These days, you can easily pop into a store and find gifts for your loved ones. However, the availability of a wide array of options can also be a double-edged sword, as it can actually make it more difficult to find the perfect gift.

Giving cash might no longer raise eyebrows as it did before. Using money as a gift can be acceptable for people close to you, like your family and close friends. However, it might not be proper for acquaintances.

Fortunately, gift cards offer the flexibility of fiat money without negative societal implications. Unlike traditional gift cards, Visa gift cards allow users to purchase items from various stores. One disadvantage of gift cards, though, is that it can be challenging to stick to the amount limit. It’s either you’ll have to spend more to use up the balance or leave it as a tip for the company.

However, there are things that you can do to save cash and use Visa gift cards to their full value. Below are some tips that you can follow:

Plan Your Purchases

The best way to maximize your Visa gift card is to plan for the items that you’ll be buying. This can help you make the most of the money that you have on the card. For instance, you may have been eyeing a kitchen gadget that costs USD$29.50. With a USD$50 gift card, you’ll end up with a USD$20.50 balance if you only purchase that appliance.

To maximize the card’s value, you can buy other cooking and dining utensils or accessories. Just check your kitchen and pantry for the things that you still need before you head to the store.

Make Your Gift Cards Visible and Easily Accessible

Another way to maximize your gift cards and use up their full value is to keep them handy. In your wallet, place them together with your debit and credit cards as well as other types of gift cards so that you can remember to use them when you’re standing in line at the cashier.

Keeping your cards visible can help you consider once you are in a store. A pro tip to remember is to be mindful of promos that you can avail of in conjunction with your gift card. This way, you can get more savings.

Check the Balance Regularly

Visa gift cards allow you to check your balance online. You just have to visit the company’s website and type your card number and PIN, and you will be directed to a dashboard with your balance.

Knowing how much money you have left on the card can help you plan your purchases. You don’t want to be surprised at the cashier when they tell you that you need to supplement the transaction with cash since you’ve used up your balance.

Talk to the Cashier

Once you have the items that you want to buy, you should inform the cashier ahead that you plan on using a gift card. This way, they can check the balance and confirm that their establishment accepts the Visa gift card.

Moreover, if you know that you’ll have to add more to your balance, give a heads up before the cashier scans the items. This way, you can save everyone the trouble in case the shop’s system has problems with split-tender transactions.

Get Cashback

Some states legally require stores to give cashback to their gift card users when the amount falls under a certain threshold. If you live in California, the Department of Consumer Affairs says that you can redeem the balance if your gift card only has less than USD$10 remaining in it.

Colorado, Maine, Montana, New Jersey, Oregon, and Washington give cash backs on gift cards if it has a balance of less than USD$5. Meanwhile, you’d need a balance of less than USD$3 in Connecticut and even lower in Texas and Vermont, with USD$2.50 and USD$1 respectively, to get a cashback.

Go to Amazon

If you feel that getting a cashback is complicated, you can opt to use the remaining balance of your Visa gift card on Amazon. The platform allows you to purchase an exact amount for the e-gift card. This way, you can use up the entire balance. Aside from that, you get to shop online without much hassle.



Gift cards are the next best thing to receiving cold, hard cash. However, its primary disadvantage is that you can’t use up every single cent on the card value. Fortunately, there are workarounds to this dilemma. Just follow the tips above to maximize your Visa gift card and score the best deals!




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