finding systems that automagically charge you exactly whatever is left on the card if you are making a larger purchase anyway. Clever, OP, no idea that any systems did that.

You can use it at Staples and Krogers as their systems know the balance on the VISA gift cards and will use the full amount when required.

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