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If you’re one of the many people who got a Visa gift card as a present this holiday season, you might now be wondering how to take that gift card and turn it into cash. Fortunately, you’re not alone. While Visa gift cards are valuable, many people want to swap them out for something they see as more valuable: money in hand. In many cases, this is possible. In some, it’s not. Here’s what you need to know.

How to Swap a Visa Gift Card for Cash

If your Visa gift card is a store gift card, you can easily get cash back from it by selling it to a reputable card reseller online. If you’re not sure what the face value of the gift card is, be sure to check on the merchant’s website before you arrange for the gift card trade. From there, the trade-in process is quite straightforward and only requires you heading to the gift card reseller’s site, entering your gift card’s information, including its face value and PIN number, getting a quote, and either accepting or denying it.

If on the other hand, your gift card is a Visa gift card with a PIN number, you’ll have to check with your gift card merchant. While some retailers are willing to work with PIN-protected Visa gift cards, others aren’t. The reason for this comes down to an old law. In 2013, the Federal Reserve made a requirement that people purchasing or using a general-purpose gift card get a PIN number so the card could be run as either credit or debit.

Unfortunately, this also made some people believe that they could take their Visa cards to an ATM and pull cash off them, which was not the case. Instead, the PIN number was just arranged so the card could be run as a debit card during an in-store transaction.

When You Can’t Get Cash for a Visa Card

While many people don’t understand why prepaid Visa cards are harder to trade for cash than store cards, the answer is quite simple. While store cards are sold and marketed as gifts with a real value attached to them, just like a toy scooter or an item of clothing would be, prepaid Visa cards that aren’t associated with a particular store are marketed more as alternative checking or savings accounts. Unlike most store cards, pre-paid Visa cards can be reloaded with funds like a traditional debit card.

What’s more, prepaid Visa cards typically require more information than a standard store card. While you may only need a PIN number to operate a store card, some prepaid Visa cards require personal information like your name, address, and social security number to access them. Because of this, the security measures put in place for these cards are much more stringent, and it’s much harder to trade them directly for cash.

Check with Your Card Issuer to Learn More About Visa Cards

While it’s always been easy to sell or trade store cards for cash or other gift cards, prepaid Visa cards are another story. Because these cards are more flexible and valuable than some other forms of store-specific gift cards, the securities in place on them are much more stringent, and it’s much harder to flip them for cash. While this makes sense when you consider the laws of and history surrounding prepaid Visa gift cards, it can still be frustrating. Fortunately, there are many ways to navigate around this frustration.

If simply keeping the prepaid Visa card and using it the way you’d use a debit card isn’t an option for you, consider using it to purchase a gift card you want and either using that with the merchant of your choice or reselling it with an online gift card merchant. While these tactics are somewhat roundabout and confusing, they can be a great option for people who want to find a route around the restrictions of pre-paid Visa cards.

Alternately, you can contact your online card reseller to find out what their approach is to pre-pay Visa cards, and if they can offer you a more streamlined trade-in process. While the answer may be “no,” it never hurts to try!

To learn more about how to sell a Visa gift card for cash or to get the lowdown on other creative ways to use your Visa card, contact EJ Gift Cards today – your trusted source for gift card resales and exchanges!