It’s easy to find out how much credit you have left on any Visa gift card, such as a Vanilla Visa gift card, using your computer or smartphone, or by checking with a merchant when you make a transaction.
But first, you’ll need the Visa card and its security code. Then, the process of finding the gift card balance will take a matter of minutes.
How Is Visa Involved?
Visa is not a credit card or gift card issuer. Visa U.S.A. Inc. is a network for banks and retailers that want to issue Visa credit cards or gift cards, which are gift cards that come with different rewards. Also, the company offers Visa debit cards while creating the rewards programs so that banks don’t have to come up with their own.
This means that more consumers will have access to the rewards, making them more attractive to Visa’s partners who provide the prepaid cards, who then can then offer them to consumers at a lower cost.
Remember that Visa also does not issue gift cards, such as Vanilla gift cards. Those come from banks, stores and other businesses. They are part of the Visa network, which helps advertise and promote the cards.
Check the Balance on My Visa Gift Card
Visa provides a web page with step-by-step instructions for checking the balance of your Visa gift cards online. Navigate to this page, which has the headline, "How to Check Your Visa Gift Card Balance."
The basic method involves calling the toll-free number on the back of your card or going to the card issuer’s site and entering the card’s 16-digit number and security code.
Different companies offer different Visa gift cards. And you can also use a general gift card website that sells cards to check your balance. Fortunately, the Visa web page lists a number of these sites, with direct links to their websites:
Visit the Card Issuer’s Website
Each business that issues a Visa gift card, including a digital card, provides you with ways to check your balance. One is to visit the website and enter your card information. That's the very first step you can take if you need to determine your Visa gift card balance. For example, you can check VanillaGift.com and do a balance check.
Call the Toll-Free Number
If you’re not near a computer, don’t want to use your phone to visit a website or have no virtual account, you can call the phone number on the back of your Visa gift card. Then follow the prompts you are given to get your gift card balance.
Keep in mind that you should have your gift card number and security code ready because you will need to use this information at some point for verification before getting your gift card balance.
Ask a Merchant
Whenever you make a purchase with a Visa gift card, ensure that you get a receipt if you want to see what your new card balance is. Companies like Home Depot provide their employees with marker pens to write your balance on your gift cards if you’d like. So don’t be afraid to ask questions if you can’t see the balance.
Tips for Using Gift Cards
Here are some tips for using Visa gift cards:
- Check to see if you can register your gift card as soon as you get it. If you lose it, you can then freeze it and get a new one – otherwise, someone else can use your card.
- Always have a credit or debit card ready to use if, for some reason, there’s a problem with your Visa gift card. The last thing you want to do when there are other people waiting at the checkout line behind you is to have a long conversation with a cashier or have to put your items back.
- Always ensure that the Visa gift card balance is sufficient to cover your purchases. And take the time to memorize your card number and security code so you can easily determine the balance before you start shopping.
- Confirm the expiration date of your gift card by reading the cardholder agreement carefully to ensure that the card is still valid before buying products. Also, confirm whether your card is reloadable.
Steve Milano has written more than 1,000 pieces of personal finance and frugal living articles for dozens of websites, including Motley Fool, Zacks, Bankrate, Quickbooks, SmartyCents, Knew Money, Don't Waste Your Money and Credit Card Ideas, as well as his own websites.