Visa gift cards are an alternative to sending cash or checks through the mail. The recipient can use them anywhere he sees the Visa sign, and the sender doesn't need a credit check to buy one. If you've received a Visa gift card, it's important that you're aware of how much money is on it. If you try to make a purchase and have insufficient funds on your card, your transaction will be declined -- which could be embarrassing for you and the vendor.
Check the documentation that came with your Visa gift card. This will include the starting balance on the card.
Log into the online account linked to your gift card. If you haven't registered for this, you'll find details in the materials that came with your card. Not all card issuers will offer this service. Visa's website has a list of online Visa Gift card issuers.
Call your card issuer. If you've misplaced the documentation that came with your card and haven't registered for online access, you'll need to telephone the issuer of your card to make inquiries. Most issuers supply free phone numbers that you'll be able to find online or on the back of your card. Others may charge a fee for checking your balance over the phone.
Michael Roennevig has been a journalist since 2003. He has written on politics, the arts, travel and society for publications such as "The Big Issue" and "Which?" Roennevig holds a Bachelor of Arts in journalism from the Surrey Institute and a postgraduate diploma from the National Council for the Training of Journalists at City College, Brighton.