How to use a Visa Gift Card online

by Karen Farnen ; Updated April 06, 2018
You can use your Visa card for online, mail-order and telephone purchases.

The beauty of receiving a Visa gift card is that it gives you the flexibility to use it with any online merchant that accepts Visa debit cards. Depending on how your card was purchased, it may be already activated when you receive it. If not, you'll have to activate it before you can use it, and if you want to use your Visa gift card online, you''ll also have to register it.

Activate Your Card

A Visa card from a retail outlet is activated at the cash register, and you'll receive the activation slip. Some Visa gifts cards purchased online need to be activated once you receive them in the mail. In this case, follow the activation instructions on the little sticker that comes on the front of the card. Typically, this requires you to call an 800 number or access a website to enter the 16-digit card number and associated security code. For additional security, sign the card on the back as soon as you receive it.

Register Your Card

To register your card for online use, locate the issuer's 800 number or web address. You'll find this information on the back of the Visa card or in a leaflet that comes with the card. Call the telephone number or access the website to get started. You'll need to provide the card code and card security number, as well as your personal information, including your name, address and telephone number. Use the same format for your personal information that you plan to use when making your online purchases. This is important as many payment processors check to verify that the information matches.

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Use Your Card Online

At checkout you'll be given a variety of payment options. This may include PayPal, Amazon or a debit or credit card. You need to select the debit/credit card option and then specifically choose the Visa card for payment. Enter your personal information exactly as you did to register your card and then add the card code and security code.

Make a Partial Payment

Cardholders should always check their Visa gift card balance before making an online purchase. This can be done using the 800 number on the back of the card and following the prompts. If the total amount on the card is less than the total purchase price, it may be possible for you to use the remainder of your card to buy a store egift card. In most cases, this is a code sent to your email inbox. You can then use that egift card code toward your total balance.

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