The $1,000 Visa Gift Card (With PIN!) From Gift Card Mall [Now Only $500]

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Update:  The maximum value gift card is only $500 now, so this isn’t as good as it used to be.

Many grocery shops, drug store, office supply store, and gas stations let you buy gift cards with a credit card.  And as I wrote earlier, you can now add a PIN on many Visa and MasterCard gift cards.

I sometimes buy gift cards to complete the minimum spending requirement on credit cards and then use the gift cards for my regular spending.  But they are typically for $500 in value and have a purchase fee of ~$5.

A $1,000 Gift Card
A $1,000 Gift Card!

It can make sense to buy these cards with a credit card which earns a bonus when used at grocery, drug, office supply or gas stations.  And then use the gift card either for your regular spending, to buy money orders, or to load your American Express Bluebird at Wal-Mart.  Remember, you can pay your loans and bills using American Express Bluebird.

However, not ALL versions of gift cards can be used to load your Bluebird, so always start with a small amount as a test.

You can use gift cards with a PIN to:

  • Load your American Express Bluebird at Wal-Mart and pay your mortgage and other bills with Bluebird
  • Buy money orders at Wal-Mart, grocery stores or other locations to pay loans etc.
  • Pay bills at the Wal-Mart money center
  • Buy pre-paid cards from stores which don’t sell them with a credit card, but let you use a debit card
  • Potentially pay a lower fee ($2.99 to $3.95) when you pay your federal and state taxes with a debit card online

 $1,000 Gift Card from Gift Card Mall

What Does it Cost?

Gift Card Mall sells a $1,000 Visa gift card – with a PIN! – for only a $3.95 purchase fee.  You can buy this gift card with any credit card and you will earn miles or points for the purchase.  That said, I haven’t tested buying the gift card with a Citi credit card so do a small test to make sure that you aren’t charged cash advance fees because Citi usually charges cash advance fees.

Assuming you pay $3.99 for USPS shipping which is trackable ($2 more than the cheapest shipping option with no tracking), your total costs are ~$8 to buy a $1,000 gift card ($3.95 purchase fee + $3.99 shipping fees).

This means that you are paying ~$8 in fees to earn 1,008 miles or points.  So you’re paying 0.8 cents per mile or point ($8 in fees/1,008 miles and points).  0.8 cents per mile or point is a good deal for most airlines, Hyatt and Starwood hotel points, etc.

This is much less than the cost of buying lower denomination gift cards elsewhere!

Frequent Miler writes that you can even buy American Express gift cards though Big Crumbs and get cash back and then use those gift cards to buy the $1,000 gift card from Gift Card Mall to eliminate the purchase fees.  But that is too much work for me!  And be careful to NOT use a Citi credit card when you buy gift cards directly from American Express because you may be charged a large cash advance fee.

How to Buy The $1,000 Gift Card

Step 1 – Go to Gift Card Mall

Go to to the Visa gift card page on Gift Card Mall and enter $1,000 and click continue.

$1,000 Visa Gift Card
Enter Gift Card Value
 Step 2 – Enter Name on Card

You can actually enter your name on the $1,000 Visa gift card!  This makes it seem more like a real credit card or debit card when you use it.

Here’s what my card looked like.

$1,000 Visa Gift CArd-001
Has my Name on it!
Step 3 – Billing and Shipping Address

Be careful to enter your billing address exactly as it appears on your credit card statement.  Otherwise, your order may not process and you may not be able to place another order for 30 days!  You can look at your credit card statement online and enter your name, middle initial and address exactly as it appears online.

I got an error message after my first order (and a warning that I couldn’t re-order for 30 days).  But my second order (30 seconds later) went through, though I got a fraud alert from the credit card company.

Step 4 – Select a Shipping Option & Check Out

Choose a shipping option.

$1,000 Gift Card
Select a Shipping Option

I’d personally pay a few dollars more and choose a shipping option which can be tracked, just in case anything went wrong.  Here are the shipping costs for the different options.

$1,000 Gift Card
Different Shipping Options

Enter your payment information & check-out.  Use a credit card for which you have to complete the minimum spending requirement or one which earns your favorite kind of miles and points.

How To Activate & Set a PIN

Step 1 – Activate the Card

After you receive the card in the mail, go to the Gift Card Mall Activation Page.  Enter your card number and the 4 digit activation code.  The 4 digit activation code is mailed to you separately.

$1,000 Gift Card
Enter Card Details

Click “Submit” and your card is ready for use!

$1,000 Visa Gift Card
Gift Card is Activated
Step 2 – Setting a PIN

Click on this link to set a PIN for your gift card.

Enter your card details, select a PIN and hit “Submit

$1,000 Gift Card
Set Your PIN

Using the $1,000 Visa Gift Card

You can use the $1,000 gift card just like a debit card with a PIN, except that you can’t withdraw money from the ATM or get cash back.

Money Orders.   I was able to buy money orders at Kroger grocery stores and at Wal-Mart using the $1,000 Visa gift card as a debit card with a PIN.

Note that I would NOT suggest buying lots of money orders and depositing them in your bank account because it could be suspicious.  Please see the warnings in this post.  But I would use them to pay bills which I couldn’t otherwise pay.  That said, I prefer using Bluebird to pay bills.

Loading Bluebird.  I was able to load my Bluebird at Wal-Mart with the $1,000 Visa gift card.  I went to the Wal-Mart money center and handed the teller my Bluebird card.  I confirmed the amount I wanted to load on my Bluebird and swiped the $1,000 Visa card.

It promoted me for my PIN and the load was successful!  You can load up to $1,000 a day and $5,000 a month to your Bluebird using a debit card at Wal-Mart for free.  This limit includes the amount you can load with Vanilla Reload cards.

Cash Back.  I was curious to see if I could get cash back (the terms say that you can’t), and I wasn’t able to get cash back at Wal-Mart, Kroger and Hy-Vee. Paying Taxes.   I paid $1,000 in taxes and was charged the lower ($2.99 to $3.95) debit card fee!

Bottom Line

The $1,000 Visa Gift Card (with a PIN) makes it easier to complete your minimum spending requirements and to earn miles with a credit card.  But don’t go overboard, and use this only for legitimate future spending.  And don’t max out your credit cards buying gift cards.  I also wouldn’t put high-value purchases on the card because it doesn’t have the return protections which consumer credit cards have.

I prefer to use gift cards with PIN only for transactions for which I couldn’t otherwise use a credit card.  Like paying bills with money or orders or loading my Bluebird at Wal-Mart and then using Bluebird to pay bills.

Update:  The maximum value gift card is only $500 now, so this isn’t as good as it used to be. PS: I am traveling with family so won’t be able to get to the comments until night!

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