If you’re like me, at any given time I have at least three Visa or Master Card gift cards in my wallet, sometimes tossed to the bottom of my purse. The reason why these cards are so carelessly sitting in the bottom of my purse is because they have obscure balances on them that I can’t seem to use up.
You can certainly try to use the remaining balance of your card in store, but if your experience has been like mine it’s difficult getting cashiers to process coupons, even more so to process a Visa gift card with $1.41 left on it. The cashier has to enter the exact amount on the card or it will be declined (unlike a store credit card that, when swiped, will just take off whatever balance is left.) I’ve used up several cards this way, if I can find a cashier that is friendly and willing to do so, but it’s not something that happens often.
My friend Sheri at Kidsumers uses her balances to pay her bills online. Even adding a few dollars here and there can help chop away at the monthly cable bill for example. I thought her idea was genius until I tried it for myself with Sasktel Mobility, my local cell service provider. I signed up for their e-bill service and entered in a payment for $1.41, the amount left on one of those Visa gift cards at the bottom of my purse. I discovered quickly that this method won’t work for me – SaskTel Mobility asks that payments be at least $5.00! So much for that idea…
However, I found a solution that worked for me and I’m excited to share it with you!
Use your remaining Visa or MC Gift Card balances to buy Amazon.ca gift certificates for yourself!
Call the number on the back of your card to determine the remaining amount and write this amount on the card with a Sharpie marker.
Sign into your Amazon.ca account, then click Your Account (top right hand corner) then Redeem a Gift Card.
On the left hand side under More Gift Certificate Links, click Purchase a Gift Card.
Choose E Mail as your delivery method, then click Buy Now.
Under Amount select Set My Own and then enter the exact amount of the gift card you have. Fill in your name and email info.
You will then need to sign into your account again (annoying…but worth it). On the next page, fill in your Visa Gift Card information, making sure to enter in Valued Customer or For You (whatever the name is on the card). Click Continue and confirm your order.
Wait for the email to arrive with the gift certificate code you’ve just purchased. Click the link in the email to apply the code to your Amazon.ca account.
Pat yourself on the back for a job well done and the full amount of your gift card finally used up!
I make no apologies for being frugal. I wouldn’t throw away $1.41 at the bottom of my purse but every year, industry articles are written sharing the astounding amount of unused gift card amounts and it shocks me! Use up those gift cards! Maybe you can pay small amounts on your bills online like my friend Sheri, or maybe this Amazon.ca solution will work well for you! If not, what have you done to use up your gift cards? Have you tossed one away with a low amount because it was too hard to spend? It’s OK, I won’t get too anxious over it as long as you tell me it will never happen again!