So someone has just given you a Visa Gift Card and maybe you are unsure what to do with it. Some retailers make it impossible to use them. And maybe the stores in your area who accept them don’t carry what you want. If only Amazon accepted them. Amazon has everything. And they make returns so easy. Well, you are in luck. The world’s most ubiquitous online retailer does indeed accept Visa Gift Cards. If you are still unclear about how to turn your cousin’s thoughtful gesture into Prime shopping, read on. We’ll walk you through how to use a Visa Gift Card on Amazon in just 6 easy steps.
Step 1: Add a New Payment Method
In the top right-hand corner hover over “Hello (Your Name) Account & Lists” until a drop-down menu appears. Click on “Account.”
Step 2: Your Payments
Once on the Account screen, select and click the tab labeled “Your Payments.” This will take you to the “Wallet” screen.
Step 3: Add a Payment Method
The Wallet screen will include an option called “Add a Payment Method.” Select this.
Step 4: Add Credit or Debit Card
Select the option to “Add Credit or Debit Card.” Now, you may be thinking, “Wait a minute, I thought this was a gift card.” Don’t forget that it is also a Visa. While it is loaded with a pre-set amount, like a gift card, you can use it at a number of retailers because it essentially functions like a Visa credit or debit card. Therefore, you need to add your gift card to your Amazon payment methods as though it were a Visa debit or credit card.
Step 5: Add Card Information
Once you see the screen to add the info, the rest is fairly self-explanatory. You add the card number just as you would with any other credit or debit card, as well as the expiration date. You will also be asked to enter the “Name on Card.” While that may be confusing at first, note that when you receive a Visa gift card, you have to sign it in order to activate it. So, while your name isn’t embossed the way it would be with a debit or credit card, technically, your name is on the gift card.
Step 6: Billing Address
Finally, Amazon will ask for a “Billing Address” and while you won’t receive a bill for your gift card, you can just put your own mailing address in order to kind of sidestep this part of the process.
And that’s it. Now you can spend your Visa gift card on Amazon.
Here is a brief, step-by-step video for further reference:
Using Visa Gift Card on Amazon vs. Credit Card
This entire process might be slightly confusing if you see your Visa Gift Card as more gift card, less Visa. Strictly speaking, there is nowhere to add gift cards to your Amazon payment options unless it is an Amazon Gift Card. But with a little know-how, you can use the Visa Gift Card on Amazon by treating it like a Visa. You basically have to trick the system into thinking that you are using a debit or credit card, not a gift card. That, in and of itself, can lead to a few complications.
Gift Card Restrictions
There are a few restrictions when using a Visa Gift Card on Amazon. Since it is neither an actual Visa nor an Amazon gift card, it cannot be used exactly like either of those payment methods, or rather it can be used like any payment method, but with a few caveats.
Gift Card Balance
While Amazon allows you to use Visa Gift Cards as a payment, they do not allow them to be combined with credit or debit cards on a single transaction. That means you’ll have to keep an eye on your balance and make sure that purchases you make with your gift card stay within that limit. This includes factoring in taxes and shipment (if you aren’t a Prime member or your items don’t qualify for free shipping). If you go over your gift card’s balance at any point, Amazon will decline the payment. Amazon will then ask for an alternative payment source. A major downside to this is that you will need to get your purchase total as close to your balance as possible.
Depending on the type of Visa Gift Card you receive, you may be required to enter your CVV code for security purposes when making online purchases. If this is the case, unfortunately, you won’t be able to use this card on Amazon. The functionality of Amazon doesn’t include a place to enter this three-digit security code.
Activating Your Visa Gift Card
Before you use your prepaid Visa Gift Card on Amazon, or anywhere else for that matter, you need to activate it. Activation is typically a two-step process. First, the vendor who sells that card must activate it upon purchase. Second, the cardholder must activate the card before making a purchase with it. Sometimes the cardholder must set up a four-digit PIN upon activation. Although this is not always the case. Almost always, the cardholder must sign the back of the card to make it valid.
When a card is purchased, it will include a toll-free telephone number, a website, or both. Sometimes the number and site are printed right on the back of the card, other times they are included in the gift card’s packaging. Either way, locate them and call the number or go to the website. Once there, the automated phone system or the website will walk you through the process of activation.
Using a Visa Gift Card on Amazon: Conclusion
Amazon makes shopping easy, especially if you already have an account set up. It also makes using Visa Gift Cards easy if you know what you’re doing. Now instead of wondering who will actually accept the Visa Gift Card, you can save yourself embarrassment at the register. Instead, you can put your Visa Gift Card balance towards something on your wish list.
The image featured at the top of this post is ©Sergei Elagin/Shutterstock.com.