How to Activate Visa Cards & Use Them

by Laura Jerpi ; Updated July 27, 2017

Visa gift cards are commonly given as gifts from friends, family members and bosses, and as rewards for winning contests. The person giving the Visa gift card puts a certain amount of money on it for the recipient to spend. Visa gift cards are often seen as more convenient to give than cash, as the person receiving it can simply use it as he would a credit card. These gift cards are typically accepted anywhere that Visa credit cards are used.

Step 1

Follow the instructions that came with the card in order to activate it. Some cards are automatically activated, while others will require the recipient to activate it before the first use.

Step 2

Sign the back of the card as the final step toward activation. This will also help to protect the balance of the card if it is stolen.

Step 3

Use the card towards any purchases that you make, just as you would a credit card. If you are shopping in a store, simply present the card to the cashier when you check out. You will need to sign the receipt to complete the transaction, just as you would with a credit card.

Step 4

Check the balance on your Visa gift card before each use. You can find the instructions to do this on the back of your card. It is important to keep track of your balance, because the card is non re-loadable, meaning you cannot add additional funds to the balance.

About the Author

Laura Jerpi has been working in marketing since 2007. She is an interactive copywriter who writes for Thought Leadership Publications, Ai InSite and South Source. Jerpi holds a Bachelor of Arts in communications from the University of Pittsburgh and a Master of Business Administration from Robert Morris University.