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  • Works for Me: Use Visa and Mastercard gift cards to buy Amazon gift certificates


    There are quite a few rebates that give money back in the form of a Visa or Mastercard gift card. I discovered the hard way that I couldn’t use the card if my amount due was more than the amount on the card – in other words, I was having trouble using up the balance on the card. I got it down to a few cents after using it on my low out of pocket amounts in The Drugstore Game, but then I found myself stuck. If this happens, it turns out that you must pay most of the amount due and leave only the amount equal to what’s left on the card.

    For example, if you have 5 cents left on the card and the amount you owe the cashier is $2, you must pay the cashier $1.95 in cash or some other way, and then you can use the card to pay the last 5 cents. Obviously, this is quite the hassle.

    I read a suggestion somewhere to use the gift cards to buy Amazon gift certificatesinstead. I buy stuff from Amazon all the time, so Amazon gift certificates are almost as good as cash. It solves my gift card problem by exhausting the balance in one fell swoop, and I can use the gift certificate as slowly or quickly as I want to.


    1. Corrie @ "Cents"able Momma says:

      That's a great idea! I hate those prepaid gift cards for the very reason you mentioned…when you reach the end of your card, it's a pain to use the last few cents.

      I usually write the amount on the back and do a partial pay at the grocery store (since they seem to the stores that are most used to dealing with partial pays), but I like your idea so much better!

      I work so hard to save money and coupon, that I can't let the last few cents go to waste :-).

    2. I dont like the pre paid cards either. I usually use mine at a gas station since it's easy to tell the cashier the exact amount on the card and then just pump that amount.

    3. I dont like the pre paid cards either. I usually use mine at a gas station since it's easy to tell the cashier the exact amount on the card, then just pump that amount and use up the whole card at once.

    4. Hunter Johnson says:

      My bank has the "Visa" logo on its door, and I can deposit most Visa gift cards directly into my checking account, as long as I haven't accessed the gift card yet. They have to fill out some forms by hand so it's not an instant process, but for me it's worth it.

    5. Anonymous says:

      That's a useful idea. My husband got one as a reward from his work and he *hated* the hassle it caused. I will tell him about this alternative.

    6. Chief Family Officer says:

      @Corrie – I'm the same way about those last few cents. I had 19 left my last gift card before I read this tip and I FINALLY got to use it after a few months 🙂

      @CJ – That's a great idea!

      @Hunter – Hm, I'll have to check my bank, that's interesting. Thanks!

      @anon – If he doesn't like the Amazon idea, CJ's idea of using it on gas sounds good too.